Made with a cream sauce that's actually healthy!
Chicken breasts. They so easily become the same uninspiring, flavorless, last-minute resort, piece of poultry. That’s a lot of rather harsh adjectives, I know. This seared Chicken Breasts with our Mushroom Cream Sauce combines fresh thyme, fragrant mushrooms and your own cream sauce to make an incredible chicken dish which could be serve over brown rice or mashed potatoes. Once you taste the rich blend of cream sauce and these umami mushrooms, you’ll never be able to go back to canned sauces.
How To Get The Tender-est of Tender Chicken Breasts
This is where chicken breast dishes often fall flat. Compared to other cuts of chicken, the breast doesn’t offer that much flavor really. For this chicken and mushroom recipe, cooking your chicken properly to ensure only the tender-est of results takes on a new level of importance. First, pat dry your chicken with kitchen towell. If you have the time, let it sit out of the refrigerator for twenty minutes. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. This will help form a crust.
Let’s get controversial. When you’re ready to start cooking, heat up your pan and add olive oil to the chicken itself and not to the pan. This is what some chefs say at least. Place chicken into the dry pan and leave it alone for 4-5 minutes. Your chicken will tell you when it wants to be turned by releasing from the pan easily. If it is not releasing from the pan easily then it isn’t ready. Alternatively, coat your whole pan with olive oil and cook each side of the breast for 1 minute on high until it’s golden on the bottom.
Searing your breast and only covering it with lid once the chicken has been browned is important so that meat’s juices are sealed in, ensuring a tender finish. Browning your meat first will also give you that lovely crisped, caramel exterior. After 20 minutes, the first sign that your chicken is fully cooked is that if you cut into it, the juices will run clear.
Looking for more classic chicken recipes? We got you. Check out this Chicken Florentine Casserole or this Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken. What about this Slow Cooker Chicken Chili?
Wonder Why Most Cream Sauces Taste So Good At Restaurants?
Butter and salt. That’s it. It’s a well known chef secret that these two additions are what make sauces feel so indulgent. While I do not refute that butter, salt, and full-fat cream make incredible sauces, they often leave me feeling bloated. Heavy cream can also overpower the subtler nuances of the other ingredients. In this recipes, we wanted the earthy mushrooms and fresh thyme to really shine. I also don’t always want to reschedule my whole afternoon because my lunch has sent me into a food-induced couch coma.
Although we haven’t included this in the recipe, let me first share with you my secret addition to these kinds of creamy sauces. Instead of adding butter, achieve that level of indulgence with a swig of cognac. After preparing your cream sauce, add 1/4 cup of cognac. Allow to simmer for a few minutes before serving. White wine also works with the advantage of being a lovely pairing when you sit down to eat this Chicken and Mushroom Cream Sauce. Want that acidity but don’t have any alcohol? A squeeze of lemon also works fantastically to cut through the sauce’s creaminess.
Next up, the mushrooms. White, brown, portobello, cremini, oyster, shiitake or porcini – the world is your oyster… mushroom. Oh dear. My point is use what you have, use what you can find. If you only have access to one variety like the baby bella mushrooms we have suggested, that works too. One crucial point regarding the sliced mushrooms. Do not salt them yet, I repeat, do not salt them. Adding salt prematurely will prevent your mushroom from browning up all lovely in your pan.
Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Cream Sauce
- 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cups baby bella mushrooms sliced, optional cremini or button mushrooms
- 1/2 cup onions diced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 2 tablespoons thyme leaves fresh, chopped
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Using a meat tenderizer, pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness.
- Salt and pepper both sites of each chicken breast.
- Place a sauté pan with one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Make sure the bottom of the whole pan is coated with the olive oil. Add the chicken breasts. Cook for 1 minute until golden on the bottom. Turn the breasts over and reduce heat to low.
- Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for 10 minutes (check time). Do not remove the lid while cooking. After 10 minutes, remove the pan from the heat, still covered, and allow to sit for 10 additional minutes.
- Make sure there is no pink in the middle of the breasts or that a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F when inserted in the center. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside, covered to stay warm. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and mushrooms and onions to the pan and increase heat to medium.
- Allow mushrooms and onions to cook 5 to 8 minutes until the water releases from the mushrooms and evaporates. Whisk in two tablespoons flour and allow to cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.
- Add in the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Add milk and broth, whisk until smooth. Cook just until sauce has thickened.
- Place chicken on serving plate. Pour sauce over the chicken and serve.
Have you made this recipe?
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I loved this recipe, but, I did change a few things to keep it as diet-friendly as possible. I used tapioca flour instead of plain flour, added 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese, a nice handful of fresh spinach and then added just a bit of chicken broth to thin it down and give it some extra flavor. Tasty!
Thanks for sharing, Shannon! We’re happy you enjoyed the recipe!
Sounds amazing – could you add white wine?
Silvana, I would try using white wine in place of milk. I haven’t tried it yet but it should work fine. Keep us posted! 🙂
Can you freeze the leftovers?
Bronwyn, Just be sure to let it thaw in the fridge before reheating.
I just made this for dinner. It was delicious ! My husband asked for the leftovers for lunch tomorrow ! Thanks
Melissa, Great! Thanks for the feedback. 🙂
Made this for dinner it is absolutely delicious will keep this one in the recipe box Yum yum
Has anyone tried the wine instead of milk?
Thank for your question, Lee!
You can use wine in the this recipe instead of milk. Substitute 1/4 cup white wine and 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth instead of the milk. However, this would no longer be a cream sauce. If you’d like to keep it creamy, stir in a few tablespoons of Greek yogurt once the wine and broth are hot!
Just made this and wasn’t sure what to expect because I do not cook well haha turned out delicious though!
Glad you enjoyed the recipe!
I will be trying this for sure.
Great! Let us know what you think. 🙂
My sauce came out very different. Much thicker and darker but very delicious!
Made this lovely dish the other with just two changes. Instead of thyme, I used fresh parsley (1/3 cup) and instead of milk I used fresh cream. Served it with coucous… Enjoyed every bit of it.
Cindy, Thank you so much for the tips and feedback. 🙂
How long should this take to cook?
Hi Jean, the whole recipe should take about 25 to 30 minutes. Personally, when I try a new recipe I give myself a little extra time. Just in case!
OMG I made this tonight and my son and I LOVE it. Wonderful recipe just as it is. We didn’t even add any rice or noodles so kept carbs low. Thank you for sharing this ♡♡♡
Hi Wendy, Thank you so much for letting us know. Keep the feedback coming… 🙂
Has anyone tried this in a crockpot? I’d like to dump everything in the crockpot and go! Any tips?
Kris, If you decide to try this recipe in the slow cooker, I would cook on low about 6 hours.
I would like to try this recipe. I don’t have fresh thyme, but I do have dried. For 2 tbsp of fresh thyme should I use 2 tsp or 1 tbsp of dried thyme? Also, should I let it soak in the milk beforehand for 10 minutes or more to bring out the flavor? Thank you!
Laura, For every tablespoon of a fresh herb, use one teaspoon dried. Soaking thyme in milk for 10 minutes works to bring out the flavor. 🙂
sorry if this is dumb, but after you take out the chicken from the pan do you keep the oil and drippings in there? Or pour it out before going onto the next step with the mushroms and onions
Great question, Melissa! You can leave the drippings in the pan to cook the mushrooms and onions. If you don’t want to or if there is a lot of drippings and you’re worried about your sauce being too watery you can pour some of the drippings out.
Can you use skim milk?
Tina, Gravys and Sauces do better with a little fat. You can try it with skim but 1 or 2% might work better. 🙂
Interesting that this was 7 points no mention how many oz of chicken for that point value. Would like to know the size .
Judy, The chicken used for this recipe was approximately 4 ounces per breast.
I am making this for my wife this week. It looks great!
Kevin, Keep us posted. 🙂
Made this tonight and it was delicious! Thanks for sharing.
Has anyone tried almond milk in place of regular milk?
I tried this today and added a little chilli powder to suit our Indian palate and also added chopped parsley for a little freshness and colour.
So Good. My husband request that it goes in our dinner rotation every week lol. Next week i will cook fish with this sauce. Very tasty!
Can I use almond milk instead of regret milk?
Using almond milk should work out, Karen.
If I’m on 21 day fix can someone tell me what my containers would be counted as
Michele, I’m not familiar enough with the 21 day fix to say what the containers would count as.
Great recipes…especially the gravy. I used heavy cream and a dash of soy sauce.
Making this for lunch smells yummy! Do you know how many calories are in this recipie?
Amber, 315 calories per serving and there are 4 servings total. 🙂
Is this ok for a Mediterrian diet. Thanks
Sherrill, Maybe use coconut milk instead of dairy.
I thought this was good, however, both my husband and I thought it was on the salty side, and I had only added half the salt called for in the gravy. I think if I made it again, I wouldn’t salt the chicken, and still only use half the salt in the gravy.
Julie, Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.
Oh. My. Goodness. This was amaaaazing! Hubby doesn’t like onions or mushrooms, so had to make 2 separate batches at the same time. My chicken (boobs as I call them) were very large, so I had to flatten them out quite a bit & cook them 2 at a time. I used heavy cream & 2% milk for the sauce. Cooking the chicken the way you did in this recipe is a new one for me, but worked fabulously! I LOVE this recipe! Saved it in my Pins. Thanks for such a wonderfule meal!
I have been looking to make a dish just like this, and I cannot wait to try this recipe!
Make sure to let us know how the recipe turns out for you!
Not sure if I’m reading this wrong but the recipe says 3 tablespoons of oil and I see only 2 are used??? Please advise.
Debbi, I corrected the instructions to read, “Remove chicken from the pan and set aside, covered to stay warm. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, mushrooms and onions to the pan and increase heat to medium”. So, there is a total of 3 tablespoons. I apologize for the confusion. 🙂
Can I use almond flour instead of all purpose flour?
Tammy, All purpose flour works as a thickener in this recipe. Almond flour does not work well to thicken sauce or gravy. Corn starch would work.
So.. totally not trying to be mean, but as a personal chef this recipe did not turn out as planned. I think by adding 1 cup of chicken broth after adding the flour and water it made the sauce thin out. When I followed the recipe the sauce tasted like flour and was way too thick. definitely needed to be reduced. Long story short the recipe it great if you want thinner sauce add a 1 cup of chicken broth and reduce until creamy.
Elaine, So I read your comment and decided to slightly tweak the recipe. It’s not clear if you meant to add 1 cup of broth in addition to the milk or by itself. However, I decided to do 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup broth. For me, that was perfect! I prefer creamy gravy over a thinner one. This turned out to be the best combination.
Thanks for you comment. 🙂