Creamy Garlic Chicken is the ultimate healthy comfort food. Chicken breasts are quickly pan-fried then cooked in a garlicky cream sauce that you would NEVER guess is dairy-free. We throw in some spinach for a veggie boost and serve the sauce spooned over mashed potatoes or low-carb mashed cauliflower. Either way, it is delicious!

A close up of creamy garlic chicken in a pan with lots of wilted spinach and cream sauce.

Winner winner creamy chicken dinner! 

5 reasons this creamy garlic chicken is extra special

  1. The flavorful creamy sauce that begs to be poured over mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower.
  2. Garlic. I know it's right in the title, but you need to know that this recipe is for garlic lovers. If you're the kind of cook who doubles up the garlic on all the recipes you make, then I promise you that this one won't disappoint.
  3. Tender chicken breasts that stay juicy by being poached in the creamless cream sauce.
  4. No heavy cream/ whipping cream here. This super creamy sauce is cashew-based so we can feel good about eating lots of it.
  5. In just 30 minutes, you'll have dinner on the table and you're family will be singing your praises. Win!
A pan of garlic chicken in a saucy dairy-free cream sauce with lots of spinach.

How to make this garlic chicken recipe

This easy recipe is quick on time and high on flavor. Put some potatoes or rice in a pot before you start cooking so everything is ready at the same time.

  1. Season the chicken breasts then sear them until they're lightly browned before setting them aside.
  2. Fry some whole garlic cloves (yes, whole!) until they're golden. Now add some minced garlic (yes, more garlic) to the pan and cook it for a moment. Add some chicken stock and let it simmer until the garlic is nice and soft.
  3. Pop the chicken back into the pan and pour in the cashew cream. ← Nothing fancy here. Just a little cashew butter and water mixed together!
  4. Simmer for a few minutes then add the spinach to the pan and your creamy garlic chicken dinner is ready.
Cashew cream being poured into a pan of seared chicken breasts.

How to make a creamy garlic sauce for chicken without cream

If you think that it's not possible to have luscious creamy sauce without using cream, think again. Cashews are the secret to creating healthy cream sauces. You can either blend raw cashews in a high powered blender or you can mix cashew butter with some water.

You want the consistency of cashew cream to mimic real cream as it will thicken a little as it cooks.

A few other favorite cashew cream sauce recipes:

A white plate with buttery mashed potatoes and the garlic chicken on the side with lots of the garlic cream sauce poured over the top.

What to serve with garlic chicken

If you serve this chicken over mashed or riced cauliflower, it becomes a complete meal. If you're feeling a little hungrier, serve it over basmati rice or mashed potatoes with a salad on the side. I love it with my Bacon Kale Caesar Salad.

Other veggie sides that go great with this chicken are:

A close up of a wooden spoon lifting a piece of creamy garlic chicken out of the pan.

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Creamy Chicken Recipes

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A close up of a wooden spoon lifting a piece of creamy garlic chicken out of the pan.

Creamy Garlic Chicken with Spinach

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Creamy Garlic Chicken is the ultimate healthy comfort food. Chicken breasts are quickly pan-fried then cooked in a garlicky cream sauce that you would NEVER guess is dairy-free. We throw in some spinach for a veggie boost and serve the sauce spooned over mashed potatoes or low-carb mashed cauliflower. Either way, it is delicious!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon each: garlic powder, onion powder, and sea salt
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut in half horrizontally (so that you have 4 thin chicken breasts)
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • 1 head of garlic (see notes)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup cashew cream (see below)
  • 3 cups baby spinach or baby kale

Cashew Cream


Instructions

  1. Sprinkle the garlic powder, onion powder, and salt over both sides of the chicken breasts.
  2. Heat the 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Sear the seasoned chicken breasts until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan.
  3. Lower the heat to medium and add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan. Set aside 2 garlic cloves then add all the remaining garlic cloves (whole) to the pan. Cook them for about 3 minutes, or until they start to look golden. Mince the 2 garlic cloves you set aside, add them to the pan, and let them cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock to the pan and simmer the garlic for 5 mintues.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, mix the cashew butter with the water to make the cashew cream.
  5. Add the chicken back into the pan and pour the cashew cream around it. Simmer, covered, for 7-8 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Add the spinach and let it wilt.

Notes

This is garlicky chicken! If you'd like a more subtle garlic flavor, omit the whole cloves and simply use 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced.

If the cream sauce starts to look a little too thick before the chicken has finished cooking, add a splash of water.

Pair with steamed basmati rice or cauliflower rice

Perfect basmati rice in a pot.cauliflower rice in a pan with a wooden spoon.

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Creamy Garlic Chicken in a pan with the recipe title on top of the picture.