Chicken a la King

My idea of perfect retro deliciousness! Think bites of moist, tender chicken, bell pepper, mushrooms and peas draped in a dreamy cream sauce. Think more healthful than it looks and sounds. Think quick, think supper. That's Chicken a la King.

Chicken a la King, a retro Quick Supper ♥ Tender chicken with mushrooms and veggies in a light cream sauce.

Whole Food, Simply Prepared. Real Food, Fresh & Family-Approved. A Long-Time Family Favorite. Mere Minutes to the Table. Another Quick Supper, a Kitchen Parade Specialty. Hearty & Filling. A Summer Classic. Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Low Carb. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free.

American or French? Vintage or Retro?

Chicken a la King (some times Chicken à la King or Chicken ala King ) is a recipe that morphs into something kinda-sorta new every twenty years or so.

  • While the dish is likely of American origin, the source of my version of this creamy chicken dish is a cookbook picked up in France awhile back.
  • I always think of Chicken a la King as a throwback to the mid-20th century, especially the 1950s and 1960s. But really, the recipe seems to have originated in the late 1800s.

Curious to know more about chicken that's "fit for a king"? Look for good background info on Wikipedia.

About This Recipe

  • Chicken a la King is an easy one-pot supper with chicken, mushrooms and vegetables in a cream sauce that's cooked on the stovetop in a large, heavy skillet. It's usually served with buttered egg noodles.
  • My recipe is quite different than others. First, it's way lighter, with a fraction of the butter and cream. Second, the chicken and vegetables remain distinct rather mixed together in a heavy, creamy sauce.
  • Distinctive Ingredients = chicken breasts + mushrooms + heavy cream + dry sherry
  • Short Ingredient List = all the above + butter + bell pepper + egg yolks (for thickening the sauce) + green peas + salt & pepper
  • Start to finish, Chicken a la King is on the table in under 30 minutes. It's what I call a Quick Supper which in my definition means it goes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher.
  • This is pantry-friendly recipe, there are no hard-to-find ingredients and at least in my kitchen, it's no trick for all to be on hand at once.
  • This is a calorie-friendly recipe, especially compared to other recipes for Chicken a la King.
  • This is a budget-friendly recipe.
  • The recipe is written to serve four, just add noodles or rice or something to soak up the delicious creamy sauce.
  • Turkey Tetrazzini is similar, it calls for leftover turkey or chicken.
  • Not quite what you're looking for? Check out my other chicken recipes.

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Chicken a la King, a retro Quick Supper ♥ Tender chicken with mushrooms and veggies in a light cream sauce.


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 25 minutes
Serves 4
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, caps only if small, otherwise trimmed and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sherry, brandy or cognac (or 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooked Mushroom & Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

SAUTÉ THE VEGETABLES Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large heavy skillet or a Dutch oven on medium high until shimmery, then add the mushrooms and red pepper at the same time, stirring to coat with fat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stirring occasionally, sauté until the mushrooms are soft and the peppers slightly soft. Lift the vegetables out of the skillet for the moment.

COOK THE CHICKEN Melt the second tablespoon butter until beginning to sizzle, then add the chicken pieces and stir to coat with fat. Stirring occasionally, cook until the chicken is partially cooked and still very tender, the exterior of each piece will be white, the interior will still be pink.

CREAM MIXTURE Meanwhile, while the chicken cooks, whisk the egg yolks with a fork in a small bowl, then whisk in the cream, sherry, salt and pepper.

Reduce the heat to medium low. Stir the Cream Mixture into the partially cooked chicken and stir gently for 3 – 4 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and the cream has thickened; do not allow the cream to boil or it may separate. At the last, return the Cooked Mushroom & Bell Pepper plus the frozen peas to the skillet. Stir until the peas are heated through.

Serve over buttered flat noodles or How to Cook White Rice. You definitely want something to soak up that creamy sauce.

ALANNA’s TIPS Make only what you’ll serve immediately, for Chicken a la King doesn’t hold over well. Do cook the mushrooms and red peppers together; by the time the mushrooms are soft and sweet, the peppers will be soft but still offer a bit of crunch that contrasts well with the chicken and rich sauce. This dish invites experimentation; try adding minced green onion or a mix of bright-colored green, yellow and orange bell peppers. Gorge on bell peppers in late summer and early fall when they’re sweet and plentiful and inexpensive. This is one of my go-to recipes when mushrooms are on sale, too. It’s such a quick and satisfying supper.

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See .
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving (assumes 4): 348 Calories; 19g Tot Fat; 12g Sat Fat; 226mg Cholesterol; 153mg Sodium; 9g Carb; 2g Fiber; 4g Sugar; 31g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 7 & future WW points This recipe has been Alanna-sized.

Winner-Winner, Chicken Dinner

~ chicken recipes ~
Rainbow Chicken ♥, chicken and a pile of rainbow-colored veggies tossed in a spice rub and brightened with lemon slices. So simple and spring-like, it's our new go-to chicken supper.

Spiced Chicken Tagine with Roasted Cauliflower ♥, a one-pot supper, chicken and roasted cauliflower with warm spices and a touch of sour from Spiced Preserved Lemons.

White Chicken Chili ♥, spicy-but-not-too-spicy, just chicken, spices, chilies and white beans.

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ chicken ~
~ bell peppers ~
~ mushrooms ~
~ egg whites & egg yolks ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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2003, 2007, 2009 & 2023

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Are those baby red bells in the photo, or another kind of pepper? They are cute and look delish!

  2. P.S. Been a fan for a very long time (years) but I think I'm a first-time commenter. Wait, no, I think you emailed me once, and I felt like a rockstar had signed my shirt!

    Thanks again for your work. Even if I don't make every recipe (law student, ugh) I enjoy reading them all. :) Your family is lucky to have such a competent, creative, healthy chef at the helm.

  3. Kate C ~ Good question! The whole one on the left is one of those mini sweet peppers that are showing up in the markets now, they're fun for bite-size stuffing for appetizers. I used it just for garnish, and a whole sweet red bell pepper for the chicken dish.

  4. Kate C ~ Aii, thanks so much for the very kind words, they arrive at a good moment! And you'll laugh, because I'm working on a recipe that I'm calling Rockstar XXX because it made ME, and hopefully you, feel like a rock star when making it the first time! Thanks for your support and feedback, it means the world.


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna