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Pan-Seared Chicken in Lemon Basil Cream Sauce

Here's an easy 30 minute dinner idea for you! Pan-seared Chicken in Lemon Basil Cream Sauce is super easy to throw together, and uses up some of that fresh garden basil. Chicken tenderloins are quick to cook on the stovetop, and the sauce has such bright lemony flavor!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 460kcal
Author Karen


  • 2 pounds chicken tenderloins thawed
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 & 1/4 cups chicken broth*
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice 2 lemons-zest them first!
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon zest to taste**
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chiffonade
  • fresh basil more to garnish


  • Dry the chicken tenderloins with a paper towel. 
  • On a plate or shallow dish, mix together the flour and spices: basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic, and onion. 
  • Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture to coat both sides.
  • Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. When it is hot, add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil, and swirl to coat.
  • Add about half the chicken tenderloins. Don't add them all at once or they will steam, not sear, and that won't get you those nice crispy brown edges. Leave about an inch in between each piece of chicken.
  • Sear for about 4 minutes. Keep an eye on it and make sure it's not cooking too quickly. Turn the heat down to medium if necessary. 
  • Flip the chicken and cook for another 2 minutes or so, until brown. 
  • Remove the chicken to a plate and sear the other batch, adding more oil if the pan gets dry. 
  • When the chicken is done and out of the pan, add the chicken broth and lemon juice. Keep the heat on medium high. Scrape up the browned bits with a wooden spoon.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the cream. Bring to a simmer again and continue simmering for 5-8 minutes until the sauce has thickened some. 
  • Remove from heat and add fresh basil and lemon zest. Return the chicken to the pan. 
  • Serve with pasta, rice, mashed potatoes, cauliflower rice, etc.


*I always use water and Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base to make my broth at home. I love this stuff!
**My favorite kitchen tool is my microplane grater. It makes zesting lemons SO EASY. It is the best 12 bucks you will ever spend on a kitchen item.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 460kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 193mg | Sodium: 1151mg | Potassium: 984mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 758IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2mg