Pollo a la crema or creamed chicken is a South American dish consisting of tender chicken and veggies in a flavorful cream-based sauce. This easy 30-minute dish is great on its own or as a filling for tacos or burritos.
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Years ago pollo a la crema was my go-to meal at one of my favorite local Mexican joints. Unfortunately, they closed up shop. Not so unfortunate, I was able to recreate the dish so I can enjoy it from home anytime.
Let’s talk about the flavors. There’s tender juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and a rich creamy smoked paprika-laden sauce. The smoke from the paprika really brings the sauce together and adds a pop of flavor that will leave you longing for more.
If you’re sick of plain ole tacos or fajitas, give this dish a try! It’s different in a GOOD way and I have no doubt you’ll enjoy it as much as my family does.
Ingredients (+ notes & substitutions)
- Butter: Salted or unsalted is fine.
- Green bell pepper: One medium-sized pepper.
- White or yellow onion
- Baby Bella or cremini mushrooms: If you’re not a fan of mushrooms feel free to leave them out.
- All-purpose flour: For this recipe, you will prepare a roux to be used as a thickener and to add depth of flavor. Roux is constructed using fat (in this case butter) and flour.
- Sour cream: The base of the sauce.
- Heavy whipping cream: To thicken up the sauce.
- Smoked paprika: Regular paprika will work as well, but the smoked version works wonderfully with the flavor profile of this dish.
- Lime juice: Just a little acid to balance the rich creamy sauce. Typically I recommend fresh-squeezed, but for this recipe bottled is just as good considering it only calls for a teaspoon.
How to make pollo a la crema (+ tips)
1. Heat one tablespoon of butter to medium-high heat in a large cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven
2. Add the chicken and cook for 5-10 minutes, until no longer pink. Transfer the chicken to a strainer to drain any excess liquid and return the skillet/Dutch oven to the stove.
3. Melt two tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Add the bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, and garlic and sauté for five minutes, stirring often, until the onions are semi-translucent and the veggies are slightly tender.
4. Transfer the veggies to the strainer with the chicken. Return skillet/Dutch oven to the stove and reduce the heat to medium.
5. To make the roux, melt two tablespoons of butter in the skillet/Dutch oven. Whisk in the flour one tablespoon at a time and continue whisking for two minutes or until the roux is lightly browned and begins to emit a toasted fragrance.
6. Stir in the sour cream, heavy whipping cream, smoked paprika, lime juice, and salt.
7. Add the chicken and veggies, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Serve warm.
Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to four days.
Otherwise, known as creamed chicken, pollo a la crema, originates from South America. It consists of chicken, green bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms cooked in a cream sauce. It is typically served with warm tortillas so you can roll it up into a burrito or use it as a filling for tacos.
This recipe does call for all-purpose flour so it is not gluten-free. You could easily sub for gluten-free all-purpose flour, however.
Although this recipe is low in carbs, 10 carbs per serving, because it calls for flour it is not keto-friendly.
What to serve with pollo a la crema:
- Warm flour tortillas.
- Mexican or Spanish rice or this cilantro lime rice.
- Refried beans or these salsa verde pinto beans.
- Chips and salsa, queso, and/or guacamole.
- A light salad.
If you like this dish, you may also like these:
- Beef Birria Tacos: These birria tacos are EVERYTHING!! They start with two corn tortillas dipped in consomé, then stuffed with cheese, and fried (Quesadilla!!). Next comes succulent, flavorful beef topped with onions, cilantro, and fresh lime juice. Served with a side of consomé for dipping.
- Chori Pollo: Chori pollo is a simple Mexican dish that combines chicken and chorizo and is then topped with cheese. It takes just 15-minutes to prepare, requires only ten ingredients, is gluten-free, and is low-carb.
- Dutch Oven Carnitas: Dutch oven carnitas is prepared by slow-cooking pork until tender and succulent, then crisping it up under a broiler resulting in the perfect combination of textures. This delicious Mexican pork dish is simple to prepare and can be served in a variety of ways. Naturally gluten-free and keto adaptable.
If you make this pollo a la crema (creamed chicken) I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light and happy cooking ya’ll ♥
- 5 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted, divided
- 2 pound chicken breasts or tenderloins, cut into thin strips
- 1 large green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cups sliced baby bella/cremini mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Heat one tablespoon butter to medium-high heat in a large cast-iron skillet or dutch oven.
- Add the chicken and cook for 5-10 minutes, until no longer pink.
- Transfer the chicken to a strainer to drain excess liquid. Return skillet to stove.
- Melt two tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Add the bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, and garlic and sauté five minutes, stirring often, until onions are semi-translucent and the veggies are slightly tender.
- Transfer the veggies to the strainer with the chicken. Return skillet to stove and reduce heat to medium.
- To make the roux, melt two tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Whisk in the flour one tablespoon at a time and continue whisking for two minutes or until the roux is lightly browned and begins to emit a toasted fragrance.
- Stir in the sour cream, heavy whipping cream, smoked paprika, lime juice, and salt.
- Add the chicken and veggies, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes stirring frequently to avoid burning. Serve warm.
Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to four days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 418Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 142mgSodium: 498mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 30g
The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc