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20 Minute ‘Marry Me’ Chicken

Mar 17, 2023 | 5 comments

If you’re looking for a luxurious meal, perfect for weeknights or special occasions that only takes 20 minutes, this Marry Me chicken is it. Perfectly juicy chicken breasts are nestled into a creamy sauce, laced with zingy sundried tomatoes, and sharp parmesan and scattered with lots of fresh basil to make a truly gorgeous dish.

Chicken breasts in creamy sundried tomato sauce in a large white skillet.

Look, I know this has a silly name. The idea behind it is that it’s so good, that whoever you serve it to will want to propose marriage right after trying it! (It’s silly, I know). But seriously? It IS a very delicious, easy recipe that’s perfect for weeknights or special occasions.

Essentially, it’s chicken breasts in a gorgeously creamy sundried tomato and parmesan sauce, loaded with garlic, basil and thyme. It’s great to eat as is, served straight from the pan with fresh bread (I love using my no-knead focaccia, no-knead rosemary parmesan bread or soft flatbreads) to mop up that lovely sauce, or over rice, pasta, with mashed potatoes or roast potatoes, or with a fresh green salad or veggies.

Ingredients

There are no hard-to-find ingredients here – you’ll be able to pick up everything at a regular store.

Ingredients for marry me chicken laid out on a white marble background and labelled.
  • Chicken breasts. I am normally a chicken thigh girl, but this recipe really does celebrate and showcase how delicious chicken breast can be. That being said, you can use chicken thighs if you like – follow the same cooking instructions as in the recipe. I’m using boneless, skinless free-range chicken breasts here.
  • Sundried tomatoes. These little flavour bombs do a lot of work here – I like to use the oil from their jar in place of olive oil to add even more delicious flavour to the sauce, but you can definitely use regular olive oil.
  • Cream. Heavy (double) cream is best here – regular single cream is too runny and the sauce won’t thicken up.
  • Fish sauce. This is optional but highly recommended. It adds a gorgeous, savoury, umami hit of flavour that regular salt just won’t do. But if you don’t have it or don’t like it, you can leave it out.

OPTIONAL ADD-INS: I often like to stir through a couple of handfuls of spinach leaves right before adding the chicken back into the pan for an extra hit of veggies. You could also add chopped kale leaves or finely chopped broccoli.

How to make it

There are two ways you can prepare your chicken breasts so that they cook more quickly and evenly. Either slice them in half, lengthways, or you can pound them down with a mallet or rolling pin until they’re even. Sprinkle a little salt all over the chicken, then cook them for a couple of minutes on each side in a large, high-sided skillet.

The goal here is to develop a lovely golden crust – the chicken will finish cooking in the sauce later so it doesn’t need to cook through at this stage.

Remove the chicken from the pan, then add your garlic, cook for a few minutes, then add the sundried tomatoes, chicken broth, fish sauce, lemon juice, dried thyme, garlic and the chilli flakes (if you’re using them!). Stir for a minute, then pour in the cream, stir again, then scatter over the parmesan. Stir again, then simmer the sauce on low heat for 5 minutes, before adding the chicken back into the pan. Spoon lots of the lovely sauce all over the chicken and let it simmer for another 5 minutes, while the chicken cooks through.

PRO TIP: You can check your chicken is cooked either by using a probe thermometer, or you can cut into a thick piece to check the meat is white, rather than pink. If you’re using a thermometer, pierce the thickest part of the chicken and you want the thermometer to register 165F/75C.

I like to serve the chicken straight from the pan, with lots of fresh basil scattered over the top and a very good grind of black pepper.

Serve it with some lovely fresh bread or flatbreads (my easy no-knead focaccia or soft garlic flatbreads are great), rice, orzo, pasta or a fresh green salad.

Got a question?

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes! The recipe will keep well for 5 days, stored in a covered container in the fridge. You can reheat it gently on the stovetop (add a little splash of water to loosen the sauce up if it’s a bit thick after sitting in the fridge) or in 30-second intervals in the microwave.

Could I use chicken thighs?

You can – chicken thighs are a more forgiving cut because they’re juicier, so would work really well in this recipe.

What is a marry me dish?

Essentially, it’s chicken breasts cooked in a delicious, creamy sundried tomato sauce that is meant to be so good, it’ll inspire a marriage proposal from whoever tries it! Perhaps a silly concept, but fun nonetheless.

What can I serve with the chicken?

I love serving this with fresh bread like focaccia, or soft flatbreads to mop up all the delicious sauce, or you could serve it over rice, pasta or mashed potatoes, or with a fresh green salad or steamed green veggies (broccoli and spinach would be great).

Like this recipe? Here are more chicken favourites you might like

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below.

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Chicken breasts in creamy sundried tomato sauce in a large white skillet.

20 Minute ‘Marry Me’ Chicken


Description

If you’re looking for a luxurious meal, perfect for weeknights or special occasions that only takes 20 minutes, this marry me chicken is it. Perfectly juicy chicken breasts are nestled into a creamy sauce, laced with zingy sundried tomatoes, sharp parmesan and scattered with lots of fresh basil to make a truly gorgeous dish.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 400g (14oz) chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, drained
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 cup heavy (double) cream
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Cook the chicken. Pat your chicken breasts dry with a paper towel. To help them cook more evenly and quickly, slice each chicken breast down the middle, lengthways. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of salt all over them (I find using a bowl easiest for this). Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, high-sided skillet or frying pan. Add the chicken breasts, and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, until they’ve developed a lovely golden crust. Remove and place on a plate, loosely covered with foil.
  2. Make the sauce. Scrape any burnt bits off the pan, but keep the lovely chicken cooking juices in there. Reduce the heat to low, then add the crushed garlic and cook for a minute, until smelling fragrant. Add the chicken stock to deglaze the pan, then add sundried tomatoes, fish sauce (if you’re using it), lemon juice, dried thyme, garlic and chilli flakes (if you’re using them), and stir for another minute. Pour in the cream, and stir to combine. Add the parmesan and stir again. 
  3. Add the chicken to the sauce. Add the chicken back into the sauce, nestling each piece into the sauce and spooning it on top of each piece of chicken. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and let it simmer for another 5 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked through (if you have a meat thermometer, you’re looking for an internal temperature of 165F/70C). If you’re worried, you can cut into the centre to check.
  4. Garnish and serve. Top with the basil leaves and the rest of the parmesan, then divide between plates and serve.

Notes

INGREDIENT NOTES: You want to use heavy (double) cream here, regular single cream won’t thicken up as well in the pan. Use the oil from your sundried tomatoes in place of the olive oil if you like, I love to do that to amp up the flavour even more! I love the deep, savoury flavour the fish sauce brings, but you can leave it out if you like. I like to stir through a couple of handfuls of spinach leaves before adding the chicken sometimes, to add another vegetable.

SUBSTITUTIONS: Use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts if you like and you could swap the chicken stock for vegetable stock, or you could use water.

STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS: It will keep well for 5 days, stored in a covered container in the fridge. You can reheat it gently on the stovetop (add a little splash of water to loosen the sauce up if it’s a bit thick after sitting in the fridge) or in 30-second intervals in the microwave.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: This recipe is great eaten by itself, with fresh bread (try my easy no-knead focaccia or soft flatbreads), over rice, pasta or potatoes, or with a crispy green salad or steamed green veggies.

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: meat
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: mediterranean

Keywords: tuscan chicken, creamy chicken

Welcome!

I’m Kate, the creator behind Dished. I love creating flavour packed, simple (ish) recipes for you, designed for every day and special occasions.

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5 Comments

  1. Magda

    Simply delicious! If you’re not a true lover of fish sauce do skip/reduce the amount – I found the taste of it to be quite prominent

    Reply
    • Kate Alexandra

      So pleased you enjoyed it Magda! Ha, yes, fish sauce can be a bit love or hate so totally get that

      Reply
  2. Annie

    So quick and easy like you say, kids loved it too

    Reply
    • Kate Alexandra

      So pleased you enjoyed it Annie! And lovely to hear it went well down with the kids 🙂

      Reply
  3. Caitlin

    made this tonight, made some pasta to go with it and it was so good

    Reply

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