Garlic Parmesan Chicken

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chicken breasts in a creamy brown sauce with a green garnish on top

Credit: Kelli Foster

There’s a really good reason boneless chicken breast is a staple in my weekly meal plan: It is just so darn versatile. There is almost nothing this mild-mannered meat can’t do. Yet, for all of the sheet pan, skillet, and slow cooker chicken recipes I rely on, there’s one dish I make more than any other: this garlic Parmesan chicken.

Here, a few boneless, skinless chicken breasts are pounded thin, seared in a skillet, then simmered in a quick, luxuriously creamy sauce studded with lots of garlic and grated Parm. Best of all, it comes together with basic ingredients and hits the table in just over 30 minutes. Talk about a weeknight win.

What Is Garlic Parmesan Sauce Made of?

The garlic Parmesan sauce is thick, creamy, and packed with a mellow aroma of garlic and shallot. It’s what makes this chicken skillet so irresistible. Best of all, it comes together quickly with just a handful of basic ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Garlic
  • Shallot 
  • Half-and-half or whole milk
  • Low-sodium chicken broth

What Cut of Chicken Should I Use for Garlic Parmesan Chicken?

Boneless, skinless chicken breast is our top pick for garlic Parmesan chicken. When pounded to 1/2-inch thickness, this lean cut cooks up incredibly fast.

How to Serve Garlic Parmesan Chicken

The sauce is the very best part of this dish, so you’ll want to serve something like crusty bread, rice, couscous, or potatoes to mop up every last drop of sauce on your plate. Here are a few of our favorite sides.

The garlic Parmesan sauce is thick, creamy and packed with a mellow aroma of garlic and shallot.

Ingredients

  • 1

    small shallot

  • 6 cloves

    garlic

  • 1 ounce

    Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 firmly packed cup grated on a Microplane or 1/3 cup store-bought)

  • A few sprigs

    fresh parsley

  • 4

    boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1 cup

    half-and-half or whole milk

  • 1/2 cup

    low-sodium chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Finely dice 1 small shallot and mince 6 garlic cloves. Finely grate 1 ounce Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 packed cup). Pick the leaves from a few freshly parsley sprigs and finely chop until you have 2 tablespoons.

  2. Place 1 of the boneless, skinless chicken breasts inside a gallon zip-top bag. Use the flat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin and pound until 1/2-inch thick. Repeat with the remaining 3 chicken breasts. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season all over with 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 10-inch or larger skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add 2 of the chicken breasts and sear until deeply browned, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

  4. Reduce the heat to medium and melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in the skillet. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

  5. Add 1 cup half-and-half or whole milk, 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a maintain simmer. Add the Parmesan and stir to combine. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened and the chicken is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with the parsley before serving.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Kelli Foster

Senior Contributing Food Editor

Kelli is a Senior Contributing Food Editor for Kitchn. She’s a graduate of the French Culinary Institute and author of the cookbooks, Plant-Based Buddha Bowls, The Probiotic Kitchen, Buddha Bowls, and Everyday Freekeh Meals. She lives in New Jersey.

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