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Skillet Chicken in a creamy herb sauce is a quick solution to a busy weeknight. It’s a meal that feels oh so fancy, but only takes about 25 minutes to make. Add a crisp green salad, roasted veggies, steamed green beans, or quick Instant Pot mashed potatoes, and a glass of wine. Dinner’s done!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Quick and Easy: This meal takes about 25-30 minutes to make. It’s a fancy meal, made with simple pantry ingredients, that doesn’t require much cooking time. Just the kind of meal I rely on in my weekly meal plan.
- The Herb Cream Sauce: The herb cream sauce is what makes this meal! The herb sauce is made with pantry ingredients (cream, wine, garlic, and herbs) and really elevates this chicken recipe. The sauce contains no flour which makes this meal naturally gluten-free.
- Multiple Ways to Serve: Change up how you serve the chicken in cream sauce each week: over mashed potatoes or rice or pasta, with roasted broccoli or roast potatoes or a salad or green beans, or add spinach to the cream sauce.
Ingredients for Skillet Chicken In Creamy Herb Sauce
This is what I would consider to be a “pantry meal” since most of the ingredients are usually stocked in my fridge and pantry. (How to stock a real-food capsule pantry.) Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe…
- extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 yellow onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- salt and pepper
- heavy cream
- dry white wine
- 1/2 lemon
- fresh parsley and sage
How to Make This Skillet Chicken in Creamy Herb Sauce
1st, Pound and Season the Chicken…
Place the chicken in a plastic bag (or between two sheets of parchment paper), and use a rolling pin to pound the chicken evenly to a 1/3 inch thickness. This helps the chicken cook quickly and also makes the meat tender. Then season the chicken with a generous amount of salt and pepper (a few sprinkles over the chicken breasts).
Next, Sear the Chicken…
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a skillet, over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the seasoned chicken breasts and cook for about 5 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken to a plate.
Then, Make the Creamy Herb Sauce…
In the same skillet, over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add diced onions and a pinch of salt. Saute for about 4-5 minutes, then add the minced garlic and saute for another minute. Add 1 cup of white wine, using the wine to scrap up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Then add the heavy cream, chopped parsley, and another pinch or two of salt. Give everything a stir and allow to simmer until slightly reduced, about 2-3 minutes, then add the lemon juice and chopped sage.
Add the cooked chicken to the cream sauce, flipping to coat the chicken in the sauce on both sides. Allow the sauce and chicken to simmer for about 5-7 minutes, or until sauce is slightly reduced and chicken cooked through (165F internal temperature using a meat thermometer).
Recipe Instructions: Notes and Tips
- Use Chicken Thighs: Chicken breasts have a mild flavor so that’s what I recommend for this dish, but if you’d like to use boneless skinless chicken thighs, that’s definitely a substitute option. You won’t need to pound the chicken down. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly until the chicken is cooked through.
- Use Heavy Cream: I made this recipe recently with whole milk instead of heavy cream, since I was out of cream (too much coffee that week, lol). The milk curdled and didn’t work. Stick with heavy cream in this recipe.
- Make it Dairy-Free: If you need to make this dish dairy-free, I recommend full-fat unsweetened canned coconut milk. This is going to the closest dairy-free alternative to heavy cream.
- Use a Different Fresh Herb: Fresh herbs give the cream sauce an incredible flavor! Dried herbs aren’t going to pack that same flavor profile. Parsley is a common herb, but sage isn’t as common. You can use leftover sage to make a powerful cleaning vinegar (and all-purpose cleaner), chop and roast with potatoes, or just use a different herb. I think rosemary would be a lovely substitute for the sage. Whatever herb you choose to use in this recipe, use this storage trick to store the herbs properly and keep your herb bundle fresh for weeks.
- Add Mushrooms: This is the recipe from Simply Recipes that I was originally inspired by, which calls for mushrooms. Adding mushrooms would be a great way to make this a one-pot meal, no extra side dish needed.
- Add Spinach: Spinach would be a lovely addition to this skillet chicken dish. Just add a couple of handfuls of baby spinach during the last few minutes of cooking the cream sauce and chicken. The heat from the dish should wilt the spinach (or cover the skillet to speed up the process).
- Use Chicken Broth Instead of Wine: I haven’t tried this recommendation, but my guess is chicken broth/stock would be a good substitute for the dry white wine.
- Garnish With Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese is amazing over the top of the chicken and the creamy sauce.
- Make-Ahead Protein-Rich Lunch: This has become one of my favorite leftovers to enjoy for lunch. Place leftover chicken in an airtight container and store for up to 3-4 days. You could even cook this entire recipe on the weekend and divide the chicken in creamy sauce and some veggies amongst 4 containers and enjoy for a make-ahead style lunch.
What to Serve with Chicken in Creamy Herb Sauce
This meal is super versatile in that there are many different ways to serve the chicken. Enjoy it as-is or serve it over a side. Here are a few ideas for ways to serve this meal…
- With Roasted Veggies
- With Steamed Green Beans
- With Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- With a Green Salad
- Over Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Over Pasta Noodles or Rice
Other Quick Chicken Recipes
This is the kind of quick meal that I keep on rotation in our home. It’s nutrient-dense, made with pantry ingredients, and easy to toss together on a busy weeknight. I’ve created a download of 64 Rotational Meal Ideas to help you make meal planning easy. You can download the meal ideas cheat sheet here. Here are a few other quick chicken recipes that I keep on rotation.
- Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggie Fajitas
- Instant Pot Creamed Chicken and Rice Soup
- One-Pot Chicken, Rice, and Vegetables
- Easy Oven-Baked Chicken Tenders
Quick Skillet Chicken in Creamy Herb Sauce
Skillet Chicken in a creamy herb sauce is a quick solution to a busy weeknight. Feels oh so fancy, but only takes 25 minutes to make.
Pound and Season the Chicken: Place the chicken breasts in a plastic bag (or between two sheets of parchment paper), and use a rolling pin (or meat tenderizer) to pound the chicken evenly to a 1/3 inch thickness.
Season the chicken with a generous amount of salt and pepper (a few sprinkles over the chicken breasts on both sides).
Sear the Chicken: Add the olive oil to a large skillet (that will fit all the chicken), over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the seasoned and pounded chicken breasts and cook for about 5 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken to a plate.
Make the Creamy Herb Sauce: In the same skillet, reduced to medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter (salted or unsalted). Add the diced onions and a pinch of salt.
Saute for about 4-5 minutes, then add the minced garlic and saute for another minute, until fragrant. Add the white wine, using the wine and a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Add the heavy cream, chopped parsley, black pepper (a couple turns of the pepper grinder) and another pinch of salt. Give everything a stir and allow to simmer, uncovered, until slightly reduced, about 2-3 minutes. Add the lemon juice and chopped sage. Stir to combine.
Combine: Add the cooked chicken to the cream sauce, flipping to coat the chicken in the sauce on both sides. Allow the sauce and chicken to simmer for about 5-7 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly reduced and chicken cooked through (165F internal temperature using a meat thermometer).
- Use Chicken Thighs: Chicken breasts have a mild flavor so that's what I recommend for this dish, but if you'd like to use boneless skinless chicken thighs, that's definitely a substitute option. You won't need to pound the chicken down (unless the thighs are quite thick), and just adjust the cooking time accordingly until the chicken is cooked through.
- Make it Dairy-Free: If you need to make this dish dairy-free, I recommend full-fat canned coconut milk. This is going to the closest dairy-free alternative to heavy cream. It will carry a coconut taste to the cream sauce, so just keep this in mind.