Creamy Chipotle Chicken

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If you’re looking for a recipe to excite those taste buds, this easy Creamy Chipotle Chicken with cilantro will do the trick! You’ll love these juicy, pan-seared chicken breasts flavored with a spicy sauce made of chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, and heavy cream.

Image of cooked chicken breasts in a skillet with creamy chipotle sauce and cilantro.


Jump right into the spicy and smoky flavors of the Southwest with this creamy and easy chipotle chicken recipe. It’s all about mixing up a bit of chipotle pepper with some everyday kitchen staples like cream, butter, shallots, and garlic. The result is a knockout sauce that takes chicken from ordinary to extraordinary!

This recipe lands somewhere on the spicy spectrum, but you’ve got the reins when it comes to heat. Starting with a single chopped chipotle pepper and a teaspoon of its adobo sauce is my go-to for achieving that perfect kick of moderate spiciness. For those who prefer a milder taste, though, consider dialing down the chipotle and adobo sauce to about a quarter teaspoon or even less and adjust to your liking. Whether you’re all in for the heat or just a hint, you can make this creamy cilantro chicken uniquely yours.

Recipe Ingredients

It’s time to get into the heart of my chipotle chicken recipe with a list of ingredients that will transform simple chicken breasts into a creamy, spicy deliciousness!

  • Chicken: This recipe uses 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1/2-inch thick. You can also substitute about six boneless, skinless chicken thighs, opened out flat.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: A simple seasoning to flavor the chicken.
  • Olive Oil: For sauteing. I don’t recommend using extra virgin olive oil for sauteing, but vegetable oil is okay to use.
  • Shallots and Garlic: Mince or finely chop the shallots, and mince the garlic or put it through a garlic press.
  • Broth: I use low-sodium chicken broth, but you can definitely substitute vegetable broth, homemade broth, or even bone broth.
  • Heavy Cream: You can use half-and-half if you don’t have heavy cream. The final texture and flavor will be slightly less creamy and rich.
  • Butter: You’ll need 1 tablespoon butter, cut up into several cubes. Salted or unsalted is fine, just be careful not to over salt the dish if you use salted butter.
  • Fresh Cilantro: 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish.
  • Canned/Jarred Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce: You’ll need 1 chipotle pepper from the jar or can, finely chopped, plus the optional teaspoon of adobo sauce.

How To Make Creamy Chipotle Chicken

If you’re ready to taste something seriously fantastic, follow these steps to create a creamy chicken recipe full of flavor. From seasoning the chicken to creating a rich and spicy sauce, here’s how to make this dish a homemade meal.

  1. Season and Cook the Chicken. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and then heat some olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add chicken to the hot oil, and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  2. Saute the Aromatics and Add the Chicken Broth. Set the skillet back over medium-high heat, and add in the rest of the oil. Stir in the chopped shallots and garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Then add the chicken broth; stir and scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  3. Reduce the Sauce and Add the Cream and Butter. Bring the sauce to a boil. Allow it to boil gently for 10 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced to about 1/3 cup. Then, reduce the heat and whisk in the heavy cream, followed by the butter cubes, one at a time. Whisk well after every cube of butter so that it incorporates completely into the sauce.
  4. Flavor the Sauce and Add the Chicken. Stir in the tablespoon of chopped fresh cilantro, the chopped chipotle pepper, and adobo sauce (if using). Taste the sauce for salt and pepper and adjust accordingly. When the sauce is complete, add the chicken breasts back into the pan. Remove from the heat, garnish, and serve with lime wedges.
Side shot of chicken breasts in creamy chipotle sauce.

Recipe Tips

  • Season chicken breasts after patting dry: I always season my chicken before putting it in the pan. But if you try sprinkling seasoning on moist chicken right out of the packaging, much of it may fall off or slide off. Try patting the chicken with paper towels before seasoning, to remove some of the excess moisture.
  • Make sure your chicken pieces are the same size: When cooking chicken breasts in a skillet, you can get the most juicy and tender results by using fillets that aren’t too thick. I recommend using ½ inch thick breast fillets for this dish. If yours are too thick, try butterflying them open, or pounding with a mallet or the underside of a heavy jar until they’re the correct thickness.
  • Give the chicken time to cook before flipping: Another good tip for cooking juicy, well-browned chicken breast is to place it in the hot pan and then leave it. Don’t try to turn it, move it, or wiggle it in the pan until it’s actually time to cook the other side. Placing it in the hot oil and leaving it alone helps the chicken to cook evenly and not stick to the pan.

Serving Suggestions

I love starting off a spicy chicken meal like this with a fun appetizer, followed by a salad, and served with a starch.

Overhead shot of sliced chicken breasts in skillet with creamy sauce.

Proper Storage

  • To refrigerate: Store the leftover chicken along with the sauce in an airtight container. This chicken will keep for up to 3 days. (It’s not recommended to freeze this dish, because the cream sauce will separate and become grainy after thawing.)
  • To reheat: Place leftover chicken and sauce in a covered skillet over medium heat, and cook until just heated through.

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4.94 from 16 votes

Creamy Chipotle Chicken Recipe

My chipotle chicken is a delicious and easy chicken breast recipe starring a creamy, spicy sauce with chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, and fresh cilantro.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 4 (about 1 pound) ‌ ‌boneless‌ ‌skinless chicken breasts,, ‌about‌ ‌1/2-inch‌ ‌thick‌ ‌
  • salt‌ ‌and‌ ‌fresh‌ly ‌ground‌ ‌black‌ ‌pepper,, ‌ ‌to‌ ‌taste‌ ‌
  • 2 tablespoons ‌olive‌ ‌oil,, ‌ ‌divided‌ ‌
  • 3 cloves ‌ ‌shallots,, ‌ ‌finely‌ ‌chopped
  • 2 cloves ‌garlic,, ‌ ‌minced‌ ‌
  • 1 cup ‌low‌ ‌sodium‌ ‌chicken‌ ‌broth‌ ‌
  • ½ cup heavy‌ ‌cream‌ ‌
  • 1 to 2 ‌‌tablespoons‌ butter,, ‌ ‌cut‌ ‌up‌ ‌into‌ ‌several‌ ‌cubes‌ ‌
  • 1 ‌‌tablespoon‌ ‌chopped‌ ‌fresh‌ ‌cilantro,, ‌ ‌plus‌ ‌more‌ ‌for‌ ‌garnish‌ ‌
  • 1 ‌ ‌chipotle‌ ‌chile‌ ‌pepper‌ ‌in‌ ‌adobo‌ ‌sauce,, ‌ ‌finely‌ ‌chopped‌ ‌
  • 1 teaspoon ‌adobo‌ ‌sauce,, ‌ ‌(optional‌)
  • fresh lime wedges, , for serving
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  • Pound the chicken breasts to about a 1/2-inch thickness, then season‌ them ‌with‌ ‌salt‌ ‌and‌ ‌pepper.‌ ‌
  • Heat‌ ‌1-½‌ ‌tablespoons‌ ‌olive‌ ‌oil‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌large‌ ‌skillet‌ ‌set‌ ‌over‌ ‌medium-high‌ ‌heat.‌ ‌
  • Add‌ ‌the chicken‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌hot‌ ‌oil‌ ‌and‌ ‌cook‌ ‌for‌ ‌5‌ ‌to‌ ‌6‌ ‌minutes‌ ‌per‌ ‌side,‌ ‌or‌ ‌until‌ ‌cooked‌ ‌through‌ ‌and‌ ‌no‌ ‌longer‌ ‌pink.‌ ‌Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness; the chicken is cooked through when its internal temperature registers at 165˚F. Remove‌ ‌the chicken from‌ ‌the skillet ‌and‌ ‌transfer‌ ‌it ‌to‌ ‌a‌ ‌plate;‌ ‌set‌ ‌aside‌ ‌and‌ ‌keep‌ ‌covered.‌
  • Set‌ ‌the skillet‌ ‌back‌ ‌over‌ ‌medium-high‌ ‌heat‌ ‌and‌ ‌add‌ ‌in‌ ‌the remaining‌ ‌oil.‌ ‌Stir‌ ‌in‌ ‌the chopped‌ ‌shallots‌ ‌and‌ ‌garlic;‌ ‌cook‌ ‌for‌ ‌1‌ ‌minute.‌ ‌
  • Gradually add ‌the chicken‌ ‌broth, stirring and scraping‌ ‌up‌ ‌all‌ ‌the‌ ‌browned‌ ‌bits‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌bottom‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌skillet.‌ ‌Bring‌ ‌the mixture‌ ‌to‌ ‌a‌ ‌boil, and‌ ‌continue‌ ‌to‌ ‌boil,‌ ‌gently,‌ ‌for‌ ‌10‌ ‌minutes,‌ ‌or‌ ‌until‌ ‌the liquid‌ ‌is‌ ‌reduced‌ ‌to‌ about ⅓ ‌cup.‌ ‌
  • Reduce‌ the ‌heat‌ ‌to‌ ‌medium‌ ‌and‌ ‌whisk‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌heavy‌ ‌cream.‌ ‌Add‌ ‌the butter,‌ ‌a few‌ ‌cubes‌ ‌at‌ ‌a‌ ‌time,‌ ‌stirring‌ ‌after‌ ‌every‌ ‌addition‌ ‌until‌ the ‌butter‌ ‌melts.‌ ‌If you want a creamier texture, add the remaining tablespoon of butter.
  • Stir‌ ‌in‌ ‌1‌ ‌tablespoon‌ ‌chopped‌ ‌fresh‌ ‌cilantro,‌ ‌chopped‌ ‌chile‌ ‌pepper,‌ ‌and‌ ‌adobo‌ ‌sauce.‌ ‌If you like, you can add more cilantro.
  • Taste the sauce‌ ‌for‌ ‌salt‌ ‌and‌ ‌pepper,‌ ‌and‌ ‌adjust‌ ‌accordingly.‌ ‌
  • Add‌ ‌the chicken‌ ‌back‌ ‌into‌ ‌the‌ ‌pan; cook for 1 minute, or just enough to heat through the chicken.‌ ‌
  • Remove‌ ‌from‌ ‌heat.‌ ‌Garnish‌ ‌with‌ ‌cilantro‌ ‌and‌ ‌serve with lime wedges.


Calories: 341kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 236mg | Potassium: 534mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 751IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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  1. Jenny says:

    This was so yummy! The creaminess from the HWC and the smokiness from the chipotles are such a great combo…I literally wanted to drink that sauce it was that good! I put it over hearts of palm “pasta”. Highly recommend

    1. Katerina says:

      I’m thrilled to hear you loved it! The combination of HWC and chipotles is indeed delicious. Putting it over hearts of palm pasta sounds fantastic—thanks for the recommendation! 🙂

  2. Gwynn Blaser says:

    This dish comes together beautifully in the skillet! So delicious with linguini!!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      I am very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  3. Phyllis says:

    This recipe is outstanding! Amazing that it comes together so quickly and uses so few ingredients. It had tons of flavor that my kids were licking the serving spoon. I added an extra 1/2 cup of the pasta water to get more sauce, used 3 chipotle peppers since we like it spicy, and used half-and-half, but otherwise followed it exactly. I rarely find recipes worth repeating regularly but this one fits my snobby specs.

  4. JoAnn Portnoy says:

    With so many chicken recipes in my arsenal, I almost didn’t try this recipe. But, I am so glad that I did. This is a wonderful spicy chicken dish and easy to make. The sauce is so creamy and rich with just the right amount of kick! I made this recipe as directed and it was a huge hit.

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      That’s great! I am very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  5. EL says:

    Absolutely love this dish! I almost never re-make the same dish twice but I’ve made this every week for the last month because my husband and I are addicted.

    I made a couple small adjustments, I use pork chops instead of chicken, and use a habanero along with the adobo sauce for extra heat and more flavor. I serve it with a side of mashed honeyed sweet potatoes. When I make it this week I’m going to try and add some corn starch and water or some flour to thicken the sauce up a bit more so it’s closer to the consistency of gravy.

    This is also an amazing (sweet potato) fry sauce!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      That’s great to hear! I’m very happy you loved it! Thank you for chiming in! 🙂

  6. trudi says:

    I didn’t have chilpolte so I substituted diced green chilis it was delicious and creamy put in all the butter

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      That’s great! I am very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  7. Kristina says:

    Yas! Lightened it up with a bit less oil and light coconut cream. It’s still turned out incredible.

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      I am very glad you enjoyed it!! Thank YOU! 🙂