One-Pan Marry Me Chicken

published Feb 10, 2024
Marry Me Chicken Recipe

This one-pan dinner has it all: tender chicken, a sun-dried tomato cream sauce, and a 30-minute cook time.

Serves4

Prep15 minutes

Cook30 minutes to 35 minutes

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overhead shot of four pieces of marry me chicken in a red dutch oven, with a wooden spoon lifting a piece of chicken out of the pot.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Kelli Foster

Of all the creamy chicken dinners out there, none come close to Marry Me Chicken. It’s so good that there were audible sighs and gasps of delight around the table the first time I served this Italian-inspired meal. Plates were licked clean and every drop of sauce was mopped up. I’ve made it four times in the past month, and I can tell you firsthand — it really is that delicious

The original version was developed by our very own Editor-in-Chief, Lindsay Funston, who coined the name because it was so delicious it received marriage proposal-level praise. The recipe went on to become a viral sensation with countless riffs. 

This version of the one-pan dinner is cooked entirely on the stovetop, and the light, creamy sauce has a bigger, brighter tomato flavor, thanks to the addition of tomato paste. Be sure to serve Marry Me Chicken with pasta, rice, potatoes, or bread so you mop up every last drop of sauce.

Key Ingredients in Marry Me Chicken

  • Boneless chicken breasts. For this recipe, it’s best to stick with medium-size chicken breasts to ensure that they all fit in the skillet in a single layer.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes. Use oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes here. (You’ll also use some of the oil from the jar for extra flavor.)
  • Red pepper flakes. Adds flavor and warmth to the sauce without being spicy. If you happen to love spicy food, feel free to up the amount.
  • Tomato paste. Gives the sauce more tomato flavor and leaves it with a reddish tint.
  • Heavy cream. Contributes a lush, creamy texture to the sauce, and adds more flavor.

What’s the Difference Between Marry Me Chicken and Tuscan Chicken?

You may have noticed that these creamy chicken breast recipes seem quite similar (and you’re not wrong). Tuscan chicken was a major source of inspiration for Marry Me Chicken. It boils down to a few notable differences that set Marry Me Chicken apart.

  • Red pepper flakes. Marry Me Chicken gets a little kick from red pepper flakes. 
  • Cream and chicken broth. While Tuscan chicken relies on just heavy cream for the sauce, this recipe also incorporates an equal amount of broth.
  • Tomato paste. Here, a spoonful of tomato paste gets mixed into the aromatics to really up the tomato flavor in the sauce.
  • Basil. You won’t find any spinach in Marry Me Chicken (our Tuscan chicken recipe uses a full bag); instead, just before serving, you’ll shower the dish with chopped fresh basil. 
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Kelli Foster

How to Make Marry Me Chicken

  • Prep the chicken. Working with one piece of chicken at a time, add to a resealable bag (or between two pieces of plastic wrap if you don’t have any bags), and use a meat mallet to pound the chicken to an even 1/2-inch thickness. (If you don’t own one, there are other ways to flatten the meat without a mallet). This will ensure even cooking. 
  • Sear the chicken. Working in two batches, sear the chicken on both sides in a large skillet, until deep brown. The chicken won’t be cooked through yet.
  • Sauté the aromatics. Heat a spoonful of the sun-dried tomato oil and cook the garlic, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and tomato paste until fragrant.
  • Simmer the sauce. Add heavy cream and chicken broth and cook just until the sauce is slightly thickened.
  • Finish the chicken in the sauce. Return the chicken breast and any accumulated juices to the skillet, and cook at a gentle simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Garnish with a generous sprinkle of chopped fresh basil leaves. 

Marry Me Chicken Recipe

This one-pan dinner has it all: tender chicken, a sun-dried tomato cream sauce, and a 30-minute cook time.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes to 35 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves

    garlic

  • 1/2 cup

    drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (2 1/2 ounces)

  • 4

    medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 to 2 1/2 pounds total)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 1 tablespoon

    sun-dried tomato oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes

  • 1 tablespoon

    tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup

    low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1/2 cup

    heavy cream

  • 2 sprigs

    fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Mince 3 garlic cloves. Coarsely chop 1/2 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes.

  2. Working with 1 piece of chicken at a time, place 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a large resealable bag and pound to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season all over with 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half of the chicken in a single layer and sear until browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a large plate (the chicken will not be cooked through). Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the skillet and repeat searing the remaining chicken. Transfer to the same plate.

  4. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato oil and heat until shimmering. Add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until darkened in color, 1 to 2 minutes.

  5. Add 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth, 1/2 cup heavy cream, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened, 2 to 4 minutes.

  6. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices on the plate to the pan. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and registers at least 165ºF on an instant-read thermometer, 4 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, pick the leaves from 2 fresh basil sprigs and coarsely chop until you have about 2 tablespoons.

  7. Garnish the chicken with the basil.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.