These Garlic Herb Chicken Pillows are the BEST way to make a quick and easy weeknight dinner! The creamy filling is made with just a few ingredients and wrapped in a buttery crescent roll, sprinkled with toasty bread crumbs and then baked to golden perfection. This recipe is perfect for using up leftover shredded chicken breast or made quick with rotisserie chicken.
Chicken Pillows – The EASY Way!
The first time I had chicken pillows was as a newly wed. My sister-in-law made them and I was immediately in love. They were SO EASY to make, coming together in literal minutes, and the end result was crazy tasty!
Since then, I have made chicken pillows in a million flavor combinations and have incorporated that addictive cream cheese and shredded chicken mixture into many other recipes, but the classic garlic herb flavor is still a family favorite!
What I love about this recipe:
- Alllllll the flavor! The buttery crescent rolls are delicious and cut the prep time down considerably!
- Kid friendly- Crescent rolls, cheese, tender chicken… the makings of a great dinner everyone will enjoy.
- Great on the go- these are kinda like little self contained sandwiches. Perfect for when you need a meal on the run (although we most often eat it at the table)
- Customizable- You can make these in a million different flavors and find just what your family likes best
- Reheats well– If you have leftovers, it packs and reheats well for lunch the next day!
What to Serve with Chicken Pillows
Since this dish has the comforting flavors of garlic, herbs, and parmesan cheese, it will pair well with many of your favorite classic side dishes. There are both traditional options and some healthy options to keep it light.
Side Dish Ideas
- Side salad- especially made with this homemade lemon vinaigrette (takes 5 minutes and is SO GOOD!)
- Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
- Squash Casserole
- Roasted Green Beans – I especially like the bacon variation with this recipe
- Pesto Roasted Veggies
- The BEST Cheesy Corn Casserole – Reader favorite!
- Cucumber Tomato Salad
- Garlic Bread – Our FAVORITE recipe!
You can choose one or add a few sides to make a wholesome, well rounded dinner.
This Garlic Herb Chicken Pillows recipe is as simple as promised! Just a few ingredients for a family friendly meal.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use when making this recipe to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
Ingredients + Substitutions
- Shredded chicken– I most frequently use rotisserie chicken, but this recipe is also a great way to use up leftover chicken. You can use fried, roasted, or any neutrally flavored chicken (ie not mexican, BBQ, etc.)
- Cream cheese– I use regular old Philadelphia, but you can use light or neufchatel cheese. You can either use a block of cheese that has been softened or whipped cream cheese that comes in a tub. A secret shortcut is that you can also use flavored cream cheese instead of adding the garlic and herbs yourself!!
- Milk– whatever you have on hand works.
- Grated parmesan– you can use parmesan or sub other types of cheese for your preference.
- Garlic– fresh is best, but you can use jarred, or paste if you need to.
- Herbs– I most often use a combo of dried oregano, dried basil, and dried thyme, but you can substitute Italian seasoning or any other seasoning or flavor combo that your family enjoys.
- Chopped green onion– I love the addition of green onion in the chicken pillows, but if your kiddos don’t like them you can leave them out.
- Crescent rolls– Pillsbury Crescent rolls are the go to for this. Their buttery flavor and flakey layers are perfect for wrapping up the chicken. You can also use pizza dough if you prefer.
- Butter– Melted butter is brushed over the tops to help the bread crumb topping stick. You can also use margarine, or egg whites if you omit the bread ccrumbs.
- Italian breadcrumbs– These add a little toasty crunch to the dish. This is optional but it is just that little extra that makes the recipe really special.
- Use SOFT cream cheese– Using cream cheese that is soft all the way through makes these chicken pillows much easier to make. If you are in a pinch, you can microwave the cream cheese to soften, or use the whipped cream cheese in a tub which is naturally soft. The soft cream cheese is important because it allows the seasonings to evenly distribute. If it is cold, you end up with cream cheese chunks instead of smooth, creamy cheese.
- Wrap it up- You will use two crescents to make each chicken pillow. Do your best to press the seams together, then just wrap it around the chicken to completely cover it and put the seam side down so nothing escapes while baking. They may look a little wonky, but once they bake, they will look beautiful!
- Bake fully– The most important step in the recipe is making sure to fully bake the chicken pillows. There is nothing worse than biting in and getting a mouth full of dough rather than flakey, light, delicious pastry covering a rich creamy chicken filling.
Recipe Short Cuts
If you need to make this recipe, but are extra short on time, here are a few ideas that can help make this recipe even faster!
- Use flavored cream cheese– As mentioned above, using flavored cream cheese makes this recipe even more quick and easy than it already is. Favorites of mine are:
- Onion and chive
- Garlic Herb
- Mix up ahead– The chicken mixture can be made up to 48 hours in advance. Then when you are ready to cook, just pop it in the crescent rolls and cook it up.
- Make as a freezer meal– Follow the directions above to make the chicken pillows up to 3 months in advance.
If you love this recipe as much as we do and want some quick ways to change it up for variety, these little tips will do the trick!
- Ranch Chicken Pillows– In place of the garlic and herbs, mix 2 tbsp ranch seasoning in with the cream cheese and continue recipe as directed.
- Mexican Chicken Pillows– In place of the garlic and herbs, mix 2 tbsp taco seasoning in with the cream cheese and continue recipe as directed..
- Buffalo Chicken Pillows– In place of the garlic and herbs, mix 2 tbsp buffalo sauce in with the cream cheese and continue recipe as directed.
Freezer Meal Instructions
These Chicken Pillows can be prepared as a freezer meal to make on another busy night, or give to a friend in need.
- Prepare recipe and bake as directed.
- Allow Chicken Pillows to cool to room temperature.
- Package in a zip top bag or other freezer friendly container.
- When ready to eat, thaw, then reheat in an oven or skillet.
For the best flavor, this meal can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Chicken Pillows Leftovers
If you have leftovers after making this Chicken Pillows recipe, then it is your lucky day! They save and reheat well, and can make the start of another delicious dish.
To save leftovers, separate into meal sized portions and then place in an airtight container and store:
- in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
- in the freezer up to 3 months.
More Easy Chicken Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my Easy Dinner recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite recipes below.
- Cheesy Bacon BBQ Chicken
- Cream of Mushroom Chicken
- Creamy Italian Chicken Pasta
- Chicken Fajita Casserole
- Lemon Basil Chicken
- 4 cups shredded chicken, I use rotisserie
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ cup chopped green onion
- 2 packages crescent rolls
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- ¼ cup Italian breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
- Combine the shredded chicken, cream cheese, parmesan, milk, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, and green onion in a large bowl, and mix until combined.
- Unroll the crescent rolls and press the diagonal seams together. Then separate them into 4 equal rectangles. Repeat with the second package.
- Fill each rectangle with 1/8 of the chicken mixture, then pull the edges over the top and close to make a round pillow. Repeat with remaining pieces, and then place each one seam side down on a greased baking sheet.
- Brush the top of each pillow with butter then sprinkle with bread crumbs.
- Bake for 18-23 minutes or until the dough is cooked and the tops are golden brown.