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Juicy Stove Top Chicken Breasts Recipe

One of my favorite chicken breast recipes & the easiest way to make juicy chicken right on the stove top. These pan-seared chicken breasts are cooked on the stove and bursting with flavor!

Juicy Stove Top Chicken Breasts

My all time favorite stove top chicken breasts recipe is here!

Thanks to a simple method, the chicken breasts are never dry, always tender, and super tasty. After this recipe, you’ll see that chicken couldn’t be any easier to prepare for a quick and easy dinner idea. 

I have talked about Oven Baked Chicken Breasts and Easy Baked Chicken Breasts, but we have yet to discuss a stove top method. Except for that one time when we covered the method for Juicy Stove Top Chicken Thighs. 😎

Cooked slices of chicken breast on a white plate

I think it’s safe to say that skinless, boneless chicken breasts are the most popular cut of poultry. Am I right? I think? They’re the most searched for ingredient on my website, that’s for sure, and that’s because people always want a new way to cook chicken. 

Thus, picture this: juicy, awesomely seasoned chicken breasts, pan seared in vegetable oil, and finished off with a tablespoon of butter. That’s it. That is all we’re doing.

Raw chicken breast seasoned and ready to cook

How to Cook Chicken Breasts on the Stove

  • Start with a simple seasoning on both sides of the chicken breasts. Grease the chicken breasts with cooking spray or oil, then season with salt, fresh ground pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and dried basil. This dry mix of herbs and spices adds a wonderful zing and flavor to the chicken breasts.
  • In the meantime, heat up vegetable oil or canola oil in a large skillet. 
  • When oil is hot, add chicken breasts to the pan. Cook two chicken breasts at a time because you don’t want to overcrowd your skillet. 
  • Cook chicken breasts for 5 to 7 minutes without moving them around.
  • Flip the chicken breasts over. Add a tablespoon of butter to the skillet, and continue to cook for 7 more minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165F. Cooking time will always depend on the thickness of the chicken breasts.
  • Rest. When finished, transfer chicken breasts to a cutting board. Let rest for 5 minutes, then slice and serve. 

Cooked chicken breasts in the pan

Tips for Success

  • Chicken breasts should not be thicker than 1-inch, max. If your chicken breasts are thick, use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken to a smaller and even thickness BEFORE cooking.
  • Why are we using vegetable oil and not our beloved olive oil, you ask? BECAUSE, vegetable-based oils have higher smoke points than olive oil. When frying, or pan searing, you need an oil that can withstand the heat.
  • Cook the chicken breasts over medium-high heat.
  • DO NOT stir or move the chicken breasts around while cooking. Let cook for 5 minutes or until you can easily flip them over. If there’s any resistance when trying to flip them, give it another minute before trying again.
  • Chicken breasts are cooked through when internal temperature reaches 165F.

How to Store Extras

  • In the fridge: Store completely cooled chicken breasts in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • To freeze cooked chicken: Wrap completely cooled chicken breasts with plastic wrap and add a layer of aluminum foil over the plastic wrap. Place the wrapped chicken breasts in a freezer bag; seal the bag and place in the freezer. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

A fork picking up a piece of cooked chicken breast

Serving Suggestions

More Chicken Recipes to Try

ENJOY!

TOOLS USED IN THIS RECIPE:

Juicy Stove Top Chicken Breasts

Juicy Stove Top Chicken Breasts Recipe

Katerina | Diethood
Tried and true method for preparing the most tender and juicy chicken breasts right on the stove top. 
4.95 from 50 votes
Servings : 4 serves
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Resting Time 5 mins
Total Time 25 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or canola oil, divided
  • 4 (1 pound total) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • cooking spray
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

Instructions
 

  • Heat 1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet; use a 10-inch or 12-inch skillet.
  • Pat dry the chicken breasts with paper towels.
  • Drizzle just a bit of oil over each chicken breast, or spray with cooking oil, and rub it all over.
  • In a small mixing bowl combine salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, and paprika.
  • Season both sides of each chicken breast with the prepared seasoning; rub it all around.
  • Add 2 chicken breasts to the hot skillet.
  • Cook chicken breasts for 5 to 7 minutes without moving them around.
  • Flip both chicken breasts over, add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet; swirl butter around and continue to cook the chicken for 7 more minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165F. Cooking time will always depend on the thickness of the chicken breasts.
  • Remove chicken breasts from skillet; set aside and keep covered.
  • Repeat the same method with the remaining 2 chicken breasts.
  • When finished, transfer chicken to a cutting board; let rest for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.

Video

Notes

WW FREESTYLE POINTS: 6
 
RECIPE NOTES
  • Chicken breasts should not be thicker than 1-inch, max. If your chicken breasts are thick, use a meat mallet to pound the chicken to a smaller and even thickness BEFORE cooking.
  • If there's a chicken seasoning blend that you absolutely adore, go ahead and use that in place of the one I have given here.
  • Why are we using vegetable oil and not olive oil? Because, vegetable-based oils have higher smoke points than olive oil. When frying, or pan searing, you need an oil that can withstand the heat.
  • Cook the chicken breasts over medium-high heat. DO NOT stir or move the chicken breasts around while cooking. Let cook for 5 minutes or until you can easily flip them over. If there’s any resistance when trying to flip them, give it another minute before trying again.
 
HOW TO STORE COOKED CHICKEN BREASTS
  • Store completely cooled chicken breasts in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 4 ounces | Calories: 273 kcal | Carbohydrates: 0 g | Protein: 24 g | Fat: 19 g | Saturated Fat: 12 g | Cholesterol: 87 mg | Sodium: 182 mg | Potassium: 419 mg | Fiber: 0 g | Sugar: 0 g | Vitamin A: 330 IU | Vitamin C: 1.3 mg | Calcium: 8 mg | Iron: 0.6 mg | Net Carbs: 0 g

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken breast recipes
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120 comments on “Juicy Stove Top Chicken Breasts Recipe”

  1. Chicken is hard to perfect, when it comes to making sure it’s not dry, and even harder to perfect on the stove versus grill or oven. This is the BEST stovetop chicken I have ever had. SO tender and delicious!

    1. I used light olive oil, not extra virgin, but instead, the cheap stuff, and the breasts were fantastic – juicy and flavorful. Extra virgin oil has a lower burn point so it doesn’t work well for frying. And I cook on an electric stove so I have to dial the temp down to slightly below medium but they still come out with a beautiful color.

      Light olive oil and avocado oil are indeed a healthy alternative to vegetable and canola oil. They are not at all healthy and you won’t find them in my family’s kitchen either. I’ve tried this recipe many times and it always comes out beautifully. Last time I didn’t have basil and added a bit of dijon instead and everyone loved it. A nice twist with great flavor.

  2. Avatar photo
    Chaz DeSimone

    I barbeque all my chicken breasts because there’s no other way to get some flavor into them — until I searched for “stovetop chicken breasts” and found your recipe. (It’s 48 degrees and raining outside. I’m not that much of a die-hard pitmaster.)

    Although I had to substitute Italian seasoning for basil, and Hot Hungarian Paprika for sweet paprika, the chicken was better than anything I’ve barbequed! I followed your directions exactly, cooking in a cast-iron pan. It was tender, juicy, flavorful, and just blackened enough on the outside. I faked some potato pancakes (just leftover mashed potatoes fried in the same pan with some of the seasoned oil) and even grilled some sourdough bread in the same oil, to which I added more butter. What a delicious dinner! I’m going to replenish my basil and find some sweet paprika, so next time I can make your recipe precisely as you describe.

    Now, almost as a fun dessert, I enjoyed reading through your website, including your about page. I had to google Macedonia, and was intrigued that your/your husband’s heritage is so similar to mine. It appears Macedonia is influenced by several different regions, including Greece, Bulgaria, Albania and Serbia (correct me if I’m wrong). Same as my dad’s heritage: he came here from Sicily, which is not only a mixture of Italian, a little French, a little this and a little that, but even scoffed by “true Italians” as not really part of the Italian culture. Well, whether that’s accurate or not, we can cook far richer and tastier than those snobs in Rome and Milan! I was amused also that the pronunciation of your husband’s name is exactly what I was trying to find the other day to correctly say “tzatziki.”

    As an advertising creative director, I am extremely impressed with your superb writing style, Katarina. It’s conversational, witty, to the point, and fun. I was wondering how you could write so well in English when you live in Macadonia…until my next amusing surprise:

    You’re in Indiana! One of my favorite places, as I’ve visited my mother’s family a few times on their dairy farms. My mom grew up in Hammond, but she mentioned Crown Point a lot. While waitressing, she met my dad (who drove all the way from Chicago to eat at her diner — and always left a gigantic tip). She moved to Los Angeles, and he chased her. They eventually got married and I was born. I love Southern California, but I really cherish those visits to the down-to-earth people and beautiful farmland in Indiana. The last time I visited I went to the state fair. That was fun!

    I look forward to making more of your recipes, Katarina. Thanks for sharing your culinary talent, keeping the dishes simple, and making your blog so fun to read. Your photography is excellent, too.

    PS I have a monthly design project which always features “the fun & fabulous ampersand.” I’ll mention your blog in a future issue, when I design something around food again. The only one that mentions food right now is “Salt & Pepper” and talks about my dad and his salt-&-pepper hair. It’s at amperart.com/51-salt-pepper.

    Thanks again for my delicious dinner!

  3. I now have this saved on my phone as my go-to chicken breast recipe! The seasoning is great, easy, and they come out very tender. Just a note – if anyone has issues with charring, I did make the mistake this time of forgetting to turn the pan down to medium-high for my stove. I have an electric stove top and I always have to lower the heat to “barely-above-medium” if a recipe calls for medium-high. Otherwise, they get overcooked. Just a heads up to anyone with an electric stove top. 🙂 The chicken did still turn out tender, even if one side was a little blackened!

  4. I’m 41 and feel like I can finally cook a chicken breast right! Thanks so much! I used avocado oil instead and it still turned out juicy.

  5. Like some other commenters, the outside of the chicken overly blackened (ok, slightly burned) before I could get the internal temp to 165 degrees. But…. the inside was somehow still juicy. I ended up scraping off most of the burnt spices and just cutting the chicken up and putting it in a salad, so the crispy blackened parts wouldn’t dominate the flavor palette. And it actually worked. I mean… it still turned out well. I have an electric, glass-top stove, which can get too hot for recipes written for gas stoves (which is A LOT of recipes). So I’m gonna try this recipe again at medium heat, especially since it was still juicy and edible after the first try’s charring.

  6. Great recipe. This is my great granddaughter favorite chicken dinner. I cut the chicken in bit size pieces which is great for her. Served with mash potatoes and green beans. Simple and kid friendly meal. Of course adult friendly too. : )

  7. Excellent results! I added cumin with the other ingredients to half the pieces, and that was pretty good too! Thank you so much.

    (And forget the haters – they just want others to be as miserable as they are).

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