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Chicken in Creamy Mustard Sauce

Everybody will love this chicken with creamy mustard sauce. It’s just 4 base ingredients – chicken breast or thighs, cream, Dijon and wholegrain mustard. Optionally elevate the dish another rung with the addition of fresh tarragon and parsley!

Freshly made Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce in a skillet ready to be served

Chicken with creamy mustard sauce

This is one of those recipes that will save you on those nights you’re staring at chicken breast or thighs and wondering, “What the heck am I going to make for dinner, fast?”

Here chicken is seared until golden and served with a creamy mustard sauce that takes barely a minute to come together. The trick to making such a simple cream sauce delectable is to mix the cream with 2 types of mustard. Dijon is there for its smooth and mild mustard flavour as well thickening power, while wholegrain mustard adds visual interest and lovely pops of mustard seeds.

If you want a truly guest-worthy version, there’s the option to add fresh tarragon. This soft herb is commonly used in French cuisine, and has a delicate but distinct flavour that goes wonderfully with anything creamy. It really gives this sauce a restaurant-like vibe. Try it once and you’ll understand exactly what I mean!

Golden pan seared chicken thighs
Creamy mustard sauce

What you need for this dish

Here’s all you need to make this simple-yet-fabulous chicken dinner:

Ingredients in Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce
  • Chicken – While I prefer to make this with thighs because they’re juicier and require no prep, it will work just as well with chicken breast. 

    Other proteins – This sauce and same cook method will work perfectly with thin pork chops, turkey steaks or white fish fillets.

  • Cream – The creamy base for the sauce. It’s best to use thickened / heavy cream as you get a head start on thickening the sauce. However, it will also work with ordinary pouring cream.

    Low fat cream – It will work but the sauce will not have the same luscious mouthfeel due to the lesser fat content. The sauce will also be thinner for the same reason.

  • Dijon mustard – This plus the cream are the two key ingredients for the sauce. Dijon is a smooth, mildly-flavoured mustard that adds flavour as well as thickening the sauce. While not all Dijon mustards are created equal, there’s no need to use a pricey gourmet Dijon here. Just your everyday brands are fine.

  • Wholegrain mustard – The mustard seeds add visual interest as well as little pops of faint pungency in this sauce. Because this sauce is so simple as it is, I really urge you to use this mustard, but it’s handy to know that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t have it either. Just dial up the Dijon by an extra teaspoon or so to compensate.

Make it dinner-party-worth with fresh herbs

The mustard cream sauce is delicious as-is but the addition of fresh herbs really gives the sauce a bit of finesse. Here are the herbs that I like to use:

  • Tarragon – This herb has a mild aniseed flavour with vanilla undertones. It’s commonly paired with both chicken and cream in French cuisine, which means I automatically think it gives this sauce a “fine dining” pedigree of sorts! 😂

  • Fresh parsley – For a hint of freshness but more for colour than flavour.

How to make Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce

If you’re using boneless chicken thighs as I’ve done, there’s no prep required. However, if you’re using chicken breast, you’ll need to split each breast in half to form 2 thin steaks. For the best results, I’d also recommend pounding them to an even thickness to both tenderise and cook through evenly.

How to make Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce
  1. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. 

  2. Cook chicken – Sear the chicken until golden and cooked through.

    – Thighs: Use medium-high heat; 4 minutes on the first side and 3 to 4 minutes on the second side.
    – Breast: Cut and pounded into 1 cm / 1/3-inch steaks, it will only take around 2 minutes on each side over high heat.

    Pro tip: Don’t use a non-stick pan. The secret to a great pan sauce is the residual golden bits of meat stuck to the bottom of the pan after searing the meat (called fond in French). They’re packed with meaty, umami-laden flavours and dissolve into the sauce once you add liquid to the pan.

    However, if you use a non-stick pan, you will not get fond. So it is best to use a cast-iron skillet or other heavy-based pan that does not have a non-stick coating to encourage fond development – we want a little sticking!

  3. Remove chicken to a plate. The chicken will rest while we make the sauce. Resting meat is a key step with any cooked protein. Resting time allows the juices to settle within the meat so when you cut into the chicken to eat it, the juices stay in the meat fibres instead of bleeding on to the plate. Wasted meat juices are the tears of weeping food angels …

  4. Scrape out and discard any loose burnt bits so you don’t end up with black bits littered in your sauce.

How to make Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce
  1. Sauce – To make the sauce, simply put the cream and both mustards into the pan and stir until the mustard has dissolved. Heat the sauce up until it’s hot and that’s all you need to do. You don’t even need to bring it to a simmer, nor do you need to reduce to thicken the sauce as the dijon mustard thickens it for us.

    Stir in the herbs right at the end and adjust the sauce consistency if needed with a tablespoon of water.

  2. Serve – To serve, simple place a piece of chicken on the plate and spoon over the sauce. The recipe makes about 2/3 cups of sauce which is plenty for the chicken with some extra to sauce up your mash or vegetable sides.

Plate with Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce

What I served with this

For a speedy dinner option, I served this with a Rocket Salad (I skipped the parmesan) and a bread roll for mopping my plate clean.

Other starchy options for sauce mopping include mash, rice, everybody’s favourite no-knead Crusty Artisan Bread or pasta. Try it with a Mega Italian Salad on the side, a fresh Garden Salad or a big pan of roasted vegetables.

Love to know if you try this! Let me know what you think. 🙂 – Nagi x

Watch how to make it

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Freshly made Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce in a skillet ready to be served

Chicken in creamy mustard sauce

Servings3 – 4 people

Tap or hover to scale

Recipe video above. A really quick way to cook chicken thighs or breast in a simple yet elegant creamy mustard sauce. Mustard adds flavour as well as thickening the sauce while tarragon gives it an elegant fine-dining flavour touch. But even if you don’t have tarragon, this is absolutely still worth making! Tastes like a (much) better version of the simmer sauces sold in jars.


  • Season chicken with the salt and pepper.

  • Sear chicken thighs – Heat oil in a large non-stick pan over medium high heat. Place chicken in smooth side down and cook for 4 minutes or until deep golden. Turn and cook the other side for 3 minutes until cooked through (internal temperature 65°C/149°F, Note 3). Remove onto a plate.

  • Breast – If using pounded breast (Note 1), sear on high for 2 minutes on each side, target temp 67°C/153°F.

  • Clean pan – Scrape any loose black bits out of the pan and discard.

  • Make sauce – Return the pan to medium heat. Add cream and both mustards. Mix with a wooden spoon until mustard dissolves. Once hot but not simmering, stir in salt, pepper and herbs. Loosen if needed with a touch of water.

  • Serve – Place chicken on serving plates. Spoon over sauce. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes:

1. Chicken – Thighs are juicier but this recipe will work just as well with breast. Use 2 breasts, cut in half horizontally to form 2 steaks (4 in total), pound to 1 cm / 0.5″ even thickness. Proceed with recipe but only cook for 2 minutes on each side.
2. Fresh herbs – Tarragon has a mild aniseed / vanilla flavour and is a herb commonly used in French cuisine. It gives this simple sauce a fine dining bend. However, it’s still absolutely worth making even if you don’t have tarragon, just leave it out. Parsley is more for fresh specks of colour than flavour so is optional.
3. Internal temperatures:

  • Thighs – pull off stove at 72°C/ 162°F, rises to 76°C/169°F after resting
  • Breast – pull off stove at 67°C/153°F, rises to 71°C/160°F after resting

4. Storage – Cooked chicken and sauce will keep for 3 – 4 days in the fridge. Not suitable for freezing (sauce isn’t great).
5. Nutrition per serving (chicken and sauce only)

Life of Dozer

That time Dozer couldn’t attend an event with me so the organisers made a giant cut out of him to sit by my side on the stage. 😂 I’ll be doing a book tour update post soon where I’ll share more details about this event where I even did a cook demo on stage!

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