This Creamy Basil Chicken Skillet recipe makes a delicious one pan meal in 30 minutes! Just sear chicken cutlets and simmer in a butter, cream, basil and parmesan sauce.
Ingredients for this chicken skillet recipe
Skillet recipes are perfect for busy schedules because you can make everything in one pan and save time on dishes afterward.
This basil chicken dish combines fresh herbs and spices with a deliciously creamy sauce. Add a big helping of steamed broccoli for a healthy, balanced meal.
Even better, you only need a handful of ingredients and a little bit of prep work. Here's what you need on hand:
- olive oil
- chicken cutlets
- garlic cloves, minced
- sundried tomatoes
- salt & pepper
- heavy cream
- parmesan cheese
- fresh basil
- broccoli, chopped into florets
How to make basil chicken
Follow just a few steps and you have a meal that is easy to make and comes together quickly. Here's how you make this easy, creamy chicken dish:
- Add broccoli florets and water to a large bowl and microwave until tender. Drain the water and set broccoli aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet. Season the chicken cutlets and add to the pan.
- Sear on each side until browned. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Melt butter in the skillet, then add the minced garlic and sundried tomatoes. Sauté until garlic is fragrant.
- Pour in cream and bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Add parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper and stir until cheese is melted.
- Add fresh basil and cook until wilted. Place the chicken back in the skillet and coat with the sauce. Serve alongside the steamed broccoli.
This dish works best with chicken cutlets because they cook faster and more evenly. A chicken cutlet is just a chicken breast that has been cut in half and pounded to an even thickness.
You can buy them already prepared this way, or make your own from chicken breasts. Use a sharp knife to cut the chicken so it doesn’t tear.
Place your hand on top of the breast to hold it in place and run the knife through the breast lengthwise between your hand and the cutting board to get two even pieces.
Place the cutlets between two pieces of plastic wrap or in a sealable plastic bag. Use a mallet, rolling pin, or the bottom of a sturdy pan to pound until about ¼ inch thick.
To cut a head of broccoli into florets, hold the bunch on a cutting board with the stem facing up. Use a knife to make downward cuts, separating the florets from the center stem.
For larger florets, repeat the same steps, but don’t cut them all the way through. Once you’ve cut through most of the small stem, pull apart with your fingers so you don’t get buds everywhere.
If you have a particularly large floret, you can cut off part of the stem to help separate into smaller pieces.
Here are some suggestions for substitutions if you're looking to change up this skillet dish:
- Boneless chicken thighs can be used in place of the chicken cutlets.
- If you don’t have fresh garlic, minced garlic from a jar will work just as well.
- Use fresh herbs with this basil chicken recipe. The taste and texture of dry basil are very different from fresh and the dish won’t be the same.
- You can use half and half in place of the heavy cream if needed. Just know that the sauce won’t be as thick and creamy.
- Frozen broccoli florets are just as nutritious as fresh. You can steam them the same way as listed in the recipe, but it may take a few extra minutes to cook all the way through. Keep in mind, the texture won't be quite the same.
What to serve with basil chicken
Brown rice or quinoa are both delicious with creamy chicken dishes like this one. You could also serve it over pasta that has been drizzled with a little olive oil.
For a lower carb option, you can serve it with mashed cauliflower or cauliflower fried rice, or just leave it as is with the broccoli on the side.
Storing, freezing, and reheating instructions
This chicken skillet dish will last up to 4 or 5 days in the fridge. Store in airtight containers and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
You can also freeze the cooked chicken and sauce for up to 3 months. Use freezer-safe bags or lidded containers to store. You can freeze as one meal, or separate into individual portions.
If you’re making this ahead of time to freeze for later, leave out the broccoli and make it fresh when you’re ready to eat.
Thaw the chicken and sauce in the fridge overnight, then reheat on the stove or in the microwave until heated all the way through (usually takes a couple of minutes).
More delicious skillet recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning this recipe into your weekly lunches
- I get all my free-range chicken from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen
- Get a meat thermometer to make sure your chicken is cooked through
Creamy Basil Chicken Skillet
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb chicken cutlets (4 cutlets, or 2 chicken breasts sliced in half lengthwise)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
- 1/4 tsp salt & pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 cup basil, roughly chopped
- 1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over med-high heat. Season chicken cutlets with salt & pepper, then add to pan, searing on each side for 3-4 minutes until browned. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
- Meanwhile, add broccoli florets to a large bowl filled with water and microwave for 7-8 minutes. Drain water from broccoli and set aside.
- Add butter to the skillet, then add garlic and sundried tomatoes and saute for 30 seconds. Add cream, bringing to a boil, then stir in parmesan cheese and salt & pepper. Add basil leaves and cook for another 30 seconds until wilted, then add chicken back to skillet.
- Serve basil chicken alongside broccoli, garnishing with extra chopped basil and parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!