This rich and creamy chicken dish is one of the recipes first featured in our meal plans. The pimentos and fresh basil are the perfect seasoning in the delicious cream sauce served over breaded and sautéed chicken breasts.
⏲️ Time needed
Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce is a fairly quick stovetop meal, ready in about 35-40 minutes. If you are starting out with thin chicken cutlets, it won’t take long for the chicken to cook. The sauce is quick and easy, and the pasta can cook while you are making the sauce.
- bread crumbs
- thin cut boneless skinless chicken breasts
- olive oil
- chicken broth
- heavy whipping cream
- diced pimientos
- grated Parmesan cheese
- minced fresh basil
- spaghetti or vermicelli
Plan to have a warm oven or a microwave with a keep warm function so that you can keep the chicken warm after it is sautéed.
Start with chicken (flattened to an even thickness works best), milk, and bread crumbs in an assembly line as follows:
chicken breasts —> a shallow bowl with the milk —> a bowl with the bread crumbs —> large heated skillet with butter
Dip the chicken in milk, then bread crumbs, then brown the coated chicken and remove it to a plate, leaving the drippings in the skillet. Keep the finished chicken warm in the oven or microwave while you make the basil cream sauce and cook the pasta.
Start the pasta cooking and drain when done. While pasta is cooking, make the sauce by adding all but 3 Tbsp. of the broth to the drippings in the skillet and bringing to a boil. Stir, loosening drippings from the bottom of the pan.
Add the whipping cream and pimientos. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute.
Reduce heat and add the Parmesan cheese, minced fresh basil, and pepper.
Mix the cornstarch and remaining 3 Tbsp. broth in a small jar. When the sauce is heated through, add the cornstarch mixture, stirring over medium heat to thicken.
One the sauce and pasta are ready, place chicken over pasta on each serving dish and pour sauce over chicken.
Fresh basil is always best—I keep 2-3 pots of basil going in my brightest window all year long, and in a sauce like this where basil is the star, it’s worth going with fresh over dried.
Buying chicken cutlets or thin cut breasts will help when cooking the chicken; uneven thickness means the ends of the chicken may be overcooked by the time the thicker center is done. If you are using regular cut breasts, you can place them between pieces of wax paper and pound them to an even thickness with the side of a meat mallet.
Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup dry bread crumbs
- 1 lb thin cut boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 oz. jar diced pimientos, drained
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup minced fresh basil, or 1 Tbsp. dried
- ⅛ Tbsp. pepper
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 8 oz. spaghetti or vermicelli
- Set up an assembly line with chicken breasts, a shallow bowl with the milk, and a bowl with the bread crumbs.
- Dip chicken in milk, then bread crumbs.
- Brown chicken on both sides in butter and olive oil over medium heat and continue cooking until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Remove and keep warm.
- While making the sauce, put the pasta on to cook so they will be done at the same time.
- Add all but 3 Tbsp. of the broth to the drippings in the skillet and bring to a boil.
- Stir, loosening drippings from the bottom of the pan. Add whipping cream and pimientos.
- Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute.
- Reduce heat and add Parmesan cheese, basil and pepper.
- Mix cornstarch and remaining 3 Tbsp. broth.
- When the sauce is heated through, add cornstarch mixture, stirring over medium heat to thicken.
- Place chicken on pasta and cover with basil cream sauce.
🥗 Side dishes
Since the chicken in cream sauce is served over pasta, it is delicious with a salad and bread on the side. If you prefer something other than salad, simple side like steamed broccoli, buttered peas, or sautéed sugar snap peas would be flavorful sides that do not compete with the flavors in the cream sauce.
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