Chicken with cream cheese is my favorite recipe. My mother used to make it for me when I was little and I don’t think anything can beat it. It’s a very simple dish, but it tastes amazing and is great for breakfast. The only down side is that it takes a bit of time to cook, but the wait is definitely worth it. Now, if you’re ready I’ll tell you how to make this chicken with cream cheese.
CREAM CHEESE CHICKEN
Share This Recipe!
Velvety, easy-to-make cream cheese chicken combines juicy pan-seared chicken thighs with a tangy, luscious, and cheesy sauce that’s utterly irresistible! This amazingly delicious skillet chicken dinner is a dish that’s sure to make the weeknight rotation!
My cream cheese chicken is rich, cheesy, and decadently delicious dinner!
Weeknights are getting better with my quick and easy cream cheese chicken! This dish is just so flavorful! Moist, tender chicken thighs are seasoned with a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika, then they’re seared to perfection!
I make a pan sauce with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and Dijon mustard that’s super flavorful and compliments the chicken beautifully
This dish is so easy, too! It takes just 35 minutes to bring it all together, which is the perfect amount of time to make your favorite sides! Cream cheese chicken is a simple, delicious meal that will please just about everyone!
❤️ WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE!
Super Easy! Seared chicken with a pan sauce is one of the simplest ways to make dinner! You’ll love just how effortless this dish feels!
Great for Weeknights or Weekends! This dish is easy enough for weeknights, but decadent enough for weekends! Whenever you decide to make it, you won’t regret it!
So Cheesy! Cream cheese & cheddar cheese melted into a sauce – sign me up! If you’re a cheese lover like me, you’ll be licking the sauce right off the plate!
Velvety cream cheese chicken is made so delicious with just a few simple ingredients! I love how. Full-fat cream cheese is what makes this dish so delicious, so don’t use the low-fat stuff!
- 2 pounds Chicken Thighs – You can use bone-in or boneless chicken thighs for this recipe! You can also use chicken breasts or chicken tenderloins if you prefer white meat.
- ½ teaspoon Salt – This is part of our seasoning blend. Feel free to use sea salt, kosher salt, or table salt.
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper – This will also season our chicken thighs. I prefer to use freshly ground black pepper for the best flavor.
- ¼ teaspoon Paprika – Another seasoning for the chicken thighs. Paprika helps to give the chicken thighs a beautiful color as they brown!
- ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder – The final seasoning for the chicken thighs! Garlic powder is perfect for the chicken thighs!
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil – I like to use extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) to brown my chicken thighs. You can also use your favorite oil to brown the thighs.
- ⅓ cup Chicken Broth – Chicken broth helps to create the sauce! You can homemade, store-bought, or chicken bouillon reconstituted in water!
- 2 tablespoons Butter – The butter helps to bind sauce make it extra smooth and luscious. It also makes the sauce taste amazing!
- 4 ounces Full-Fat Cream Cheese –– This is half of a standard 8-ounce block! I love how ultra-creamy the cream cheese makes the sauce.
- 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard – Dijon mustard adds a zesty depth of flavor to the sauce. We’re just using a little here—so the mustard flavor isn’t strong!
- ¼ cup Cheddar Cheese – I recommend grating the cheddar from a block instead of using pre-grated because the preservatives used can make the sauce grainy.
If you don’t prefer cheddar cheese, you can use another cheese like Colby, Colby-jack, mozzarella, or any cheese you like!
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for ingredients, amounts & instructions!*
🔪 STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS
Cream cheese chicken is so easy to make! The recipe takes just 35 minutes total, but it’ll taste like it’s taken hours!
- Prep. Prepare your 2 pounds of chicken by rinsing it and then patting the pieces dry with paper towels. Then, trim off any excess fat or skin off the thighs as needed. If you’re using chicken breasts, cut the breast into evenly sized pieces that are no more than 1-inch in thickness.
- Season. Next, liberally season both sides of the chicken thighs with ½ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper, ¼ teaspoon paprika, and ¼ teaspoon garlic powder.
- Sear the chicken. Bring a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Then, once the oil is beginning to shimmer, add the seasoned chicken. Leave space between the pieces (work in batches if needed). If using skin-on chicken, sear skin down first for about 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook until done. Next, once the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), remove it from the pan. Set aside on a plate or cutting board and loosely cover with foil.
- Start your pan sauce. To make the sauce, reduce the heat to medium-low and add ⅓ cup chicken broth to deglaze the pan. Stir the bottom of the pan to release all the delicious, browned bits. Then, add 2 tablespoons of butter into the broth and stir to melt.
- Finish the sauce. Next, add 4 ounces of cream cheese and whisk to help break it up and make a creamy sauce. Simmer until the sauce thickens, stirring or whisking frequently. Then, stir 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard and ¼ cup grated cheese into the sauce. Stir these until melted in nicely. Taste to adjust seasonings and thickness of sauce. Then, return the seared chicken to your pan sauce.
- Serve. Remove from heat and serve immediately, spooning the sauce over your pan seared chicken when serving.
Savory, luxurious Cream Cheese Chicken is so incredibly full of flavor! Serve this amazing main course with mashed potatoes, rice, or even my simple buttered egg noodles!
💭 ANGELA’S TIPS & RECIPE NOTES
- Mix your seasonings together before applying to chicken! After mixing the seasoning blend together, you can sprinkle it onto the chicken, so the seasonings are evenly distributed all over the chicken thighs.
- If your sauce gets too thick, use some broth to help thin it out! Taste to see if the sauce is thickened to your liking when adjusting the seasonings. If it’s too thick, add about a tablespoon of broth at a time until the sauce reaches your desired consistency!
- Let the sauce simmer, but don’t let it boil! If the sauce boils or gets too hot, it may split the sauce, which can result in it looking curdled or grainy. You want the sauce to be as creamy and smooth as possible, so make sure to lower the heat on the sauce!
🥡 STORING & REHEATING
My creamy chicken will taste even better the next day! Just be sure to transfer the cooled leftovers to an airtight container and the dish will keep well for up to 4 days.
You can also freeze this delicious cream cheese chicken recipe for another day! Transfer to an airtight container, then wrap with plastic wrap and freeze. It will keep for about 6 months in your freezer.
To make sure the sauce reheats well, you want it to be completely defrosted before heating. I recommend placing it in your fridge the night before you want to reheat!
REHEATING CREAM CHEESE CHICKEN
I highly recommend reheating my cream cheese chicken and sauce on the stove-top! Add the sauce and chicken to a skillet over low to medium heat and add a little broth if needed to thin out the sauce.
Cover and gently reheat until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) and the sauce is hot.
What do I do if my sauce splits?
If your cream cheese sauce begins to split, first make sure your heat has been reduced. Then, stir in a few tablespoons of water or broth into the mixture and stir! You can also mix ¼ teaspoon of cornstarch with about 1 tablespoon of cold water or broth and stir. These should help the mixture to return to a creamy state.
What should I do if the chicken broth evaporated after deglazing?
This might mean your heat was a little too high! If the chicken broth has completely evaporated, lower your heat, and add another ⅓ cup! The broth should reduce just slightly, but you want to have most of it to help create the sauce!
Million Dollar Chicken Bake
This Million Dollar Chicken Bake is made with a rich and bold flavor combo that can’t be beat! Tender chicken breast is layered with a velvety mixture of two kinds of cheese, bacon, and green onions and baked to tender, juicy perfection!
Easy Chicken Bake
Baked Chicken makes a great dinner option for busy nights because:
- It’s easy
- You can make it all in one dish
- It cooks without babysitting so you can get other stuff done!
The problem is that sometimes it is bland, boring, and even can be tough or chewy.
This Million Dollar Chicken Bake is rescuing chicken breast destined for boring chewy baking everywhere! If you have ever had Million Dollar dip, you know what I am talking about. If not, you are in for a treat.
It is packed with flavor, baking right in a rich and creamy sauce. The best part is that not only is it delicious, but it can go from the fridge to the oven in as little as 10 minutes!
Easy AND Delicious!
🍽What to Serve with Baked Chicken
This dish is packed with flavor and pretty rich in its own right so I like to pair it with side dishes that are lighter generally. Of course it goes well with all of the classics, but also pairs well with healthy favorites.
- Side salad with Ranch Dressing (this ranch is TO DIE FOR!)
- Roasted veggies
- Skillet Green Beans
- Garlic Bread – My kids ask for this every time!
- Mashed Potatoes – Plop that chicken right on top!
- Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
- Buttermilk Cornbread
You can pair it with one or pick a few for a well rounded, wholesome dinner, or to make the meal stretch.
🥣 Recipe Tips
This Million Dollar Chicken Bake is simple as promised! Fridge to oven in as little as 10 minutes and just 6 ingredients.
That said, I want to share a few tips to help you get the absolute best, most tender and juicy baked chicken dinner. Hopefully this will answer any questions that may come up along the way, and give you a leg up making this recipe!
Make sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for the FULL recipe card.
The ingredients are simple and straight forward here, and most are common, everyday fridge/pantry ingredients.
- Chicken breast- Try to use thin chicken breast, or cut them in half (butterfly) or pound them out. Thin chicken breasts will cook more quickly and evenly, as well as, stay more tender!
- Cream cheese- Make sure it is softened so everything will combine well.
- Colby Jack
- Bacon- You can make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge or freezer, or buy precooked bacon. I like to heat it in the microwave or skillet once am ready to use it to get it nice and crispy, fresh again.
- Green Onions
Chicken- You can substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs or tenderloins for chicken breast
Cream Cheese- Light cream cheese can be used
Colby Jack- You can use cheddar or mexican blend if needed.
HOW LONG TO BAKE CHICKEN
The key to getting that tender juicy chicken is all in the baking!
Chicken breast should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165˚F. Once it starts getting hotter, it will start getting more tough and chewy.
This is why I recommend cooking with thin chicken breasts. It allows the chicken to come to the temperature more quickly. When you have thicker (or even normal sized) chicken breasts the outside has to cook longer for the middle to be done.
The best way to get perfect chicken is to use a food thermometer. You can get them inexpensively at most super stores, grocery chains, and even amazon. If you don’t have (or want) one, you can still do it without, you just need to keep an eye on it to make sure you don’t over cook it.
Depending on the size of your oven, how it is powered, and the climate and altitude you live at, as well as the thickness of your chicken breast, the cooking time can change. I will share some best practices though to get you started.
I cook this dish on the middle rack of my oven at 350˚F uncovered. It generally takes about 35 minutes to be done.
This can range from 30-40 on average. The only way to know exactly when it is done, is with a food thermometer, but you can cut in the middle and check to see if it is done if you don’t have one.
I always encourage you to make the recipe as written first. However if you love this recipe and want to mix it up a bit, you can try these fun twists on this chicken bake.
- Skinny Million Dollar Chicken Bake- Substitute light cream cheese, light mayo and reduce the colby jack cheese mixed in by 1/2 cup. This will reduce the calorie and fat content in the dish.
- Ranch Chicken Bake- Mix 1 tbsp ranch mix into the cream cheese mixture for a fun new flavor combo!
- Spinach & Chicken Bake- Mix 12 oz frozen spinach that has been thawed with extra moisture squeezed out, into the cream cheese mixture.
- Million Dollar Baked Chicken and Potatoes- Use a larger baking dish and place baby red or gold potatoes that have been cut in half and tossed in olive oil, salt and garlic powder around the chicken. You must use small potatoes for them to cook at the same rate as the chicken.
🚫 Dietary Considerations
If you are cooking for someone with special dietary needs, this dish meets some requirements and can be easily modified for others.
Remember the notes below serve as general guidelines, but you should verify any store bought ingredients for compliance with your dietary needs.
- Gluten Free- This recipe is naturally gluten free
- Nut Free- This recipe is naturally nut free
- Low Carb/Keto- This recipe is low carb with only 2g net carbs per serving and friendly for the Keto diet.
- Egg free- If you would like to make this dish egg free, you can use sour cream in place of the mayonnaise in the recipe, or use vegan mayo.
- Macro Friendly- If you would like to incorporate this recipe into your macros it has approx 2g carbs, 45g protein, and 35g fat per serving.
❄️ Freezer Meal Instructions
If you want to prepare the Million Dollar Chicken for another night, you can prep it as a freezer meal. It can be prepared and frozen for up to 3 months.
- Lay the chicken flat in a baking dish or freezer friendly container.
- Combine the cream cheese, mayo, bacon crumbles, 1/2 colby jack cheese, and green onions and mix to combine.
- Spread the mixture over the chicken breast and freeze. Extra cheese and bacon for topping can be frozen separately.
- Once ready to make, thaw for 24-48 hours in the refrigerator.
- Add remaining cheese to top and bake as directed.
🍲 Leftover Recipes
If you have any of this delicious chicken leftover, then you are in luck! Package it up and place it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to a month.
- Million Dollar Chicken Grilled Sandwiches– Slice the leftover chicken and place between to slices of good white bread. Spread the creamy topping on one side of the bread, add fresh spinach leaves and close the sandwich. Grill the sandwich in a buttered skillet over medium heat on each side until golden.
- Baked Chicken Stuffed Peppers– Chop the leftovers of the millionaire chicken. Mix equal parts chicken with prepared rice. Stuff the mixture into bell pepper halves with the seeds and ribs removed. Top with extra cheese. Bake in a large baking dish covered for 25-35 minutes or until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through.
- Million Dollar Chicken Stuffed Baked Potatoes- Prepare baked potatoes. Split open and season with salt and pepper. Chop leftover million dollar chicken and stuff inside the potato. Top with cheese and extra bacon and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted and the filling is heated through. Top with sour cream and extra bacon and green onions.
- Million Dollar Chicken Rice (or Cauli Rice) Bowls– Prepare rice or cauliflower rice. Chop and reheat leftover chicken. Pile in on one side of the bowl. Place your choice of chopped spinach, diced sweet red bell pepper, black beans and additional chopped green onions, around the bowl. Drizzle with ranch dressing and enjoy!
Way back in 2011, I posted this recipe for my Easy Chicken with Cream Cheese Pan Sauce. It was on the regular rotation at our house way back then and continues to be today. We probably make it a couple times a month.
This super delicious cream cheese sauce is a great way to dress up boring boneless skinless chicken breasts. And it’s super easy, too!
But honestly, this recipe has never gotten the attention it deserves. So I decided to shoot a few new images, update the recipe a touch to make even easier, and put it back out into the world, hoping y’all will give it another chance.
The most challenging thing about this recipe is getting the chicken cooked correctly – but even that’s not too hard. You want to get the chicken cooked through, without burning the outside. The super thick chicken breasts from the grocery store won’t work the way they come. I suggest taking a sharp knife and slicing each breast in half lengthwise to create two pieces of chicken that are roughly 3/4 to 1-inch thick. If you still find them too thick, put them between to pieces of cling wrap or in a gallon zip-top bag and pound them thinner with a meat mallet. This will allow them to cook through quicker.
And, of course, I always recommend an instant read meat thermometer. Not only does this ensure the chicken is cooked to a safe temperature, but it allows you to cook it right to 165° without going over and causing it to get dry. No one wants dry chicken. And that’s the chief complaint I get from folks about using boneless skinless chicken breasts, so use that thermometer!
And yes, this will also work with boneless chicken thighs. I’ve also been known to use some of those frozen chicken breasts that you buy in the big bag. Most of the time, those are thin enough to not need to be sliced. Just make sure they’re completely thawed before using them.
The seasoning from the chicken, combined with the fond (that’s the brown stuff on the bottom of the pan after cooking the chicken), chicken broth, cream cheese, and just a hint of mustard creates a decadent sauce that you’ll probably want to pour over everything on your plate. At least that’s what happens at our house! Ha!
Easy Chicken with Cream Cheese Pan Sauce
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 4 to 6
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature, cubed
- 2 teaspoons mustard (dijon, creole, or spicy brown)
- Trim excess fat and then slice the chicken breast in half lengthwise to equal pieces that are roughly 3/4 to 1-inch in thickness. Season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook the chicken (working in batches if necessary) in the skillet until it is cooked through and the internal temperature is 165°. Adjust the heat as necessary to prevent burning and add additional oil if needed. Remove the chicken from the skillet and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.
- Add the butter and melt. Add the chicken broth to the pan and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen the cooked-on bits.
- Bring the broth to a simmer and add cream cheese. Whisk together to combine once melted.
- Add mustard and continue to simmer until sauce starts to thicken, stirring frequently. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the sauce is thick, return the chicken to the pan and coat with the sauce. Add additional broth if the sauce gets too thick. Serve immediately.