This high-protein, low-carb Smothered Creamy Skillet Chicken is mouth-wateringly delicious and comes together in one skillet! It’s a delicious, easy dish that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Why you should make this recipe
As the name suggests, this dish is smothered with delicious, creamy flavors and thickened with our low-calorie friend, cashew milk (hi, 25 calories per serving, nice to meet you). And the lovely sauce keeps the chicken from drying out while it cooks!
I don’t know about you, but skillet meals have got to be my favorite. All that sizzle, smelling each flavor developing into one incredible sauce, and the gently-glazed sear that each ingredient acquires in that skillet bath.
Aren’t those magic words for any busy person looking for a delicious, quick meal?
Gather 10 basic ingredients and you’re halfway to making a delicious one-pan meal. This smothered creamy skillet chicken recipe starts with chicken breasts, followed by a handful of veggies, pungent seasonings, and creamy add-ins.
- Chicken breasts: boneless and skinless chicken breasts are best; a one-pound pack typically has 2 breasts which are perfect for this recipe; boneless skinless chicken thighs will work too but keep in mind they have more fat on them.
- Garlic: four large cloves of garlic, minced.
- Green onion: also commonly called scallions or spring onions.
- Low sodium chicken broth: vegetable broth will work too.
- Mushrooms: white button mushrooms or Baby Bella both work great.
- Sweet bell peppers: about 7-8 mini bell peppers or one large bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow).
- Unsweetened cashew milk: another dairy-free milk will work but unsweetened cashew milk is extraordinarily creamy and adds great richness to this skillet meal.
- Greek yogurt: look for low-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt; this adds extra protein and creaminess.
- Cream cheese: or mascarpone cheese for extra rich texture.
- Parsley: flat-leaf Italian parsley or curly parsley
- Spinach: baby spinach is conveniently triple-washed and ready to be used in recipes like this skillet meal.
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
One-pan skillet meals are an easy way to have a delicious dinner on the table quickly. Besides a little chopping and mixing, most of this recipe will come together right on the stove.
Step 1: Add a little bit of olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat.
Step 2: Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then add them to the skillet. Sauté for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and almost cooked through, then set aside.
Step 3: Lower the heat and add the remainder of the olive oil to the same pan.
Step 4: Add minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
Step 5: Add sliced green onions and half of the broth. Increase the heat to medium.
Step 6: Add sliced mushrooms and sliced peppers, bringing everything to a gentle simmer. Cook for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.
Step 7: In a small bowl, whisk together the cashew milk, Greek yogurt, and half of the chopped parsley. Add it to the skillet mixture.
Step 8: Add spinach and stir until combined.
Step 9: Gently simmer the creamy vegetable sauce on low heat and stir occasionally for approximately 5 minutes.
Step 10: Nestle chicken breasts into the skillet. Add remaining broth and cream cheese or mascarpone, then cook uncovered for 5-10 more minutes until chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
Step 11: Season with salt and pepper and top with remaining parsley. Serve warm.
Easy to make with minimal clean-up yet it’s healthy and so delicious. This dish is pretty much perfect if you ask me!
As mentioned already, skillet meals are generally a very easy way to get healthy food on the table quickly. This smothered chicken recipe is no different. But here are some tips that may make it even easier:
- Brown the chicken: when sauteeing the chicken, don’t be tempted to flip it prematurely. The golden brown crust on the surface of the chicken breast is what gives it great flavor. It should release naturally when that crust has formed properly.
- Thicken the sauce: At only 25 calories per serving, unsweetened cashew milk is a great low-fat option to help thicken the sauce. If using other nut milk, you may want to bump up the Greek yogurt or cream cheese/mascarpone cheese to make the dish nice and creamy.
- Smother but don’t overcook: Chicken breasts are easy to overcook making them dry and rubbery. When cooking them in the sauce, keep a close eye on them and check for an internal temperature of 165˚F (74˚C) with an instant-read meat thermometer. In fact, you can take them off the heat at 160˚F and they will continue to cook using residual heat.
Don’t feel like chicken breast is the only option here! Fish would pair wonderfully with these flavors if you find yourself craving seafood. Or, if you’re looking for a meatless route, tofu would be a great option as well.
Feel free to switch up the protein as well as the vegetables to make this skillet meal your own!
We always have bell peppers or sweet baby peppers on hand these days, which is why I decided to include them in this dish.
But if you prefer to keep things a bit simpler, you can omit the peppers and double up on the spinach and mushrooms! That would make a lovely creamy chicken and mushroom dinner.
When it comes to green onions, I personally love the color and flavor they add. However, red onions make a great caramelized addition as well.
Skillet meals are versatile and can easily be modified to fit your lifestyle and clean out your refrigerator!
This smothered chicken breast recipe is delicious by itself. The luscious vegetable-packed sauce adds great flavor, variety, and nutrition.
Leftover skillet chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
You may notice that the flavor becomes richer the next day. As it sits in the fridge overnight, the sauce has a chance to really meld and deepen, making for a delicious ready-to-go meal later in the week.
To reheat, gently heat in a small covered skillet over medium-high heat until warmed through.
A serving of this smothered chicken recipe is just 216 calories and a whopping 29 grams of protein and only 6 grams of net carbs. This easy meal is a great choice for those with diabetes or who need to keep their carbs low.
To keep the fat content low, be sure to use low-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt and cream cheese.
Furthermore, this creamy chicken skillet is packed with vitamin and mineral-rich vegetables like mushrooms, spinach, and bell peppers. The chicken broth and creamy add-ins like cashew milk and Greek yogurt further provide extra benefits.
Frequently asked questions
Cooking chicken on the stove is dependent on several variables. The thickness of the chicken breast will determine how long to cook it. For thick chicken breasts, you want to cook the chicken for 6-8 minutes on each side. If smothered in a sauce like in this recipe, you don’t need to flip the chicken.
The best way to avoid overcooked and dry chicken is to cook the chicken just until there is no more pink and the juices run clear. The most accurate way to check for doneness in chicken is by inserting an instant-read meat thermometer in the thickest part and when it registers 165˚F (74˚C), the chicken is done cooking.
For this recipe, it is not necessary to cover the skillet. However, if the chicken breasts are extraordinarily thick, you may want to trap some of that heat in the skillet by covering it so the breasts cook thoroughly.
More low-carb, high-protein chicken recipes
At Diabetes Strong, we’re all about healthy, low-carb, high-protein recipes. If you enjoyed this one, be sure to check out a few more of our favorites!
- Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Breast with Cream Cheese
- Mustard Baked Chicken Tenders
You can also browse my roundup of healthy diabetic chicken recipes to find your next favorite recipe!
When you’ve tried this dish, please don’t forget to let me know how you liked it and rate the recipe in the comments below!
Smothered Creamy Skillet Chicken
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 6 stalks green onions (also make be called scallions or spring onions) sliced
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 8 ounces white button mushrooms chopped
- 7-8 mini sweet bell peppers sliced
- 1 cup unsweetened cashew milk (or almond milk)
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley finely chopped
- 4 cups fresh spinach
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese or mascarpone cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add one teaspoon of olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat.2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then add them to the skillet. Sauté for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and almost cooked through, then set aside.1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Lower the heat and add the remainder of the olive oil to the same pan.
- Add minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.4 cloves garlic
- Add sliced green onions and half of the broth. Increase the heat to medium.6 stalks green onions (also make be called scallions or spring onions), 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- Add sliced mushrooms & sliced peppers, bringing everything to a gentle simmer. Cook for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.8 ounces white button mushrooms, 7-8 mini sweet bell peppers
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cashew milk, Greek yogurt, and half of the chopped parsley. Add it to the skillet mixture.1 cup unsweetened cashew milk, 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt, 2 teaspoons fresh parsley
- Add spinach and stir to combine.4 cups fresh spinach
- Gently simmer the creamy vegetable sauce on low heat and stir occasionally for approximately 5 minutes.
- Nestle chicken breasts into the skillet. Add remaining broth and cream cheese or mascarpone, then cook uncovered for 5-10 more minutes until chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened.1 tablespoon cream cheese or mascarpone cheese
- Season with salt and pepper and top with remaining parsley. Serve warm.salt and pepper