Creamy Garlic Chicken is simple to make with tender, juicy chicken cutlets, a rich pan sauce, and plenty of caramelized garlic cloves. This recipe is ready in under 30 minutes so it's perfect for weeknights, but fancy enough for dinner guests or weekend cooking as well.

When you can't get enough garlic, some of our other favorite recipes are Creamy Garlic Shrimp Pasta, Garlic Rice with Fried Egg, and Soft Garlic Parmesan Homemade Breadsticks.

Pan-seared chicken breast cooked in a creamy garlic slice with whole garlic cloves being served with mashed potatoes and asparagus.

You might want to have some mints on hand after enjoying this delectable chicken dinner recipe but it's 1,000% worth it. Rather than mincing the garlic to flavor an entire dish, creamy garlic chicken uses whole cloves that get cooked until soft and caramelized on the outside so that you get fantastic little flavor bombs with your savory, seared chicken and luscious sauce.

It's straight-up heaven served with some mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus, green beans, or broccoli on the side.

If you are tired of boring and bland chicken breasts and like this recipe, you'll also probably enjoy our Easy Creamy Chicken Marsala, Lemon Chicken Piccata, and Chicken Madeira as well!

Creamy garlic chicken in a pan with whole garlic cloves.

Why this Recipe Works

  • Cooking the garlic this way mellows out the flavor so you really can eat a half a head of garlic like it's no big deal. They get super soft, like butter.
  • Whole, caramelized garlic cloves are actually much more mild than you might think. If you want even more of a pungent garlic hit, I recommend smashing some of your cloves or mincing them because they are much stronger that way.
  • Lightly dredging the chicken breasts in flour before searing both protects it from cooking too quickly on the outside and drying out, while also creating a really great exterior crust.
  • The sauce is made in the same pan as the chicken, so you scrape up all those browned bits (called "fond") which gives fantastic flavor and really ties the finished dish together.

Ingredient Notes

  • Chicken: This recipe calls for two large chicken breasts, which you then slice in half horizontally to make four chicken cutlets. Or you can just use smaller chicken breasts and pound them flat or buy chicken cutlets from the store. You can even use chicken thighs if that's what you have on hand instead.
  • Garlic: This recipe is not for the faint of heart when it comes to garlic, which is pretty much the point of creamy garlic chicken! Two whole heads of garlic (roughly 20-24 cloves) means that you aren't ending up with a measly two whole cloves of deliciously caramelized garlic per serving. You can thank me later.
  • Heavy cream: The cream in the recipe thickens up the savory pan sauce just enough without making it overly gravy-ish. It ends up silky and rich and wonderful.
Ingredients for making creamy garlic chicken.

How to Make This Recipe

Start by slicing your chicken breasts in half horizontally. This makes it much easier to cook them more evenly in the pan on the stovetop without drying them out. Pat them dry with paper towels.

Evenly season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. PRO TIP: Sprinkle your seasonings from at least 6-10" above the meat for even coverage.

Two chicken cutlets seasoned with salt and pepper on a white plate.

Lightly dredge each chicken cutlet in the flour spread in a shallow plate or dish like a pie pan. Shake off and discard any unused excess flour.

Heat a large pan over medium-high heat, then add oil and butter. Once the butter has melted, carefully arrange the chicken cutlets in the pan, working in batches if you have to.

Leave the chicken alone without moving it for 2-4 minutes until a golden brown crust forms on the bottom.

Flip the chicken carefully with tongs and let them cook another 2-4 minutes on the second side as well until a crust forms, then remove from pan. It's okay if the chicken isn't fully cooked through at this point. Set aside while you work on the pan sauce.

Reduce the heat to medium or even medium-low and add the remaining oil and butter to the pan. Once the butter has melted, add the garlic cloves and saute for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn't burn. The goal is to caramelize and soften the garlic without it turning bitter by burning it over too high of heat.

Once the garlic has a nice brown color on at least one side, go ahead and add the chicken broth, lemon juice, garlic powder, and onion powder. Bring this to a simmer, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, and let it cook for 4-5 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about half.

Stir in the heavy cream and parmesan cheese, then return the chicken breasts to the pan and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened to your liking. If it gets too thick, you can always add a little more chicken broth or water to the sauce to thin it out again.

The chicken should register 165°F on a digital meat thermometer (affiliate link) when you check it so you know it's done. Serve with mashed potatoes, pasta, or rice and some green vegetables on the side with the mouthwatering garlic cream sauce spooned over the top.

Recipe FAQ's

Can I make this recipe with a different protein?

You sure can! This recipe and technique also works great with pork chops, salmon, shrimp, or even steak.

Can I add veggies to make this more of a one pan dish?

If you want to add some veggies, I recommend either sauteeing some sliced mushrooms after cooking the chicken but before cooking the garlic, or wilting a few large handfuls of spinach with the chicken broth before adding the heavy cream and chicken back to the pan.

Recipe Tips

  • Storage: Leftovers stay good in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freezing: You can freeze this for 3 months and reheat in the microwave or thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in a 325°F oven for 20-25 minutes the next day.
  • If you are wanting something indulgent but slightly more health-conscious, I recommend mashed cauliflower as a side instead of the potatoes rather than subbing out the heavy cream in this recipe.
A piece of creamy garlic chicken on a plate with mashed potatoes and asparagus in front of a linen napkin.

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Creamy Garlic Chicken

5 from 3 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Creamy Garlic Chicken is simple to make with tender, juicy chicken cutlets, a rich pan sauce, and plenty of caramelized garlic cloves. This recipe is ready in under 30 minutes so it's perfect for weeknights, but fancy enough for dinner guests or weekend cooking as well.

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter, divided
  • 2 whole heads garlic, peeled (about 20-24 cloves)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise using a sharp knife to create 4 smaller cutlets. Of if using four small chicken breasts, you may want to place each between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound the thick end with a meat mallet to flatten them slightly for even cooking. Sprinkle the chicken breasts evenly with the salt and pepper.
  • Place the dredging flour in a shallow plate or dish, then dip each chicken breast in the flour, turning to coat on both sides and shaking off any excess. Discard any unused flour.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon each of the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot and the butter has melted, add the chicken and let it sear without moving for 2-4 minutes until golden brown on the bottom. Flip and cook on the other side for another 2-4 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside to keep warm. The chicken does not need to be fully cooked through at this point.
  • Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low and add the remaining oil and butter. Once the butter has melted and the oil is hot, add the whole garlic cloves. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until nicely browned.
  • Add the chicken broth, lemon juice, garlic powder, and onion powder. Bring to a simmer and let it bubble for 4-5 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half.
  • Stir in the heavy cream and parmesan cheese, then nestle the seared chicken breasts back into the pan, spooning some of the sauce over the top of the chicken. Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly and the chicken is cooked through to 165°F when tested with a digital meat thermometer.
  • Serve sprinkled with the freshly chopped parsley, if desired. It's excellent on its own or with mashed potatoes or pasta and green veggies like asparagus, green beans, or broccoli.

Notes

  • Storage: Leftovers stay good in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freezing: You can freeze this for 3 months and reheat in the microwave or thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in a 325°F oven for 20-25 minutes the next day.
  • Other proteins: This recipe and technique also works great with pork chops, salmon, shrimp, or even steak.
  • Adding veggies: If you want to add some veggies, I recommend either sauteeing some sliced mushrooms after cooking the chicken but before cooking the garlic, or wilting a few large handfuls of spinach with the chicken broth before adding the heavy cream and chicken back to the pan.

Nutrition

Calories: 566kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 180mg | Sodium: 1774mg | Potassium: 563mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1194IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 196mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. 5 stars
    This was incredibly delicious. The only difference is that we doubled the recipe cause we are gravy fiends! SO DANG GOOD!