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
- 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.