Everyone knows our worst-kept secret: we LOVE creamy chicken recipes! It all started with our Creamy Garlic Chicken taking the Pinch of Nom Facebook group by storm after it was published. Four (nearly five!) cookbooks later, we still can’t resist the velvety texture of a creamy dish. With garlicky, tomatoey and fiery dinners in our creamy chicken catalogue, it’s not hard to understand why.
While our silkier dishes might seem indulgent, we’ve found ways of making sure our home-cooked sauces are luxuriously thick without a pot of cream in sight. If there were a ‘starter pack’ ingredient for preparing (slimming-friendly!) creamy chicken dishes, we’d recommend having reduced-fat cream cheese handy.
From noodle soups to curries, it’s a match made in heaven paired with tender chicken chunks in so many of the recipes on this list.
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1. Creamy Garlic Chicken
Nothing says ‘comfort’ quite like our hugely popular Creamy Garlic Chicken recipe. An instant winner of a chicken dinner from our first cookbook (Pinch of Nom: 100 Slimming Home-style Recipes is available to buy here), it wouldn’t be right to sum up our top creamy chicken dishes without it.
The base of our sauce is rich with sautéd onions, mushrooms, garlic and punchy Dijon mustard. Once that’s flavoursome and bubbling away in chicken stock, it’s time for the magic ingredient: reduced-fat cream cheese. Stir until there are no lumps remaining (this part of the recipe is so satisfying!).
When you’re ready to plate up, a sprinkling of chopped chives and paprika is a must.
A batch-cook wonder, the beauty of this recipe is in its versatility. We’re partial to having ours over a bed of fresh tagliatelle, but you can enjoy yours with hearty Creamy Mashed Potatoes or a light portion of steamed veggies if you’d prefer.
2. Creamy Tomato Chicken
Bright orange and brimming with colourful veggies, it’s hard to miss our Creamy Tomato Chicken. To save some time, we’d recommend chopping your cherry tomatoes, peppers and onions before you start cooking.
Pop the cherry tomato halves in the oven to bake until they’re browned and irresistibly juicy. That way, when they’re stirred into the pot with our herby cream cheese sauce and fresh basil, they add a gorgeous burst of sweetness to your dish.
When it comes to rustling up a creamy dish with lots of freshly-chopped herbs and veggies, we’d recommend using a large frying pan with a lid. Having a lid seals in the heat nicely, so your cooking is more energy efficient.
3. Creamy Pesto Chicken
Another Italian-inspired cream-based creation, our Creamy Pesto Chicken is a delightfully simple way to bring the taste of a Genovese holiday home. While we’ve gone green on green with a few tablespoons of green pesto and a helping of fine green beans, the sun-dried tomatoes break it up with a pop of red and their moreish tart flavour.
Don’t worry if you can’t find sun-dried tomatoes at your local supermarket; jarred tomatoes or cherry tomatoes will work just as well.
If you’re looking to make this freezer-friendly one-pot stretch a little further, there’s plenty of luxurious sauce to go around. Maximise your budget by stirring in any purposeless veggies sitting in your fridge into the pan, and freeze the extra nutritious portions.
4. Creamy Tarragon Chicken
Our Creamy Tarragon Chicken never fails to impress dinner guests. We’ve blended velvety reduced-fat cream cheese with mustard and bursts of aromatic tarragon, to give our chicken a touch of decadence for far fewer calories than you’d expect (only 233 per serving!).
If you’re unsure what’s best to pair with these elegant flavours, our Garlic Green Beans would complement your plateful nicely. Plus, they won’t overpower any additional mash or Roast Potatoes if you want to serve a heartier dinner.
5. Creamy Fajita Chicken
Spice up your midweek menu with our Creamy Fajita Chicken. A slimming-friendly love letter to fajita flavours, our blend of reduced-fat cream cheese, peppers, onions and peppers comes in nice and light at 304 calories per serving.
To seal the flavours into the chicken breasts, keep an eye on them and flip them so that they turn golden on both sides.
You’ll want to simmer your ingredients in the pan covered with a lid, to make sure your chicken is cooked throughout. If you don’t have a lid, covering the pan with a sheet of tin foil can make for a thrifty alternative.
Finish with a garnish of fresh coriander leaves to turn the Mexican-style flavours up a notch.
6. Creamy Lemon Chicken
A comfort-filled dish you can have ready in a pinch, our Creamy Lemon Chicken brings ultra-satisfying, tart citrus flavours to the dinner table. We’ve worked low-fat cream cheese and chicken stock together until they’re so devilishly thick and creamy, you’d be forgiven for thinking we’d sneaked in a dollop of full-fat double cream.
Not to be knocked until you’ve tried it, don’t be shy with black pepper seasoning! It really enhances the zestiness.
7. Creamy Red Thai Curry
If you’ve never tried cream cheese in a curry, our Creamy Red Thai Curry is a delectable place to start. We’ve cut the calories by preparing a homemade curry paste using signature Thai-style ingredients, including intense ginger and aromatic lemongrass. With crunchy baby corn, onions and peppers, it’s brimming with colourful veggies in a vibrant sauce.
Cream cheese isn’t the only ingredient that gives this chicken dinner its silkiness. While we’ve used Alpro Light’s dairy-free coconut drink, you can rummage in your store cupboard for a tinned variety instead. Just be sure to adjust the calories accordingly, if you’re counting.
8. Creamy Chicken Curry
Curry night just got a whole lot richer thanks to our Creamy Chicken Curry recipe. Jam-packed with nutritious diced peppers, mangetout, baby corn, onions, mushrooms and more, working your way towards 5-a-day has never tasted so good.
To unlock the indulgence that keeps us coming back to this fakeaway favourite, we’ve used fat-free Greek yoghurt rather than cream cheese.
You’ll need to keep an eye on your yoghurt once you’ve popped it in the pan – keep stirring regularly on a low heat, otherwise it could curdle. It’s well worth the effort once it’s on a bed of fluffy basmati rice!
9. Creamy Chicken Soup
You definitely don’t need to be under the weather to appreciate how warming our Creamy Chicken Soup is. A certified hug in a bowl, it’s a wonder that this dreamy broth is so silky and comforting without a single dairy ingredient.
Instead of using cheese or cream, we’ve used a rich combination of stock, herbs and veggies and let the flavours do the talking for themselves. We’ve used chopped up boneless chicken thighs in our soup because we think they’re extra tasty and fall-off-the-fork tender when stewed, but you can use chopped chicken breast if you’d prefer.
You can find the full recipe for this hearty winter-warmer in our fourth cookbook, Pinch of Nom: Comfort Food. (Psst! If you fancy the cosiness of leaving this one to simmer, or you need it ready in a jiffy, you’ll find slow cooker and pressure cooker versions of our recipe on page 154.).
10. Creamy Chicken and Lemon Noodle Soup
Transform your leftover chicken breasts into a midday pick-me-up with our Creamy Chicken and Lemon Noodle Soup. For our ‘noodles’, we’ve added dried linguine to a zesty, garlicky broth of shredded chicken, chopped carrots, celery and onion.
The flavours here are so good, it’s unlikely you’ll only want to make it when you’ve got leftovers handy. When you prepare this one from fresh, poach two skinless chicken breasts for 20 minutes. You can also use the poaching liquid to make up your chicken stock – it adds a whole new level of richness!
What’s your favourite creamy chicken recipe?
We’d love to know which creamy chicken dish you rustle up! Join the discussion over in our Facebook group where we have almost 1 million members waiting to support you on your slimming journey.
Did you know that you can now share your hints, tips, quotes and photos in our PON Gallery too? We’d highly recommend going for a scroll through the submissions we’ve had so far if you’re looking for some inspiration for dinner tonight!