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Marry Me Chicken

Marry Me Chicken – chicken in a sun-dried tomato cream sauce – is a quick, easy and incredibly delicious dinner that’s perfect for date night, special occasions or any night!

Boneless chicken breasts served with a delectable sauce made with heavy cream, chicken stock, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, butter, onions, garlic, and Italian herbs and topped with fresh basil…how could that be anything but absolutely fabulous?

So with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I just had to post my version of this famously viral recipe. I mean, could there be a more aptly-named dish to cook for your sweetie on the day devoted to all things love? I think not!

But don’t save it just for special occasions. This scrumptious chicken is so simple to make and is ready in under an hour, which means you can serve it for family-friendly weeknight dinners too!

Why Is It Called “Marry Me” Chicken?

In researching this dish, I found a few different stories about how it got its name.

One is that the name simply comes from the fact that the chicken is so yummy that, if you make it for your significant other, they might just ask you to marry them!

Another story told of some food magazine editors testing the recipe and one saying that they would marry the dish, if they could, because they enjoyed it so much.

Yet another said it’s just a take on the fact that all of the ingredients and flavors marry so well (kind of like how Italian Wedding Soup got its name).

Well, regardless of which one it is, the common theme is that it’s super delicious…which is 110% true!

The chicken is tender and juicy. The sauce is so creamy and full of flavor that you won’t want to leave a drop behind. And the fresh basil sprinkled on top is the perfect finishing touch.

It’s actually hard to believe that a dish this good is so quick and easy to make!

marry me chicken in a skillet with a kitchen towel and wooden spoon on the side

Ingredients You Need:

Note: Ingredient amounts are in the recipe card below.

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • All-purpose flour
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Chicken stock or broth (low-sodium recommended; I use a roasted chicken base mixed with water)
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Italian seasoning (I use my Homemade Italian Seasoning)
  • Parmesan cheese (freshly grated; don’t use the pre-grated/shredded stuff)
  • Sun-dried tomatoes (I prefer the ones packed in oil; look for them near the Italian foods)
  • Fresh basil

Note: The above video is just a brief overview of the steps. Scroll down to the recipe card below for the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and detailed instructions.

Recipe Tips & Tidbits

  • If you’re not comfortable with halving the chicken breasts (it still makes me a little nervous every time I do it), just get some thin-sliced chicken breast cutlets instead.
    • Four cutlets that are 6 ounces each would be perfect; you want 1½ pounds of chicken total.
  • Since the chicken is thin, it cooks relatively fast. When browning, don’t cook it completely because it will finish cooking in the sauce. Simmer in the sauce just until cooked through (internal temperature of 165°F) and avoid overcooking so you will have tender, juicy meat.
  • I recommend using a low-sodium stock or broth so you can better control the amount of salt and avoid the dish ending up too salty.
    • Lightly season the chicken breasts before cooking and wait to the end to see if you need to add any salt to the sauce. The stock or broth and parmesan cheese will both add saltiness and, since the sauce reduces and concentrates, this may be all you need.
  • The heavy cream is a must for creating that thickened luxurious sauce. Don’t try to replace it with something else.
  • Get a wedge of parmesan cheese and freshly grate/shred it. If you use the kind that comes pre-grated/shredded, it most likely won’t melt into the sauce properly, leaving you with clumps of cheese rather than a smooth sauce (which will be very disappointing).
  • You could easily halve this recipe if you’re only cooking for two and don’t want any leftovers.
a piece of marry me chicken cut in half on a plate with sauce and a fork

Substitutions & Variations

  • You could use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you’d rather dark meat. They may take a little longer to cook.
  • Not a fan of sun-dried tomatoes? Seed and chop up some fresh tomatoes instead. The flavor will be slightly different but still very delicious!
    • I will admit that I did not always enjoy sun-dried tomatoes, but I really love them in this dish. So I say definitely give it a try because you might be surprised!
  • Stir some fresh spinach into the sauce until it wilts (before you add the chicken back to the pan) for some extra veggie goodness.
  • Add some crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce for a little spicy kick.
  • Turn it into a pasta dish: once the chicken and sauce are finished cooking, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and toss it and the sauce with 8 ounces of cooked pasta. Top with parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Yum!

Storing Leftovers, Reheating and Freezing

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • Reheat in a covered pan on the stove over low to medium-low heat just until heated through (avoid overcooking, as the chicken can become dry). You could also reheat it in the microwave.
    • If needed, add a little chicken stock, heavy cream or water to thin out the sauce.
  • Freezing is not recommended; sauces with cream will usually take on an unpleasant grainy texture when frozen.
sliced pieces of marry me chicken and sauce over a bed of fettuccine pasta

What to Serve With Marry Me Chicken

Here are some ideas of things to serve with Marry Me Chicken:

I hope you try this Marry Me Chicken recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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More Chicken Recipes To Try

Want even more chicken recipes? Check out my Chicken and Turkey recipe page!

If you make this recipe, I’d love to know how it went! Please leave a star rating and comment below. Thanks!

a piece of Marry Me Chicken and sauce on a white plate with a fork

Marry Me Chicken

Marry Me Chicken – chicken in a sun-dried tomato cream sauce – is a quick, easy and incredibly delicious dinner that's perfect for date night, special occasions or any night!
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Estimated Calories: 662

Ingredients

  • 2 (12 ounces each) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup finely diced onions
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock or broth, low-sodium recommended (I use a roasted chicken base mixed with water)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, I use my Homemade Italian Seasoning
  • ½ cup freshly grated or shredded parmesan cheese, don't use the pre-grated/shredded kind
  • ½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes, I prefer and recommend the ones packed in oil (drain before chopping)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil

Instructions

  • Slice each chicken breast in half lengthwise to make 4 thinner cutlets.
  • Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper.
    I use about ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper (total). You want to be mindful of the salt because the chicken stock and parmesan cheese in the sauce will both add saltiness and, since the sauce will reduce and concentrate, this may be all you need.
  • Spread the flour out on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour until completely coated and gently shake off any excess.
    You won't need all the flour to coat the chicken, so there will be some left behind (just discard it); I use ¼ cup because it makes dredging the chicken easier.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat (I use a 12-inch skillet). Add the chicken and cook just until lightly golden brown on each side, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
    Don't cook the chicken through at this point. You just want to get some color on it (it will finish cooking in the sauce later).
  • Remove the chicken from the pan to a plate; set aside.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low.
  • Add the butter to the skillet. Once it has melted, add the onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until they are softened, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
    Don't allow the garlic to brown, as it can become bitter.
  • Add the chicken stock or broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the heavy cream, Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted.
  • Bring to a gentle simmer (increase the heat if needed); simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the sun-dried tomatoes; stir to combine.
  • Add the chicken (and any juices) back to the pan. Spoon some of the sauce over each piece of chicken and then gently simmer just until the chicken is cooked through (internal temperature of 165°F), about 5 to 10 minutes. The sauce should thicken a little more during this time as well.
    The time needed will depend on how thin your chicken is. To ensure it is tender and juicy, be careful not to overcook.
  • Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
  • Garnish with fresh basil and serve immediately.

Notes

  • If you’re not comfortable with halving the chicken breasts, get some thin-sliced chicken breast cutlets instead (4 at 6 ounces each is ideal; you want 1½ pounds of chicken total).
  • Get a wedge of parmesan cheese and freshly grate/shred it. If you use the kind that comes pre-grated/shredded, it most likely won’t melt into the sauce properly, leaving you with clumps of cheese rather than a smooth sauce (which will be very disappointing).
  • Excellent served over hot cooked pasta!
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
    • Reheat gently in a covered pan on the stove over low to medium-low heat until heated through (be careful not to overcook, as the chicken can become dry). If needed, add some chicken stock or broth, heavy cream or water to thin out the sauce. You can also reheat it in the microwave.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!
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