Our creamy Garlic Parmesan Chicken recipe is weeknight dinner perfection! In less than 30 minutes, and with only one pan, you’ll have a delectable meal of tender chicken smothered in an ultra-creamy, garlic and parmesan cheese sauce!
Easy Parmesan Chicken Recipe
You need just one skillet and less than half an hour to make this ultra-creamy Garlic Parmesan Chicken recipe, making it a great option for a busy weeknight meal (of course, you can definitely serve this on weekends – it’s special enough for a “fancy” dinner too!). If your guests have dietary restrictions, this is a great option as it’s both gluten free and low carb. Serve it along side some Roasted Green Beans or Bacon Brussels Sprouts for a healthy, but hearty, dinner.
To keep this recipe super quick and easy, we sear the tenderized chicken breasts in a skillet on the stove. Then we use those crispy chicken bites in the skillet to make a quick and easy, homemade cheese sauce with lots of fresh garlic, heavy cream and flavorful parmesan cheese. Using both garlic powder and fresh garlic really delivers on big garlic flavor, making this chicken dinner irresistible!
What You’ll Need
You just need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card below for the full ingredient amounts.
- Chicken Breasts: We’ll use boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
- Garlic Powder
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil: We like extra-virgin olive oil.
- Fresh Garlic: Highly recommend using fresh garlic, not garlic that is in a jar or tube.
- Heavy Cream: You can use half-and-half if you don’t have heavy cream.
- Italian Seasoning: This is a mix of dried oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram.
- Parmesan Cheese: Use freshly shredded cheese for the best flavor.
How to Make Garlic Parmesan Chicken
Here’s our method for making the best garlic parmesan chicken. The photos will help give you an idea of how to tenderize the chicken breasts before cooking them.
- Tenderize the chicken breast. Slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise to create two thin chicken breast pieces. Place the chicken on a cutting board and pound the chicken breast on both sides with a meat tenderizer.
- Season the chicken. Season the chicken breasts with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Cook the chicken in the pan. Using a deep-sided skillet, add the olive and butter over medium heat. When hot, add the chicken and cook on each side until golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and place it on a plate. Cover the chicken to keep it warm, and set aside.
- Sauté the garlic. In the same skillet you used for the chicken, sauté the garlic, while scraping up any chicken bits left in the pan. Add the heavy cream, salt and pepper, and Italian seasoning, stirring to combine.
- Make the sauce. Bring the cream mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken and turn a little darker in color. Scrape up the bottom of the pan often with a wooden spoon.
- Finish the dish. Add the parmesan cheese and simmer. Then add the chicken back to the skillet and spoon a little sauce over the chicken. Serve immediately.
Tips for Success
We love this dish for its simplicity. Here are a few tips for making it even better:
- Use tenderized chicken. It makes such a difference in this dish. You can ask your butcher to do it for you, or you can do it yourself. Wrap the chicken in plastic wrap or place it in a sealable plastic bag, remove the air, and seal it shut. Then pound it thoroughly with a meat mallet or a rolling pin. When you fry the chicken, tenderizing it first will make it cook much quicker and turn out much more tender.
- Add more garlic. Instead of two minced garlic cloves, add as many as you like for more garlic flavor. Fresh garlic will give the most flavor as opposed to jarred garlic or garlic paste.
- Have everything prepped in advance. This is a recipe that cooks very quickly so make sure to have all of the ingredients needed ready to go before you start cooking.
- Use half and half. If you’d like to use half and half in place of the cream, go right ahead. Your sauce won’t be as heavy but it will still give a nice creamy base to this dish.
- Check chicken for doneness by using a meat thermometer. The chicken will be cooked through when it reaches 165°F on an instant read meat thermometer.
Here are a few classic ways to serve garlic chicken parmesan:
- On top of pasta, rice or mashed potatoes. This is the classic combination! I recommend going with some buttery noodles like our favorite Parmesan Butter Noodles over a red marinara sauced pasta. Our Best Mashed Potatoes or your favorite rice would be wonderful as well.
- Round out your plate with vegetables. I also love my Roasted Broccoli or Air Fryer Green Beans recipe (leave out the soy sauce if you find it to be too much of a flavor clash).
- Salad: Or a big green salad full of fresh vegetables would be perfect with the chicken along with some garlic bread. During the summer months, this light and fresh Cucumber Tomato Salad would also be great.
Storage and Reheating Options
Leftover garlic chicken parmesan stores well, making it easy to enjoy another time. Place leftover chicken and sauce in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To reheat, add a little cream, milk, or water to the sauce. The place in an oven-safe ish and heat in the oven on a low temperature until heated through.
What Can I Do With Leftover Chicken?
You can use up any leftover chicken in different ways rather than just simply reheating and eating. Try these ideas to repurpose leftovers in a new way.
- Add leftover chicken to pasta. Shred leftover parmesan chicken and tuck it into our Easy White Chicken Lasagna Rollups or Stuffed Shells with Spinach recipes.
- In a salad for extra protein. Add leftover chicken to a caesar salad to make it more filling. You could also sub parmesan chicken into my Mediterranean Quinoa Salad.
- As a sandwich. You can make a chicken parmesan sandwich by placing the chicken, along with its sauce, on lightly toasted pieces of French bread or a lightly toasted sandwich roll or bun.
Can I Freeze Leftover Chicken?
Absolutely, and we recommend it if you have lots leftover. Place chicken and sauce in a freezer-safe bag or container, place the bag in the freezer, and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to defrost it, place the chicken in the refrigerator overnight. Make sure to add a little cream, milk, or water to the sauce before heating it in the oven or microwave.
Garlic Parmesan Chicken
- 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- Slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise to create two thin chicken breast pieces. Place chicken on a cutting board and pound the chicken breast on both sides with a meat tenderizer.
- .Season breasts with garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
- .Using a deep sided skillet, add the olive and butter over medium heat. When the butter/oil mixture is hot, add the chicken and cook for about 4 minutes per side, until golden brown and chicken is cooked through and reaches 165°F. Remove the chicken and place on plate and cover to keep warm. Set aside.
- Using the same skillet, sauté the garlic for 30 seconds, scraping up any chicken bits left in the pan. Add the heavy cream, ½ teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and Italian seasoning, stirring to combine.
- .Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken and turn a little darker in color. (Make sure to scrape the pan with the spoon to get all the garlic and chicken that is on the bottom of the pan.)
- Add the parmesan cheese and simmer 1 more minute. Add chicken back to the skillet and add a little sauce over chicken. Serve immediately.
- Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To reheat, add a little cream, milk or water to the sauce. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Use tenderized chicken! It truly makes the biggest difference with this dish. I know I say that with almost every chicken dish but when frying chicken the thinner and more tenderized the breast the better the chicken will turn out. Plus, they cook much quicker! If you do not want to tenderize the breast yourself the butcher can do it for you. Just pick out thin sliced chicken breasts and take it to the butcher and ask them to tenderize it for you.
- If you are a true garlic lover like us add more! Using fresh garlic will give you the best true garlic flavor. Jarred garlic in oil (or the paste) is much more mild in flavor.
- This recipe cooks very quickly! Have all of the ingredients ready to go before you start cooking.
- You can use half and half in place of the heavy cream, your sauce will be a little less creamy, but still delicious!