In this healthy chicken with red pepper cream sauce recipe, roasted red pepper and chipotle give this creamy sauce a beautiful red hue and give it a slightly sweet and smoky flavor. The sauce can be made ahead, then served with seared chicken, as we do in this recipe, or with grilled fish or ravioli. This recipe makes more Cream Sauce without the Cream than you'll need for the red pepper sauce. Refrigerate or freeze the extra sauce and use it in place of heavy cream in any sauce or soup that calls for cream.

John Ash
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2013


Cream Sauce without the Cream
Red Pepper Sauce & Chicken


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare cream sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup finely chopped onion and cook, stirring, until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Add broth and wine and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the rice is very soft and the liquid is greatly reduced, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly.

  • Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree, in batches if necessary, until smooth. (Alternatively, puree in the pot with an immersion blender.) The consistency should be similar to a pourable sauce; add more broth or water as needed. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, preferably white pepper.

  • To prepare red pepper sauce & chicken: Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 400 degrees F.

  • Rub bell pepper halves with 1 teaspoon oil and place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Roast until soft, about 10 minutes. Turn on broiler and, watching carefully, broil until the skin is charred in spots, 2 to 7 minutes, depending on your broiler. Let cool, then peel (it's OK if bits of charred skin remain). Chop the pepper.

  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup chopped onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

  • Place the roasted pepper, onion mixture, honey (or sugar), chipotle to taste and 1 cup of the Cream Sauce in a blender; puree until very smooth. Adjust the consistency with additional Cream Sauce if desired. Return to the pan and warm over low heat.

  • Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, reduce the heat to medium and cook, turning once or twice, until browned on both sides and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165 degrees F, 12 to 16 minutes total. Transfer to a clean cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.

  • Slice the chicken and serve with the red pepper sauce. Garnish with cilantro (or scallion greens), if desired.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate cream sauce (Steps 1 & 2) or red pepper sauce (Steps 3-6) for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator or using the defrost setting on your microwave.

Tip: Chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce are smoked jalapeños packed in a flavorful, spicy sauce. Look for the small cans with Mexican foods at large supermarkets. Once opened, they'll keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.

Keep food fresh: If you're storing food in your fridge for a few hours or more, it's best to keep it in an airtight container or in a container covered tightly with foil. Foil is best at creating a barrier that doesn't let unwanted flavors in (or out) while you store your food.

Nutrition Facts

236.3 calories; protein 24.8g 50% DV; carbohydrates 12g 4% DV; exchange other carbs 1; dietary fiber 1.7g 7% DV; sugars 5.1g; fat 8.6g 13% DV; saturated fat 1.6g 8% DV; cholesterol 62.7mg 21% DV; vitamin a iu 1127IU 23% DV; vitamin c 48.5mg 81% DV; folate 32.8mcg 8% DV; calcium 35.1mg 4% DV; iron 1.5mg 9% DV; magnesium 30.6mg 11% DV; potassium 335.8mg 9% DV; sodium 499.6mg 20% DV; thiamin 0.1mg 10% DV; added sugar 1g.

Reviews (6)

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6 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
This was very good and I didn't find the cream sauce at all hard to do or particularly time consuming. It's one to keep in the line up and good enough for company. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
We didn't make any changes found it good as is. It had great flavor. It was a tad bit putzy took us a long time to make it but if the sauce was made ahead I'm sure it would be loads faster. We froze the leftover sauce and look forward to using it in future recipes. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Awesome Dish! Made this for the hubby and he loved it! We used turkey breast instead of chicken and served with veggies. Planning on using leftover sauce on pasta tomorrow! Pros: Tasty nice & spicy pretty presentation Cons: A little labor intensive Read More
Rating: 4 stars
A tasty presentable dish! I made this for my husband and our friends and everyone cleared their plates! Pros: Tasted nice and looked good! Cons: The preperation of the cream sauce! Read More
Rating: 3 stars
A tasty presentable dish! I made this for my husband and our friends and everyone cleared their plates it was a nice dish that i would make again! Pros: Tasted nice and looked good! Cons: The preperation of the cream sauce! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Yummy I made this sauce ahead of time for a ravioli quick mid week ravioli dish. It was spicy with 1/2 an chili in adobo- so use those things with caution! Also the texture of the white sauce was a little off- if I were to make it again I might consider a different starch maybe potatoes instead of rice for a smoother texture (if I was in the mood to expirement) But once I was eating it with the ravioli it was good. Also- just my preference- add that extra teaspoon of honey of it may taste bland! Pros: Do-ahead fresh tasting Cons: Sauce has odd texture Read More