Lighten up with my Lemon Thyme Chicken Breast with Cauliflower Mash. This boneless, skinless breast of chicken is flavor-filled, herb-infused, and laced with a delicate lemon thyme cream reduction. It’s baked, broiled, and sauced to perfection.

A light and delicate dish, this chicken recipe brings on the flavor. (All photos credit: George Graham)
A light and delicate dish, this chicken recipe brings on the flavor. (All photos credit: George Graham)

It’s Spring in the South. And it’s time to turn an eye (and stomach) to lighter fare. This is when fresh fish, shrimp, and crab hit the dinner table, and even more frequently, chicken.

But chicken doesn’t have to be boring, and it doesn’t have to be tasteless. When layered with herbs, delicately sauced, and paired with a delicious vegetable combination, chicken is center-of-the-plate perfection.

Enter cauliflower. It amazes me how this old standby has made a dramatic comeback, reinventing itself in the process. What was once thought of as the last vegetable on my dinner menu has become a workhorse in my kitchen. It shows up in so many variations: roasted, riced, au gratin, and best of all, mashed.

Mashed cauliflower is all the rage among the Keto crowd, and I can tell you that I was skeptical at first, but no more. While it tastes nothing like a classic Idaho, it does indeed texturally simulate and deliver enormous flavor as a mound of potatoes would. But for me, only better. I love the flavor, especially when spiked with heavy cream, a bit of white pepper, and a slather of Amish butter. Well, bring it on.

So, now that Spring has sprung, explore the lighter side of cooking with my recipe for Lemon Thyme Chicken Breast with Cauliflower Mash.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Lemon Thyme Chicken Breast with Cauliflower Mash
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe by:
Serves: 4
Cauliflower Mash
  • 1 large head cauliflower, green stems removed
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Butter, for serving

Lemon Thyme Chicken Breast
  • 1 large lemon, quartered into wedges
  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 stalks of flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 4 sprigs of thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 1 large lemon, sliced into rounds
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
Cauliflower Mash
  1. In a large pot with a heavy lid and fitted with a steam basket, place the head of cauliflower stem-side down and add water. Turn the heat to high and once boiling, lower the heat to medium, cover, and steam until fully cooked, about 30 minutes. Drain all water.
  2. Mash the cauliflower with a potato masher or handheld electric mixer until smooth. Add the butter, cream, and white pepper. Season to taste with salt. Keep warm until serving.

Lemon Thyme Chicken Breast
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Squeeze a lemon wedge on both sides of the chicken breast and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. On a foil-lined tray, place parsley, thyme, and lemon slices under each chicken breast and bake uncovered until fully cooked to an internal temperature of 175ºF, about 25 minutes.
  4. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the drippings and the herbs from the pan along with the cream. Cook until the cream reduces and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove any stems. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm until serving.
  5. Turn the oven to BROIL.
  6. Place the chicken breasts under the broiler until the top browns (watch carefully to prevent burning).
  7. To serve, place a scoop of cauliflower mash in a shallow bowl and top with a chicken breast. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and garnish with a fresh sprig of thyme and a lemon wedge.
Buy the larger chicken breast not the thinner chicken “tenders.” A word of caution: Under the broiler, food burns fast; watch carefully.
Bring on the flavor!
Bring on the flavor!

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