Marry Me Chicken Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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Marry Me Chicken

11 reviews / 4.6 average

Golden, juicy chicken coated in a simple creamy sauce with tomatoes, garlic, and thyme. I love this with mashed potatoes and a salad! This is just so good.

I Would Like To Marry This Chicken.

Juicy, golden-crusted chicken breasts laying in a bed of creamy sauce that has been laced with garlic and thyme is just something everyone should have in their recipe repertoire. This chicken is so, so good.

It took some encouragement to try it, but the first time my 3-year-old daughter took a bite of the chicken coated in a bit of sauce, she opened her hands, tipped her head to the sky, and closed her eyes in bliss. Me too, girl. Me too.

Marry Me Chicken has been around for a while, but this month has been my first time trying it. The original version pan fries the chicken in the same pan as the sauce – and this makes sense in theory, but you guys, I just love the air fryer chicken. It tastes better. It’s more consistent and reliable. It’s juicy and it’s got great flavor, exterior texture, and color. It’s hands-off. It’s just about the only way that I make chicken now. I’m willing to wash one extra dish (the air fryer basket) in favor of having my favorite juicy chicken with the golden crust on the outside.

The other difference here is that original Marry Me Chicken also has sun-dried tomatoes, but I don’t LOVE-love sun-drieds, so I went with a jar of DeLallo marinated bruschetta-style tomatoes which are fresher and juicier (similar to juicy petite diced canned or fresh tomatoes), and boom! It was divine.

Marry Me Chicken in a pan on a stovetop.

I’m writing the recipe to use a can of petite diced tomatoes because it’s the most widely available (and delicious). But if you can get your hands on those DeLallo bruschetta tomatoes, you will enjoy those in this recipe.

This is a recipe to make when you feel like you just need a little just-because joy, or something extra special, or, obviously, want someone to marry you.

I love this chicken with mashed potatoes and a simple green salad. We pull out the candles and the placemats for this one. And we’re never not lingering at the table to lick up every last drop of sauce.

Welcome To My Home! Let’s Make This Chicken.

1

Get it all ready to go.

Prep the chicken. Thinly slice some garlic. Drain your tomatoes.

Raw chicken in a bowl next to a bowl of tomatoes and chopped garlic and herbs,

2

Start the Garlic, Butter, and Tomato Paste.

Get these three going over low heat to start to develop some flavor.

Squeezing tomato paste into a pan with sliced garlic.

3

Add Cream, Broth, and Thyme.

Whisk and then let it all simmer up for a while so it can thicken into a nice sauce.

Pouring heavy cream into a pan with tomatoes.

If you’re air frying the chicken, like I do, you can start that now while the sauce cooks.

Simmering sauce in a pan with herbs.

4

Add Chicken and Tomatoes.

Pull out the sprigs of thyme and get your tomatoes in the sauce. Finally, tuck those gorgeous pieces of chicken into the whole thing.

Adding air-fried chicken to a pan with sauce.

5

You’re Done! Yum!

OOOH MY the flavor of that sauce is just next level. Are we in a restaurant right now? I think we’re in a restaurant.

Spooning sauce over chicken in a pan.
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Marry Me Chicken in a pan with a spoon.

Marry Me Chicken


  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

Golden, juicy chicken coated in a simple creamy sauce with tomatoes, garlic, and thyme. I like it with mashed potatoes and a salad! This is just so good.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Marry Me Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (note 1)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (note 2)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • 1 14.5ounce jar petite diced tomatoes, drained thoroughly (note 3)
  • salt to taste (note 4)

Chicken:


Instructions

  1. Sauce Base: Heat a large skillet over medium low heat. Add the butter, garlic, and tomato paste; sauté for a few minutes until it’s all soft and fragrant. 
  2. Add Cream, Broth, and Thyme: Add the cream; whisk to get the tomato paste smooth. Add the broth and thyme sprigs; simmer for 10-15 minutes to thicken the sauce until it reduces and clings to the back of a spoon. (If you’re using the air fryer chicken, now is a good time to start that.)
  3. Add Tomatoes and Chicken: Pop your drained diced tomatoes in the sauce and stir them in. Tuck the cooked chicken into the sauce and spoon a bit of sauce over the top. 
  4. You’re Done! Yum. Sprinkle some thyme, parsley, or basil over the top to make it look pretty. Serve the pieces of chicken with spoonfuls of the sauce over rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes (personal fave) and a side salad for a beautiful, mega delicious meal.

Notes

Note 1 on Garlic: I prefer thinly sliced garlic to minced garlic for this recipe because it’s less textured and the flat little slips of garlic just get extra tender and sort of melt into the whole recipe. But minced garlic also works. Garlic clove size can vary greatly, so I typically try for somewhere between 1-2 tablespoons of thinly sliced garlic.

Note 2 on Tomato Paste: I use the DeLallo tomato paste in a tube which is “double concentrated”, but that is not necessary. Regular tomato paste would also work.

Note 3 on Petite Diced Tomatoes: I highly recommend petite diced tomatoes vs. regular canned diced tomatoes. The size of the petite dice is much more pleasant in the sauce. I also love this with the DeLallo bruschetta tomatoes which are marinated in olive oil, garlic, and basil. I drain off the oil and just add the tomatoes to the sauce. It’s VERY good, but petite diced canned tomatoes are easier to find which is why I listed them here.

Note 4 on Salt: I use 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt for the sauce, but how much salt you use should be dependent on how salty your broth is as every broth is different and some have reduced sodium. If you’re not sure, start by adding 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, taste and see what you think, and go up from there.

Note 5 on Chicken: If you don’t have an air fryer or prefer to make it on the stovetop, you’ll just pan-fry a pound of thinly sliced chicken breasts or chicken tenderloins in the same skillet before you start the sauce. Season your chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, maybe a bit of paprika for color. Many Marry Me Chicken recipes recommend coating the chicken in a tablespoon of flour as well to give it a lightly breaded feel. Pan fry it in a bit of butter or olive oil. Once the chicken is golden and cooked through, remove it, set aside, and then add the chicken back into the finished sauce.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: marry me chicken, creamy chicken, creamy chicken skillet dinner, chicken breast recipe

Frequently Asked Questions For Marry Me Chicken

I don’t have an air fryer. How else could I make the chicken?

You can make the chicken in the same pan as the sauce! Before you start the sauce, coat the chicken in spices and pan-fry it until it’s golden on both sides and cooked all the way through. Remove it, set aside, make the sauce, and then add the chicken back in. The reason I prefer the air fryer chicken is because: 1) I’m able to get a more consistently delicious result – juicy on the inside, golden on the outside every single time – never dry, never overcooked, whereas I find it’s easy to over-cook the chicken when pan-frying. And 2) the chicken can cook in the air fryer while I’m simmering the sauce so it goes a bit faster.

Can I use sun-dried tomatoes instead of petite diced canned tomatoes?

Yes – traditionally, Marry Me Chicken recipes use sun-dried tomatoes. I prefer the juiciness of a “fresh” tomato – real, actual fresh tomatoes would be ideal but in winter times, a can of petite diced tomatoes is a pretty great stand-in. I would NOT use regular diced canned tomatoes as they are larger and more chunky – the petite dice is important in getting everything just right.

What should I use if I can’t find petite diced canned tomatoes?

Use sun-dried tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes that have been finely diced and drained of excess juices.

What should I serve this chicken with?

This chicken is perfect with mashed potatoes and a side salad. If you don’t have time or energy to make your own mashed potatoes, I like the store-bought mashed potatoes from Target (Good and Gather brand). I put them in a pan in the oven and let them get kind of crisped and golden around the edges and they are legitimately quite good.

Can I make this in a slow cooker?

In theory, you could cook the sauce and then place chicken breasts in a slow cooker and cover it with the sauce to cook for a few hours. The issue is that you wouldn’t get the textured, golden exterior on the chicken which provides such a nice contrast to the creamy sauce. You could do it, yes. But I’m not sure I’d recommend it.

How can I thicken the sauce?

Simmering the sauce for 10 minutes should reduce its overall volume which will naturally thicken the sauce and concentrate the flavor. (YUM.) This is how I always do it. But if you’re in a hurry or just don’t feel like the sauce is thickening the way you want it to, whisk 1-2 teaspoons of cornstarch into 1-2 teaspoons of cold water and add it to the simmering sauce. It should give it just enough body and thickness to coat the chicken better.

3 More Of My Favorite Chicken Recipes

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28 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Oh my goodness, Lindsay! This recipe has the grand potential to emotionally steal some hearts. The flavors were so rich and comforting, and that creamy sauce? Some people, possibly including me if I was there, could practically drink it straight from the pan. Don’t laugh too hard at that one! (smile) It’s recipes like these that remind some people why they fell in love with cooking in the first place – the joy of creating something truly delicious to share with the ones we cherish most. Thank you for sharing this gem with the world. Sending lots of love and gratitude your way. 💖

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    After eating this meal tonight, I told my husband it was called Marry Me Chicken, and he said: “I would”. Big hit.

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    we are dairy free. can you use almond milk or canned coconut milk in the sauce instead of cream?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi Misty! Almond milk will be too thin, and canned coconut milk might not be the flavor you’re looking for. They do sell some dairy-free half and half and heavy cream, one of those would probably be best!

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This chicken was beyond delicious, and your air fryer chicken will be my forever go-to! We are a dairy free family, so I used canned coconut milk instead of cream and it worked perfectly!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    turned out great over here! — Couldn’t acquire little diced tomato guys, so it was chunkier, but still worked out well!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This Marry Me Chicken recipe by Lindsay from Pinch of Yum sounds absolutely delightful!

    Who wouldn’t want a dish so good it could inspire a proposal?

    I love the twist of using the air fryer for the chicken – sounds like a guaranteed way to get juicy perfection every time. And the creamy garlic sauce with tomatoes and thyme?

    Heaven! Definitely filing this recipe away for a date night or a special family dinner.

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I made this last night and OMG sooo good! Not only was it good but also seriously easy! I could not believe the whole family ate it AND loved it! This will definitely be a staple on the menu! Thank you so much!!!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks so, so good! I’m thinking about bringing this as a meal for a friend who just had surgery. Think I could bring chicken + sauce in separate containers for him to reheat together?

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Well…my husband came sniffing into the kitchen to pour me a glass of red wine while I was cooking (unusual), and both he and my 8yo son proposed to me after eating dinner 🤣 My 4yo daughter declared it the best dinner ever. It was heavenly paired with your instant pot potatoes (that thyme garlic butter…). The DeLallo bruschetta tomatoes were so good in it too!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I made this last night and it did not disappoint! The recipe was super simple and I had all the ingredients on hand, one of the many reasons I love Pinch Of Yum. Highly recommend and will make again, thank you!

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Looks very good and will be next on my list ! One my favourites and similar to this is a creamy Tuscan chicken dish with diced crispy chorizo. Creamy buttery mash to scoop up all the leftover sauce

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I found this lacking in the tomato cream sauce vibe I anticipated. I’m going to cut the cream and broth in half and up the paste. A good base in concept, tho.

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This recipe was delicious. The sauce was fantastic and paired with the air fryer chicken was a definite favorite. We paired it with mashed potatoes and salad and it was perfect. Will make again!