Cook this creamy garlic chicken and asparagus all in one skillet in a flavorful cream sauce filled with garlic and herbs. Ready in 30 minutes, this one-pan recipe is healthy, low-carb, and perfect for busy weeknights!
Creamy Chicken with Asparagus
Get in, we’re going shopping for dinner! This creamy garlic chicken and asparagus recipe couldn’t be easier to make. It involves juicy chicken thighs cooked in a flavorful garlic cream sauce with basil and tender asparagus spears. And, it’s ready in 30 minutes or less, all in one pan.
This recipe starts with a stop at Kroger’s produce section to stock up on all things Gourmet Garden. I love the convenience of their dried herbs and garlic paste in quick skillet meals like this creamy garlic chicken. Next, we’ll need some good-sized boneless chicken thighs, fresh asparagus, and evaporated milk (my sneaky cream substitute!).
Swing by the wine aisle for a bottle of dry white (why not?), and we’re ready to hit the checkout line and get cookin’!
Why You’ll Love This One-Pan Recipe
Nothing beats a quick, delicious meal (especially one that’s easy to clean up afterward!). Here’s why you’ll love this easy chicken thighs recipe:
- One-pan. The chicken, asparagus, and sauce come together in about 30 minutes in one skillet on the stovetop. Just like my one-pan honey garlic chicken recipe, low-carb, easy weeknight dinners don’t get much better.
- Filled with aromatics. Dried basil brings a delicious earthy flavor to the sauce. Gourmet Garden lightly dried herbs are super convenient, and they last so much longer than fresh herbs (less waste, yay!). Plus, everything is already chopped up and ready to go. I also use their stir-in garlic paste, which I always have on hand in the fridge.
- Customizable. I love this pan-seared chicken recipe with asparagus because you can swap out ingredients as needed for a delicious family meal. A quick stroll through Kroger offers all the inspo I need! See the section later on for easy variation ideas.
Ingredients You’ll Need
The best part about this creamy garlic basil chicken and asparagus? You only need a handful of ingredients to make the silky garlic sauce. Scroll down to the recipe card for a full ingredient list and detailed instructions.
- Chicken: As mentioned above, boneless skinless chicken thighs are my go-to. You can use another type of chicken such as bone-in thighs, skin-on, chicken breasts, etc., just make sure to adjust the cooking times accordingly.
- Basil: Dried, or fresh basil that’s been chopped up finely. For this recipe, I use the lightly dried basil from Gourmet Garden. Their dried herbs can be substituted 1:1 for fresh herbs in any recipe. Plus, they last for weeks in the fridge after opening!
- Garlic: I love using Gourmet Garden’s garlic stir-in paste for the sauce (can you tell that Gourmet Garden is my BFF?). It’s absolutely packed with flavor and your sauce is guaranteed to come out smooth. 3-4 cloves of finely minced garlic are your next best bet.
- Evaporated Milk or Cream: I use low-fat evaporated milk in place of cream in this recipe. It works so well! All the creaminess without loads of excess fat. Of course, feel free to make this recipe using heavy cream or half-and-half if you prefer.
- Asparagus: Chopped fresh asparagus spears with their woody ends trimmed.
Can I Use Bone-In Chicken Thighs?
I make this recipe with boneless, skinless chicken thighs. However, you can technically use any cut of chicken that you’d like, even chicken breasts. Some things to remember: bone-in thighs will take longer to cook in the pan (8-10 minutes per side), while boneless, skinless chicken breasts will be shorter (5-7 minutes per side). The key is that the internal temperature reaches a cooked 165ºF.
How to Make Creamy Garlic Chicken and Asparagus
This one-pan chicken and asparagus recipe is one of my favorite weeknight dinners because it’s just so simple, yet so crazy-full of flavor! With all your ingredients ready to go, here’s how to make it:
- Prepare the chicken thighs. To start, season your boneless chicken thighs with salt and pepper, and give the thighs a generous sprinkle with dried basil. Add the chicken thighs to a hot skillet with a bit of olive oil and cook until the thighs are browned all over and cooked throughout.
- Make the sauce. Remove the chicken from the pan for now. Next, whisk together the evaporated milk with flour, garlic paste, and more basil, along with salt and pepper. Add this to the skillet to heat up.
- Combine with asparagus. When the sauce is bubbling, stir in the asparagus, and arrange the chicken thighs back in the skillet. Nestle them right in there and continue to simmer everything together for a few more minutes. Once the asparagus is tender, your creamy chicken is ready to serve!
Tips for Success
Follow these tips for the best garlicky chicken skillet with fresh asparagus:
- Use a non-stick skillet. If you have one, I highly recommend it! It helps with sticking and makes clean-up that much easier.
- Drain any excess chicken juices from the pan before you make your sauce. Browned bits are more than fine (hello, flavor!), but if there’s a lot of liquid left over in the pan, you can discard it.
- Check the temperature of the chicken. Your chicken thighs are cooked when the juices run clear, and the internal temperature reads 165ºF on an instant-read thermometer.
- Use the sauce as a gravy. This basil garlic sauce makes the best gravy for mashed potatoes and other sides. See below for serving ideas.
Yes, thigh meat is a lean source of protein that’s also packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, like iron and zinc. Combined with asparagus, this recipe is a healthy meal-in-one that’s low in carbs, too.
The exact times depend on the size of the thighs and whether they’re bone-in or boneless, but cooking chicken thighs in a pan usually takes between 15-20 minutes.
You’ll want to snap or trim off the tough, “woody” ends of the asparagus spears before you cook them. You can feel the part you need to trim, as it will be stiffer than the rest of the spear.
Looking for easy ways to change up the flavors and ingredients of this creamy garlic chicken recipe? Try these ideas:
- Marinade. This quick chicken thigh recipe comes out deliciously juicy even without marinating. However, if you’d like to marinate your chicken before pan-searing, I’d recommend my lemon chicken marinade.
- Different vegetables. In addition to or in place of asparagus, change up this skillet chicken recipe with your favorite veggies. Other good options are carrots, broccoli, onions, green beans, snap peas, and mushrooms.
- Different herbs. Use another dried herb, like thyme or oregano, or any combination of herbs you’d like. Crushed red chili flakes would give the sauce a spicy kick, too.
What to Serve With Creamy Garlic Chicken Thighs
Your juicy and tender garlic chicken already comes with a side of asparagus. And there are so many more delicious and easy side dishes that you can add to round out the meal:
- Mashed potatoes. Serve your chicken and asparagus next to fluffy mashed potatoes, and spoon the creamy garlic and herb sauce over top. Try cauliflower mash for a low-carb version.
- Rice. This saucy chicken tastes amazing served over a bed of plain jasmine rice (made quickly in the Instant Pot!). Zesty lemon rice also pairs great with the flavors of garlic and basil.
- Greens. Pair your one-pan dinner with a side of sauteed spinach, kale, or garlic broccolini. You can even cook your greens in the same skillet before you start your chicken.
- Salad. Stay on the green theme with a fresh green goddess salad, or pair this creamy garlic chicken with a side of lemon kale Caesar salad.
- Bread. I mean, it’s not low-carb, but crusty bread makes a perfect side for mopping up all that extra garlic sauce. Worth it!
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
- Refrigerate any leftover creamy chicken and asparagus airtight for up to 3-4 days, or freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating.
- To reheat leftover creamy garlic chicken, add everything together to a pan on the stovetop and cook until it’s heated through. You can also use the microwave if you’re in a hurry. If the sauce has thickened, add a splash of water to help loosen up the texture a bit.
More One-Pan Chicken Dinner Ideas
- Creamy Lemon Parmesan Chicken Breasts
- Chicken Marsala
- Creamy Cilantro Chipotle Chicken
- Mozzarella Chicken in Tomato Sauce
- Creamy Coconut Milk Chicken
- Creamy Chicken Francaise
Creamy Garlic Chicken and Asparagus
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 skinless boneless chicken thighs
- salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ tablespoon dried basil
- 12 ounces low fat evaporated milk
- 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon dried basil, or to taste
- salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 pound fresh asparagus stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces (break off and discard the woody ends of the asparagus)
- parsley, for garnish
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet.
- Season the chicken with the salt, pepper, and dried basil.
- Place the chicken thighs in the skillet and cook for about 7 to 8 minutes, or until browned.
- Flip the chicken and cook for about 8 more minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Combine evaporated milk, flour, garlic paste, dried basil, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl; whisk until well combined. Add it to the hot skillet and bring it to a boil.
- Stir in the asparagus, return the chicken to the pan, and lower the heat to a simmer.
- Cover and cook for 4 minutes or until the asparagus is tender and the chicken is heated through.
- Remove from heat.
- Garnish with parsley and serve.
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.