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Skillet Chicken with Olives and Tomatoes

Published by Cheryl Mussatto, MS, RD, LD on Aug 13, 2022

A must-make healthy Mediterranean meal that’s budget-friendly too!


Here’s a simple recipe that will be a family favorite, perfect for a weeknight dinner. Ready in less than 30 minutes, you’ll be savoring the taste of the Mediterranean in no time. Even better, everything cooks in one skillet, so fewer dishes to clean means more time for you and less time scrubbing pots and pans.

In this delicious recipe, you’ll find plenty of heart-healthy support. Lean chicken breast, olives brimming with healthy monounsaturated fat, and antioxidant-rich fresh basil make this a hands-down winner toward helping dodge heart disease.

One of the main features of this recipe is Spanish olives, giving the recipe a typical salty or briny taste any connoisseur of olives knows and loves. But what if you are not a fan of olives? What can you substitute for getting that same flavorful kick?  I would recommend either capers or artichokes hearts. And if you like olives, but not Spanish olives, choose another olive type, such as Kalamata olives.  No matter what olive you prefer, choose an olive with a reduced sodium content for anyone needing to be mindful of salt intake.

When it comes to heart health, olives are an excellent choice. Packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, this fat has been linked with lowering LDL or “bad” cholesterol while maintaining HDL or “good” cholesterol.  Other heart health features of olives include:

  • Olives increase nitric oxide production, which improves blood flow to tissues
  • Olives contain polyphenols helping reduce chronic inflammation
  • These same polyphenols found in olives may also improve your bone density, helping lower the risk of fractures in older adults
  • Olives contain vitamin E, an antioxidant linked to better cognition and a reduced risk of cognitive decline
  • If you use extra virgin olive oil when cooking olives, it boosts satiety keeping you fuller longer
  • Eating olives or using olive oil help absorb beneficial antioxidants from fruits and veggies when eaten with these helpful dietary fats

This recipe comes from my latest book, The Heart Disease Prevention Cookbook, which includes 125 recipes based on the Mediterranean diet, which can be found on Amazon:

So, if you are ready to dive into an authentic-tasting Mediterranean meal, let’s get started!

Chicken Skillet with Olives and Tomatoes

Skillet Chicken with Olives and Tomatoes

A must-make Mediterranean meal that’s budget friendly too!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4 1 1/2 cups
Calories 294 kcal


  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil extra-virgin
  • 1 pound Chicken breast boneless, skinless, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Red onion chopped
  • 2 cups Spanish olives pitted and halved
  • 1 pint Cherry tomatoes
  • 3 Garlic cloves sliced
  • ¼ cup Fresh basil chopped


  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers
  • Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until browned, about 7 minutes
  • Add the onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the olive, tomatoes, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are soft, about 5 minutes more.
  • Serve garnished with the basil


Side note: Add a helping of heart-healthy greens by stirring in 3 cups of baby spinach when you add the olives and tomatoes. To reduce sodium content, use only 1 cup of olives.
Calories – 294; Total Fat – 17 grams; Saturated Fat – 3 grams; Cholesterol – 65 milligrams; Carbohydrates – 7 grams; Fiber – 2 grams; Protein – 24 grams; Sodium – 938 milligrams


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Cheryl Mussatto, MS, RD, LD

Cheryl Mussatto MS, RD, LD is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and Institutional Management from Kansas State University. She is a clinical dietitian for Cotton O’Neil Clinics in Topeka and Osage City; an adjunct professor for Allen Community College, Burlingame, KS where she teaches Basic Nutrition; and is a freelance writer and blog contributor for Dr. David Samadi, Urologic Oncologist Expert and World Renowned Robotic Surgeon in New York City. Cheryl is also the author of The Nourished Brain, The Latest Science on Food’s Power for Protecting the Brain from Alzheimers and Dementia and The Prediabetes Action Plan and Cookbook, both available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions.

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