Chicken Asparagus Skillet
A handful of simple ingredients combine in this easy, creamy chicken asparagus skillet, made up of golden chicken, tender asparagus, and a luscious garlic lemon cream sauce that includes a dairy-free modification. This recipe makes the ultimate low-effort, one-pan meal you can enjoy any night of the week!
About this Chicken Asparagus Skillet Recipe
I don’t know about you, but on busy weeknights I love being able to whip up a good one-pan dinner recipe – bonus points if it’s packed with lots of veggies and protein!
So it’s no wonder that this easy, healthy chicken asparagus skillet recipe is my family’s newest obsession.
The luscious garlic lemon cream sauce is the true hero in this dish and comes together in the very same pan as your meat & veggies (hello, easy clean up!).
Browned bits from the chicken, some cream, lemon juice, garlic, butter and chicken stock all team up to create a sauce that tastes like it took you all day to make.
It’ll be our little secret that EVERYTHING (from the golden chicken to the tender asparagus & velvety sauce) only took you 30-minutes to get from pan to table.
Process & Tips
The beauty of this recipe is that it comes together in under 30 minutes and is made in just one pan (including the sauce!).
The number of ingredients & prep steps have all been intentionally kept to a minimum, making this a super convenient last minute dinner idea.
Simply brown your chicken in a hot skillet, stir together your sauce in that same pan, and add your asparagus – that’s seriously it.
The secret is not to stir or flip the chicken after you place it in the pan, highly recommend leaving it undisturbed until it’s formed a golden crust.
That’s how you get that gorgeous color and add a little extra flavor to your pan sauce, all with hardly any extra effort on your part!
Meal Prep Tip: Double this recipe to fill your fridge with some delicious leftovers to enjoy all week. Or really anytime you need to feed a crowd quickly & easily, this one’s always a big hit in our house!
Fun Variations to Try
This comforting dish is delicious as-is but it’s also fantastic served atop rice, cauliflower rice, quinoa, tossed with your pasta of choice or served alongside a simple green salad.
You might also love these twists on this recipe:
Chicken asparagus pasta: Toss together with 1 pound of the cooked pasta of your choice for a simple chicken asparagus pasta dinner. Penne or rotini would be so good to soak up the sauce!
Chicken asparagus rice: My personal choice for serving is to serve it on top of cooked brown or jasmine rice. Be sure to spoon over as much of the creamy pan sauce as possible!
Chicken asparagus & potatoes: This skillet dinner would be delicious served alongside slow cooker potatoes, skillet sweet potatoes or even stuffed into these slow cooker baked potatoes.
If you love one-pan chicken and veggie dinners, try this Healthy Orange Chicken Asparagus Stir-Fry for a similar set of ingredients with Asian-inspired flavors!
Ingredients & Modifications
Chicken breasts: I used boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe but boneless skinless chicken thighs would also work great.
Asparagus: If you don’t like asparagus (or if it’s out of season & you can’t easily find it), you can swap in another crisp, green veggie in its place. Green beans or broccoli would also be great savory options.
Butter: You can use traditional butter or for dairy-free, use a plant-based butter. For paleo, use ghee or a paleo friendly plant-based butter in its place.
Olive oil: I love the light, buttery flavor of the olive oil in this recipe. But you can also use any other neutral flavored cooking oil in its place like avocado, coconut, vegetable or canola oil.
Cream: I used traditional heavy cream in this recipe but you could also substitute an equal amount of unsweetened non-dairy creamer for a delicious dairy-free option.
Chicken broth: I used reduced sodium chicken stock but you could also use regular chicken stock or vegetable stock if that’s what you have on hand.
Lemon juice: Fresh squeezed lemon juice works best for this recipe and provides a little bit of brightness that lifts up & balances all the rich flavors.
Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store (it has a subtler flavor). Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.
This Recipe Is…
Dairy FreeGluten FreeNut FreePaleo
More Easy Healthy Skillet Recipes
Skillet Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
Easy Italian Chicken Zucchini Skillet
20-Minute Ground Turkey & Green Bean Skillet
Quick & Easy Crustless Chicken Pot Pie
Southwest Beef & Sweet Potato Skillet
Healthy Orange Chicken Asparagus Stir-Fry
Chicken Asparagus Skillet
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided (or plant-based butter for dairy-free)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- ¾ cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
- ½ cup cream, or unsweetened non-dairy creamer for dairy-free
- 2 pounds asparagus, about 2 bunches, woody ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Heat a large 11-inch skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil, then add the chicken pieces in one even layer. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and cook until one side is golden, about 5 minutes. Flip, then cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until both sides are golden. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
- Lower the heat to medium-low, then to the same pan add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and the garlic. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
- Add the chicken stock, scraping up any browned bits left on the bottom of the pan. Add the cream, then simmer uncovered for 3-4 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Add the chicken back to the pan, along with the asparagus and remaining ½ teaspoon salt, then cook for 3-5 minutes or until the asparagus reaches the desired doneness.
- Turn off the heat, add the lemon juice, and stir to combine. Taste and add additional salt or lemon juice if desired.
- Serve alone, atop rice or cauliflower rice, or tossed with pasta of choice.
Is there a quantity of garlic for the sauce? I am probably missing it somewhere. Going to use 2 cloves minced and see how it goes.
Sunny, thanks for the catch, we somehow left the garlic off the ingredient list! It’s been added now, and your intuition was correct, it’s two garlic cloves minced. Thanks so much for the catch, I hope you enjoy this one!
Despite the cream, this is absolutely not a heavy dish. It’s substantial, yet refreshing thanks to the lemon. Simple and delicious. On frequent rotation in my home!
Completely agree with this summary of the recipe, Jennifer. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Made it last night had some leftover quinoa in the fridge so I I dumped it in at the end to bulk it up so I have leftovers! Sauce is really good. 7 year old daughter approved!
Yay, so glad you and your crew enjoyed, Sunny! Love the idea of adding quinoa to round out the meal. Thanks so much for leaving a review!
I just made this for dinner and had a little taste—it is absolutely delicious. I don’t have to wait to put it on the table to know that my family will love it! Not heavy at all but very tasty and so easy to put together! Thanks for another great recipe Robyn!
Maria, yay, so happy to hear you enjoyed this one! Thanks so much for leaving a review!