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Your family will love this baked sour cream chicken! Tender and juicy chicken breasts, marinated in a seasoned sour cream sauce, are topped with buttery Ritz cracker crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Baked until golden brown, the easy dinner goes well with rice, biscuits, or cornbread, as well as a simple green salad, broccoli, or sauteed zucchini.

Hands holding a blue and white plate with a sour cream chicken breast sliced.

How to Make Sour Cream Chicken | 1-Minute Video

Sour Cream Chicken Marinade

Most busy home cooks will likely appreciate some new, quick and easy chicken recipes for dinner. This sour cream chicken is a perfect prep-ahead dish that appeals to even the pickiest little eaters. The sour cream marinade adds flavor and helps tenderize the meat, while the buttery cracker crumbs and Parmesan cheese give the chicken a crisp, rich finish. It’s an ideal weeknight meal!

What should I make for dinner tonight?

Sour cream chicken is the answer! With only 10 minutes of hands-on prep, the oven does almost all of the work here. The chicken is best when you allow time for the meat to marinate in the sour cream sauce, but you can certainly skip that step if you’re running short on time.

The chicken breasts are smothered in a seasoned sour cream marinade, topped with buttered Ritz cracker crumbs, and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. Bake the breaded meat until it’s tender and juicy on the inside and crisp and golden brown on the outside. This is an easy dinner that you need to make tonight!

Chicken breast in sour cream marinade.

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for our favorite sour cream chicken. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Sour cream: the acid in the sour cream tenderizes the chicken.
  • Mayonnaise: adds flavor to the marinade.
  • Lemon juice: even more bright, acidic flavor for the chicken marinade.
  • Worcestershire sauce: adds salty, umami flavor to the marinade.
  • Kosher salt, paprika, garlic powder, and ground black pepper: the seasoning that adds flavor to the sour cream chicken marinade.
  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts: you can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe, but you’ll need to adjust the total baking time. Thighs tend to cook faster than the larger white meat pieces.
  • Ritz crackers and butter: come together to create the buttery, crunchy crumb topping that coats the top of the chicken.
  • Parmesan cheese: for even more flavor on top!

Does sour cream tenderize chicken?

Yes! The sour cream sauce serves a few different purposes in this recipe. First, the slightly acidic nature of the sour cream helps to tenderize the meat. The fat adds rich taste to the chicken, and the thick texture of the marinade helps the cracker crumbs and cheese adhere to the meat.

Adding Ritz cracker crumbs to the top of chicken

How to Make Sour Cream Chicken

This chicken with sour cream sauce and buttery, cheesy crumb topping is an easy dinner that the whole family can agree on!

  1. Prepare Sour Cream Chicken Marinade. In a small bowl, make the sour cream marinade by whisking together the sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper.
  2. Marinate Chicken. Add the chicken to the marinade and refrigerate for about 1 hour (or overnight).
  3. Add Toppings. Remove the chicken from the marinade, place in a baking dish, and top with buttered Ritz cracker crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake. Bake the chicken (uncovered) on a baking sheet or in a casserole dish in a 375°F oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Garnish with fresh herbs, if you like, and serve!
Overhead shot of a plate of sour cream chicken on a dinner table with broccoli and rice on the side.

What to Serve with Sour Cream Chicken

One reason boneless, skinless chicken breast recipe ideas are so popular is because they’re versatile! When you’re tired of chicken casseroles, pair this protein with your family’s favorite sides and you have a kid-friendly meal ready in no time. Here are a few easy options that go well with the cheesy sour cream chicken:

Overhead shot of a sliced sour cream chicken breast on a wooden table with parsley garnish

Preparation and Storage Tips

  • Make Ahead: You can marinate the chicken for up to 24 hours. Allow the chicken to come to room temperature on the counter for about 30 minutes before topping and baking.
  • Short on Time? You can dip the chicken in the sour cream sauce and skip the marinating altogether. The chicken will not have time to absorb as much flavor or to become as tender, but the recipe will still work!
  • Wrapped tightly, the baked chicken breast will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week. You can also store the chicken in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in the freezer for up to 3 months. It’s important to note, however, that the crumb topping on the chicken will get soggy as it sits. This meal is best when enjoyed straight from the oven.

Recipe Variations

  • Sour Cream Chicken Thighs: Use the same ingredients and baking process with boneless, skinless chicken thighs. The thighs will likely need less time in the oven, so reduce the baking time to a total of about 25-30 minutes.
  • Don’t have Ritz crackers? Substitute with other buttery crackers (like Keebler Club crackers). In a pinch, crushed saltines or even crushed Corn Flakes cereal will work. I don’t recommend using plain breadcrumbs, because they don’t have the flavor or texture that you get from these other options.
  • Season the chicken with other herbs and spices that you enjoy. For instance, make it spicy with cayenne pepper, or try parsley, thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano, or chives.

Tips for the Best Sour Cream Chicken Recipe

  • Line the pan or baking sheet with foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  • Since the size and thickness of chicken breasts can vary greatly, use a meat thermometer to know when your chicken is done. The meat needs to reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Freshly-grated Parmesan cheese or the powdered Parmesan cheese in a can will both work well in this recipe. Use whatever you prefer!
  • Double the ingredients to feed a larger family, or cut all of the ingredients in half if you’re serving just two. The cooking instructions remain the same.
Hands eating a plate of sour cream chicken.

More Quick and Easy Chicken Recipes for Dinner

Square overhead shot of a blue and white plate of sour cream chicken

Sour Cream Chicken

5 from 10 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Marinating Time 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 4 – 6 people
Calories 393 kcal
Your family will love this tender and juicy Sour Cream Chicken, which is topped with buttery Ritz cracker crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs. total)
  • ¾ cup crushed Ritz crackers (about 15 whole crackers or half of a sleeve)
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, basil or thyme

Instructions

  • Whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, paprika, garlic powder and pepper. Add the chicken to the sour cream mixture and toss to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (or overnight).
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a large baking dish or rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray (about 9 x 13-inches or any other size dish that comfortably holds your chicken).
  • Remove the chicken from the sour cream mixture and place in the prepared baking dish. Discard marinade.
  • In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press buttered cracker crumbs on top of each chicken breast. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 35-45 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve.

Video

Notes

  • Line the pan or baking sheet with foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  • Since the size and thickness of chicken breasts can vary greatly, use a meat thermometer to know when your chicken is done. The meat needs to reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Freshly-grated Parmesan cheese or the powdered Parmesan cheese in a can will both work well in this recipe. Use whatever you prefer!
  • Double the ingredients to feed a larger family, or cut all of the ingredients in half if you’re serving just two. The cooking instructions remain the same.
  • Sour Cream Chicken Thighs: Use the same ingredients and baking process with boneless, skinless chicken thighs. The thighs will likely need less time in the oven, so reduce the baking time to a total of about 25-30 minutes.
  • Don’t have Ritz crackers? Substitute with other buttery crackers (like Keebler Club crackers). In a pinch, crushed saltines or even crushed Corn Flakes cereal will work. I don’t recommend using plain breadcrumbs, because they don’t have the flavor or texture that you get from these other options.
  • Season the chicken with other herbs and spices that you enjoy. For instance, make it spicy with cayenne pepper, or try parsley, thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano, or chives.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/5 of the chicken and sauceCalories: 393kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 31gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 128mgSodium: 1172mgPotassium: 606mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 680IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 97mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: Baked Chicken Breast, sour cream chicken, sour cream chicken marinade
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in August, 2020. The photos were updated in July, 2022.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this without the breadcrumbs, and omg, easily the best chicken I’ve ever eaten. My 5 year old couldn’t get enough too. It’s hard to stick to your portion as just so delicious, we ended up eating 2 meals worth. Thanks for an amazing recipe! Really transforms chicken into something special.

    1. Hi, Becky! The sour cream should help the meat stay pretty moist. I bet it would work, but I would reduce the cooking time significantly since you’re just warming it through. Maybe get it warm for a few minutes in the oven, and then put it under the broiler for a few more minutes to let the coating crisp up without drying out the turkey. Hope that helps!

  2. 5 stars
    I was trying to use leftover ingredients so I used whole wheat Ritz and olive oil, added red pepper flakes to the bread crumbs and used gruyere instead of parm. I don’t eat meat but my husband loved it!

    1. Hi, Lorie! I think this is one of those recipes that’s best enjoyed fresh from the oven, as the crumbs definitely get soggy when the chicken sits in the fridge. That said, if you’ve got leftovers to enjoy, I would place them in a dish (or on a baking sheet) and warm (uncovered) in a 325 degree F oven just until heated through, about 15 minutes probably.

  3. This was exceptional! I was a little concerned because I used Oikos anything but plain yogurt instead of the sour cream. I did not marinade it however after getting the chicken breaded which I used the everything flavored ritz crackers I let the chicken sit on the baking sheet about 20 minutes before putting into the oven. Definitely a keeper. Thank you

  4. This chicken recipe is now saved under “Favorites”! The chicken has wonderful taste from the marinate and cracker & parmesan topping. I used freshly grated parmesan and this recipe came out perfect. Very tender, thank you!

  5. We’ve made this for years, without Mayo. Here’s the best part…..make chicken rice as your side then make a gravy out of ctrwam of chicken soup and milk…. Game changer.

  6. Is there any mayonnaise taste to the chicken when done? I’ve been wanting to try the mayonnaise trick with chicken because it’s so popular, but I have an extreme dislike for mayonnaise since I was a kid and fear the chicken will be mayo-tasting. ?? Thanks.

    1. Hi, Jen! Personally, I don’t think the mayonnaise is a prominent flavor at all. It’s hard to say, since I’m not sensitive to that taste in the same way that you might be, and I haven’t been looking for it specifically when eating it. You can always cut the mayonnaise to just 2 tablespoons and replace the other 2 tablespoons with extra sour cream. The sour cream is definitely what you’ll taste here. 🙂

  7. I want to try this one night this week for dinner. I do not have any ritz crackers on hand though, and am trying to use up what is in my pantry. Could I just use regular bread crumbs?

    1. Hi, Amber! Yes, you can use regular breadcrumbs, but the dish will have a different flavor and texture. The Ritz crackers are saltier and more buttery than breadcrumbs, and they have a crispier, crunchier texture.

  8. 5 stars
    Made this recipe about a week ago and making it again tonight. Everyone loved it, been craving it all week. Thank you for the recipe, delicious and easy.

  9. 5 stars
    This chicken is so moist and delicious!! I think this is the best chicken dish I’ve ever made! I omitted the Worcestershire sauce bc I was out and added onion powder and seasoned salt to the marinade. Also I had no ritz or crackers so I used 1 1/2c panko breadcrumbs and mixed with 3tbsp melted butter and let cool. Then took 8oz sharp cheddar, pulsated in food processor and mixed with crumb topping. The topping was so crunchy and delicious! Thank you so much for this recipe! This will be a new staple in my home. I will try with parm next time I have it in the house!

    1. Thanks, Alicia! I’m glad that you were able to make it work with some substitutes. Thank you for your note!

    1. Hi, Kim! I think that would probably work well; however, I haven’t tested it so I can’t offer specific cooking instructions.

      1. 5 stars
        Was looking for a recipe a little different for my chicken tenders snd this was perfect. Very moist and flavorful, I know I will cook again. Only marinade for an hour but was great.