Easy Spanish Chicken With Tomato Sofrito Sauce

Spanish Chicken with rice
The Spruce
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
407 Calories
10g Fat
22g Carbs
58g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 407
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 145mg 48%
Sodium 643mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 58g
Vitamin C 70mg 351%
Calcium 111mg 9%
Iron 5mg 29%
Potassium 1240mg 26%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Spanish-style recipe for chicken with tomato sofrito sauce is a go-to meal when you want something simple, fast, and delicious.

First, you'll make the sauce with canned crushed tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers. Next, boneless, skinless chicken breast is pan-fried with Spanish olive oil. Finally, you get to combine all of the parts together for a quick-and-easy Spanish main course.

Serve the chicken and sofrito with Spanish-style homemade French fries or rice on the side.

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Ingredients

For the Sofrito:

  • 1 medium yellow onion

  • 1 red bell pepper, or green bell pepper, seeded

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 10 white mushrooms, wiped with a damp cloth

  • 1/3 cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes, washed and pulsed in a food processor

  • 2 bay leaves

For the Chicken:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this sofrito is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for cooking.

Make the Sofrito

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chop the onion and bell pepper and reserve. Mince the garlic and reserve. Trim the stems from the mushrooms, slice the caps, and reserve.

    Spanish Chicken ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. Pour half the olive oil into a large frying pan and heat over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and mushrooms and sauté over medium heat, stirring often until onions become translucent—about 7 minutes.

    Sauté mushroom, onions and bell pepper
    The Spruce
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes and their juices and bay leaves and stir. Simmer on medium to medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring often. If sauce becomes too thick or begins to stick, pour in a few tablespoons of water.

    Add crushed tomatoes and juices, stir
    The Spruce

Cook the Chicken

  1. While the tomato sauce mixture is cooking, pour the other half of the olive oil into a large frying pan and heat over a medium flame.

    Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and season on both sides with salt and pepper.

    Pan-fry the chicken in the hot oil, turning over twice (for about 10 minutes total cooking time). The chicken should be well-browned on both sides, but might not be completely cooked in the center, which is no cause for concern because it will finish cooking when added to the sauce.

    Browned chicken
     The Spruce
  2. After pan frying the chicken, remove the pan from the heat. Remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board and cut them into 1/2-inch thick slices and return to the pan with tomato sauce. Stir to coat chicken breasts in tomato sauce.

    Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

    Spanish Chicken
     The Spruce
  3. Serve with rice or potatoes to sop up the delicious sauce. Alternatively, make Spanish French fries as the perfect side dish.

    Spanish Chicken with rice
     The Spruce

Tip

  • Leftovers are never a problem because the sofrito sauce mellows and tastes even better the next day.

What's the Difference Between Spanish Sofrito and Italian Soffritto?

Both Spanish and Italian styles serve as the foundation for many dishes and are very similar with a few differences:

  • The first Spanish sofrito was simply a confit of onions and/or leeks with bacon or salt pork added if they were available. Eventually, other vegetables were added to the mix. Today's Spanish sofrito includes tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, paprika, and olive oil.
  • Traditional Italian soffritto uses onion, carrot, celery, and sometimes garlic and peppers. The vegetables are chopped very fine and cooked slowly in olive oil.