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Pollo A La Crema (Creamed Chicken)

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.

Plate of pollo a la crema w/ side of rice and refried beans with tortillas, beer, and garnishments in background.

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Years ago pollo a la crema was my go-to meals 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.

In case you’re not familiar, let me tell you a little bit about it. Otherwise know 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. Or if skip the tortillas all together.

Because it’s so good it doesn’t even need ’em.

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 GOOD way and I have no doubt you’ll enjoy it as much as my family does.

So what do you need to make this dish?

  • Butter: Salted or unsalted is fine.
  • Green bell pepper: One medium-sized pepper.
  • White or yellow onion
  • Baby bella/cremini mushrooms: If you’re not a fan of mushrooms feel free to leave them out.
  • Garlic
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Salt

How do you make pollo a la crema?

Top down shot of bowls of raw chicken, mushrooms, butter, onions, green bell pepper, and two cloves of garlic.

Begin by heating one tablespoon of butter in a large cast-iron skillet or dutch oven to medium-high heat.

Add the chicken and cook for 5-10 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink.

Top down shot of one side of a dutch oven with cooked chicken breast.

Transfer the chicken to a strainer to drain the excess liquid. Return your skillet or dutch oven to the stove and add two tablespoons of butter.

Once melted, add the bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, and garlic and sauté for 5-10 minutes until the onions are semi-translucent and the veggies have softened, stirring often.

Top down shot of dutch oven with sautéed mushrooms, bell pepper, and onion.

Transfer the veggies to the strainer with the chicken, return the skillet to the stove, and reduce the heat to medium.

Next you will prepare the roux. Begin by melting two tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour one tablespoon at a time and continue whisking for approximately two minutes or until it becomes slightly brown and you begin to notice a toasted aroma.

Close-up shot of roux in dutch oven.

Stir in the sour cream, heavy whipping cream, paprika, lime juice, and salt.

Top down shot of cream sauce in dutch oven.

Add the chicken and veggies, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Serve warm with warm tortillas and your choice of sides.

Top down shot of one side of dutch oven with finished pollo a la crema.

How to store

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to four days.

Top down shot of pollo a la cream on plate with rice and refried beans.
Close-up of pollo a la crema on plate.

If you like this dish, you may also like these:

  • Beef Birria Tacos w/ Consomé: 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.
  • Mexican Street Corn Quesadillas w/ Creamy Chipotle Sauce: A hearty vegetarian option for a weeknight meal, these loaded Mexican street corn quesadillas with mucho cheese can be prepped and plated in just 20 minutes.
  • Carne Asada Fries Mac & Cheese: Carne asada fries + mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food; creamy mac and cheese made from scratch covered in carne asada, potatoes, pico de gallo, guacamole, and sour cream. I hope you’re ready to indulge! I promise it will be worth the calories.

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 ♥

Top down shot of pollo a la cream on plate with rice and refried beans.

Pollo A La Crema (Creamed Chicken)

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

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 a filling for tacos or burritos.

Ingredients

  • 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 

Instructions

  1. Heat one tablespoon 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.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a strainer to drain excess liquid. Return skillet to stove.
  4. 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.
  5. Transfer the veggies to the strainer with the chicken. Return skillet to stove and reduce heat to medium.
  6. 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.
  7. Stir in the sour cream, heavy whipping cream, smoked paprika, lime juice, and salt.
  8. 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

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

elizabeth

Monday 17th of May 2021

you keep saying "veggies". do you mean vegetables? i am a little older than you and stopped speaking baby talk a while ago

DLA

Sunday 29th of August 2021

I’m a little older too, I say veggies all the time. I also don’t understand rudeness for no reason.

Katy

Monday 7th of June 2021

Your comment wasn't necessary, the term veggies is used universally across multiple generations so age isn't a factor here. Did you happen to try the recipe I would love to hear how it turned out for you, or perhaps you couldn't get past the initial stage of unclear instruction and haven't prepared it as of yet. I hope the veggies are tender I haven't liked mushy textures since I left my highchair.

Kevin

Sunday 28th of February 2021

I'm making this tonight, with my cilantro butter rice. Results are coming later.

Jessica Halverstadt

Monday 1st of March 2021

Thanks for trying the recipe! Hope it turned out well. Your cilantro butter rice sounds fabulous!

Kris

Thursday 18th of February 2021

The recipe says mushrooms but doesn’t tell you when to start cooking them..

Jessica Halverstadt

Friday 19th of February 2021

Oh my gosh, you are right! I am so sorry I left that out. They are to be cooked with the other vegetables in step four. Thanks so much for pointing that out!

Frank

Thursday 7th of January 2021

This looks great. Will definitely be making it tomorrow. The rice in the picture looks like a perfect accompaniment. Do you have a recipe for that too? Thanks.

Jessica Halverstadt

Friday 8th of January 2021

Hi, Frank!

I'm sorry, but I just threw together the rice. I have yet to take the time to measure out the ingredients and write out an actual recipe - I should do that though. Hope you enjoy the pollo a la crema.

Have a great day!

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