Creamy Garlic Chicken

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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.

Four chicken breasts in a creamy garlic sauce sprinkled with parsley in a white skillet.

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.

Creamy garlic chicken being lifted out of a white skillet with a wood spoon.

Watch how to make Creamy Garlic Chicken

Ingredients & Substitutions

Chicken breasts, flour, a bulb of garlic, butter, broth, creamy, olive oil, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper in bowls on a wood cutting board.
  • 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

Chicken breasts sliced in half lengthwise on a white plate on a wood cutting board.

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.

Dredging the chicken breasts in a shallow bowl of flour with metal tongs.

Step 2: Dredge both sides of each piece of chicken in flour to make a light coating.

Searing the chicken breasts in a large white skillet on the stovetop.

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.

Cooking the halved garlic cloves in butter in a large white skillet.

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.

Adding the chicken broth and cream to the white skillet on the stovetop.

Step 5: After the garlic is browned, you’ll add the seasonings along with the liquids.

Simmering the garlic cloves at a low simmer in a white skillet on the stovetop.

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.

Adding the seared chicken breasts to the creamy garlic sauce in the skillet.

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.

Finished creamy garlic chicken topped with chopped parsley in a white skillet with a wood spoon on the side.

Ways to serve this

FAQ’s

What goes with Creamy Garlic Chicken?

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.

Can you freeze Creamy Garlic Chicken?

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.

Storing leftovers

  • 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.
Four chicken breasts in creamy garlic sauce in a large white skillet with one chicken breast being lifted out with a wood spatula.

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.

Dietary Options & Substitutions

  • Dairy-free – use the coconut milk option listed in the recipe card. It’s the perfect dairy-free option; you can’t taste the coconut with all the other flavors.
  • Paleo & Whole30 – use the dairy-free coconut milk option and cassava flour.
Four chicken breasts topped with garlic cloves in a creamy garlic sauce with a wood spatula on the side of the skillet.

More dairy free chicken recipes

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.

Finished creamy garlic chicken topped with chopped parsley in a white skillet with a wood spoon on the side.

Creamy Garlic Chicken


5 from 18 votes
Author: Kari Peters
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Course: Dinner

INGREDIENTS  

  • 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

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • 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.
Bonus StepIf you made this recipe, please leave a rating/comment. Ratings really help us continue to bring you high-quality free recipes. Rate This Recipe!

NOTES

To Store – place any leftovers into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
If your garlic cloves have larger green stems in the middle, take a minute to remove them for a milder better flavor.
Garlic granules are sometimes called granulated garlic. It’s like garlic powder but with a bit more texture and more depth of flavor.
Category: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keywords: Creamy Garlic Sauce for Chicken, Dairy Free Garlic Chicken, Easy Garlic Chicken Recipe, Healthy Garlic Chicken, Whole30 Garlic Chicken

nutrition facts

Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 453mg | Potassium: 692mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 39IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 4mg
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Tag @get.inspired.everyday on Instagram or hashtag #getinspiredeveryday

This post was originally published in 2021 and updated in 2024 with new photos, more tips, new information, & video.

32 thoughts on “Creamy Garlic Chicken”

    • I’m not sure if oat milk would work in place of coconut milk but I think it would. It might be a bit less creamy than canned coconut milk though. I hope you’ll let me know how it goes if you end up trying it!

      Reply
  1. 5 stars
    Made this tonight for dinner and the whole family loved it! Used coconut milk and chicken tenderloins. Served over penne gf pasta with green beans! Yum. Thanks!

    Reply
    • I’m so glad to hear you and your family enjoyed it! And thanks so much for the serving suggestions as well, sounds like a wonderful dinner!

      Reply
    • Yes that’s exactly what’s happening, if the oil separates from the coconut milk in the sauce it’s because there isn’t enough ‘water’ liquid left and the fat separates. You can fix this by adding a touch of water and swirling the pan to combine until it emulsifies again. Or you can also remove the chicken, whisk just enough water (or more coconut milk) into the sauce to bring it back together. I hope this helps and be sure to let me know how it goes!

      Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Made this last night and it was EXCELLENT. My husband loves dairy and didn’t miss it at all. He said it was one of his favorites. Thank you!

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    Made exactly according to directions and this was SO delicious! I’ve been hesitant to try recipes with coconut milk for fear of a coconut flavor, but you can’t tell at all. It’s just creamy and garlic-y. I served over rice. Thank you! A definite keeper.

    Reply
    • So glad to hear you enjoyed it! And I can definitely say the same, I was surprised that the coconut flavor really doesn’t come through.

      Reply
  4. 5 stars
    So yummy!!! Reminded me of chicken Marsala as I added some mushrooms to ours! My husband loved it…which is not an easy one with me having to be dairy,egg, and soy free while breastfeeding! He was shocked when I told him it was dairy free! I will definitely be adding this to our go to meals!

    Reply
    • That really makes my day to hear that he enjoyed it, and it’s always the best compliment when no one knows it’s dairy free!

      Reply
  5. 5 stars
    CREAMY GARLIC CHICKEN YOUR THE BEST, GOOD IN TASTE, FULL OF DELICIOUS, INCREDIBLE FLAVOR, AND EVERYTHING YOU NEED IN A CREAMY GARLIC CHICKEN V THANK YOU,

    Reply
    • Yes you can definitely use stock and broth interchangeably. Just be sure to add salt to taste since each brand of chicken stock or broth really varies. I sure hope you enjoy this, and definitely let me know how it goes!

      Reply

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