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Garlic Butter Chicken is an irresistible, easy chicken dinner that can be ready in under 30 minutes. Tender chicken breasts are pan-seared to golden brown, then simmered briefly in a rich and velvety garlic butter pan sauce.
Serve the chicken with roasted baby potatoes and a green veggie for an elevated, but quick and easy weeknight dinner.Pin this recipe for later!
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Get dinner on the table FAST. The whole recipe takes about 15 minutes from start to finish, from searing the chicken to whisking up the luscious pan sauce.
- Tons of flavor! Garlic, butter, white wine, and Dijon mustard give the sauce a rich, elevated flavor.
- Weeknight simple. Busy weeknights call for simple recipes, but ones that are so full of flavor that no one can resist (even the picky ones!). This is one of those dinners!
How To Make Garlic Butter Chicken
See recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Lightly pound chicken breasts and season with salt, pepper, and paprika.
- Cook chicken in a large skillet, 3-5 minutes per side, until golden brown and 165℉ internal temperature. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Reduce heat and add butter and garlic to the pan to make the sauce. Whisk in flour to thicken, then wine to help scrape up the brown bits of flavor from the bottom of the pan.
- Whisk in Dijon mustard, garlic powder, and chicken stock, then melt in more butter.
- Increase heat and add chicken back to the pan. Simmer for a minute, then remove from heat.
The garlic butter sauce is a pan sauce, and is made with butter, garlic, white wine, and chicken broth. You use white wine or chicken broth to “deglaze” the pan (scrape up the browned bits left in the pan after cooking the chicken), then add butter and whatever flavorings or seasonings you like. You can also use flour to thicken the sauce if desired.
Yes, although I recommend sticking with chicken breasts or tenders. Chicken thighs can be used but will take longer to cook.
Let the chicken come to room temperature before cooking, rather than adding it to a pan straight out of the fridge. I always just set it out while I prep the other ingredients. Keep an instant-read meat thermometer handy and don’t let the chicken go over 165℉.
Adding flour, which is optional, will thicken the sauce. But if it’s still not thick enough for your liking, you can make a roux in another pan (flour and butter) and add that to the pan sauce to thicken. You could also use a cornstarch slurry, but that can alter the taste and texture of the sauce.
This dish is best enjoyed fresh or reheated from leftovers. It can be frozen, but the sauce may break when thawed and reheated.
Reheat leftovers in a covered saute pan over medium-low heat.
- For even cooking, use evenly-sized chicken breasts. If you have some pieces that are thicker than others, you may need to lightly pound them to even them out, or slice them in half. Bonus, the light pounding also tenderizes the meat by breaking down muscle fibers.
- Room-temperature butter will melt faster and incorporate better into the sauce.
- Chop your own garlic. Fresh minced garlic will have a much better flavor than jarred, which is usually preserved in oil for a long period of time.
- Be prepared. Have all ingredients measured and ready to go before you begin cooking. This sauce will come together very quickly.
- Serve with a fresh lemon wedge – The richness of the sauce can benefit from a fresh squeeze of lemon. Do not add lemon juice directly to the pan as it can break up the sauce.
- Don’t sub the mustard. If you don’t have Dijon mustard on hand, just omit it. Do not use yellow mustard, as it has a completely different flavor.
More Chicken Recipes
Garlic Butter Chicken
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts 4 small chicken breasts
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 5 garlic cloves minced or pressed
- 1 teaspoon all purpose flour optional
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ cup dry white wine we used chardonnay
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoon fresh parsley finely chopped
- If your chicken breasts are thicker than ½” slice them in half horizontally to create two filets, or pound to ¼” thickness in a gallon zip top bag.
- Pat dry with paper towel. Season chicken generously with salt, pepper, and paprika just before cooking.
- Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Working in batches so the pan is not crowded, saute chicken breast undisturbed 3-5 minutes per side, until chicken is golden brown and just cooked through to 165℉. Remove to a plate to rest.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, add 1 tablespoon of butter, followed by the garlic, and saute for 30 seconds.
- Add flour if using, whisk for 1-2 minutes until flour is fully cooked. Add wine and scrape up brown bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Add the dijon mustard, garlic powder, and chicken stock, whisking constantly. Increase heat to medium and add the remaining butter, whisking to incorporate.
- Return the chicken to the pan, followed by the parsley. Simmer for about 1 minute, coating the chicken in the sauce.
- Turn off the heat, taste sauce and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve immediately.