This Creamy Garlic Chicken is the latest recipe I’ve added to our comfort food collection. Picture sautéed chicken coated in a creamy sauce, all perfumed with garlic and savory flavor. It’s beyond delicious and so easy to make too! It’s naturally gluten-free with dairy-free options. This recipe is simple enough for a weeknight dinner but stunning enough to serve for date-night or entertaining.
This recipe is my latest answer to the ever-present question, ‘What’s for dinner’? It’s the perfect comfort food that’s healthy as well. And it’s just as good for a family dinner or an at-home date night.
It’s simple and creamy but light enough for spring meals, especially when you pair it with roasted asparagus. As the name ‘garlic chicken’ suggests, this dish has lots of garlic.
But it’s not overwhelming because the garlic is lightly browned and then simmered into creamy submission. A subtle balance is added with just a touch of Italian seasoning to round out all the flavors.
Watch how to make Creamy Garlic Chicken
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Chicken – I used large chicken breasts, (8 oz each) cut into half lengthwise to make 4 chicken breasts about 1 – 1 1/2″ thick. You could also use boneless skinless chicken thighs as well.
- Cassava flour – regular all-purpose, gluten-free, or Einkorn wheat flour all work here. The chicken is dredged in the flour and then pan-fried. And as it simmers in the sauce, that bit of flour thickens it perfectly. If you use gluten-free flour, I recommend Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 or Cup4Cup because they have the best flavor.
- Garlic – As mentioned above, there’s a lot of garlic in this recipe. You’ll see below the recipe calls for a whole bulb, and that’s not a misprint! You’ll find that the garlic flavor isn’t as strong as you might think once it’s been thoroughly simmered. Also, I like to cut the cloves in half lengthwise so they can completely soften in the sauce.
- Seasonings – I add just a touch of garlic powder, (I know… more garlic, but trust me!) and some Italian seasoning. These both round out the flavors of the sauce and make sure you don’t taste the coconut milk if you use the dairy-free option. If you can find garlic granules, I think they have the best flavor. They’re like a coarse garlic powder rather than being powder fine in texture.
- Heavy cream or Coconut milk – canned coconut milk is what makes this garlic chicken creamy for dairy free. And you definitely don’t taste the coconut flavor with everything else going on here. However, if you want to go all out, you can use heavy creamy here as well!
- Chicken stock – homemade chicken stock will always give you the best flavor. But if you’re looking for store-bought, try and find a brand with low sodium.
Let’s make this recipe step by step
Step 1: First we’ll prep all the ingredients and cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise.
This gives you 4 chicken breasts and they cook faster as well.
Step 2: Dredge both sides of each piece of chicken in flour to make a light coating.
Step 3: Panfry the chicken to brown on both sides over medium-high heat.
You don’t need to cook it all the way through at this point. It will finish cooking in the sauce at the end.
Step 4: Then we’re going to lightly brown the halved garlic cloves in melted ghee or olive oil. The browning adds lots of ‘roasted garlic’ flavor to the final sauce.
Step 5: After the garlic is browned, you’ll add the seasonings along with the liquids.
Step 6: From here the most crucial part of the recipe is to keep the sauce at a slow simmer. This allows the garlic to fully soften and not be overwhelming, and the sauce to reduce.
Step 7: The final step is to simmer the chicken in the sauce until the chicken is done in the center. I like to sprinkle a touch of chopped parsley over the top for a bright pop of color, and a touch of fresh flavor.
Ways to serve this
- Serve this creamy garlic chicken with Oven Roasted Broccoli, Roasted Carrots, Brussels Sprouts, or Garlic Green Beans.
- This dish is particularly good with my Air Fryer Asparagus or Perfect Roasted Asparagus.
- For a stovetop option, try my Sautéed Green Beans and/or Garlic Butter Mushrooms.
- Add a side dish of my Best Mashed Potatoes, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, or Creamy Mashed Cauliflower.
- Add something fresh like my Italian Chopped Salad or Apple Spinach Salad.
Freshly cooked pasta, steamed rice, and mashed potatoes all go well with garlic chicken. You’ll also find my extra side dish serving suggestions below.
Yes but with reservations because it can cause the sauce to break. Your best bet is to thaw it overnight in the fridge then reheat adding a touch of water if needed to help the sauce stay together.
- To Store – place any leftovers into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- Reheat – Place the leftovers into a skillet and warm them over low to medium heat until heated. You may need to add a touch of water depending on how much sauce you have.
- Freeze – place any leftovers into an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months. The sauce may break as you thaw it or reheat it, I add a touch more water to help bring it back together.
Tips & Tricks
- If you have a good amount of green stem sprouting in your garlic, removing it before you begin cooking is worth it. The stem has a more intense garlic flavor. You’ll see in the photo above where I’m cooking the garlic cloves that the middles of my garlic cloves have a ‘channel’ where I removed the large green sprouts.
- I’ve made this recipe countless times over the last few years because it’s a crowd-pleaser for entertaining. I’ve made it with coconut milk and heavy cream, and you really can’t go wrong either way. The heavy cream option is a little richer, but the coconut milk is still very creamy and dairy-free if needed.
More dairy free chicken recipes
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken
- Coconut Lime Chicken
- Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
- Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs
- Honey Mustard Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner
I hope you enjoy this creamy garlic chicken recipe. And if you get a chance to make it, I hope you’ll leave me a comment/rating below. I always love hearing from you here! Also for lots more dairy free dinner recipes, check out the recipe index.
Creamy Garlic Chicken
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts - 2, cut in half lengthwise
- 1/4 cup cassava flour - all-purpose, gluten-free flour, or Einkorn flour
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp ghee - butter, or olive oil
- 1 bulb garlic - peeled and clove cut in half lengthwise
- 1/2 tsp garlic granules - or unsalted garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 cup chicken broth or stock - low sodium
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk - 13.5 oz or 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2-1 tsp sea salt - to taste it will vary depending on chicken stock
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper - to taste
- Chopped fresh parsley for optional garnish
- Preheat a large, 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle a touch of salt and pepper over the flour and mix together. Then dredge the four pieces of chicken in the cassava flour.
- When the pan is hot, add the tablespoon of olive oil and 2 of the chicken breasts. Cook to brown each side, 2-3 minutes per side, then remove them from the pan and set them aside. Repeat with the remaining 2 chicken breasts.
- Lower the heat to medium low, then add the ghee or additional olive oil to the pan along with the halved garlic cloves. Cook for 2-3 minutes stirring as the garlic cloves begin to turn light brown.
- Then add the garlic granules, Italian seasoning, chicken stock, and coconut milk or heavy cream to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Reduce the heat to maintain a light simmer, and cook until the garlic cloves are completely softened, 15-20 minutes. The sauce will reduce by about 1/2.
- When the garlic is done, add the chicken breasts back to the pan and simmer until they’re done in the center, 6-8 minutes, turning once in the middle of the cooking time.
- Garnish with a sprinkling of fresh parsley and serve.
This post was originally published in 2021 and updated in 2024 with new photos, more tips, new information, & video.