Marry Me Chicken

Marry Me Chicken

With a name like Marry Me Chicken, you know it’s got to be good. It’s rumored to have inspired marriage proposals. When I started making this for my husband, he promised to keep me around. The marriage proposal came decades before I found this recipe.

When friends recently shared their abundant basil crop with me, I reviewed my recipes that used fresh basil. I made peach Caprese salad and pesto salmon, which barely put a dent in my basil stash.

I added fresh pesto to Marry Me Chicken. Store-bought pesto also works.  Other modifications I’ve made to the original recipe include adding a can of sliced mushrooms and using chicken tenders instead of chicken breasts or thighs. Chicken tenders have two advantages. First, they cook faster, without the need to bake them in the oven. Second, the smaller pieces absorb more flavor from that tasty sauce.

I like to serve this chicken over rice, but it would also be good with pasta or zucchini noodles.

Preparation time: 20 minutes               Total time: 20 minutes

Specialized Kitchen Utensils:

  • Nothing special for this one

Serves 4


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken tenders (or a bit more, whatever comes in a package)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup pesto (I’ve used store-bought pesto and made my own using this recipe from the New York Times.)
  • 1/2 cup julienne-cut sundried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • fresh basil, cut into strips for garnish

Serve over one of these:

  • prepared rice (for a quick meal, I use Seeds of Change Organic Brown Basmati Rice. It’s ready after 90 seconds in the microwave.)
  • zucchini noodles
  • pasta


Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Sear chicken until golden, about 3 minutes on each side. Place chicken on a plate.

Over medium heat, add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add red pepper flakes, thyme, chicken broth, and heavy cream. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Stir in pesto, sundried tomatoes, and about half of the parmesan cheese. Return the chicken to the pan.  Cook for a few more minutes.

Serve over rice, zucchini noodles, or pasta. Garnish with basil and remaining parmesan cheese.


One Comment

  1. Sounds wonderful, Mary! Next time I get some chicken, I’m trying this one for sure.


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