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Saucy Garlic Chicken

Roasted garlic lends a rich flavor to this appetizing chicken entree, and it complements the spinach nicely. Ideal for entertaining, the recipe can be assembled in advance and popped in the oven when guests arrive. —Joanna Johnson, Flower Mound, Texas
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. + cooling Bake: 35 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 4 whole garlic bulbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 package (9 ounces) fresh baby spinach
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper, divided
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 2-1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Hot cooked pasta
  • Chopped tomato and minced fresh parsley, optional


  • Remove papery outer skin from garlic (do not peel or separate cloves). Cut tops off of garlic bulbs; brush bulbs with 1 tablespoon oil. Wrap each bulb in heavy-duty foil. Bake at 425° for 30-35 minutes or until softened. Cool for 10-15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place spinach in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. In a large skillet, brown chicken in remaining oil on both sides; place over spinach.
  • In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in 2 cups cheese, nutmeg and remaining salt and pepper.
  • Transfer to a blender; squeeze softened garlic into blender. Cover and process until smooth. Pour mixture over chicken.
  • Cover and bake at 425° for 30-35 minutes or until a thermometer reads 170° and sauce is bubbly. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer. Serve with pasta. Sprinkle with tomato and parsley if desired.
    Freeze option: Substitute 5 ounces frozen chopped spinach that has been thawed and squeezed dry for fresh spinach. Cool unbaked casserole and sprinkle with remaining cheese; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 425°. Bake casserole as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in chicken to read 170°.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 601 calories, 32g fat (16g saturated fat), 163mg cholesterol, 1066mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 2g fiber), 55g protein.

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  • Diane
    Sep 23, 2020

    This was so good!! I did add a cup of sun-dried tomatoes to the blender with the roasted garlic. Definitely will be making this again.

  • Debra
    Sep 12, 2020

    I have never bothered to review a recipe but love a lot of them. This recipe is fantastic. Don’t change a thing. I served mine over wide egg noodles. I didn’t add the tomato at the end. Makes plenty to freeze and tastes just as good the second time I swear my husband asks for this dish every other week.

  • cynandtom
    Jun 6, 2017

    Nice make ahead dinner. Great sauce-creamy and cheesy. The only changes I made were adding a little grated nutmeg to the spinach itself and crushed red pepper flakes; I also didn't have 2 % on hand, so I used a combo of 1% and half and half.

  • akane161
    Jul 10, 2016

    Excellent, and a favorite of my family now! The baking of the garlic seems to "make" it awesome. They ask for it now! I wouldn't omit anything from the recipe.....Do exactly as said - nutmeg and all.Favorite!

  • anselr
    Apr 6, 2016

    Followed the recipe to the letter, but thought it was just so-so. Probably won't make again.

  • skywaitress
    Apr 2, 2016

    Oh my goodness, this was so good. I followed the recipe almost exactly, but I omitted the nutmeg. I will be making this again soon. Yum!

  • greatwithoutgluten
    Dec 5, 2015

    We really liked this recipe. I did cut back the garlic for our tastes and the sauce was still very good. I served this over mashed potatoes. I will make this again! It looked as good as it tasted.

  • justmbeth
    Sep 16, 2014

    Very good! The garlic Alfredo type sauce would be good with a host of other items as well.

  • tammybt
    Jul 3, 2014

    There are no words for ho much i love the garlic sauce in this recipe! It has definitely moved to the top of my favorite recipe list. It would make anything taste better. Close your eyes and imagine this over shrimp and grits. Mmm...hmmm... You're excused now to go start cooking.

  • Amanda12345
    Mar 10, 2014

    Wow! I was a little nervous with the amount of garlic this recipe called for but it has turned out to be one of our favorite dishes. It makes for a beautiful presentation so it looks like you spent all day preparing. This is a must have recipe!