The amazing Instant Pot makes feeding hungry bellies quick and easy! Nothing could be easier than this Quick Tomato Basil Chicken, either. Simple, flavorful ingredients and a set-it-and-forget-it cooking method means a healthy meal for your family in no time. For the Trim Healthy Mama it also means a versatile protein source that works for S, E, and FP meals and snacks.
Because recipes that work with any THM Fuel Type that can be prepared easily make a busy home cook’s life so much easier I’m always looking for ways to do that. Thanks to the versatility of the Instant Pot, you can throw all the ingredients for this Quick Tomato Basil Chicken into your IP and use the slow cook function so it’s ready when you are.
Or, if you happen to forget you were supposed to slow cook the chicken, then you can use the pressure cooking function and you’ll have tomato basil chicken cooked to perfection in no time. Not that I’ve ever had to do that…[cough].
Fresh, quality ingredients make a simple dish shine.
You don’t have to have a long, complicated list of ingredients to make a delicious meal. Just a few simple, fresh, high quality ingredients can make a flavorful and healthy meal.
Tomato and basil are perfect companions, and the combo always makes me happy! It’s such a fresh, summery flavor too. Fresh basil is always best but if you don’t have any on hand dried works just fine. I used dried in this recipe but when my basil is ready for harvest I’ll reach for the fresh, fragrant basil leaves every time.
Just remember the conversion ratio for fresh and dried herbs: 3 parts fresh = 1 part dry. So for this recipe, substitute 3 teaspoons of fresh, chopped basil for the 1 teaspoon of dried herb. Or more, if you really love basil!
Low fat or higher fat in your tomato and basil chicken – you choose!
Lately, I’ve taken to just paring back the fat a bit and not being quite so liberal with it. The THM Poddy (podcast) has been a great source of encouragement for me.
While listening to their “Practice the Comeback” episode I realized that at 45, I just might need to make some adjustments. What was working for me a few years ago just isn’t working the same now.
There’s no reason to fear healthy fats, but moderation is always good. Sure, now and then enjoy a heavy fat treat (like my Decadent Salted Caramel Whip) but make most of your meals with reasonable amounts of fat.
If you’re not concerned about fat content choose boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts. You can make this with a liberal amount of olive oil or try red palm oil for an antioxidant boost.
Need a low fat option? Choose chicken breasts and use just a little fat, or leave it out entirely. What are you eating it with? That will determine how much healthy fat to use.
A versatile recipe for the Trim Healthy Mama!
You can serve this quick tomato basil chicken for an E, S or FP meal, here’s how:
- S meals, increase the amount of olive oil and melt mozzarella on top. Enjoy with a fresh, dark, leafy green salad dressed with an on plan vinaigrette and a dessert of fresh berries.
- E meals, keep the olive oil to 1 teaspoon (or leave out entirely if you want your fat in a side dish) and serve over cooked quinoa, cooked brown rice, on-plan E pasta, or with a serving of on plan bread such as this Savory Sprouted Wheat Cottage Bread from Nana’s Little Kitchen. Always include plenty of fresh, non starchy veggies to accompany your meals! How about a simple fresh crudite?
- FP meals, make as for an E meal but keep your serving to FP protein guidelines. Lots of fresh, non starchy veggies are a perfect side, and a FP dessert such as Gluccie Pudding from the first THM Cookbook will leave you feeling satisfied in spite of the low fat and low carb nature of this meal.
Want to know more about the THM plan? Read my review here, or order your copy of the plan book here to get full details on plan guidelines.
Let’s make some Quick Tomato Basil Chicken!
Quick Tomato Basil Chicken for the Instant Pot
A simple, savory, chicken dish with the classic combination of tomato and basil. Low fat, low carb and suitable for any Trim Healthy Mama meal style! Make it quickly in your Instant Pot or let it slow cook all day.
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes with basil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced OR 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil OR 3 teaspoons fresh, chopped basil (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon high mineral salt
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon olive oil (optional)
- Select saute function on Instant Pot, set to normal
- For low fat versions, spray liner pot with non stick spray Not worried about fat content? Add a couple teaspoons of healthy fat such as red palm oil or coconut oil to the pot and let it melt
- Add chicken breasts, chopped onion, and minced garlic
- Brown slightly on both sides
- Pour crushed tomatoes over the chicken
- Add remaining ingredients and stir a little to combine (doesn't have to be perfect)
- Put lid on the IP, make sure vent knob is set to SEALING
- Set IP to manual for 20 minutes (add a few more minutes for frozen chicken breasts)
- After cooking time has completed, NPR for 10 minutes then QPR to release remaining pressure
- Shred the chicken breasts and serve
- Place chicken breasts in IP or slow cooker
- Add remaining ingredients, mixing slightly
- Set to slow cook 4 to 6 hours on High
- Shred chicken when cooked
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We made this tonight and it was so very good!! Both my 4 year old and 6 year old loved it too. What if I wanted to double the recipe? Do you know what the cooking time would be?
Dawn Yoder says
Hi Mandy! Thanks so much for coming back and letting me know you enjoyed my recipe!
I don’t think the cook time will double, but it may take a bit longer to come up to pressure. I’ll have to double check on that though.
I made this in the Instant Pot the other night. Was looking for a low carb recipe that involved chicken thighs and my home jarred tomatoes and home grown basil and settled on this one because I had everything else on hand. It was quite good! The seasonings and flavor infuse the chicken in a wonderful way, and the broth is lush and rich. It also improves with time- I made it on Thursday night, so couldn’t have the leftovers on a Friday in Lent, so had some for lunch today. And loved it all over again, plus more. It would be so great on pasta if one was so inclined. I was very happy with this recipe and have added it to my go-to book. I did add some red pepper flakes because I add them to everything. I also left the bone in the thighs for extra flavor. Thanks for sharing!
Dawn Yoder says
Thanks so much for such a wonderful review. This is definitely one of my favorite IP chicken recipes and you’re so right. It’s even better later on. Red pepper flakes sounds like a terrific addition! So glad you loved this recipe, thank you again for coming back to tell me!
what do you serve this with?
Dawn Yoder says
You can enjoy this in many ways! If you are a Trim Healthy Mama plan follower you can eat this in S, E, and FP meals. If you’re not a THM follower, no worries! Here’s some ideas:
An S meal (low carb) – serve over zucchini noodles, on a bed of leafy greens, over cauli rice, or just on its own with a side salad and some green beans.
An E meal (low fat, healthy carbs) – serve with brown rice or quinoa and steamed veggies.
A FP meal (low fat and low carb) – enjoy 3 to 4 ounces of this on its own with a big serving of non starchy veggies and a side salad with FP dressing.
If you’re not following THM this would be delicious over pasta served with a side salad.
Hope that gives you some ideas, thanks for stopping by!
How is one supposed to brown the chicken when you put the onions and garlic in with it at the same time?
Dawn Yoder says
There’s plenty of room in the pot to push the onions and garlic to one side and brown the chicken. You can certainly do them separately if you wish. I always cook all 3 at once as to me it’s quickest and easiest.
Would you be able to use frozen chicken? If so what should I do differently…
Dawn Yoder says
You certainly can use frozen chicken breasts. It will just take a little longer for the Instant Pot to pressurized but it should still cook in the same amount of time (once pressurized). I would still saute the onions and garlic, heating up the pot helps it to pressurized more quickly.