Man-Pleasing Chicken (30 Minute Meal)


Man-Pleasing Chicken is one of my husband’s favorite chicken recipes. From fridge to fork in 30 minutes!

 Man Pleasing Chicken |

Happy Monday, everyone, I hope you had a nice weekend! We got pounded with more snow and negative degree highs…good thing wine warms the soul!

That’s right – while nasty weather forced us indoors nearly the entire weekend, I was able to sneak out on Friday night for wine and girl time at the new Pinot’s Palette that opened up in town. OMG IT WAS SO FUN!

Here’s the scoop – you bring the booze and snacks, they provide the paint, instruction, music, and fun. My girlfriend and I had a BLAST and agreed it would be awesome to go back for a double date or bachelorette party. My fancy wine bottle and champagne glass (which was supposed to be a wine glass, uhhh…) painting was perfect to hang in our master bathroom with the fancy chandelier the previous owners left behind – whee!

This weekend we also had Lincoln’s 6 month pictures taken (which actually took place on the day he turned 7 months – whoops!) Our sweet photographer braved the cold to come out to the house only to face our stone-cold baby. He cracked maybe 5 smiles the whole hour and a half shoot. Little stinker! ;) Can’t wait to see how they turn out though, his baby jeans and plaid button down just kill me!

After the grueling shoot, I made the men some sustenance…Man-Pleasing Chicken.

Man Pleasing Chicken |

A few weeks ago I featured Witty in the City’s Man-Pleasing Chicken on Friday Favorites. I LOVED the concept – a simple chicken dish that her man could not get enough of. It inspired me to share one of Ben’s favorite chicken dishes of all time that’s not only man-approved, but goes from fridge to fork in just 30 minutes. That makes it IGE-approved, too. :)

Sauteed chicken breasts are smothered in a mouthwatering mixture of sauteed spinach, mushrooms, cream and parmesan cheese in this tasty, one-skillet supper. It’s then topped with bacon, of course, as you’d expect any man-pleasing chicken dish to be.

Man-Pleasing chicken is actually a recipe I made for a freelance project a few years ago under the name Ultimate Smothered Chicken. No matter what you call it, your man (or WOman) will go bonkers for this dish. Ben tasted it once and has asked for it again and again, which is unusual as he usually loathes repeat meals. This has made weekly spaghetti night, which I have been trying to make a “thing” for the past 5 years, rather difficult.

Anyway, this dish cooks in about 10 minutes but I tacked on an extra 20 for prep work. You know, chopping shallots and bacon, slicing mushrooms, and grating parmesan cheese. After the initial grunt work though, it’s smooth sailing. This chicken is tasty paired with roasted asparagus, or make it even heartier by serving over pasta or man-friendly mashed potatoes!

Man Pleasing Chicken |

Start by browning 3 slices chopped bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain then remove all but 1 teaspoon bacon grease from the skillet.

Turn the heat up to medium-high then season both sides of 4 chicken breasts that have been pounded thin with salt and pepper, and then saute for 3-4 minutes a side, or until no longer pink. You could use 4 regular-sized chicken breasts or do what I did and cut 2 breasts in half lengthwise to make 4 cutlets. This is a great way to make chicken go farther! Remove the chicken to a plate then tent with foil to keep warm.

Next melt 1 Tablespoon butter in the skillet then add 1 chopped shallot and 8oz sliced mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper then saute until the mushrooms turn golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Next, pile on the spinach! 4 cups baby spinach, to be exact, which will wilt in about 1 minute.

Finally, add 1/2 cup half & half (you could use heavy cream, but don’t use milk) and let it bubble and thicken for about 1 minute. Finish by tossing in 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese then stir until combined.

I prefer fresh grated parm by the way, if you can swing it!

Plate the chicken then spoon the luscious spinach-mushroom-cream sauce over top and finish with a sprinkling of crisp bacon, and a crack of black pepper. Like I said – Man-Pleasing Chicken! Enjoy!

Man Pleasing Chicken |

Man-Pleasing Chicken

serves 4


Man-Pleasing Chicken is one of my husband's favorite chicken recipes. From fridge to fork in 30 minutes!


  • 3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 4 chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 shallot or 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 8oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat then add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain then pour out all but 1 teaspoon bacon grease and turn heat up to medium-high.
  2. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper then add to skillet and saute until no longer pink, 3-4 minutes a side. Remove to a plate then tent with foil to keep warm.
  3. Melt butter in skillet then add shallots and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and then saute until mushrooms are tender, 3-4 minutes. Add spinach then saute until just barely wilted, 1 minute. Add half & half then cook until sauce is thickened, 1 minute, then stir in parmesan cheese. Plate chicken then pour sauce on top and sprinkle with cooked bacon. Serve with pasta or mashed potatoes.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

Man Pleasing Chicken |

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  1. Your son is precious. Keep taking those photos! I got lazy and so wish I had every milestone birthday photographed (they are now in middle school). Can’t wait to try this recipe… my son does not like chicken so much. But it’s such a great source of protein that I keep trying. He loves pasta and cream sauce — so can’t wait to make this for him! Pinning now.

  2. Man-pleasing and ready in 30 minutes? Sounds like a winter to me. My husband is the opposite of yours. He craves sameness and always asks: “Can’t you just make the same thing twice?!” His mom had a weekly rotation of foods that he had week after week. I can’t imagine! Have a great week. :)

  3. Bacon, mushrooms and cheese?! That is definitely one Man pleasing chicken! I love that it is a 30 minute meal! I need more of those!

  4. Madison 03.03.2014

    I love this man-pleasing meal and I love even more that it’s quick! :)

  5. Looks incredible!! And so nice that it’s such a quick dinner!

  6. Casey 03.03.2014

    Looks great! If I left out the mushrooms, would I need to sub anything or change any of the other measurements you think? (My husband will not touch mushrooms…)

    • Kristin 03.03.2014

      Good man – I hate mushrooms too! ;) Does he like artichoke hearts? Those would be a good replacement!

      • Jennifer 03.03.2014

        Now this is a must try for me. I hate mushrooms too! I LOVE artichoke though.

  7. Kristie 03.03.2014

    Love your couch! Mind if I ask where it’s from?

  8. Lara 03.03.2014

    This looks excellent! Did you try the Witty in the City recipe you posted? I made it last night and it was … not good. I used good dijon mustard and real maple syrup and followed the recipe exactly and the chicken was dry and really was overly mustard-y and did not brown up like the photos. I rarely have recipe busts, but that recipe was definitely a bust. I was sad because it sounded so good!

    • Kristin 03.03.2014

      Unfortunately I had a similar experience – another reason why I wanted to share this recipe! :) I know lots of other people liked that recipe so, as I always say, to each their own!

      • Lara 03.03.2014

        Glad it wasn’t just me … your recipe looks great though and I can’t wait to try it!

    • Jana G 03.03.2014

      I tried the Witty in the city version too, we also didn’t like it. It’s still in the fridge awaiting the trash can….but I will try this version, I know for sure all the ingredients will taste good together! :)

      • Nancy Gion 03.04.2014

        I am so surprised so many didn’t like it? I have to say using chicken thighs was absolutely key to moist and tender meat. I “tested” the dish on my husband before bringing it to a neighborhood progressive dinner. I too found it to be a little mustardy so I changed it up and used honey mustard instead to give a little more sweetness. I served it to 12 neighbors and they went back for seconds and were sad when it was all gone!

  9. Chicago Jogger 03.03.2014

    I love the combo of bacon, shallot and spinach – yum. Sort of like spaghetti night since the right noodles are involved!

  10. Lea J. 03.03.2014

    I think this is also probably woman pleasing chicken too. ;)
    Lincoln is just the most precious, thanks for keeping the photos coming!

  11. Hello Kristin! I loved the title of this recipe, and I think my man would like it, so pinning!

  12. Jess 03.03.2014

    Hi there, Kristin and IGE readers! Long-time reader, first-time commenter here. :) I’m an Iowa girl living in the Twin Cities and am trying to convince my husband we should move back to Iowa. We’re making a scouting trip to Des Moines next weekend. Any suggestions on spots to visit or places to eat? Thanks SO much!

    • Amy 03.03.2014

      La Mie for sure. For everything. So good.


      I’m a TC gal who lived in DSM for a couple years and those two were faves. I recently tried Django on a trip there and it was OK. Not as great as I hoped though. The Continental bar was very cool for drinks.

      There really are a lot of great places there now though. And they have Hy-Vee which I swear is practically reason enough to move back (although the chain is coming to MN soon thank God!).

    • Kristin 03.04.2014

      Ooo fun! Yes, La Mie for sure, and DEFINITELY Miyabi 9 if you guys love sushi. Centro is good for dinner, and Flying Mango is a great Caribbean-BBQ joint. Cafe di Scala is PERFECT for a romantic dinner – it was just voted as having the best chef in DSM, too. I hope this helps! :)

  13. Amy 03.03.2014

    Will definitely make this.

    But of immediate importance – WHERE is that couch from?? Currently couch shopping and that looks beautiful. Please share!!

  14. Brenda 03.03.2014

    This is similar to my hubs fav(minus the spinch). He likes to call it “chicken noodley mushroom stuff”.

  15. Christel 03.03.2014

    Enjoy your blog & pictures of Lincoln (my oldest son’s fav prez)!
    We have a 5.5 month old baby girl, Lydia, and also live in Iowa. I enjoy cooking from scratch (daily). We eat primarily organic. To save money we try to buy in bulk from Costco, etc. I have learned to make my own breads, sauces, etc. Being raised on the boxed stuff it is fascinating and fun to try new recipes! Tired of cold! Can’t wait for spring!!!

    Just a FYI about carrageenan (hubby is a scientist):
    Here is a quote:
    “A clinical study conducted by Wakabayashi found that rodents were fed daily with a 5% carrageenan aqueous solution had a 100% incidence rate of colon metaplasis (abnormal replacement of cells of one type by cells of another/cancer) after 15 months.
    As far as I know there have been no clinical studies conducted on humans, but they have been performed on mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, and mice and they all show a connection between carrageenan and colon cancer. ”

  16. This looks like such an easy yet flavorful weeknight dish!

  17. Emily 03.03.2014

    I’ll have to try this, pasta seems to be my husband’s love language:)

  18. Gin 03.03.2014

    Somehow stumbled upon your blog this morning while making my grocery list….made this for dinner tonight for my 5 men…….plates were licked clean!! I served it with mashed potatoes this time and am also looking forward to trying it with pasta next time. I also need to tgel rid of some fresh asparagus so I served it with roasted asparagus too. My MiL and I also give it two thumbs up! So glad I discovered your blog …thanks :-))

  19. Christina 03.03.2014

    Made this tonight for dinner – absolutely delicious!! Great combination of flavors!

  20. Molly Rose 03.03.2014

    I’m saving this dinner recipe simply because I DO think my man will be pleased! :) love all your simple but delicious looking dishes iowa girl!

  21. cheri 03.03.2014

    What a great dinner, love this combination!

  22. Laurel 03.03.2014

    This dish looks wonderful but I have to admit, I cringe a little at the “man-pleasing” business. I totally get wanting to prepare something that your partner loves but I like your original name of this dish (Ultimate Smothered Chicken) better. Just one woman’s opinion! :)

    • Pam 03.03.2014

      I agree. Feels like a tiny time travel to the 50’s where your only value lies within keeping your husband happy. Ugh.

  23. szkent 03.03.2014

    Ok this is a bizarre question. In your photo is that served on a salad plate or a standard sized dinner plate?

  24. Alexandra Aimee 03.03.2014

    This looks scrumptious! Can’t wait to try it!

    — Alex at Cashmere Kangaroo

  25. Looks delicious!! Mushrooms and spinach have been a staple in our house this winter. We can’t get enough of them :) Hope you have a few cute photos in there!!

  26. Umm yes that looks super easy girl! Flavors are super simple and who doesn’t love a one pot meal?! Definitely going to try this. I’m a fan of using half and half instead of cream too! Cream can make a sauce like this too thick. Thanks for sharing! Happy FAT Tuesday :)

  27. My man would DEFINITELY be pleased if I made this :) He loved your bruschetta chicken and this looks like another winner. Thanks for sharing!

  28. Ashlee 03.04.2014

    Sometimes I wish my boyfriend was more of a bacon lover, because this looks great! I may have to make it anyway and just leave the option of bacon, because goodness!

    Also, love the artwork. We have a place near our house that operates on the same premise–I’ve been dying to try it out! And Lincoln is getting so big! It hardly seems like yesterday that you were posting that you’d had him.

  29. Love the name! It’s hilarious!

  30. Love painting girls nights out :) My friends and I did one a few years back, except the painting we all did was this man and woman walking under an umbrella in Chicago or something. And my woman ended up looking exactly like Gwyenth’s character in Shallow Hal. The larger version. Oops.

    My husband would LOVE this dish! Bacon and mushrooms and chicken AND pasta? You know what husbands like, girl!

  31. Lisa 03.04.2014

    You will end up loving those pictures! My favorite pictures of my now-13-yo son are his 2 year old pictures, when he cried and would not sit still for photos. We got 3 pictures, 1 of which you can see the tears in his eyes, and another his eyes are red from crying, but they are precious pictures!

  32. AmberLynn Pappas 03.04.2014

    My husband would love this. He loves anything with bacon and mushrooms. Unfortunately for him he married a girl who is allergic to mushrooms and can’t stand bacon. :(

    Our kids both had their “6 month photos” done at 7 months and our youngest failed to smile too. Mostly because I attempted to get his photos done by myself and with his older brother. Bad decision on my part.

  33. Kelly Jo 03.05.2014

    He is jut precious. And the chicken looks pleasing, for sure!

  34. Caitlyn 03.05.2014

    My partner and I just opened our own sip and paint company here in Baltimore, called Pub and Paint ( – it was so exciting to see a blogger I follow doing this!
    And your son is adorable whether he is smiling or not so I am sure the photos will turn out great!

  35. Julie 03.05.2014

    Yep! Man (and woman) pleasing. Made this Monday night and it was a huge hit!

  36. Jamie 03.06.2014

    This was AMAZING!!! Thank you for such a great recipe.

  37. Amy 03.06.2014

    Your son gets cuter and cuter, if that is possible. This chicken recipe, was awesome. I was sort of turned off by the name but it sounded fabulous and hooked me in. I’m so glad I got hooked too. We both loved it, the man and myself. Fabulous!

  38. […] Man-pleasing chicken dinner! […]

  39. Sarah 03.07.2014

    This looks so yummay! Everything hubby likes. Although I don’t like mushrooms (and he loves them, poor hubby lol). I work at a burger place which has a veggie burger with a field mushroom for a patty and he gets it every time. Anyway, i wonder if i can saute the mushrooms separately and just add them to his plate haha.

  40. Nikki Howser 03.08.2014

    This looks delicious! And next time you have a photo shoot, you should give Lincoln some sweet fruit or juice right before…spike his blood sugar lol :)

  41. Gingergirl 03.09.2014

    I just made this for dinner and my husband and I just loved it!! Thank you for sharing this. :)

  42. This was delicious. Definitely took longer than 30 minutes but worth it!

  43. Heather 03.10.2014

    Tried your recipe and my husband LOVED it! He even said the next day how good it was. Thanks for the recipe – Awesome!

  44. MH 03.10.2014

    Just made this for dinner and the flavor was excellent. Didn’t use the bacon and don’t think we really missed it at all. Thanks for a yummy keeper of a recipe. I’ll be making this again.

  45. Chris Tilley 03.12.2014

    I can also be said to be wife pleasing. I made this the other night and my wife claimed the two leftover servings for her lunches. Pinned, Made and Reviewed.

  46. Eileen 03.17.2014

    Why do reply’s made say to much of a mustard taste?I don’t see mustard as one of the ingredients.

    • Kristin 03.17.2014

      Oh that was in regards to the other “Man Pleasing Chicken” dish I linked to at the beginning of the post that uses dijon mustard in the recipe!

  47. Nora 03.31.2014

    I made this tonight and my husband had seconds!! Thank you for sharing your recipe. I’ll be making it again!!

  48. […] a sauce made of mustard, maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, and black pepper. I found the recipe on Iowa Girl Eats. Apparently, it’s called “Man-Pleasing Chicken.” EDIT: CJ didn’t actually […]

  49. Angels 06.15.2014

    Hi Kristin: This is a VERY delicious, and also a very eye-appealing dish. I served it first to my family, then to company…. and they couldn’t stop raving about it! The only thing I did differently was to add one small clove of crushed garlic. I served it over a bed of whole-grain spahgetti. This is about the tastiest chicken recipe which I’ve found on any cooking blog. Keep ’em coming. Best wishes to you & your lovely fsmily.

  50. Kristen 06.30.2014

    This is another winner!! This is the second recipe I have made from your blog, and the second one that was a HUGE success. The first was your beef enchiladas. I can attest that this chicken is pleasing to men and women alike. I made it one night for a friend (who tends to have picky taste) and she cleared her plate and requested the recipe – I even forgot to add the Parmesan cheese to the sauce and it still had great flavor. I made it the next night for my boyfriend (with the Parmesan) and he also loved it. I kind of want to make a huge batch of this sauce and put it on everything I eat :-) Both times served on whole wheat penne pasta. A real people-pleaser and keeper. Thanks, Kristin!

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