One Skillet Chicken with Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce
Say hello to your new favorite one skillet chicken dinner that’s topped with a lemon garlic butter cream sauce! I used thin chicken breasts, but this recipe would be delicious with boneless chicken thighs too!
Hello, hello to my new favorite creamy, garlicky, lemony, delicious skillet chicken!
You guys, I’ve gone completely head over heels for today’s meal.
As many of you have probably guessed, I love white meat chicken. It’s no dark meat for me. But the good news is that today’s chicken dinner is customizable to your chicken needs. Boneless skinless chicken thighs, sure, why not! *Applause* you’ve only just waited half of FOREVER for me to bring you something that could be made with something other than boneless skinless chicken breast.
This one skillet chicken recipe is my go-to chicken dinner of the week decade. Obvi, this recipe requires just one pan. This means we make the lemon garlic chicken and the sauce all from start to finish in one skillet. We’re talking tender chicken covered in a lemon garlic butter sauce that’s creamier than anything you’ve had before.
And if you love capers, don’t be afraid to throw some into the sauce right before you turn the knob to off and serve up this delicious lemon garlic chicken.
Should I just stop here? Are you on your way to the kitchen, cuz ya should be!
One Skillet Lemon Garlic Chicken Video:
This recipe is somewhat, kinda sorta adapted and inspired by my Garlic Butter Salmon in Foil. Today’s Lemon Garlic Chicken recipe is inspired by the same sauce, only we add a splash of cream at the end and deck the whole thing out in an abundance of chopped fresh parsley.
What makes this lemon garlic chicken recipe special?
We’re using many of the same ingredients like butter, lemon juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, and parsley. What makes this chicken dinner to the next level is chicken broth and a big splash of heavy cream. The sauce has a nice creamy consistency that would taste AMAZING tossed in some angel hair pasta. The pasta-abilities are ENDLESS.
See what I did there.
How to make one skillet chicken with lemon garlic cream sauce:
- Get those chicken breasts cooking on both sides. To get the chicken cooking evenly, I like to start by pounding down the chicken breasts or thighs into a 1/2-inch thickness. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. If you’re a big fan of garlic, you can even sprinkle with a little garlic powder!
- Make the sauce. In a measuring cup or small bowl, stir together the chicken broth, lemon juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Feel free to add a dash of Italian seasoning or anything else that you normally like to add to your chicken recipes. You’ll also want to preheat the oven so that we can go right from the stovetop to the skillet when we want to cook the chicken through.
- Saute the chicken. Add a drizzle of olive oil to an oven-safe skillet. You want to make sure it’s hot before adding the chicken so that it instantly starts to brown and develop flavor. Flip the chicken and sear on the other side. Remember, the goal is to gain color on the outside so that the chicken won’t be done yet. Remove the chicken to a plate.
- Reduce the flame first. Then add the shallots. If you don’t have shallots on hand, feel free to swap them for minced red onions. Add the chicken broth as well and whisk. The natural acids found in the chicken broth will help pick up the stuck-on brown bits. This is free flavor! Then kick the heat up to medium-high and let the sauce simmer and reduce. This is what really intensifies the flavor of the sauce. The chicken broth reduces down, concentrating the flavor of the sauce. Feel free to toss in a few lemon slices while this is happening so that the lemon flavor really intensifies.
- Add the butter, this is a restaurant secret. This is how all the results that have the most addicting sauces make it taste so luxurious! Melting in a couple of tablespoons of butter into the sauce elevates the dish a few notches.
- To be honest with you, I was a little intimidated by the idea of adding heavy cream to a lemon sauce. I had the biggest fear of it curdling on me. Finally, taking the sauce off the heat completely, I whisked in the cream and placed it back on the flame for just a couple of seconds. Don’t let the sauce come to a boil. And it worked beautifully! Place the skillet in the oven and let it cook for a few minutes so that the chicken can finish cooking all the through and soak up a bit of that sauce. Garnishing with fresh parsley, basil, lemon zest, or any other fresh herbs you’d like is a must; we do eat with our eyes first! Serve with garlicky roasted potatoes, pasta, or rice. You can even sprinkle on a little parmesan cheese or add some capers if you’d like!
Not that you’ll actually have any leftovers because that sauce is actual dynamite. But if you do, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, toss in the microwave, and you’ve got a weeknight-friendly, protein-packed dinner on the table in no time!
Leftovers can also be kept in the freezer; I would just reheat them in the microwave slowly, stopping and stirring often so that the sauce doesn’t break!
What to serve with lemon garlic chicken:
You could take this in so many different directions!
- A zucchini stir fry
- With garlic bread or with fluffy coconut rice
- the most amazing crisp roasted potatoes, with mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, or even rosemary potatoes
- with cauliflower casserole
- creamed or sauteed spinach
- sauteed garlic broccolini
- sauteed or air fryer green beans
- roasted or sauteed asparagus
One skillet chicken dinner and conquering kitchen fears. Just a regular old Wednesday around here! 😉
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
- One Skillet Chicken with Fiesta Cream Sauce
- One Skillet Chicken with Garlicky Mushroom Cream Sauce
- One Skillet Chicken with Tomato Basil Cream Sauce
- Cheesy Baked BBQ Chicken
- Garlic Butter Tomato Baked Chicken with Mozzarella
One Skillet Chicken with Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce
Say hello to your new favorite one skillet chicken dinner that's topped with a lemon garlic butter cream sauce! I used thin chicken breasts but this recipe would be delicious with boneless chicken thighs too!
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ⅓ cup finely diced shallots (or red onions)
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or basil
- Prepared broccolini, for serving
- Using a mallet, pound down the chicken breasts/thighs into ½ inch thickness. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on both sides of the chicken.
- In a 2 cup measuring cup or a small bowl, combine the chicken broth, lemon juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Heat the olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and allow it to brown on both sides for 2-3 minutes per side. Don't worry if the chicken isn't cooked thoroughly; we'll finish it in the oven. Remove the chicken to a plate.
- Reduce the flame to medium, and add the shallots to the skillet along with the chicken broth mixture. Using a whisk, scrape the bottom of the pan so all the brown bits are loosened. Kick the heat back up to medium-high and let sauce come to a simmer. Continue to cook the sauce for 10-15 minutes or until about ⅓ cup of the sauce remains.
- When the sauce has thickened, remove from the flame, add the butter and whisk until it melts completely. With the skillet off the flame, add the heavy cream, whisk to combine. Place the skillet back over the flame for just 30 seconds, DO NOT allow the sauce to boil. Remove from heat, add the chicken back into the pan and drizzle the sauce over the chicken. Place the skillet in the oven for 5-8 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through. Top with chopped parsley or basil and serve warm with additional lemon slices. Serve with prepared rice, pasta, or sauteed veggies on the side.
- Use boneless skinless chicken breasts/thighs that about the same thickness. I pounded mine down to about ½ inch.
- After a few comments from readers, I've adjusted the amount of time it takes to reduce the sauce (step #5). Keep in mind, the key is to reduce it to ⅓ cup and that I can only provide an estimate. It may take you more or less time than what is actually listed.
I made this for dinner and it was very tasty! I served it over pasta with a little olive oil. Very yummy!
Is there a way to substitute the heavy cream? I am watching my calories…
You could use half and half Mary Ann. I don’t recommend anything lighter though as it won’t give it that creamy flavor.
Ok. Half and half it is! Fat free ok?
Fat free might work. But be careful. The reason the heavy cream doesn’t curdle is because of the high fat content. If using fat free you may want to omit the lemon juice until serving and then just squeeze some lemon on it when you plate.
Very yummy. The sauce was but runny. So i added a 1/8 c cold water w 1 tbsp corn starch after I pulled it out of the oven. It thickend very nicely. This will be added to our usual dinner rotation for sure. Thanks for posts.
Glad you enjoyed it Heather! For next time, i’d suggest cooking the sauce (on the stove) for an additional minute or two. This will help thicken it naturally and you won’t need the corn starch mix at all 🙂
Same thing here, thanks for the tip!!
I’m a big sauce fan and I found this sauce extremely subtle! If you’re like me, I would recommend increasing the lemon and red pepper flakes, and adding salt to the sauce.
I made this tonight and it was so yummy! Btw where are you from? I have an aunt named Marzia
I don’t currently have an oven safe pan….can I just cook the chicken through on the stove?
You can, i’d suggest cooking the chicken all the way through first, then making the sauce and allowing the chicken to sit in the sauce for just an additional minute or two. You may need to cook the sauce for a couple of extra minutes (before adding the chicken) so that it’s thickens the way it would in the oven!
That’s exactly what I did. I used an iron skillet and didn’t feel like using the oven. I cooked for five fire fighters who are finicky. They flat out loved this recipie. I did add some lemon pepper to the chicken as they were cooking. I did rice and corn as sides. This one is a keeper! Thanks, Mike, Capt Rescue 31.
Glad to hear it, Mike! 🙂
I love this dish! Restaurant quality taste. The chicken was more moist and tender than I have ever had any where, any time. It is now my new “go to” chicken dish, especially for company. I doubled the recipe so I could have leftovers. The extra sauce I served on rice. I cannot say enough about this dish.
Does anyone know if coconut milk (full fat in the the can) would work as a substitute for the cream? Can’t have dairy. 🙁
I’ve made this many times using canned full fat coconut milk with great success. We love it.
Thank you for this wonderful recipe!! I cooked it 2 nights ago and my husband and I loved it!! It was very easy but very tasty!! I served it with noodles, roasted asparagus and garlic bread ; )
I made this the other night for my parents and I – and it was FANTASTIC! Even my mom couldn’t stop talking about it, and she is a really tough critic! I served with rice and some green beans cooked with shallots and walnuts. Perfect!
yay! I’m so happy to hear that Brenna! And btw, your green beans sound super yummy 🙂
I just made this tonight and it’s REALLY good! I love anything lemon, so this was right up my alley. The red pepper flakes add a nice kick to it. I’ve already started thinking of other spices to substitute for the red pepper flakes (not because I don’t love it as is, but I’ll be able to switch it up a little bit each time.
Great to hear you enjoyed it Allison! What would you swap for the red pepper flakes? I’d love to hear! 🙂
What exactly is (heavy cream) ☺️ Really don’t want to mess this recipe up lol but not sure if this was my choice or something specific??
Hi Alexius! Heavy cream (or whipping cream) is the thick part of milk that’s rich in fat that rises to the top, is skimmed, and packaged as heavy cream. You want to use either of these two for this recipe because the fat in the cream keeps the sauce stable. If you were to use, let’s say, milk (even if it’s whole milk), it will cause the sauce to separate. The large amount of fat in the heavy cream stops this from occurring. Heavy cream/whipping cream is usually found in the grocery store next to regular milk. Hope this clarifies things! 🙂
Thank u 🙂 What about cream cheese? ????
Would regular white onion work instead of shallots? Or should I just omit them? Don’t feel like running to the store in the pouring rain! Haha.
Yup! White onions will work!
I8 am going to try this recipe tonight IMG can’t wait to see how it turns out
OMG!!! I made this dish tonight with a side of Bowie pasta and it’s so amazing and full of flavor. My 8 year olds eyes lit up and said this was def a keeper! Can’t wait to make it for my inlaws… They r gonna love it too!!!!
Nice recipe. I made this last week and loved it. I made some sauteed broccoli and rice pilaf to go with it. Had the left overs for lunch too 🙂
My family loved the chicken and lemon garlic cream sauce. My picky 9 year old son said it was the best chicken he has ever had. We can’t wait to try your other recipes.
Would limes work ok instead of lemon? I’ve got a bunch!
Limes would work! They’d obvious change the taste a bit but they’ll work just fine.
OMG! Just made this with my husband and it is so delicious. My husband poured the sauce from his plate into a scoops tortilla chip because he didn’t want to waste it.
Made this tonight and it’s amazing! We paired it with roasted Brussels sprouts and red potatoes. This will be on the menu again next week. YUM! Looking forward to trying your other recipes.
All I have are bone-in thighs with skin, will those still work? I’m assuming I would just need to cook the chicken a little longer before making the sauce, right?
My best guess is that it would work. You’ll definitely need to cook the chicken longer either in the oven (in which case, you wouldn’t reduce the sauce as much) or on the stove. You’ll also need to drip off excess grease from the chicken before continuing to make the sauce.
Thank you. Sounds great. However, I’m going to try this with fish fingers. ????
One pan meals are my favorite, I am all about easy clean up!
Oh, my, this was yummy. I made it with orzo and asparagus. The sauce was perfect! This will be on my regular meal rotation in the future.
Ok I’m kinda confused how do I get the sauce to thicken????
In step #5 when the sauce is simmering for 8-10 minutes make sure you reduce the sauce to ⅓ cup. This is the crucial part. It may take you longer, but the key is to reduce it a ⅓ of a cup. Once you have reduced it, the butter will aid in thickening the sauce and the cream will loosen it to a pourable or spoonable consistency.
This was absolutely delicious and very easy to make. Thank you!
Just made this tonight and OMG I am in love! So easy, and that cream sauce is heavenly! I let the chicken cook all the way through on the stovetop, and did not put it in the oven. It was still amazing Great recipe!
Hi Marzia, can I use this chicken (diced, cubed or shredded) in another dish like SouthAsian rolls or would the taste be lost?
I made this last night as well and it was one of the best chicken dishes I’ve ever had! I used boneless, skinless thighs and all I can say is wow!
This was really good but, I am not worthy to comment as I changed the order of making the sauce a bit….I hate when comments are made when they didn’t follow the exact recipe but I am doing that :/. I used all of the ingredients but, I didn’t like the idea of adding the butter and cream and then putting it in the oven. I also used chicken thighs instead boneless breasts…yes,lower fat so that’s a plus,…they just get dry, and it’s what I had on hand. I browned those thighs for a nice golden crust and followed the recipe to the reduce to 1/3 cup part (oh, and I cooked those shallots a bit and then deglazed them white wine before adding the broth mixture. I put the thighs back in the sauce and put them back in the oven. I did’t baste the sauce over as I wanted them crispy. When the thighs were done, I plated them and covered them with foil to keep warm…I then put my pan back on the stove and finished with the butter and the cream. It really was divine! I will make this again for sure!