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This garlic chicken recipe is sublime! Tender seasoned chicken breasts are covered in a creamy, savory sauce: a true favorite.

Garlic chicken
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You can tell by the shine on that creamy sauce that this one’s a good one. Welcome to one of our favorite ways to eat chicken: this Garlic Chicken recipe! The tender, juicy chicken breasts are coated in garlic powder, onion powder and smoked paprika, then cooked and smothered in a garlic cream sauce! It’s full of punchy flavor and takes only about 20 minutes to make. Dinnertime win!

Ingredients for this garlic chicken recipe

Need a recipe that’s bursting with flavor in a short cook time? This is the one for you! We’ve got over 10 years of vegan, vegetarian and seafood recipe development under our belt, and we’ve moved on to chicken. This recipe is our pride and joy: a quick, simple and always satisfying dinner recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts, organic if possible
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Heavy cream
  • Garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper
Garlic chicken recipe

How and why to butterfly chicken

Here’s the thing about chicken breasts: they are often very thick, making them tricky to cook evenly. The thin part finishes cooking before the thick part cooks through (and that’s a safety hazard!). The trick? Butterfly your chicken before cooking it! Slicing the chicken breast in half horizontally makes thinner pieces which cook more evenly. They’re also easier to eat and are better seasoned.

You can buy a chicken breast already butterflied, which is marked on the package; they also may be marked “cutlets”. If you buy regular chicken breasts, you can butterfly it yourself. To butterfly a chicken breast:

  • Place your hand over the top of the chicken breast.
  • Use a sharp knife to carefully slice the breast horizontally, leaving the edge intact so it can open up like a book (or butterfly!).
  • Unfold the chicken breast like a book, then for cutlets, cut along the fold to separate the two halves (each half is a cutlet). To make evenly thick chicken, you can cover the chicken with plastic wrap and lightly pound the chicken with a mallet or heavy pan to make it even (we did not do that for this recipe).

For step by step photos and more details, go to How to Butterfly a Chicken Breast.

How to butterfly a chicken breast

Tips for this garlic chicken recipe

This garlic chicken recipe is quick and simple to put together: it’s pan fried, then you’ll make a quick pan sauce with butter and cream. Here are a few tips to keep in mind for this recipe:

  • Assemble all measured ingredients before cooking. Called mise in place as a cooking term, it’s important to have everything ready to go first because the cooking goes fast.
  • Use a large aluminum or cast iron skillet. You can use non-stick as well, but you’ll get better browning with the other metals.
  • Cook until the internal temperature is 165°F or the center is no longer pink. It should take a total of 6 to 10 minutes to cook the chicken, but it varies based on the thickness of the meat and the heat level.
  • Don’t skimp on the cream! There’s nothing like heavy cream for making a luxurious sauce that smothers the chicken breasts. You could use half and half, but we don’t suggest milk in this recipe (unless it’s whole milk, which you could try in a pinch).
Garlic chicken

Buy organic chicken if possible

Want to buy ethically raised chicken? We’ve eaten vegetarian for the majority of our lives together for sustainability and environmental reasons. Now that we’re adding a bit of poultry to the mix, the sustainability and ethics of buying meat is important to us.

The best chicken to buy? Organic. Per the USDA, organic chicken must be raised in living conditions accommodating their natural behaviors (like the ability to graze on pasture), fed 100% organic feed and forage, and not administered antibiotics or hormones.

Buying organic chicken makes sure that it is the highest quality meat that was raised sustainably, and it is also free of chemicals and additives so it’s the healthiest option for eating.

Garlic chicken recipe

Ways to serve it

What’s the best way to serve this garlic chicken recipe? Add a grain and a vegetable, and it makes a simple and healthy dinner! Here are a few easy side dishes for chicken that come together quickly alongside this skillet:

More fast dinner recipes

And that’s it! Let us know what you think of this quick and easy dinner recipe in the comments below. Here are a few more fast dinner recipes to try:

This garlic chicken recipe is…


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Garlic chicken

Garlic Chicken

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This garlic chicken recipe is sublime! Tender seasoned chicken breasts are covered in a creamy, savory sauce: a true favorite.


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound, organic if possible), butterflied or cutlets
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ cup heavy cream


  1. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, then slice it in half horizontally (if not already butterflied) and slice into several pieces. Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with the salt, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and a few grinds of black pepper.
  2. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side, until browned on both sides. When the internal temperature is 165°F or the center is no longer pink, remove to a plate.
  3. Melt the butter in the same pan and reduce the heat to medium low. Add the minced garlic and dried thyme and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the garlic is lightly browned and fragrant. Add the heavy cream and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring and scraping, until thickened slightly. Return the chicken to the pan and warm each side for 1 minute. Serve immediately. Leftovers store refrigerated for up to 3 days.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!