It may look like it’s straight out of a restaurant, but this easy Creamy Basil Chicken recipe can be easily prepared and cooked at home. With bold flavors and an indulgent creamy sauce, it’s a low effort dish that’s sure to ‘wow’ your family, and is special enough to also be cooked for guests, perfect paired with some freshly cooked pasta/noodles and extra Parmesan.
I love to use juicy chicken thighs to make creamy basil chicken or really any creamy chicken recipe. If you prefer to use chicken breast then do as you please. However whatever you decide to do, remember, it’s important that you don’t skip out on searing the chicken thighs, as it helps to build both flavor and texture and gives it a crispy golden brown texture.
Basil has a beautifully fresh and aromatic flavor that compliments a wide variety of foods and is used frequently in Italian cuisine. For this basil chicken recipe, it helps to boost the flavor of the chicken. The basil is added to the creamy basil sauce. If you can’t find fresh basil you could use fresh parsley in its place, although naturally the overall taste will be very different.
Sun Dried Tomatoes
Tomato is the perfect partner to basil, and the intense flavor of the sun dried variety adds a little kick to this Creamy Basil Chicken recipe. I thought I grabbed a jar of sun dried tomatoes in oil but no. I actually used tomato bruschetta lol. Luckily I didn't add much. So you'll see both the tomato bruschetta and the sun dried tomatoes in the pictures. FYI, make sure you use the sun dried tomatoes in oil because it tastes better.
Cream adds a hint of indulgence to this creamy basil chicken, and also helps the basil sauce reach that lovely thick and creamy consistency. If you would prefer, you can use half and half instead, though the end result won’t be as creamy or taste the same.
In addition to heavy whipping cream, I also use chicken broth for flavor plus it cuts down on the richness of the heavy whipping cream. I like to use Better Than Bouillon (not sponsored).
Spices and Seasoning
The creamy chicken thighs gets a lot of flavor from the basil, parmesan and sun dried tomatoes, so the seasoning is kept simple with garlic and onion powder and salt and pepper. The cheese and tomatoes will add a bit of salt on their own, so if you are sensitive to salt you might prefer to add a little to start and taste as you go.
How to make creamy basil chicken
Creamy basil chicken is pretty easy to make and it's cheap! I love making one pan creamy chicken recipes because they usually involve one skillet and they pair well over egg noodles or fettuccini or mashed potatoes. Basil cream sauce drizzled over a baked potato is absolutely delicious too!
- Season both sides of the chicken.
- Saute the onions. Once translucent, add the garlic. Cook until fragrant.
- Over medium heat, sear both sides of the chicken.
- Drain the fat and use a paper towel to wipe the skillet down. Set chicken to the side
- In the same skillet used to cook the chicken, Add butter, heavy whipping cream, sun dried tomatoes and basil. Mix until the butter has melted. Simmer until the basil has wilted.
- Add the remaining seasonings. Season with salt and pepper. Add the parmesan cheese. Whisk for about 5 minutes or until the sauce is creamy. Return the chicken to the skillet and cook until the chicken is warmed throughout. Serve over pasta. Enjoy!
What to serve with creamy chicken thighs
There are several side favorites that's great with chicken thighs. Here are some suggestions.
As I mentioned above, baked potatoes (my favorite) Drizzle some of the sauce over a potato. So good!
Mashed potatoes or make it low carb and use cauliflower mash
Egg noodles or your favorite pasta.
Crusty Garlic bread
Spinach: You can also add it to the basil sauce and cook until it's wilted.
Creamy Basil Chicken
- Cast Iron or stainless steel skillet
- 1.5 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp red pepper
- 1 tsp salt and pepper for taste
Basil Cream Sauce
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup red onions chopped
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- ½ cup sun dried tomatoes drained
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- ¾ tsp reserved seasoning
- 10 basil leaves chiffonade
- pinch garlic powder
- pinch onion powder
- couple pinches crushed red pepper
- ¼ cup chicke broth I used Better Than Bouillon
- Add the seasoning to a small bowl and remove/reserve ¼ tsp. Use the seasoning in the bowl to season both sides of the chicken.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the onions. Saute for about 3-5 minutes or until onions are soft. Add the garlic and drained sun dried tomatoes. Cook until garlic is fragrant. Set to the side.
- In the the same skillet heat oil over medium high heat, add the remaining oil. Place chicken thighs in the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove chicken from the skillet and set to the side.
- Add the butter and. Reduce heat to medium low. Add heavy whipping cream and bring to a boil. Add the Parmesan cheese to the skillet and stir until the sauce has thickened slightly and is creamy.
- Add the remaining reserved seasoning. Season with a pinch of garlic, onion powder and crushed red peppers.
- Stir in basil. Taste and season to your preference with salt and pepper or more garlic and onion powder if needed. Simmer for a couple of minutes until the basil has wilted. Add the chicken back to the skillet. If necessary, cook until warmed throughout. Spoon the sauce over the top of chicken.
- I love to use juicy chicken thighs to make creamy basil chicken or really and creamy chicken recipes. If you prefer to use chicken breast then do as you please.
- I initially thought I grabbed a jar of sun dried tomatoes in oil but no. I actually used tomato bruschetta. Luckily I didn't add too much. So you'll see both the tomato bruschetta and the sun dried tomatoes in the pictures. FYI, make sure you use the sun dried tomatoes in oil because it tastes better.
- You can substitute chicken breast if you like.
- Use a cast iron or stainless steel skillet.
- Don't be afraid to add a bit more oil to the skillet with the chicken if necessary.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days.
- Read post for sides that pair well with creamy chicken thighs.
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