This creamy truffle chicken is a restaurant-quality, quick chicken dinner. It features pan-cooked chicken smothered in my very versatile truffle cream sauce.
Easy enough for weeknights but elegant enough for special occasions. So so good!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Fancy, not fussy: Get that high-end restaurant flavor without breaking a sweat.
- Quick to make: In less time than it takes to order takeout, you can have a creamy, dreamy dinner on the table. And the flavors will make it seem like you slaved for hours.
- Less dishes to wash: From searing chicken to making the sauce, everything happens in one skillet.
- Perfect for sharing: Whether it’s date night or a dinner with friends, this chicken has that ‘special something’ that makes it great for any occasion.
Here are some helpful notes on ingredients you'll need. See the recipe card below for exact quantities.
- Chicken breasts – you'll need boneless and skinless breasts. If possible, go for large thick ones so it's easier to cut the steaks. If you struggle with slicing, place in the freezer for about 15 minutes - it firms them up and the handling becomes easier.
- Flour – some all-purpose flour to dust the chicken for a light, crispy coating.
- Salt – if using salted ingredients e.g. salted butter or regularly salted broth, don't put salt in the sauce. Once the dish gets ready, do a taste test and then add salt if needed.
- Black and white pepper – for some gentle warmth and depth of flavor.
- Garlic powder – to season the chicken. Not to be confused with garlic salt – that's too salty.
- Cooking oil – some olive oil (or any neutral tasting cooking oil) to pan-fry the chicken.
- Butter – use unsalted butter to manage salt content.
- Onion – use yellow or white onions. And chop finely.
- Garlic – needs to be very finely minced or grated (see easy garlic peeling methods here).
- Dried thyme – adds a subtle herby undertone that complements the truffle flavor really well.
- Broth/stock – I like to use unsalted or low-sodium options. Both chicken and vegetable broth work fine.
- Cream – Make sure your heavy whipping cream is unsweetened (certain regions offer a sweetened version too).
- Parmesan cheese – I prefer to grate it myself because it melts better and tastes a whole lot better. I use a microplane for grating, which results in a much larger volume than store-bought grated cheese. So I check the weight or pack my measuring cup tightly to get the right quantity.
- Truffle oil – black truffle oil and white truffle oil both work great. Black has a more potent flavor and white tends to be a bit subtle. When trying a new brand, be sure to use sparingly. The flavor strength can vary widely across products. Start with half the quantity of oil mentioned in recipe, taste and then add more if you feel the need.
- Fresh parsley – a few chopped leaves for a little pop of green.
How to make creamy truffle chicken
Follow these simple, photo-assisted instructions to prepare the chicken and the truffle cream sauce. Check out recipe card below for a printable version that has quantities, instructions and notes in one place.
Step 1: Slice each chicken breast horizontally through the center to get two cutlets (see detailed slicing instructions here. I skip the pounding step). Mix flour, salt, ground black pepper and garlic powder together and then sprinkle this mixture on the chicken pieces. Use hands to evenly distribute.
Step 2: Preheat a skillet with olive oil in it over medium-high heat. Carefully lay in the chicken. Work in batches if needed but don't overcrowd. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes each side or until lightly golden brown and cooked through. Don't overcook or else the chicken will get chewy/dry. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
Step 3: In the same skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Then put chopped onions, sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until translucent. Add minced garlic and dried thyme and sauté for 1 extra minute. Add the broth/stock, stir and then let it simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
Step 4: Pour in heavy cream, salt, ground black pepper and white pepper. Mix well then allow to simmer 3 to 4 minutes until it slightly reduces and thickens. Stir frequently to prevent scorching.
Step 5: Now put grated parmesan cheese (reserve some for garnish) and stir until it's melted and well combined. Mix in truffle oil. Then taste the sauce and adjust seasoning as desired. If it looks too thick add a little more broth/stock.
Step 6: Return the cooked chicken back to skillet and let it warm up for a couple minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley and the reserved parmesan and serve right away.
- Chicken too dry/chewy: Make sure not to overcook. If possible, use a meat thermometer to check doneness - 165°F (74°C) is your goal. Unfortunately there's no way to undo any overcooking here.
- Sauce too runny: Simmer it longer but avoid cranking up the heat. If still too thin, make a cornstarch slurry (1 teaspoon cornstarch, 2 tablespoons water/broth) and whisk in gradually. Then simmer again.
- Chicken sticking to the pan: Make sure the pan/skillet is properly preheated before you add chicken and avoid overcrowding it. Let the chicken cook completely on one side and brown a little. It will easily release from the surface, then you can turn it over. Or use a non stick skillet for easier handling.
- Cheese not melting properly: Use a cheese block and grate it yourself to avoid anti-caking agents in store-bought versions. If that's not possible, use an immersion blender to smooth out the sauce.
- Strong truffle flavor: Truffle oils come in varying flavor strengths. Always start with a smaller amount than recommended in recipe. If you've already added a lot, add cream and parmesan to balance the taste. Adjust the seasonings too.
- Sauce separating or splitting: Keep the heat low when you pour in the cream. Add gradually and keep stirring. Maintain a gentle simmer and don't let the sauce boil. If the splitting has already occurred, add in a splash of cream or milk to bring it back together. Using an immersion blender would be the second option.
- Burnt onion or garlic: Keep the heat between medium and low when sautéing these. If they do burn, best to start over or you might get bitter flavors.
- Too salty or less salty: Use unsalted butter and low-sodium broth. If using regularly salted varieties, cut down the amount of added salt. If you've already over-salted, put in a little more cream to balance it out.
- Not enough sauce: If you end up wanting more sauce after the entire dish is made, just deglaze the empty pan with some broth, add cream and adjust seasonings and truffle oil.
- You can use half-and-half instead of cream but then make a roux to get the right sauce consistency. After sautéing the onions and garlic, add 2 tablespoons of butter and melt it. Then add 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and sauté for a minute. Next, slowly whisk in the half-and-half to get a clump-free base.
- If you don't have stock/broth, use bouillon powder, concentrate or cubes dissolved in water. Follow package instructions to make the required quantity of liquid. And avoid any extra salt in the sauce until you have tasted the final result.
- Vegan-style heavy cream and parmesan can be used but expect a change in taste overall.
- You can use shallots to replace onions. Substitute ¼ of a medium onion with 1 shallot.
- While I prefer parsley for garnish, fresh chopped chives or basil can also be used.
- You can use fresh thyme instead of dried. But you may need to add a little more quantity.
- Boneless, skinless thighs can also work but they may need a few more minutes to cook.
- Chefs often add a splash of white wine in the sauce for some flavor complexity. Put it in after sautéing garlic and reduce it slightly before adding broth or stock.
- Add some crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne for some heat.
- Cremini mushrooms can be a fabulous addition. Sauté in some butter after you've removed the chicken, set aside, then add back when returning the cooked chicken to the sauce.
- If you want to try a different cheese, grana padano, pecorino romano and asiago are great alternatives.
- If available, fresh truffle shavings make a wonderful topping. But I still recommend using half the quantity of truffle oil in the sauce.
What to serve with creamy truffle chicken
- Cooked pasta: Think spaghetti, linguini, fettuccine, pappardelle - straightforward and filling.
- Rice: A bed of white rice soaks up that decadent sauce oh-so-well.
- Vegetables: Broccoli, green beans, brussels sprouts, carrots or asparagus (whether steamed, roasted or grilled) add a fresh, crisp balance.
- Mashed potatoes: Classic pairing for a saucy chicken dish like this.
- Salad: Freshness to offset the rich, creamy sauce. Toss with a simple vinaigrette.
- Bread: Warm crusty or garlic bread for those who love to mop up every last bit of sauce.
- Roasted potatoes: Another hearty side.
- Sautéed Spinach: Quick, easy and a great companion.
Storage and reheating
- Storage: Let the chicken cool completely before you transfer to an airtight container. It'll keep in the fridge for around 3 days. I'd avoid the freezer because the cream sauce can go a bit weird after thawing.
- Reheating: Reheat in a saucepan over medium-low heat slowly until warmed through. Add a splash of water if the sauce looks too thick. If using microwave, heat in short 30-second spurts. Mix the sauce between intervals for even heating.
Just so you know
- Keep an eye on your creamy truffle sauce as it simmers. It's going to get even thicker when cooling down so don't make it too thick.
- Truffle oil can be tricky to find in regular grocery stores, but easy to get online. Check out websites such as Amazon, eBay, Costco or even direct seller sites. Be sure to look through the reviews. Specialty stores that focus on gourmet or imported items may also carry it.
- Cooking for a crowd? Hit the “+” button on the recipe card below to increase the servings and all the ingredient amounts will adjust.
- 2 chicken breasts - boneless, skinless. Around 250g/9oz each
- 3 tablespoons (23 g) all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil - or any cooking oil
For Truffle Cream Sauce
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter - (Note A)
- ¼ (28 g) medium onion - finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic - large cloves, finely minced or grated
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup (237 ml) chicken or vegetable broth/stock - low sodium (Note A)
- 1 cup (237 ml) heavy whipping cream
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ¾ cup (75 g) parmesan cheese, freshly grated - press down tightly into the measuring cup (Note B)
- 1 teaspoon white truffle oil - or black truffle oil
- some chopped fresh parsley - for garnish
- Place a chicken breast on a cutting board and carefully slice horizontally through the center to get two cutlets (see Note C for slicing tip). Repeat with the other breast.
- Combine flour, salt, ground black pepper and garlic powder in a bowl. Sprinkle this mixture over the chicken pieces. Use hands to evenly coat.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, carefully lay the chicken in, no overlapping. If needed, work in batches but don't overcrowd. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until lightly golden brown and cooked through. Don't overcook to prevent the chicken from turning chewy/dry. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Then add chopped onions, sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until translucent. Add minced garlic and dried thyme and sauté 1 more minute.
- Pour in broth/stock, stir and then leave to simmer 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add heavy cream, salt, ground black pepper and white pepper. Stir until everything is mixed nicely. Allow to simmer for 3 to 4 minutes until it slightly thickens. And stir frequently to prevent scorching.
- Now put grated parmesan cheese (save some for garnish) and stir until all is melted and well combined.
- Mix in truffle oil. Then do a taste test and adjust seasoning as desired. If the sauce looks too thick add a little more broth/stock.
- Return the cooked chicken (plus any liquid it released) back to skillet and let it warm up for a minute or two.
- Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and the reserved parmesan and serve immediately.
- Step-by-step photo instructions
- Recipe troubleshooting
- Substitutions and variations (full list)
- Serving ideas
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