Chicken with bechamel sauce can be such a delicious dish! Here are step-by-step instructions on how to make this dish just right. Chicken with a bechamel-based sauce is an easy meal to make. It’s a very simple dish that can be made with or without chicken. Bechamel sauce is a simple sauce, so even if you’re making it for the first time, you’ll find out that it’s not hard at all.
Chicken & Bechamel TrayBake
The combination of chicken, veggies, and creamy béchamel is so delicious. The whole family is going to enjoy this traybake. So, make an extra batch for the freezer.
What is Bechamel Sauce?
Bechamel is basically a savory custard. It is made with milk, flour, olive oil (or butter), and cook until it is thickened. Then, cheese is added. Parmesan or Kefalograviera is the most common however, I oftentimes add shredded Gouda or Gruyere cheese and it’s delicious every time.
Béchamel adds a creamy richness to dishes like pastitsio and moussaka. It is the ultimate white sauce and it goes great in this recipe.
Ingredients needed to make Chicken Bechamel
- chicken: in this recipe, I used boneless skinless chicken breast meat simply because that is what I had on hand. Feel free to use boneless skinless chicken thighs instead or even leftover roasted chicken or turkey. If using leftover cooked chicken, skip the browning and just add it to the pan as soon as the potatoes are cooked.
- the veggies: I love the combination of potatoes, onions, and bell peppers. However, use your favorites. Zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, cauliflower, and even green peas all go well in this dish.
- feta & kalamata olives add so much depth of flavor. Always buy the feta as a block and crumble it yourself. The already crumbled feta that is sold in stores is overly salty.
- Bechamel Sauce: as mentioned above this is basically a savory custard that is made with milk, flour, oil, and cheese.
This dish freezes well. It keeps fresh in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just assemble everything together and do not bake it. Instead, allow it to come to room temperature then place it in the freezer until the Béchamel sets. Wrap the pan in plastic wrap and then with foil and store it in the freezer. Thaw it a day ahead overnight in the refrigerator and then remove the plastic and foil.
Bake until golden as per the recipe’s instructions. Enjoy!
I hope that you give this recipe a try and that you and your loved ones enjoy every bite! Let me know how you liked it in the comments section down below and I will be back here soon with another delicious recipe worth sharing. Kali Orexi! -Dimitra
Chicken & Bechamel Tray Bake
yield: 6-8 SERVINGS
The combination of chicken, veggies, and creamy béchamel is so delicious. The whole family is going to enjoy this traybake. So, make an extra batch for the freezer.PRINT
- 2 bell peppers, diced
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4-6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- 8-10 Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
- Optional veggies: diced Zucchini, thinly sliced mushrooms, diced eggplant
- A handful of shredded mozzarella cheese
- For the chicken:
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
- ½ teaspoon of salt or less
- ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- For the Potatoes:
- 2-3 potatoes, peeled and cut into half-inch slices
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and Black pepper, to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
- For the Bechamel Sauce:
- 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil or melted butter
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 4 cups whole milk
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan, Gouda, or Gruyere cheese
Preheat the oven to 450 °F, 230 °C.
Place the potatoes in a baking tray and drizzle the olive oil on top. Season with the remaining seasonings and toss. Bake on the center rack for 20-25 minutes or until fork-tender.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 3-4 tablespoons of oil. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes until browned. The chicken should still be raw in the center. Overcooking breast meat causes it to dry out.
Transfer the chicken to a plate and add the onions to the skillet with some more olive oil if needed. Also, add the bell peppers. Season with a quarter teaspoon of salt. Cook over medium heat until soft and golden. About 8 minutes.
Add the chicken, onions, and bell peppers to the pan with the potatoes.
Add the crumbled feta and olives. Toss everything together. Set aside and make the Bechamel sauce.
For the Bechamel:
Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil and flour to the pot and cook until toasted. About 2-3 minutes.
Add the garlic and warm through for a few seconds.
Slowly add the milk whisking constantly until the mixture is smooth.
Bring the mixture to a boil while whisking. Remove from the heat and add the parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Pour the bechamel sauce over the chicken and veggies. Top with mozzarella and bake at 400 °F, 200 °C. for 30-40 minutes.
The dish is ready when the bechamel sauce is golden.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Make-Ahead Freezer Instructions: Assemble the dish and top with bechamel sauce. Allow to cool to room temperature and set in the freezer until the cream sets and freezes. Wrap the tray in plastic and then with foil. Label the tray and when ready, thaw the tray in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the plastic and foil and bake until the bechamel is golden.
chicken and mushrooms in a creamy white wine sauce
chicken and mushrooms in a creamy white wine sauce
Pan fried chicken and mushrooms simmered in a simple, quick and easy creamy white wine Béchamel sauce on a Sunday night in front of trash TV while everyone is on their way home, ravishing in hunger, complaining they’re starving as if they haven’t eaten anything in their lives. Ever.
I have a confession. Again. This is one of those dinners that takes me about 15-20 minutes to make: from start to finish. It’s my emergency go-to when the kids are screaming — okay, asking nicely with all manners intact — for heavy take-out pasta.
I know, it’s probably not fair of me to give them this instead of the sometimes nauseating pasta we have bought twice, maybe three times before. But, I’m not exactly a fan of indigestion.
I used to hide from any recipes containing Béchamel sauce. So scared of it, because every single time I made it, it would come out with lumps of flour that would turn into a mortifying paste with every second-or-so mouthful. I’d have to strain it a few times just to get it to resemble a sauce. After 10 years of trial and error, I finally figured out what the problem was. (Well, my problem.) Not enough butter and too much flour. When mixing the paste right from the beginning, if it’s too thick and almost crumbly, it just won’t work. Maybe for a chef it would, but for my non-professional home cook person, it never did.
After some tears of frustration, and more times than I can count of disappointing dinners, I finally finally figured it out. Seriously Karina? Seriously? MORE BUTTER! (Yes, I did yell this at myself.) The moment of clarity was like winning a Lamborghini . Okay, so maybe I’ll need to win one first to actually be able to compare it, but you get my drift.
Long story short, this is my secret weapon when I don’t have any cream lying around. Thick and creamy white sauce, spiked with a hit of white wine, garlic and parmesan cheese. There’s nothing like watching your kids burst through the front door; run through the house only to stop with full brakes and ask, “Um, what’s that smelllll? What are you cooking? Is it ready? I WANT SOME!” And then to see them inhale their food, stopping with ‘mmmm’s’ and savouring every creamy mouthful.
Best feeling in the world.
CHICKEN AND MUSHROOMS IN A WHITE WINE CREAM SAUCE
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 600 g | 21oz skinless chicken thigh fillets , cubed
- 1 head of broccoli , cut into florets
- 200 g | 7oz sliced mushrooms
- 4 garlic cloves , crushed
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 level tablespoons flour
- 1 3/4 cups milk (plus extra if needed)
- 1/4 cup white wine
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese to serve
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Brown the chicken; add the broccoli florets and mushroom slices; pan frying until the broccoli becomes vibrant in colour. Stir in the garlic and fry for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Set aside.
- In a smaller saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Remove the pot off the heat; whisk in the flour until smooth. Return to the heat and pour in 1/4 cup of the milk first, stirring quickly to combine until smooth. Add in another 1/4 cup of milk, again stirring quickly until smooth. Slowly begin to pour in the remaining milk half a cup at a time while stirring continuously, until all of the milk is in. Keep stirring until the sauce begins to thicken. Mix the white wine through the sauce and continue to stir over low heat. If sauce becomes to thick, add in a little more milk at a time (about 1/8 of a cup), until reaching your desired consistency. We like ours thick and creamy.
- Pour the Bechamel sauce over the chicken and mix through. Sprinkle over some parmesan cheese and serve over pasta or rice or Zoodles!
Pretty as a picture and indulgently rich, chicken Béchamel makes a lovely weekend meal. Brown the chicken, bake in Bechamel sauce, sprinkle cheese on top, broil and voila!
To make sure that your that chicken Béchamel is tasty all the way from the topping to the sauce to the innermost part of the meat, season the dish during every stage of cooking.
That means: 1) season the chicken ahead and leave overnight to marinate; 2) season the Béchamel sauce well; and 3) season the vegetables during sauteeing.
Why not just season after everything has been assembled in the pan prior to baking / broiling? By that time, it will be too late. Fifteen minutes in the oven is not enough time for the chicken to absorb the seasoning. And what it manages to absorb will detract from the flavor of the sauce. So, season every step of the way.
Okay, so, the chicken having been seasoned and having been left to aborb the flavors in the seasonings, we now give it texture and even more flavor. That means browning the chicken. Not cooking the chicken thighs through but just searing the surface.
Normally, I’d dredge the chicken in flour before browning BUT the chicken was going to be baked in Béchamel sauce which contains a lot of flour. Flouring the chicken might have turned the sauce too thick by the time the dish was cooked. So, no, I don’t recommend dredging the chicken in flour before browning.
The chicken having been browned, we do the sauce. I know the title says Béchamel sauce but adding vegetables won’t hurt. In fact, they add even more flavor, not to mention patterns and colors, to the dish. So as not to dilute the flavor of the sauce, the vegetables are cooked in butter with a bit of seasoning.
Now, it’s time to start assembling the dish. The Béchamel sauce is poured into the pan and the browned chicken thighs are arranged in a single layer. They will finish cooking in the sauce so they have to be arranged that way for even cooking in the oven. A second reason for arranging them in a single layer is so they get equal amounts of cheese. Yes, cheese.
When the chicken thighs are cooked through, the pan is taken out of the oven. Each chicken thigh is topped with a mound of shredded cheese before the dish goes back into the oven. With the top heat on (broiler mode), the cheese melts then gets toasted to form a light crust that adds more flavor, texture and color to the dish.
For best results, choose chicken thighs that are roughly the same size. Do the same if cooking the dish with other chicken parts like drumsticks or wings. Same size means they will cook evenly.
The link for the Béchamel sauce recipe is provided in the ingredients list.
PREP TIME10 mins
COOK TIME45 mins
MARINATING TIME12 hrs
TOTAL TIME12 hrs 55 mins
- oven-safe frying pan
- ▢1 kilogram chicken thighs
- ▢2 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning – (we make our own but you can use store-bought)
- ▢2 cups cooking oil
- ▢2 tablespoons butter
- ▢1 onion – chopped
- ▢1 bell pepper – diced
- ▢½ cup sweet peas
- ▢3 to 4 cups Béchamel sauce
- ▢125 grams shredded cheese
Marinate the chicken
- Wipe the chicken thighs dry with a kitchen towel.
- Place the chicken thighs in a bowl, add the lemon pepper seasoning and toss thoroughly.
- Transfer the chicken to a covered container and marinate in the fridge for at least 12 hours. Twice as long is even better.
Brown the chicken
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Heat the cooking oil in a pan.
- Brown the chicken thighs in hot oil, in batches if your frying pan is not very large, flipping them over for even coloring.
Assemble the chicken Bechamel
- In an oven-safe frying pan, melt the butter.
- Saute the onion until softened.
- Add the bell pepper and peas. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the vegetables for half a minute.
- Stir the Béchamel sauce into the vegetables.
- Arrange the browned chicken thighs on the Bechamel sauce.
Bake and broil the chicken Béchamel
- Bake at 375F for about 15 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly. The chicken should be cooked through at this point.
- Take the pan out of the oven.
- Turn up the heat to 400F and turn on the TOP heat.
- Place a mound of shredded cheese on top of each chicken.
- Put the chicken back in the oven and cook until the cheese is browned and lightly crisp.
- Optionally, sprinkle snipped greens (scallions or parsley) over the chicken Béchamel before serving.