This tutorial will teach you how to cook chicken breast in a pan on the stove to perfection like a pro. Say goodbye to bland, dry chicken and hello to juicy, flavorful chicken that everyone will love. This pan seared (stovetop) chicken breasts will change your mind for good, the process is simple, the meat is tender, juicy, and buttery, and it's so easy to make!
Simple chicken breast recipe
If you are looking for a quicker way to cook boneless skinless chicken breast that is healthy, delicious, juicy, and tender, then this is the recipe for you. It's a healthier alternative to frying chicken, quicker than baking or air frying, and it's perfect for a busy weeknight meal. You can cook chicken breast in a pan on the stovetop with just a few simple ingredients, and it's ready in less than 30 minutes.
I seasoned the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and Cajun seasoning but you can easily use your favorite chicken seasoning. Then I seared them in a hot skillet with some olive oil and finished it off with butter until they were golden brown and cooked through.
How to season chicken breast
Chicken is a blank canvas and will mostly take on the seasoning and spices you use on it. Depending on what you need the chicken for, apart from salt and black pepper, you can season chicken breast with homemade seasoning mix or store-bought.
My go-to dry rub seasoning includes paprika (smoked or regular), onion and garlic powder, cumin, parsley, Herbs de Provence, or Italian seasoning.
The key to cooking perfect pan-seared chicken breast
- Cook chicken breasts that are similar in size so that they cook evenly and at the same time.
- Do not overcrowd the pan, you want the chicken to cook perfectly with a nice golden brown sear to it. If you overcrowd the pan, the chicken will steam and you will not get that beautiful sear.
- To buttress the first point, make sure the pan is hot before adding the chicken, this will also help to create a nice sear on the chicken.
- Season the chicken generously on all sides, this helps the chicken to be flavorful and juicy. Let the chicken cook in the pan without moving it around too much while it is cooking and cook on medium-high heat. If you cook on high heat, then the chicken will cook on the outside but be raw on the inside, and if you cook on low heat then the chicken will take longer to cook, it may steam instead of searing. This might also cause it to overcook which will otherwise make it dry and tough. Cook it until it is just about cooked through. The carryover heat will continue to cook the chicken even after you take it out of the pan. Chicken breast is cooked through when it reaches an internal temperature of 165F/74C. The best way to tell is by using a meat thermometer.
- Rest the chicken for at least 5 minutes before cutting into it. This allows all the juices to redistribute back into the meat so that it is nice and juicy.
So, now that you are empowered with these tips, let's get started on how to cook chicken breast in a pan!
Heavy bottom skillet or cast iron
An instant-read meat thermometer
You need a handful of ingredients to cook this simple chicken breast recipe. If Cajun spice is not your thing then simply swap for any seasoning of choice.
Boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and black pepper
How to cook chicken breast in a pan
First, remove any unwanted fat or hanging fats on the chicken and pat dry with a paper kitchen towel.
Transfer the chicken to a plate and season with salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning. Flip the chicken and repeat the process on the other side.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering hot, carefully add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook for 6-7 minutes per side without moving the chicken for a nice golden brown sear. It shouldn't stick to the pan when you want to flip it.
Flip the chicken once and cook for additional 5-6 minutes, add butter to the pan and move it around so that it can melt. Once the butter is melted, tilt the pan to one side and spoon the butter over the chicken breasts.
Add chopped parsley and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F/74C. Remove from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes. Serve immediately with your favorite sides. Enjoy!
What to serve with stovetop chicken breast
The stovetop chicken can be shredded and used for shredded chicken tacos
You can also use it in chicken Caesar salad, as a pizza topping, in pasta dishes, or just served with your favorite sides. I also love to serve it with any of the following.
- If you are using a fairly large chicken breast, you can cut it into cutlets to help it cook evenly and at the same time. You can also pound the chicken flat to the desired thickness if you prefer. Adjust the cooking time for the thickness of the chicken you will be using.
- To avoid oil splatter, you can use a splatter screen while cooking the chicken. The steam will also help to cook the chicken without it drying out.
- If the chicken is cooking too quickly and getting dark in color, lower the heat.
How to store leftovers
If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. When you are ready to use the frozen chicken, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat utilizing the air fryer, microwave, or on the stovetop with a splash of chicken broth or water.
How To Cook Chicken Breast In A Pan
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 30 g unsalted butter
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablspoon Cajun seasoning
- Salt and black pepper
- Fresh parsley chopped
- Prep the chicken: remove any unwanted fat or hanging fats on the chicken and pat dry with a paper kitchen towel.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate and season with salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning. Flip the chicken and repeat the process on the other side.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering hot, carefully add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook for 6-7 minutes per side without moving the chicken for a nice golden brown sear. It shouldn't stick to the pan when you want to flip it.
- Flip the chicken once and cook for additional 5-6 minutes, add butter to the pan and move it around the pan so that it can melt quickly. Once the butter is melted, tilt the pan to one side and spoon the butter over the chicken breasts for a few seconds.
- Add chopped parsley and remove the chicken from heat and let it rest for at least 5 minutes. Serve immediately with your favorite sides. Enjoy!PS: Make sure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches about 162F/71C. before taking it off the heat. The residual heat will take the temperature to 165F/74C while the chicken is resting.
Nutritional data: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients and brands you use. Under no circumstances will thedinnerbite.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.
How long to cook chicken breast in a pan on a stove
How long to cook chicken breast in a pan on the stove will depend on the thickness of your chicken. A good rule of thumb is to cook it for 6-7 minutes per side over medium-high heat.
Is it better to bake or cook chicken breast in a pan
Both methods work great, it really depends on your preference. Baking chicken breast in the oven tends to be more forgiving as it is harder to overcook it. While cooking chicken breast on the stovetop allows you to get a nice sear on the outside.
How to stop chicken breast from drying out when pan frying
There are a few things you can do to help prevent your chicken breast from drying out. First, make sure to cook on high heat. Second, add some fat to the pan in the form of butter or oil and spoon it over the chicken as it cooks. Lastly, let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting into it to allow the juices to redistribute.
More guide on how to cook
I hope you'll find this guide on how to cook chicken breast in a pan helpful, Please let me know how it turns out for you if you try it! Kindly rate the recipe 5 star and leave me feedback in the comment section below. Tag me @thedinnerbite on Instagram and save away to your Pinterest. Please subscribe to the blog if you haven’t for free new recipes in your inbox