For the weeknights when you need a quick and healthy meal, whip up a delicious Chicken Saltimbocca. The fresh basil and tasty prosciutto will transport you to an Italian family dinner. Even the kids will love it!
Get a restaurant quality meal at home, in under 30 minutes
This chicken saltimbocca recipe while rich in flavor is still pretty healthy. You might not think that the prosciutto and basil would stay attached to the chicken, but somehow they do, no toothpicks required.
The chicken is so tender and the flavors are amazing. It only takes about twenty minutes to prepare which is so nice when you want something special for dinner but don’t want to be in the kitchen all night.
The recipe needs fresh basil. Every summer I grow a pot of it in my backyard, it’s really easy to grow and so much cheaper than buying it fresh and you’ll always have it on hand for when you want to make this easy chicken saltimbocca recipe.
If you have extra basil, try using it for Cheese and Prosciutto Stuffed Chicken Breasts, or Mini Zucchini Pesto Quiches. It’s also great just sprinkled on top of Carbonara with Shrimp and Corn, or added to a marinara sauce for Meatloaf Muffins. If it’s the dead of winter, you’ll have to bite the bullet and get fresh from the grocery.
Basil is an annual which means it dies out at the end of the season, so unless you have a greenhouse, your pot will not survive the winter indoors. However, you can freeze extra basil for soups, check out Gardening Know How for some handy tips.
What is Chicken Saltimbocca
Saltimbocca when translated from Italian means, “jump in the mouth”, and that’s a good description for the chicken saltimbocca sauce. It originated in Italy and traditionally would be veal wrapped around prosciutto and sage. I prefer basil over sage. Since the chicken is wrapped in prosciutto and basil, their flavors are infused into every bite giving you both tender and delicious chicken.
What you’ll need
- Chicken breasts – skinless and boneless. If you have time, letting them soak in buttermilk will make sure you have super tender chicken.
- Prosciutto – It should be thin so that it will wrap around the chicken.
- Basil – it needs to be fresh
- Artichoke hearts – packed in water not oil
- White wine or Marsala wine – you can substitute chicken broth but wine adds more flavor
- Chicken broth – a base for the sauce
- Flour – just a little
PRO TIP: For the most tender chicken breasts, soak them in buttermilk for at least 30 minutes or over night. Don’t have buttermilk, just add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk.
How to make it
Step 1: First you need to pound the chicken so that each breast is the same thickness. On the rough side of the chicken, place the basil leaves and then cover with thinly sliced prosciutto. Place them in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.
Step 2: Cut the chicken in half and dredge in a little flour and cook over medium heat in a large skillet for about 2 minutes on each side depending, on how thin they are. Remove to a plate while you make the sauce.
Step 3: For the chicken saltimbocca sauce, add wine to the skillet and let it cook off, then add drained artichokes and chicken broth and let it simmer until reduced. Add the chicken back to the skillet to re-heat. Serve by itself or over pasta.
What’s the correct TEMPERATURE for juicy chicken breasts
The USDA recommends cooking chicken breasts until the internal temperature is 165º. However, the chicken breasts will continue to cook in this recipe so I remove them from the skillet when they are 155-160º.
FAQ’s and tips
Skinless boneless chicken breasts.
You will need a large skillet, a cast iron works great, but any skillet is fine.
It means “jump in your mouth”!
It’s great by itself, but even better over angel hair pasta to soak up the sauce.
More WEEKNIGHT dinner recipes
- One pot Taco Spaghetti
- Lemon Chicken Penne with a lemon cream sauce
- Nothing easier than baked Pork Chops with Peaches
- The all time blog favorite, Queso Chicken
Chicken Saltimbocca with Artichokes
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 12 basil leaves
- 12 thin slices prosciutto
- ⅓ cup flour
- salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ⅓ cup white wine/marsala
- 14 ounces canned artichoke hearts chopped, packed in water
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Pound chicken breasts until about ¼ inch thick.
- Place 2-3 basil leaves on the less smooth side of each breast. Cover with prosciutto and press until they adhere. Cover and chill for 10 minutes. Cut each in half crosswise.
- Place flour in a pie plate. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Coat chicken with flour.
- Heat 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot. Reduce to medium heat. Saute half the chicken, 2 minutes per side or until the pieces are golden and just cooked through. A thermometer should read 155-160º. Remove to a plate, cover and repeat with the remaining pieces.
- Add wine to the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up the brown bits at the bottom of the pan, and simmer for a minute or until the pan is almost dry.
- Drain and coarsely chop the artichoke hearts and add to the skillet along with the chicken stock. Simmer until reduced by half. Return the chicken to the skillet and simmer just until reheated. Add butter to the pan and swirl until it has melted.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- If you have time, marinate the chicken breasts overnight or for at least 30 minutes in buttermilk. Rinse and pat dry before using.
- You will need to use fresh basil leaves for this recipe.
- Use thinly sliced prosciutto to make it easier to wrap around the chicken, you can have it sliced at the deli section of the grocery or buy it pre-sliced.
- This is great served over angel hair pasta.