This creamy garlic chicken recipe is the ultimate easy comfort food! Tender chicken breasts smothered in a creamy garlic sauce are irresistible. Garlic lovers unite!
Love creamy chicken recipes? Try my Creamy Tuscan Chicken, this Creamy Bacon Chicken, or my Creamy Mushroom Chicken.
Why you'll love it
This creamy garlic chicken is ready in about 30 minutes. It's good enough to serve company, but it's also one of those dishes that works for a quick weeknight dinner. A lovely reader said that it's "one of the best things I have ever eaten!!!" It was an early hit on the blog and actually shaped the direction of S&L towards easy comfort food.
Yes, I include both garlic powder and an entire head of garlic in this recipe. It's not a typo! Believe it or not, the garlic cloves themselves don't make the sauce ridiculously garlicky. The flavor of garlic powder is slightly different than the fresh cloves. I'm going for all-out depth of garlic flavor here without making it overpowering.
What you'll need
- Chicken - we're using two large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise to cook faster and more evenly, so it remains tender and melt-in-your-mouth
- Flour - for a tasty crust on the exterior of the cutlets, and it also helps thicken the sauce
- Olive oil and butter - for sautéing
- Garlic cloves - use an entire head of garlic. Don't worry if you don't have the exact same number of cloves as I used. It's not precise.
- Chicken broth - for the savory base of the sauce
- Lemon juice - a little bit of acidity for balance
- Garlic powder - for a different garlicky aspect! It's a staple in my pantry.
- Heavy cream - it's what makes the sauce luxuriously rich
Do I eat the garlic cloves?
- You do! If you've never really cooked with whole garlic cloves before, don't worry. Cooking them in the sauce mellows them right out. It's nothing like biting into raw garlic.
How to make creamy garlic chicken
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Cut the chicken breasts into four cutlets, season with salt & pepper, and coat with flour. Pan fry until golden, and then take them out of the skillet. Lightly brown the garlic cloves in the same pan.
Add the broth, lemon juice, and garlic powder to the skillet. Let it up bubble for a few minutes until the liquid has reduced somewhat. Pour in the cream, and return the chicken to the pan to cook until it reaches 165F inside and the sauce thickens. Garnish with parsley if desired.
Tools for this recipe
Check out Natasha's favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!
- You don't have to spend a lot time peeling the garlic cloves. Use a silicone garlic peeler tube, or buy garlic cloves that are already peeled if you really want to save a bit of time. I usually just use my knife. Here's a quick video tutorial how.
- My trusty 10.25" Lodge cast iron skillet is a versatile piece for every home cook.
- Use a chef's knife to cut the chicken effortlessly.
- Chicken is safe to eat at 165F, and the best way to never have undercooked or overcooked meat is using an instant read thermometer.
Substitutions and variations
- Sub the cream at your own discretion. If you use something like milk or half-and-half, the sauce may curdle due to the high heat and end up thinner. I recommend reading through the reader comments. There's tons of tips from readers who have tweaked this recipe to their liking.
- I use boneless/skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. You can substitute for chicken thighs, but keep in mind those may take a bit longer to cook.
- For an elegant touch, swap the chicken broth for a dry white wine like pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc.
- Readers have tried minced garlic in a jar, but the results won't be the same and our kitchen has not tested that. You're welcome to experiment.
What to serve with creamy garlic chicken
- Try Mashed Potatoes, a classic Easy Baked Potato, rice, pasta, or scoop up those tasty garlic cloves with fresh crusty bread.
- For veggie sides, I suggest sweet corn, Maple Roasted Beets and Carrots, or my very delicious Easy Roasted Cauliflower recipe. Green beans would also go great.
- If you're pairing it with a salad, I love this Super Simple Parmesan Arugula Salad or going all out with my popular 10-Minute Caesar Dressing.
Leftovers and storage
- Store any leftovers of this creamy chicken in the fridge in a covered container for 3-4 days.
- Reheat in a saucepan slowly and over a low heat until warmed through.
- I don't recommend freezing this one. The chicken will dry out, and creamy sauces don't hold up well in the freezer.
More 30-minute chicken recipes
If you made this creamy garlic chicken recipe, leave a star rating and comment below! Questions the post didn't answer? Let me know. You can find me on Instagram and showcase your creations with #saltandlavender.
Creamy Garlic Chicken
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Flour for dredging
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter divided
- 1 whole head garlic cloves peeled
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Parsley chopped (optional)
- Cut the chicken in half lengthwise so you have 4 smaller cutlets. Generously season them with salt & pepper and coat them in the flour.
- Add the olive oil and 1 tbsp of the butter to a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, sauté the chicken for 4-5 minutes/side or until it's nice and golden. Take the chicken out of the pan and set it aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium (or even med-low if using cast iron), and add the rest of the butter to the pan. Let it melt and then add the garlic cloves. Cook them for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until they're lightly browned on the outside.
- Add the chicken broth, lemon juice, and garlic powder to the pan. Let it bubble for around 4 minutes or until the liquid is noticeably reduced.
- Stir in the cream and add the chicken back into the pan. Let it cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the sauce is reduced and the chicken is cooked through. Serve with freshly chopped parsley if you wish.
- I recommend using fairly large boneless/skinless chicken breasts for this recipe since we're cutting them in half lengthwise. If you have smaller ones, use 4 of them and leave them intact.
- If your garlic cloves are particularly gigantic like some of mine were, feel free to cut them in half so they're all roughly the same size.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Barb Freund says
An absolute hit! Cane together so easily. My family loved it. This is something I would serve to company. Fabulous flavor and easy to make.
So happy you liked it, Barb!! Thank you!!
Very easy and I love the flavor! The only thing I adjusted was the temp of cooking the chicken breasts; medium high is too high and burns the butter so I cooked at a lower temp and about one minute less per side.
Glad you enjoyed it, Patricia! I have never burned the butter using my gas stove and cast iron pan on medium-high, but you can for sure adjust the temp/timing as needed for your stove and skillet. Thanks for your review! 😀
I will be trying this recipe tonight switching out the heavy cream for sour cream and cream cheese cuz I need to use them up! I will post later tonight how well it went and if I recommend switching the ingredients out. It most likely will be half of cream cheese and half of sour cream. I plan to serve the chicken with noodles tossed in the leftover sauce with some type of veggie on the side.
Yes, let me know! I think readers have done the swap before.
Becky C says
This recipe will make anyone look like a cooking superstar! It’s super easy and beyond delicious. I usually service it smashed red potatoes and sautéed greens beans. This recipe is a must!
Aww thank you so much, Becky!!
Linda Anderson says
Can you use half and half if I don’t have heavy cream? Or do the sour cream like some did .
How much half and half would I sub in, same as heavy cream?
What about sour cream how much did people use instead of heavy cream? Thanks
I'd use the same amount of half-and-half, but keep in mind the sauce will take longer to thicken, and it could curdle due to the high heat it's cooked at, so I'd ensure the pan isn't screaming hot when you add it. Not sure about sour cream.
I used 1 cup whole milk and added some guyere cheese so it thickened, amazing!
Tiffany M Diehr says
Glad you enjoyed it!
Really good recipe. Love the simplicity of it but full of flavor.
Thank you, Morgan!
Dorian Mercedes Foster says
absolutely five star on the first shot. I had to sub sour cream for the heavy cream and it still came out amazing! They will go for seconds on this one!! Chicken was nice and moist too btw. Thank you Natasha!!
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
It's our pleasure! So glad you enjoyed it. 🙂
I too used the sour cream thanks to your comment...It was delish. Thank you for the suggestion.
Michelle -Family of 5 says
So quick for such gourmet flavor! Not a drop left. Family requested this recipe to be added to the keeper pile. I added more lemon juice and garlic powder. Paired
with canned green beans and lemon pepper was perfect for the extra sauce. Thank U Saltandlavender! Mmm so yummy!
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
So happy it's a new family favorite, Michelle!
Made this tonight and I am OBSESSED, could literally drink the sauce. 😂 Will definitely be making again! I added pepper flakes spinach & a bit of Parmesan & it came out sooo good.(But was also amazing without, I just wanted a little kick to it & some greens in there) thank you so much for sharing this recipe it is now one of my favorite dishes to make. I made mashed potatoes & broccoli as sides.
You're very welcome, Karla!! 😀 Thanks for your review!
Creamy garlic chicken is my 7 year old grandson’s favorite chicken dinner. He absolutely loves it and I make it for him when he stays overnight. Seven year olds can be very picky, but not with this recipe. He tells me it’s “delicious”, every time.
Your comment made my day, Patty!! That is adorable!
Gideon Lingle says
Good recipe! I prefer using cream cheese as a heavy cream substitute; it works well with the garlic and thickens up quicker.
Yup, that'll definitely work to give it more of a tangy flavor. Glad you enjoyed it, Gideon! 🙂
David Porcelli says
How much of the cream cheese should be used? Thank you.
Deana westman says
I’ve made this at least 50 times it’s the only way my child will eat chicken if it’s not chicken strips I highly recommend this recipe to any mom of finicky eaters it’s so delicious!!!!
That's awesome!! 😀 Thanks so much!
Oh my yum!! I’m always afraid of over/undercooking chicken breasts so I never pan fry them but this recipe is so easy! I used the thin sliced chicken breasts from Costco. I will for sure be making this again!!
Yay! So happy it was a hit, Neisha!
It doesn't say to take the garlic cloves out.. which I'm assuming you do?
You eat them. I explain in the blog post how they mellow out. 🙂 Hope you enjoy the recipe, Kelsey!
Thank you, Tania!! 🙂
Alissa B says
This was really delicious - just what I was wanting! Super easy to follow, I increased the amount of garlic powder to 1/2 tsp and it was perfect. Also added just a splash of dry white wine.
Such a great recipe, I'll be saving this and making it again soon!
Thank you so much!
Delicious and easy!
So glad you liked it, Laurie! 😀
Angel Tejada says
I served this over mofongo I did the plantain one and one with cassava and one mixed plantain malanga and cassava. Since mofongo has garlic as an ingredient it worked perfect and looked amazing ty for your take on creamy garlic chicken
Instead of the chicken breast, I used drumsticks and thighs which made my dish a little oily. Over all it still turned out good. I’ll just make sure I use the chicken breast next time.
I'm glad you enjoyed it!