Creamy Southwest Chicken on a Low-Carb Diet


Low-carb chicken recipes are a necessity for many people following a low-carb diet. This creamy chicken skillet dish can be prepared in under 30 minutes from start to finish, thanks to the addition of canned green chiles and shredded cheese for added flavor.

Additionally, this is one of those dishes that you can serve to family members who are not on a low-carb diet. It’s high in protein and lends support to the low-carb diet’s potential health benefits.

Because the chiles are mild, this is not a spicy dish, but it is delicious.

Creamy Southwest Chicken on a Low-Carb Diet - Photo from iStock
Creamy Southwest Chicken on a Low-Carb Diet – Photo from iStock

Preparation ingredients:

  • 2 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 4.5-ounce can green chiles, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cheddar, shredded
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Cooking it:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cut into bite-size pieces. Saute until brown on both sides, about halfway through, adding onions.
  3. Cook for an additional minute before adding the garlic.
  4. Deglaze the pan with a splash of water if necessary.
  5. Add the green chiles and cream and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through on both sides and the sauce has thickened.
  6. Serve with shredded cheese on top and serve immediately after the cheese melts.
  7. Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired.

Substitutions and Variations

Consider adding low-carb veggies such as chopped broccoli or cauliflower to increase the fiber content. Add red pepper flakes or sriracha to the dish to add some heat and spice. Prefer a different kind of cheese? Jack works well as a substitute for cheddar in this recipe, but you can also experiment with other cheeses, such as feta.

In addition to pan-frying this creamy chicken dish, as this recipe does, you can prepare this recipe in a slow cooker. If you use a slow cooker, you can skip the step of chopping the chicken into small pieces and instead leave it whole.

This is how: Combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker, except the cheese, and add 1/2 cup of chicken stock. Depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts, anywhere between 4.5 and 6 hours on low will suffice to prepare your dish. Just before serving, sprinkle the shredded cheese on top.

Tips for Cooking and Serving

  • This chicken skillet recipe is ideal for making ahead and reheating on the stovetop or in the oven.
  • All ingredients should be cooked in a single skillet to reduce the number of dishes to clean.
  • Serve with refried beans or sliced avocado and a salad.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories 191, Fat 13g, Carbohydrate 3g, Protein 15g, Cholesterol 70mg, Sodium 388mg