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.
Made this tonight and it was great. The only thing is I would double the sauce as it was so good.
I made extra of the sauce because we’re sauce lovers here. I spooned some over roasted potatoes and it was soooo good!
When I make this again, I’ll definitely serve it with potatoes again.
Absolutely delicious chicken dish! My kids and husband loved it – next time I will double the recipe to have leftovers.
This may be a silly question, but I’m just learning how to cook and experimenting. But, if I use 8 chicken breast should I then double all the ingredients?
Hi Marissa! That’s not silly at all! Yes, I’d double all the other ingredients as well so that you have enough sauce to serve the chicken with. A lot of readers have said they enjoyed the sauce so i’d want to make sure you had enough for all 8 servings. Hope you enjoy it! 🙂
Good recipe, easy to do, and lots of flavor. Paired with roasted red potatoes, broccoli, and garlic! Lemon taste is subtle–could use a little more than proscribed.
This is my favorite recipe of all-time now. I literally have been making batches of just the sauce and putting it over everything! It’s too perfect. Though I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but a LOT of sites have used your image on their recipes ): Just thought that you should know, I’m not sure what protocol is for that. Thanks so much for creating this miraculous dish!
Can I use bone in chicken thighs?
Yes, you can but the cooking time will need to be adjusted as they take longer to cook. I’ve only tested it with chicken breasts so I unfortunately wouldn’t be able to say how much longer the thighs would need. Please use your best judgement.
I made tonight, it has great flavor but the sauce was too thin..couldn’t figure out what I do wrong.I will make this again, my family loved it
Might try adding a few ounces of Parmesan cheese – I do as a sauce thickener.
I have been trying new recipes every week because I am tired of the same old recipes every night. Made this last night and it was a hit! The family loved it. It was easy too! Thanks for the recipe!
This was the first dish I’ve cooked for my husband since we got married in November that he got seconds of! The flavor was great very delicious!
I made this for dinner tonight. I added ground Rosemary to the chicken. I also added a tablespoonful of flour to the pan to thicken the sauce. It was yummy.
When did you add the flour?
Marzia, I’ve never left a review before – you are the first. This dish was amazing. I’m trying to get back on low carb and this recipe jumped out. I followed your excellent directions and my husband and I both loved the results. It is now posted on my Pinterest “keepers” page. I look forward to trying more of your recipes. Thank you!
Hands down the best chicken recipe I have ever tried. I add a little bit more of the red pepper but really easy and tasty, even the next day!
This was really good! Made a few changes. Cooked the garlic with the shallots. Used rosemary for the herb and forgot the red pepper. Thanks for the tip on keeping the sauce from curdling. Company worthy dish.
How do I make this if I don’t have skillet that can go in the oven? Will it still taste the same?
I’ve never made it on the stove top so i’m not really sure if there is a difference it terms of flavor. A few readers have mentioned they cooked it all the way through on the stove top. If you scroll through the comments, you’ll be able to find more info on that.
I’ve made it on top and it works out well… Just turn the fire down low…
Absolutely delicious. I will definitely be making this again.
I made this tonight and it was delicious. I could not stop taste testing the sauce! lol Served it up with fresh green beans and baked cabbage rounds. Thank you, thank you!
Okay this may be a silly question. I have made this recipe 3x now and I CAN NOT get my sauce to thicken!! It’s so yummy but still too runny. When you say “reduce to 1/3 cup” what exactly does that mean? Are you removing some of the chicken broth mixture, and then add it back? I’m so confused and what to get it thick like yours!
Hi Alicia! When I say ‘reducing to ⅓ cup’ I mean to let the sauce simmer or gently boil (you’ll see gentle bubbles on the surface of the sauce). This allows some of the liquid to evaporate, leaving you with a thicker concentration of flavor. You’ll continue to let it simmer until you have about ⅓ cup of liquid remaining in the pan. This will take in the ballpark of 10-15 minutes as listed. I hope that clarifies things a little more! 🙂
I use cornstarch with a little water in it add to sauce. thickens immediately!!!
The dish turned out absolutely amazing. Next time, I will have to dial it back on the red pepper flakes. I’m a wimp when it comes to adding anything that may be a little spicey.
Made this for Sunday lunch yesterday with tri-color quinoa with onions and celery and roasted asparagus. Awesome recipe!! My hubby and MIL really liked it. I will definitely be adding this to my rotation of meals! Thanks for a great recipe ?
Made this tonight. Quick, easy and delicious!
I love this recipe! I did a little tweaking for my family’s taste. I added a generous splash of dry white wine in addition to the chicken broth mixture. I find this usually helps speed up the sauce reduction time and it tastes delicious. Taking another commenter’s advice and cooking the shallots and garlic together before adding in the broth mixture. Served over zucchini noodles (I heated up oil, threw in some garlic until almost crispy, “zoodles” on top with some salt, pepper, lemon juice and shredded parm cheese)
How would go about adding red potatoes in this recipe? Would you have to double the sauce? Would you have to cook them for a bit in the oven beforehand so they get cooked through all the way?
Hi Breigha! I’m glad to hear you want to give this recipe a try! Unfortunately, without further recipe testing I don’t know how you’d go about adding potatoes to the recipe. I’d suggest roasting the potatoes separately and then serving them with the sauce. You could double the sauce ingredients (this will however affect the simmering time) and use the sauce to serve on top of the potatoes. Hope that helps!
It was delicious, sauce is amazing, a little kick to it but I added lemon pepper seasoning so I’m sure that didn’t help, other than that awesome will try again.
Double thumbs up. I made this for the first one for a quick dinner. Absolutely delicious! Next time I think I’ll add mushrooms.
I want to make this for company dinner. At what point do you think I could pause it to make it ahead and finish at the last minute?
Hmm.. thats a tough one as it would be unsafe to leave the chicken cooked halfway through. You could however prepare the recipe all the way through then add just a few tablespoons of water or broth to the sauce before reheating/serving. The sauce will thicken a bit as it sits so the additional liquid brings it back to the original consistency. Hope that helps!
Fresh or bottles lemon juice? Thanks!
Hi Abbie! Bottled lemon juice will work in a bind but I suggest using freshly squeezed juice for any recipe that calls for lemon as a main ingredient. I feel the bottled stuff won’t give you that same zing. Hope you enjoy it! 🙂
Awesome awesome awesome recipe! <3
Cooked it on the stove and still tastes really good. Did a little tweaking though 'cause we don't have an oven at home. Cooked chicken in the broth, removed the chicken, and added the rest of the ingredients of the broth mixture, cooking it separatedly. Worked!
I have to admit, I am TERRIBLE at cooking chicken breasts. They always come out dry, so I was afraid to try this recipe. But I’m SO GLAD I did! The chicken was tender and the lemon garlic cream sauce was seriously like buttery, lemony, garlicky heaven. I actually closed my eyes the first time I tasted it. This is a must try! And pretty easy too!!
Hi! I made this tonight, (have not yet tried it) but i cannot get my sauce to get thick! i added the right amount of everything and let my broth boil. any advice?
Hi Yajaira, the key is to just allow the sauce to simmer/boil and reduce. If you notice it’s taking too long, you can kick the heat setting up to the highest setting and just keep a close eye on it until you’re left with 1/3 cup of liquid. It may take more time than what the recipes says, it just depends on how hot your burner gets (mine actually reduces the sauce in less time than indicated). You also want to make sure to not continue to the next step until the sauce reduces to the indicated amount as this may alter the recipe. Hope that helps!