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 20 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.

36 thoughts on “Creamy Garlic Chicken”

  1. 5 stars
    My entire family loved it! My oldest has food sensitivities, so it’s hard to find things he can eat. From 2 years to 8 years – it was a hit with all the kids which is hard to do! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • That always makes my day to hear it was a hit with everyone in the family, thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review and let me know how much you enjoyed it!

      Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Omg. I am the farthest thing from gluten free, let alone DAIRY FREE! But let me tell you how amazing this dish is! I added a bit of corn starch to thicken the sauce up a bit. The sauce thickness varies depending on the pan you use. Definitely needed to add more olive oil to the pan as I cooked but I made probably 8-10 lbs of chicken. You could never tell it was gluten or dairy free. 10/10 recommend!

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for the most amazing compliment, and I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it so much! It’s always wonderful to hear you can’t tell it’s gluten free and dairy free!

      Reply
    • Ghee is considered lactose free and there are dairy free options listed as well like dairy free/vegan butter or olive oil. I hope this helps, and be sure to let me know if you have any more questions or how it goes!

      Reply
  3. 5 stars
    Big hit with the family. Changed up from the usual family recipes and they all loved it! Easy to make and dairy free was awesome for my daughter. thanks!

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    Amazing! Great flavor, creamy sauce without dairy (if you use coconut milk)! I’ll be making again! This is good enough to make for house guests! Paired it with the roasted carrots!

    Reply
  5. 5 stars
    Delicious!!!! I bought sweet and condensed coconut milk….. was I supposed to buy regular coconut milk? Will regular coconut milk still thicken? Literally this was sooooo good, just a bit sweet because of my milk choice lol. Addicting. Thank you so much for this amazing meal!!!! Definitely making again.

    Reply
    • I’m so glad to hear you still enjoyed it, and yes most definitely use regular coconut milk! Regular coconut milk will thicken with the long simmer time, and I sure hope you do make it again!

      Reply
    • Adding lemon sounds like a wonderful idea, thanks so much for sharing I’d excited to try that out and so glad to hear you enjoyed it!

      Reply
  6. I thought this dish was excellent. The flavor was outstanding and the chicken was tender. I took it to a potluck dinner but I made it a day ahead of time. I was worried how it would taste reheated, but it got lots of compliments. I followed the recipe exactly and next time I will whisk and thicken the sauce and serve it over pasta.

    Reply
    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it and it’s good to know it works well to take for a potluck, also I love your idea of serving it over pasta!

      Reply

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