As you may know, we are based and Chicago, where giardiniera is sort of a right of passage. While it's usually found on Italian beef sandwiches, we continue to find uses for this tasty condiment all the time! We love adding it on top of hot dogs, in tuna salad, on top of salads, and more.
This is one of those giardiniera recipes where it's truly the star. Juicy chicken, melty mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, bell peppers and plenty of this zesty, flavorful condiment make this skillet meal absolutely irresistible.
This giardiniera chicken skillet is simple to make, and we also included lots of process pictures in the body of the text, as well as ideas for substitutions and more. Feel free to skip to the recipe card if you'd like to get right into it. This recipe is also available as a Google Web Story here!
- Olive oil - Something delicious here. You could also use the reserved olive oil from the giardiniera, but it will definitely pack more heat!
- Chicken thighs - Chicken breasts can also work totally fine if you prefer. We generally just prefer thighs over breasts! Boneless and skinless will be the way to go here, since it will get smothered with veggies and cheese and baked.
- Seasonings - Use a mixture kosher salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, dried oregano & dried basil. Feel free to add in more spice if you want, like red pepper flakes or cayenne. We opted not to, only because our giardiniera itself was quite hot.
- Onion & garlic - You could sub for onion and garlic powder if you prefer, but honestly nothing beats this combo in our opinion.
- Bell pepper - We used half a red, half green for color, but feel free to use any variety you want!
- Cherry tomatoes - Juicy and sweet. Feel free to use any variety of tomato you prefer here, even canned tomatoes if that's what you have on hand.
- Giardinera relish - Mild giardiniera or hot will work fine, it just depends on your preference. As you may know, we prefer things a little spicy, so we opted for hot.
- Fresh basil - We add some in with the veggies to create some really great flavor.
- Mozzarella cheese - It's hard to beat! You could use shredded or slices of course if you want.
- Parmesan cheese - Freshly grated is best, but again, shreds or whatever you want work just fine.
- Parmesan cheese & fresh basil to garnish
How to Make A Giardiniera Chicken Skillet:
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add half of the olive oil, and season the chicken breasts very well with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, oregano and dried basil, reserving some for the vegetables.
Once skillet is hot, cook the chicken until brown on both sides, about 3-5 minutes per side. Work in batches if needed to avoid over crowding the pan. Once all of the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, remove from the skillet and set aside.
Add remaining oil to the skillet, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Immediately add onions, bell peppers and tomatoes with remaining seasonings and salt. Cook until everything softens, about 7-10 minutes. Stir in the giardiniera and fresh basil to heat through, reserving some to top the chicken later.
Add the chicken back to the skillet.
Heat the broiler of your oven on high. Sprinkle the chicken with parmesan cheese, and top with mozzarella slices. Broil for about 3-5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Garnish with fresh basil, more parmesan, and the remaining giardiniera. Enjoy!
Yes, you can! We do recommend searing the chicken on the stovetop for the best flavor, but it's not 100% necessary.
Add all of the veggies to the bottom of the crock pot, then layer chicken on top. Ladle some of the oil and veggies over the top of the chicken. Cook on high for 30 minutes, then reduce to low for 2-4 hours. When it's done, remove from the crockpot, add cheese overtop of the chicken, and broil on high for 3-5 minutes to melt the cheese until golden brown.
Giardiniera is an Italian-American style of pickled vegetables. Italian Chicagoans popularized the condiment. It generally consists of a few different pickled vegetables, including carrots, sports peppers, chile peppers, celery, cauliflower, and/or bell peppers that is then marinated in olive oil.
Depending on the heat level you prefer, you will find a different variations with different peppers. This delicious condiment is super versatile, but you will most often find it on a Chicago style Italian beef sandwich.
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Briana & Chamere
Giardiniera Chicken Skillet
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds chicken thighs, boneless skinless
- 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 12 ounces cherry tomatoes
- 12 ounces hot Chicago style giardiniera
- 1 ounce fresh basil
- 1 ounce parmesan cheese
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella
- basil and parmesan cheese for garnish
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add half of the olive oil, and season the chicken thighs very well with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, oregano, and dried basil, reserving some for the vegetables.
- Once skillet is hot, cook the chicken until brown on both sides, about 3-5 minutes per side. Work in batches if needed to avoid over crowding the pan. Once all of the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, remove from the skillet and set aside.
- Add remaining oil to the skillet, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.Immediately add onions, bell peppers and tomatoes with remaining seasonings and salt. Cook until everything softens, about 7-10 minutes. Stir in the giardiniera and fresh basil to heat through, reserving some to top the chicken later.
- Heat the broiler of your oven on high. Add chicken back to the skillet with the vegetables. Sprinkle the chicken with parmesan cheese, and top with mozzarella slices. Broil for about 3-5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Garnish with fresh basil, more parmesan, and the remaining giardiniera. Enjoy!
- Heat levels vary for different giardinieras so keep this in mind.
- Fresh tomatoes can be substituted for canned.
- Onion and garlic can be substituted for onion and garlic powder.
- Fresh mozzarella can be substituted for shredded or slices, and you can use any parmesan variety.
- Season to taste, and add any spices you see fit. We opted to leave out red pepper flakes and cayenne because we used hot giardiniera, but add them if you like.
These nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy and are only estimates. We cannot guarantee the accuracy.
I wanted to mimic my man’s favorite dish from Coopers Hawk in New Lenox, IL. and this recipe did not disappoint! He absolutely LOVES it! By the looks of it you’d think I’d slaved over the stove all day (I let him believe that of course) but really it’s super easy to make and not crazy time consuming at all. I serve it with white rice as there’s so much flavor you really don’t need anything else. I’ve made this dish several times and it just keeps getting better! Chefs kiss 🤌🏻
Can you believe it? We've never been to Cooper's Hawk and didn't realize this recipe was served there! We are so honored that you and your husband enjoy it so much. Thank you so much for the sweet comment! 🙂
Jamie Duffy says
Delicious! We added mushroom to this recipe and went with chicken thighs. We have a newborn at home so we need quick easy dinners and this hit the spot! Will definitely be in the regular rotation. We served with spaghetti noodles and a ceaser salad
Wow, we wanna come over to your place for dinner! All with a newborn too, so impressed! We're so glad you and your family enjoyed it Jamie, thanks for the awesome comment. 🙂
OK, the recipe calls for chicken thighs as an ingredient but then the instructions for chicken breasts?
Typo, thanks for letting me know. Either one works perfectly fine, more of a preference thing.