This yummy fall dish combines spiced chicken with a creamy toasted apple pecan sauce that the whole family will love! Only 1 pan, and 20 minutes is all you need for this simple weeknight dinner!
Apples, apples, apples, and more apples. Oh how I love fall!! Recently I bought a huge crate of organic honey crisp apples at my local farmer’s market, and have been creating new ways to cook with them, or just add them to anything. Salads, breakfasts, side dishes and now dinner. Apples are so versatile to provide that depth, texture, and taste to any fall dinner. Combining it with pecans is a winner winner, chicken dinner!! This savory & sweet chicken dinner is sure to be a hit with everyone, and is even elegant enough to serve to company.
How to make Creamy Spiced Apple Pecan Chicken
I also love that this dish only requires ONE PAN. All the components are cooked in the same skillet. Making this dinner come together in about 20 minutes. I started off by combining a few spices together for a rub on the chicken while heating up my skillet. These spices are a blend of cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Such a delicious compliment to the apples! You will sear the chicken on each side for a few minutes. It doesn’t necessarily have to cook all the way because you’ll throw it in the pan a bit later. Once the chicken is seared, set aside and cover with foil. Add the chopped pecans, apples, and crushed garlic.
This mixture will cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently and gathering up bits of the spices. Now add in the creamy part. I used coconut milk here as part of a dairy-free diet, but if that is not a requirement, feel free to use half and half or heavy cream. Continue to scrape the bottom of the pan for the bits and spices. Add the chicken back to the pan and cook completely for another 5 minutes.
Many options for a side dish here! My kids and hubby enjoyed their chicken on top of rice, I enjoyed mine with spaghetti squash. I also served with a side salad and my NEW FAVORITE fall dressing: Toasted Pecan Vinaigrette. It was a delicious saturday night dinner at home!
Hope you all enjoy!!
Hungry for More? Subscribe to get new recipes delivered straight to your inbox! And be sure to stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.
Creamy Spiced Apple Pecan Chicken (Dairy-Free, Paleo, Whole30)
- 3-4 large chicken breasts
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 2 large apples peeled and diced into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1.5 cups full fat coconut milk*
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp arrowroot starch
- 1 tbsp water
- salt to taste
Begin by heating a large skillet to medium high heat.
Prepare your chicken breasts by pounding them to be thinner, and possibly cutting them in half (if they are HUGE).
In a small bowl stir together the cumin, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Coat or rub the chicken with spices.
Add 2 tbsp olive oil to your pan once hot, and begin to cook the chicken. Sear on each side for 2-3 minutes (depending on thickness of chicken). Chicken does not need to be fully cooked, but almost cooked. Set aside and cover with foil.
Place remaining olive oil in the skillet and add garlic, apples, and pecans. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until apples soften and pecans are fragrant. Continue to scrape the bottom of the pan to collect spices from the chicken.
Pour in coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, and scrape the bottom of the pan to flavor the sauce. Add Chicken back to the skillet.
In a small bowl, mix together arrowroot starch and water. Pour into the pan.
Cover with a lid and let the mixture cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened and chicken is cooked through. Add an additional pinch of salt, or more to taste.
Serve immediately over rice, greens, or vegetable noodles.
*If not following a dairy-free diet, you can substitute coconut milk with half and half.
Do you have nutritional information for this recipe? My fitness pal is telling me it’s 530cal per serving, but that seems really high!
Hi Madalyn, when I inputed the recipe to my calculator it came out to 440 calories. The pecans and coconut milk add more calories, you can easily cut those ingredients by a bit to come out below 400. However, I am a HUGE fan of adding those quality fats to the diet and would recommend for nutrition purposes and flavor to keep those ingredients . Hope that helps!
Thank you, Cindy 🙂
This looks really yummy! I was thinking about making this recipe with my weekly meal prep, how do you think it would hold up as leftovers? I’m planning on putting it on greens for a big salad!
I think it would be fine Leah!! Just heat up when ready to serve and then toss on top of greens 🙂
This was so great, and very quick and easy to come together with what I had in the fridge/freezer! I added a little chopped frozen kale and a splash of apple cider vinegar and served with cauliflower rice. Thanks for the great recipe!
Thank you, Christian! Love those additions.
Marla Beavers says
What could you substitute for the arrowroot starch? Almond flour?
Can you use tapioca?
Monica W says
I just made this for my family for tonight’s Sunday dinner and it was a major hit! My husband is sometimes a timid eater when trying new things and he liked it, a lot. Great recipe!
Brenda Olson says
I made this recipe and my husband and I both loved it. Added butternut squash noodles. Will make this again for friends.
Butternut Squash noodles are my favorite!!
This was sooooo delicious! We served it over spaghetti squash. It would be amazing over a sweet potato also! Thank you for the great recipe!
Love it over spaghetti squash!! So glad you enjoyed it!
Do you have a calorie count for this?
Caroline Jordan says
Could you substitute the coconut milk for something else? I am allergic to coconut! thank you!
Can you have dairy? You could try half and half. Otherwise leave out the coconut milk entirely!
Amy Canaday says
The recipe was well written and easy to follow. I have to prepare more like 8 servings, didn’t have cardamom or coconut milk, and I think the jury is still out on how well my family likes sweet/savory combinations in dishes. I was a little leery to add the ACV…still wondering what benefit it had to the recipe? I expected it to curdle the milk (reg milk, not coconut), and it did. But everything turned out ok in the end. The texture of the pecans was really nice, the chicken turned out nicely tender, and it was a terrific topper to the cauliflower rice. Cooking for 8, of course I added more garlic (3 cloves). I never use only one clove of garlic for anything, lol. We paired the chicken/rice with roasted green beans and that was great.
Overall, though, I’m just not sure we love the dish. And that’s ok! We tried something new, and that’s important. The overall flavor seemed a little bland…wondering how we can kick it up a bit? But remember, I didn’t have cardamom so I just left it out. That may have been enough to make the dish more enjoyable.
I would recommend a few steps of pre-cooking work: mince the garlic, peel/cut up the apples, prep the spices before you even begin with the chicken.
Kathy Shaheen says
This was delicious! I used canned coconut milk and it seemed really thick. Would that be correct?
Yes!! It should be really thick.
This was a huge surprise – so delicious and so fragrant.
Love the idea of this recipe! Changes the seasoning a bit to my taste (hate cumin) and added dried cranberries and celery. However…I used half and half as described in notes and when it mixed with the vinegar it coagulated and was an awful texture. It tasted great and I’d like to make it again. Any idea why the texture got messed up?