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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.

cast iron skillet with chicken breasts and a creamy garlic sauce with whole cloves of garlic

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
ingredients for creamy garlic chicken on a marble countertop

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.
creamy garlic chicken on a plate with mashed potatoes and green beans

How to make creamy garlic chicken

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

pan frying chicken in a cast iron skillet and then frying garlic cloves

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.

making sauce for creamy garlic chicken in a cast iron skillet

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!

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.
close-up of creamy chicken skillet with garlic cream sauce

What to serve with creamy garlic chicken

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.
creamy garlic chicken in a cast iron skillet with whole garlic cloves and plenty of garlic cream sauce

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.

This creamy chicken skillet recipe is loaded with garlic and the the most amazing melt-in-your-mouth chicken. Make it for dinner tonight!
4.88 from 502 votes

Creamy Garlic Chicken

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!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 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
  • Parsley chopped (optional)

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 435kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Cholesterol: 169mg, Sodium: 313mg, Potassium: 514mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 1083IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 57mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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4.88 from 502 votes (19 ratings without comment)

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1,641 Comments

  1. Maureen says:

    what can I use instead of white flour for dredging? I don’t use white flour? Would coconut flour work?

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi! Hmm I’d probably just leave it out and perhaps cook the cream for a bit longer before adding the chicken back into the pan to reduce the sauce a bit more (the flour helps thicken the sauce). You could definitely try coconut flour, but I’m thinking it’ll alter the taste of the dish.

    2. Tami says:

      5 stars
      I wouldn’t use coconut flour. Try arrowroot flour. It’s great for gluten free gmo free cooking. It’s a great thickener.

      1. Natasha says:

        Thanks for the tip!

        1. Maria says:

          Hi. I have thighs with bone, can I use that instead?

          1. Natasha says:

            Hi Maria! Sure! It’ll take a bit longer to cook, just make sure it’s fully cooked through. Hope you like the recipe!

    3. Leslie Hoffman says:

      Anyone have the nutrition facts on this recipe ?

  2. Kathi says:

    Can I substitute sour cream for heavy cream?

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi! You could try. It’ll have a more tangy flavor, but I think it would probably still be tasty. Let me know how it goes! Happy New Year!

  3. Tisha H. says:

    5 stars
    This was AMAZING! Definitely on the make again list. My husband didn’t have one word to say as his mouth was too busy practically licking his plate. Even the MIL gave compliments on it.

    1. Natasha says:

      I am so happy you liked it!!

    2. Brianna says:

      5 stars
      Wonderful! I used 3 chicken breasts cut lengthwise into 6. Doubled the sauce portion. It came out so good! Served over rice and fresh green beans. My pickiest eater had seconds!!!

      1. Natasha says:

        Great! So happy it worked out! 🙂

  4. Casey says:

    I wonder if this would work in a slow cooker with full chicken breasts. Pan sear, make the sauce and then combine in the cooker. Thoughts?

    1. Natasha says:

      Hmmm I’m not entirely sure. How long do you plan on cooking it for? I’m concerned the sauce may separate in the slow cooker.

  5. Craig says:

    I made this tonight but added sun dried tomatoes to the garlic. So delicious

    1. Natasha says:

      So glad you liked it. Love sun-dried tomatoes!

      1. Ellen says:

        I’d also caramelize some onions and add them – but then, we love onions!

        1. Natasha says:

          Great idea! Me too!

  6. carla says:

    can i use heavy cream instead of heavy whipping cream?

    1. Natasha says:

      Absolutely!

    2. Kara says:

      Do you think I may be able to use milk instead of heavy cream? It’s new yrs day and stores are closed so not able to go out and get heavy cream? It’s that a stupid question

      1. Natasha says:

        Hi Kara! You could try, but the sauce won’t thicken up as much. Happy new year to you btw! 🙂

      2. Michelle says:

        If I were to use minced garlic would the garlic be too over powering ?

        1. Natasha says:

          Hi! Do you mean instead of the whole cloves? I think it might be quite strong, but you could definitely give it a try and let us know how it went. Are you thinking the kind you buy in the jar?

  7. Sierra says:

    5 stars
    Great flavor. When I was tasting the sauce toward the end I honestly didn’t want to stop! Made it with mashed potatoes and roasted carrots. Gonna make this again for sure!

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s so good to hear! I’m very happy you liked it, Sierra!

  8. Katy says:

    5 stars
    Loved it! Even my picky eater asked for seconds. I will definitely make this tasty and easy recipe again.

    1. Natasha says:

      I am so happy to hear that, Katy!! Thanks for leaving me a comment 🙂

  9. Daisy says:

    4 stars
    I made this today! I pan fried the chicken, looked great, but it wasn’t cooking on the inside, so I ended up over cooking them, it was too chewy and tough. The flavor was great except more salt in the sauce would have been better. I’m not sure how you get them to be tender and melt in your mouth as you say.

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi Daisy! Hmm… did you slice the chicken in half lengthwise so the pieces were thinner? I gave it 4-5 min./side and then 5 mins in the sauce and it was cooked through without being tough at all… strange! Yup, I always season any dish with extra salt if I think it needs it. I’m glad you liked the taste, though. Let me know if you give it a try again. 🙂

      1. Daisy says:

        Yes, I used thinly sliced chicken from the store, breast fillets or cutlets, whatever they are called. I will try this again but bake the chicken first then add it to the sauce. Do I still need to flour the chicken before baking? And how long and at what temp? I’m an amateur cook and I’m so glad I found your blog, thank you!

        1. Natasha says:

          Hi Daisy, I wouldn’t bake the chicken first… there’s a good chance it’ll be way overcooked and I have no idea on timing since I have not tested the method myself. I’m thinking you just cooked the chicken way too long and that’s why it wasn’t tender… that has happened to me in the past too. Why not buy normal chicken breasts and just cut them in half lengthwise next time? I’m not sure now if you bought chicken tenders or what, but I really want this recipe to work for you. 🙂

          1. Daisy says:

            Thank you, I will try this recipe again, the flavor was great!

          2. Natasha says:

            Thanks, Daisy! Don’t worry.. it can take a while to get the hang of cooking some things, but practice makes perfect. 🙂

        2. Sarah Perkins says:

          Just remember to have fun, experiment with recipes sometimes they taste better. I would actually make the sauce first, leaving it a little thinner and pour it over the chicken before I put it in the oven.

      2. Darryl says:

        5 stars
        I pounded the chicken instead of cutting them in half (I like doing things the hard way ☺). The dish turned out great! Melt in your mouth and delicious! My wife loved it. Thank you!

        1. Natasha says:

          Haha that definitely works too! So happy you enjoyed it, Darryl!

    2. Penelope says:

      4 stars
      Hi Daisy. You may have cooked the chicken on too high heat, therefore cooking the outside too quickly and not letting the inside get done. Perhaps try cooking it a lower temperature next time. Just don’t give up. I taught myself how to cook years ago by watching a ton of cooking shows. Blogs like this help me out too. There are so many tips and tricks that have helped me. I threw away a lot of ruined food along the way and, while I don’t consider myself a “chef” by any means, I now feel confident in the kitchen. I love to cook now.

      1. Natasha says:

        This is good advice, thanks for sharing, Penelope! 🙂

      2. Daisy says:

        Thank you so much! I needed this as my confidence lacks in the kitchen, and I really want to be able to cook home made food. I too have thrown away too much ruined food, and I feel so bad and it’s so expensive to buy ingredients. I will try and use lower heat next time, thank you!

        1. Lislie says:

          Can i put spinach on it? Thank you

          1. Natasha says:

            Sure! I’d at it in towards the end.

      3. Aminath Usha Ali says:

        Is there any alternative for chicken broth? Can i cook the recipe without adding the broth?

        1. Natasha says:

          You could try veggie broth or white wine. It just adds some salt and more flavor. Hope you like the recipe!

    3. Dave says:

      I always make sure to let the chicken sit out at room temp for about 30 minutes before cooking. This can make a huge difference when it comes to them getting cooked properly.

  10. Leslie says:

    I made this last night with mashed potatoes and roasted brussel sprouts. It was delicious. The sauce on top of the potatoes really worked too. Thanks!

    1. Natasha says:

      So happy to hear that, Leslie!! 🙂

      1. Arlene says:

        Can I used diced chicken thighs? I have some I’ve defrosted and need to use??

        1. Natasha says:

          Sure. You may need to adjust cooking time a bit, but they’ll work.

          1. Vanessa says:

            Can I use half & half instead of heavy cream? I already have half n half and heavy cream is pricey.

          2. Natasha says:

            Hi Vanessa! The sauce won’t be as thick or rich. I recommend reading through the comments – I think some people have tried half and half and posted their results.

      2. Connie Carey says:

        I looked at this recipe and said “tonite”! It was awesome! I only had about 5 cloves I found garlic and you are right – it could’ve used the whole bulb if I had it! I made it as you said and put it in the oven in a cast iron pan to finish. It was superb. Probably could add matchstick carrots or some mushrooms or something for more texture but the chicken was moist and the creamy sauce delicious.!!!!

        1. Natasha says:

          I am so happy you liked it! Yes… more garlic is pretty much always the answer hahaha 😉

    2. Janice Huff says:

      I want to make this tonight but only have whole milk canned milk or half and half. Could I use one of those instead of heavy cream?

      1. Natasha says:

        Hi! I’d use the half and half. I think that should be fine, although the sauce may end up a bit thinner. You may want to read thru some of the comments – other readers have made some substitutions and explained how it worked. Hope you enjoy the recipe! ❤️

        1. Michael frabosilio says:

          I too happen to have whole milk only. I’m just going to make a thin-ish bechamel and that should fix the problem. On a side note adding leeks to the dish really rounds out it for me. Reminiscent of chicken and 40 cloves.

          1. Natasha says:

            Yes, making a bechamel is a good idea. And the leeks… mmm!

      2. Jorge Maturano says:

        I replaced heavy cream for milk(I don’t have it),and I used à little bit of corn starch ,;solution to the problem.Great result.

    3. Alysia says:

      Well Folks, looks like a baked tofu night here..its a new recipe for my family but I’m sure it will get gone

    4. Darlene says:

      5 stars
      I made this recipe tonight and it was delicious! I served it with fettuccine noodles and peas. I drizzled some of the sauce (added mushrooms) on the pasta. My question is about the chunks of garlic and what to do with them??? I avoided putting them on the pasta for fear it would be too strong. Does anyone eat these garlic chunks or were they used just to flavor the sauce?

      1. Natasha says:

        You eat the whole cloves 🙂 I know, it seems kinda crazy, but they totally mellow out when cooked. They have a similar flavor to the whole roasted garlic cloves that you can do in your oven and then use in things like salad dressing or spread on bread. I am so glad you like the recipe!