This easy keto Marry Me Chicken recipe makes tender and juicy chicken breasts smothered in a creamy and luscious tangy tomato sauce, all cooked to perfection in one pan in under 30 minutes.
The rich Marry Me Chicken sauce with fresh basil and sun-dried tomatoes packs a lot of flavor, with under 3 net carb per serving! You won’t believe how easy it is to make this impressive high protein keto and low-carb meal!
Why is it called Mary Me Chicken
“Marry Me Chicken” is a popular recipe that features chicken cooked in a creamy sauce, flavored with sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil and Parmesan, often served over pasta or rice.
The cheeky name is believed to share an origin similar to “Engagement Chicken”, another famous dish. It is said that the rich, flavorful sauce and juicy, perfectly cooked chicken combo is so irresistible that will make anyone fall in love with the cook and propose marriage.
Regardless of its origins, Marry Me Chicken became viral on TikTok not only because of its love potion properties. It’s a simple recipe with easy to find ingredients and bold flavors, perfect to be served at romantic dinners or special occasions.
The easiest Marry Me Chicken recipe
Incredibly, considering how insanely good it is, Marry Me Chicken is a relatively quick and easy recipe already. But I went one step further to make this LikeHotKeto recipe the easiest ever:
Most recipes you find for for Marry Me Chicken involve an extra step of transferring the chicken into the oven to finish cooking. Either on the same skillet (so you need to have an oven-safe skillet) or by transferring everything into a casserole dish (which makes a double mess).
To make an easier version of Marry Me Chicken, we just need skip this step and make the whole dish on the stove top.
To do this, you simply need to use to use thinner chicken pieces (like chicken cutlets or tenderloins) so that they will cook faster and more uniformly in the pan.
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Chicken breasts, tenderloins or thighs: If you get whole breasts, you’ll need to make cutlets to cook faster. Or, buy breasts pre-cut into thinner slices. You can also make the recipe using just chicken tenders (breast tenderloins), or chicken thighs. All boneless and skinless.
Sun-dried tomatoes: These have more carbs the they should, so I used them sparingly to keep this Marry Me Chicken recipe keto – just enough for a kick of sweet and tangy flavor while limiting the carbs per portion.
I use dry sun-dried tomatoes in this recipe (not packed in oil). You can use any type you prefer. If using the tomatoes packed in oil, you can substitute some of the olive oil in the recipe for the oil in the tomato jar, to enhance the delicious flavor without adding extra carbs.
Thinly julienned sun-dried tomatoes work best to infuse the sauce with the maximum flavor. If you use dry (not oil packed) sun-dried tomatoes as I did, I suggest you slice them with kitchen scissors – it is easier and faster than using a knife.
Parmesan: Using freshly grated Parmesan elevates the flavor of the dish and makes the texture of the sauce even creamier. But feel free to use the boxed stuff, in this recipe it will be just fine.
Fresh basil: Use whole leaves or just roughly chopped (if they are too big). There’s no need to chiffonade, as the leaves will quickly wilt in the sauce.
Italian seasoning: Italian seasoning is made of dry herbs that compliment and enhance the flavor of the sauce. You can substitute Italian seasoning for one or more of the individual herbs that are present in it, like dried oregano, thyme or tarragon.
Red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper: Red pepper flakes are a traditional ingredient of Marry Me Chicken, they add delicious flavor and are not too hot. Cayenne pepper is totally optional, I find that the flavor is a great addition and perfect if you like some extra heat. We do ❤🌶
How to make
These are the step-by-step instructions on how to make keto Marry Me Chicken recipe, the easy way: just on the stove top, without transferring the dish into the oven!
How to cut chicken breasts into cutlets
If using whole chicken breasts, cut them into cutlets to allow them to cook evenly and shorten the cook time.
It’s very simple to do:
First remove the tender, if still attached. Then, lay the chicken breast flat with the thickest part away from you, and hold the breast down with the palm of one hand.
Bring a sharp knife across horizontally starting from the thickest end of the breast. Try to slice all the way across in smooth clean strokes, avoiding sawing from side to side not to crate jagged lines. Then, open the chicken breast to one side like a book, and cut once more to completely separate the cutlets if they are still connected.
Sear the chicken breasts
Pat dry the chicken and rub well all the pieces with salt and cayenne pepper (the cayenne is optional, add only if you like it with a bit of heat).
Use a large skillet that will fit all the chicken pieces without overlapping, or sear them in batches.
Heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sear the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side, until they have a golden crust. If using chicken thighs, it will take about one minute more per side.
Transfer the seared chicken to a plate and tent it with foil to keep it warm while you begin preparing the Marry Me Chicken keto sauce.
Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the hot pan. Bring heat down to medium-low, and sauté the minced garlic for about 30 seconds.
Add the red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning (or oregano, or thyme) and temper for a few more seconds so that they release the aromas.
Pour in the chicken broth, and deglaze the pan with a wooden spoon or metal whisk. Scrape well the bottom of the pan to incorporate the flavorful fond into the sauce.
Make the creamy tomato sauce
After deglazing the pan, it’s time to make the Mary Me Chicken sauce. Add in the heavy cream, plus the tomato paste and sun-dried tomatoes.
Stir to combine, and continue gently stirring until it starts simmering. Let the creamy tomato sauce reduce for about 1-2 minutes until it thickens a bit.
Next, add the Parmesan and the fresh basil leaves. Stir until the Parmesan is fully dissolved.
Then, return the chicken back into the skillet to smother and soak up the flavors. Spoon the sauce over the chicken or turn pieces around to coat them. Simmer just until the sauce is thickened to your desired texture.
Serve the keto Marry Me Chicken immediately, garnished with fresh basil leaves. You can also top up this high protein meal with more Parmesan if you like!
Can I make Marry Me Chicken in advance
I don’t recommend making Marry Me Chicken in advance. The sauce deepens in color and thickens up a lot after it cools down and it doesn’t reheat well.
So this is a dish best served immediately. You can easily adjust the quantity of ingredients to fit your the amount of servings needed.
What to serve with Marry Me Chicken
We do often eat this keto dish just by itself, as it’s so rich and satisfying because is super high protein, but sometimes it’s nice to have extras to accompany it (besides the wine!)
The keto Marry Me Chicken is classically served over pasta, which is perfect to soak up all the delicious creamy sauce. Low-carb and keto pasta alternatives like Palmini noodles or shirataki noodles work great!
You can also serve Marry Me Chicken along steamed veggies, low-carb shirataki or cauliflower rice or these easy to make air fried Brussels sprouts.