Pan seared chicken breast is ready in less than 30 minutes and only requires chicken breast, butter, and chicken seasoning.
Sear your chicken breast in a little butter over high heat for just a few minutes before flipping it and turning the heat down slightly to finish cooking.
Pan seared chicken breast is hands-down one of my favorite chicken breast recipes! I love that you can get super juicy chicken on the stovetop in less than an hour.
I grew up eating lots of chicken breast (hi, Mom!) because it’s high in protein and pretty straightforward to cook. My mom often pan seared our chicken breast and today I’m sharing her method, but making it our own.
The secret? Sear your chicken breast over high heat for just a few minutes before turning it down to medium heat to finish cooking. This will give you a gorgeous golden-brown outside, with a super juicy inside.
What You Need For This Easy Chicken Breast Recipe
- Boneless, skinless chicken breast: The quality of the chicken breast you purchase makes a huge different in flavor and text. If possible, purchase high-quality organic, free-range chicken breast.
- Fat: chicken breast is a very lean protein with little fat. Our secret to super tasty chicken breast is a little bit of butter.
- Seasoning: this chicken breast recipe recipe uses our famous chicken seasoning featuring garlic powder, chili powder, ground mustard, and salt.
- Nonstick pan: because chicken breast is so lean, a nonstick pan is your best friend! If you don’t have nonstick, a cast iron pan works perfect as well.
Variations and Ingredient Swaps
Since this pan seared chicken recipe is pretty straightforward, there are really only 2 things you can change up — fat and seasoning.
Fat: We prefer the taste and flavor of butter and it also helps it become golden brown. However, I’ve also made this chicken with both olive oil and avocado oil.
Seasoning: this is where you can really make your chicken breast your own. Here are some ideas for seasoning swaps:
chicken to seasoning ratio
For 1.5 lbs. of boneless skinless chicken breast, you’ll need about 1.5 tablespoons of chicken seasoning.
Should I tenderize my chicken breast before cooking?
We highly recommend using a meat tenderizer to pound your chicken to equal thickness throughout before pan frying. The reason we recommend this is to make sure it cooks evenly. Chicken breasts can vary in size; part of your chicken could be 2.5 inches thick and other parts could be 1 inch thick.
Place chicken breast on a cutting board and cover them with parchment paper. Then, use a meat tenderizer to pound chicken breast until it is even throughout.
PS: The more you pound it, the faster it will cook. We pounded our chicken breast until it was about 1 to 1.5-inches thick.
Pan Seared Chicken Breast FAQ
How long should you sear chicken breast?
Depending on how thick your chicken breast is, it will take anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes. Just make sure the internal temperature of your chicken is at least 165ºF.
Is pan seared chicken healthy?
Pan seared chicken breast is a healthy dinner idea because it’s high protein and low in carbohydrates.
How long do you cook chicken breast on stove top?
Sear your chicken breast on high for 2-3 minutes on each side. Then, turn the heat down and continue cooking for about 6 more minutes, or until the chicken breast reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.
Should you sear chicken before baking?
If you are planning to sear and bake your chicken, we recommend searing your chicken first and then baking. You can sear your chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side and then finish cooking it in the oven.
Is chicken better in the oven or stovetop?
Oven versus stovetop chicken is all about preference! If you’re cooking your chicken in the oven, it’s definitely less work, but the texture is much different. Oven-baked chicken will get you juicy, tender chicken, and stovetop chicken will get you juicy, tender chicken, but with a delicious browned crust.
Can you freeze cooked chicken?
Freezing cooked chicken is super simple. All you have to do is let your chicken cool completely. Then, transfer it into a freezer-safe gallon-size bag. Remove as much air as possible and then seal. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Store cooked chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
To reheat: place chicken breast on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 60-90 seconds.
Can you freeze cooked chicken?
Let chicken breast cool completely. Then, transfer cooked chicken breast into a freezer-safe gallon-size bag and remove as much air as possible. Seal and freeze for up to 3 months.
To cook from frozen: let your chicken breast thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, place chicken breast on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 60-90 seconds.
What to Serve with Chicken Breast
The great thing about this style of chicken breast is that it’s so versatile. Here are some serving ideas to really one up your meal!
- Add it to soup: use two forks to shred the chicken breast and then add it to soup. Try our Minestrone, Black Bean Soup, Simple Green Chili, Chicken Quinoa Soup.
- Tacos: Taco night is my favorite night of the week! Make a walking taco or follow our recipe for salsa chicken tacos and use your stovetop chicken as the shredded chicken!
- Serve it next to veggies: Keep things super basic and serve this pan seared chicken next to your favorite vegetables. We suggest our roasted red potatoes, crispy sweet potato fries, or roasted asparagus.
- Salad, Salad, Salads: Whether you want to make chicken salad, quinoa salad, or Mexican street corn salad, you can either shred or dice your chicken and add it to any salad!
- Slice it and add it to a bowl: Got leftovers? Add your pan fried chicken to any rice bowl! Try it in our: Mediterranean Buddha bowls, harvest grain bowls, taco bowls.
Juicy Pan Seared Chicken Breast Recipe
- 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast 3-4 chicken breasts
- 2-3 tablespoons butter ~1 tablespoon/breast
- First, begin by preparing the chicken seasoning. Place all ingredients into a small bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
- Next, prepare the chicken breast by using a meat tenderizer to pound the chicken until the thickness is around 1.5 inches thick throughout.
- Then, generously season the chicken breast on both sides with the chicken seasoning.
- Heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a nonstick pan over medium/high heat. Once the butter has melted, transfer the chicken breast to the pan. Sear for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Flip the chicken breast, and optionally add another 1/2 tablespoon of butter to the pan and cover. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for around 6 minutes or until the chicken breast reaches an internal temperature of 160ºF.
- Remove the chicken from the heat and let rest for around 5 minutes. The chicken will continue cooking around 5ºF as it sits.
Tips & Notes
- Option to sub around 1.5 tablespoons of our all-purpose chicken seasoning. You can also use any kind of spices you’d like.
- Olive oil or avocado oil works instead of butter.
- Because chicken breast is so lean, we recommend a nonstick pan, but a cast iron pan will also work.