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Crispy Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce

Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 4 servings

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Crispy Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce is a healthier dinner, made with baked chicken breasts and a creamy sauce made without cream!

crispy chicken breasts sliced over egg noodles with creamy basil sauce

There is so much to love about this crispy chicken!

This is a recipe I’ve been making since before I posted it originally in 2015, back when I was cooking just for fun πŸ˜‰

The chicken breasts stay incredibly juicy, and because we’re baking them instead of frying, they are a much healthier option (and you also don’t have to smell frying oil for weeks to come!).

This basil cream sauce was inspired by a recipe I found in a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook a long time ago — it’s a lighter take on creamy sauce, made with milk and a roux instead of cream.

sliced crispy chicken breasts on white platter drizzled with creamy sauce and fresh basil

Serve this crispy chicken over a plate of egg noodles, or with a side of these Garlic Herb Instant Pot Potatoes or these Roasted Potatoes and Carrots!

Variations on this Crispy Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce:

  • If you don’t have panko bread crumbs, you can use regular bread crumbs or crushed crackers, but the panko crumbs make it extra crispy
  • You can swap the milk in the sauce for half and half or even heavy cream, if you want it a little richer
  • You can skip the chicken broth and opt for a combination of milk and cream, or just milk, or just cream, but I find the chicken broth adds lots of flavor!
  • This recipe makes just enough sauce for serving with the chicken — if you want extra for mashed potatoes or pasta, be sure to double the sauce
close up image of crispy chicken sliced over egg noodles on grey plate

More chicken breast recipes you’ll love!

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Crispy Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce

5 from 9 votes
Crispy Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce is a healthy meal, made with baked chicken breasts and a creamy sauce made without cream!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings
Calories 276cal

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt (I use Lawry's)
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup milk

Basil Cream Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons margarine (or butter)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth (low sodium)
  • 1/2 cup milk 1%
  • 1 teaspoon basil pesto
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper.
  • In a shallow, square container combine panko through paprika. Place milk in another shallow container or dish.
  • Dip chicken into milk, then into crumb mixture, pressing down gently to make sure the crumbs adhere to the chicken. Flip the chicken and coat the other side in the crumbs. Place on baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then flip the chicken. Bake another 10 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F and coating is lightly golden.
  • While the chicken is baking, prepare the sauce. In a medium pan, melt the margarine or butter. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute.
  • Whisk in broth, milk, pesto and salt and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until thickened. Remove from heat and serve over chicken.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 276cal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 1502mg | Potassium: 523mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 480IU | Vitamin C: 4.5mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 1.5mg
Keywords crispy chicken

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. Laura says

    This was very tasty. For the sauce I use the chicken broth but I add powdered skim milk to warm broth. I add enough to make the broth very milk like. It works and tastes as if you used 2% milk. I do the same for all my cream sauces. Always use powdered skim milk.

  2. Sara Welch says

    Tried this for dinner tonight and it did not disappoint! Great family friendly meal; my picky eaters ate every bite!

  3. Julie Blanner says

    I love that I had all the ingredients for this! It was so easy to make and the whole family enjoyed it, which is a win-win! This will definitely be a repeat meal.

  4. Priya Desai says

    Lovely recipe! Successful attempt but like you mentioned, my chicken was on the drier side. Instead of milk, I used Go’s mozzarella cheese. I wrapped the chicken in the cheese. As I cooked it, the cheese melted and converged with the chicken! It was amazing and gave a thick and delicious outer cover. Thanks for the recipe, my family loves it.

  5. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Ashley! I always have panko in my pantry and I always bake chicken. Unfortunately my reason for baking vs frying is not for “healthy”, I do it that way because I hate the mess of frying! Same reason I cook bacon on a sheet pan in the oven! πŸ™‚ This sauce would be nice on asparagus (which will soon be coming up in our garden).

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Dorothy! Haha, any reason is a good reason! I hate the mess too, and I love that I can line a sheet pan with foil to keep the mess to a minimum when I bake anything (and bacon too!). I am so jealous that you have things growing! Haha, our snow is just on its way out, but it’s supposed to get cold again πŸ™

  6. Michelle { A Latte Food } says

    Yes! I am all about subbing in healthy ingredients for unhealthy ones! You’d totally never get that from my typical dessert calorie-laden posts, but I have to balance my desserts with my actual meals, right? Haha, anyway, these look great! Pinned!

  7. Allie | Baking a Moment says

    Ooh what a great dish to start out the year with! I love how you’ve lightened up a classic. And I have the same kind of philosophy about moderation. Deprivation never works for me, but all I ever need is a small taste πŸ˜‰

  8. [email protected] says

    I don’t normally like heavy cream sauces, so this lightened up version sounds perfect for me! And that chicken is so golden brown and crispy. This meal would seem indulgent to me — it looks wonderful! Pinned. πŸ™‚

  9. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom says

    Ashley, I think we all went a little over the top with indulgent recipes in December. . hey, it was the holidays and that’s our job! πŸ˜› love love love this lighter chicken! I totally want to try this basil cream sauce!! and hey, if you just had a baby, dude, EAT!!! you need all those calories and fat for your milk! πŸ™‚

    • Ashley says

      Haha, oh I EAT Alice πŸ™‚ Because right after Christmas baking comes Valentine’s Day baking… I need some lighter recipes to even things out!

  10. Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. says

    Completely agree with you Ashley! I never count calories, far too much work, but focus on moderation and making as many healthy choices and substitutions as I can! This chicken looks delicious, so crispy, and that sauce looks fantastic!

  11. Danielle says

    You’d never be able to tell this was a lighter dish, it looks so delicious! I had one too many holiday treats this past month, so this sounds perfect for dinner. Pinning this!

  12. Shinee says

    Ashley, I’m totally with you. I don’t count calories. I just try to focus on moderation. And by moderation, I mean eat a healthy dinner and have extra decadent dessert. Haha, oh well! Love this chicken with that sauce. Yum!

  13. Cyndi - My Kitchen Craze says

    This chicken looks delicious. You wouldn’t even know that it’s a healthier version. Yum!! And good for you for doing your New Year’s resolutions. I’ve already stopped mine, hehe. I made it 7 days I think. Thats good enough, right? Pinned!!

    • Ashley says

      Haha, thanks Cyndi! I’m not sure it’s really a New Years resolution… if I’d had a baby in July, I’d still be trying to eat healthier! Lol. Of course, all that Christmas baking didn’t help πŸ˜‰

  14. Natalie @ Tastes Lovely says

    Now that it is January I should probably start eating better, instead of eating ice cream every night after dinner like I have this week. Ha! This recipe sounds delicious. I love chicken in panko, so crispy and tasty.

    • Ashley says

      Haha, I can’t say that I don’t use a “healthy supper” as an excuse to have a giant bowl of ice cream later…. but it all evens out right?:)

  15. Julie @ Julie's Eats & Treats says

    So you aren’t just sitting around eating chocolate on maternity leave?! Haha! This looks amazing and moderation is my philosophy too. People always wonder how I don’t eight 300 pounds but they see every bad thing I put into my mouth with the blog and think I do that all the time!

    • Ashley says

      It’s so true! Even food bloggers need a little balance sometimes. Lol. And no, I use a good healthy meal as an excuse to eat chocolate later! πŸ˜‰

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