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This Stove Top Chicken Breast recipe is so incredibly tender and juicy and takes only 25 minutes from start to finish. It’s one of the best chicken recipes there is when you want a fresh, home cooked meal on a busy weeknight!

Make it a complete meal with your favorite veggies, a Butter Lettuce Salad, and some Roasted Baby Potatoes.

Pan seared stove top chicken breasts in a skillet.
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Why We Love This Stove Top Chicken Breast Recipe

Pan-seared chicken breasts are a staple in our household because they are quick and easy to cook and they can take on a variety of flavors.

This stove top chicken recipe is:

  • Flavorful – I use my favorite Chicken Seasoning, which is a simple blend of spices – garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper – that really gives this stovetop chicken its incredible flavor. The best part is you probably already have them in your pantry, and it works for all kinds of chicken recipes, like my popular Baked Chicken Breasts.
  • Simple – Pantry staple seasonings, butter, and olive oil. That’s it, just a few simple ingredients that are commonly found in most kitchens.
  • Fast – It really does take under 30 minutes from start to finish!
  • No heating the oven – Cook your main course right on the stove top and free up your oven for some Frozen Dinner Rolls, Roasted Vegetables, or even some yummy Snickerdoodle Bars for dessert!

Key Ingredients

  • Chicken Breasts – Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded lightly to even thickness.
  • Olive Oil – To sear the breasts.
  • Butter – To lock in the juices and add a flavorful sauce.
  • Chicken Seasoning – Garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, black pepper.

How To Make Cook Chicken Breasts On The Stove Top

See recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

This cooking process is simple but does require a little patience.

Step One: Tenderize the chicken. Gently pound pieces with a meat tenderizer until they are evenly sized throughout.

Quick Tip – How to Tenderize Chicken

Whacking the chicken with a meat mallet may seem a little extra, but I promise this small extra step is totally worth it.

Chicken breasts can also vary in size; they typically have a thicker end and a thinner end, and this makes them cook unevenly.

So to fix that, pound that chicken! Place the chicken between two pieces of plastic, or in a sealable plastic bag, and use a meat tenderizer to gently pound chicken breasts until they are even throughout.

Raw chicken breasts with seasoning on a plate.

Step Two: Season the chicken. Combine the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper, and sprinkle it all over both sides of the chicken.

Seared chicken breasts in a skillet with a pat of butter.

Step Three: Sear and let it sit. Melt some olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and arrange the chicken breasts in your pan or skillet. Whatever you do, don’t touch them for 4 minutes. You want to give them some time to get a beautiful golden crust.

Step Four: Flip and sit some more. Flip over each piece and cook for about 2 minutes, then turn the heat to low and add a pat of butter. Let the butter melt, then spoon some over the chicken.

Seared chicken breasts in a silver skillet.

Step Five: Cover and cook gently. Now that your chicken has a nice sear on each side, you’re basically going to let it steam the rest of the way through. Cover the pan and turn the heat down to low for 10 minutes so the meat can continue to cook without the risk of scorching.

Step Six: Let it rest. Turn off the burner and move the skillet off the heat. Keep it covered and let the chicken rest for about 5-10 minutes.

Piece of chicken with a spatula.

Step Seven: Serve with pan juices. You should have some beautiful juices left behind in the pan, so use those to spoon over the chicken. To make more sauce, add some more butter, fresh garlic, and a little chicken stock and simmer that for a few minutes. Make sure to scrape up all the brown bits from the chicken – that’s where the flavor is!

Recipe FAQs

How long does it take to cook chicken on the stove top?

Using this method, it will take about 25 minutes to cook the chicken breasts. But most of that is hands-off time. The result is a beautifully seared, super tender and juicy piece of meat that you just can’t get with high-heat searing.

How do you cook chicken on the stove without drying it out?

I always add butter to the pan to keep the chicken nice and juicy. But it’s also really important that you don’t overcook it, so be sure to keep an eye on the temperature.

What is the internal temperature for chicken breast?

Use a meat thermometer to keep track of the internal temperature – it should be between 155-160℉ when you turn off the heat, and it should rise to 165℉ while it rests.

Leftovers

  • Refrigerate: Let the meat cool completely, then store in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freeze: Let the meat cool completely, then store in a freezer bag or other type of freezer safe container for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: Chicken can easily overcook when reheated, so I recommend reheating on the stove top if you can. You can also reheat in the microwave, but set it to 50% power.
  • Using Leftovers – Toss in salads or soups, shred for sandwiches and wraps, or use for meal prepping.

Pro Tips

  • This recipe will work with a variety of different types of skillets, but I highly recommend using a cast iron skillet for the best sear.
  • Don’t skip the butter! Adding a pat of butter to the skillet really does help to lock in the juices.
  • Chicken should be 1 1/2-inch thick, max. Do pound that chicken if it’s really thick on one side. The meat will cook more evenly.
  • Resist the urge to push the chicken around, press down on it or flip it before the recipe says to. I promise your patience will pay off with a beautifully golden sear.
sliced chicken breast on a cutting boar.

Serving Suggestions

More Chicken Recipes

Recipe
social media image for stove top chicken

Stovetop Chicken Breast Recipe

4.68 from 28 votes
Stove Top Chicken Breasts are tender, juicy and beautifully seared in less than 30 minutes. With a simple seasoning and butter sauce, this is the best chicken recipe!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, whisk together salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and chili powder. Place the chicken on a plate and sprinkle the seasoning mixture over both sides of the chicken and rub it in with your hands.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet (with a tight fitting lid) over medium-high heat. Add chicken and leave it alone (uncovered) to sear and cook for 4 minutes on the first side.
  • Flip the chicken and add the butter to the skillet, swirling it around the pan as it melts. Cook for 2 minutes, then cover the skillet with a tight fitting lid.
  • Turn heat down to low for 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from heat and rest, covered, for another 5-10 minutes. Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  • Serve immediately with parsley garnish, if desired.

Notes

Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Note that the cook time can vary depending on your particular stove’s flame and the pan use, as well as the size and thickness of the chicken. 
I highly recommend having a meat thermometer on hand and testing the temperature as you remove it from the heat. It does need to rest, but if it’s already hit the 165 mark you may need to simply rest on a cutting board. 
Resist the urge to move chicken as it cooks. It needs that time to get a beautiful sear.

Nutrition

Calories: 188kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 24gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 740mgPotassium: 434mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 197IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 10mgIron: 1mg
Keyword juicy chicken, stovetop chicken breast

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. SO moist! Previously I always seem to dry out my chicken breasts, and I love that you can really use any spice you like for flavour (though I really like the suggestion in the recipe) πŸ™‚
    Delicious and EASY. Five stars!

  2. This was the best chicken I loved the flavor. Followed the cooking instructions exactly. I did double the seasoning ingredients. Delish

  3. Hi, Kristin! Thank you for this recipe! I made it tonight for dinner.I didn’t have onion powder and it didn’t matter. I added Chipotle powder along with garlic powder and chili powder, salt and pepper. I followed your recipe but, had just picked some hot peppers from our garden and threw 2 of them into the skillet with 2 chicken breasts after they were browned. We like our food a little spicy. My husband raved at how tender and juicy the chicken tasted and he loved the little bit of heat from the peppers. I will certainly make this again and share your recipe with my friends. πŸ™‚

  4. Excellent recipe! I cooked as directed and adjusted ingredients for 1 chicken breast. Turned out perfect! Thanks for sharing. This will be used time and again. ?

  5. I just made this, but I didn’t have the chili powder. Instead just substituting with my own on hand powders. Not that hard to make, easy and simple instructions. I would do this again.

  6. I am now making this for the second time and we just love it! This method really works! And the seasoning combination is great. The proof is in the pudding – my picky teens all loved it and now ask for it. The only thing I did differently the second time is make more of it!

  7. Hello!
    Thank you so much for sharing this delicious and easy recipe!! I followed it to the ‘T’ and everything turned out perfect! My kids and husband loved it, and I have made sure to share it with my sister and mom!
    And the fact that it was easy, is a wonderful bonus!! πŸ™‚ Thank you again!!

  8. Hi, thanks for the recipe, it’s a pretty nice way to make the chicken breast. Only thing I should have done was maybe started it later, it ended up being done first before all my sides so my timing was off.

  9. First note I will admit I do not like chicken much but I am trying to get more in my diet and have been trying different recipes. I really like this with the spices you recommended and will be sure to make it again. Yes I had to fiddle around with my stove temp. Made two sets. First set cautious because of previous comments then second set with a fairly close to high setting for my old electric glass top stove. Second set got seared better. Thanks so much for this recipe. Moist and very tasty. I will be sure to make is often and maybe even experiment with some different seasoning. YOU are a life saver. THANKS!

  10. Yum! I’ve made this 5-6 Times now and it keeps getting better each time. I didn’t have any chili powder so used Cajun powder instead and it’s amazing. Love this recipe!! Thank you.

  11. Incredibly moist. Both my teenage boys loved it. Thanks for sharing the tip of searing and not moving it. Then letting it rest. So juicy!

  12. I used a different marinade so I will only comment on the stove top directions. A little disappointed that my chicken was burned when I flipped it after the first 4 minutes. I don’t know why, as I had it on medium-high and dropped it to medium after only 2 minutes when I saw that it was browning faster than it should. I love your sausage/peppers/rice skillet dish though, and showed it to my sisters and mom, who both make that recipe now as well!

    1. It’s tough to say what happened because every kitchen is different. I have some burners that just get hotter than others. You’ll have to use your best judgement and just keep an eye on it.

      1. I have tried this two more times, and I cooked it on my electric stovetop on just over medium heat so as to avoid burning. It worked great following the rest of your cooking instructions. Very tender and flavorful! I can now rate this 5 stars! I would suggest to people trying this cooking method for the first time to check your chicken when it is cooking on that first side to make sure it isn’t burned after a couple minutes! I am wondering if this stovetop method will work for boneless skinless chicken thighs? I’m going to try it today!

  13. I was nervous about this method (let the chicken rest for 10 minutes – will it even be cooked?!) but I am SO HAPPY with the result. It tastes amazing and it was so easy! Plus, it freed up my oven for roasted veggies. Great post, thank you!

    1. So glad you gave it a try. I love this method because the chicken gets a nice sear, then continues to cook after you turn off the heat and cover it so it almost “steams” it and it stays super juicy!

  14. OMG! I tried your stovetop chicken method. I can’t believe I have been cooking it wrong all these years! Your method is by far the best stovetop chicken I have ever cooked. I didn’t use your seasoning though, as I am currently in love with Adobo and black pepper as a seasoning for chicken. Thanks so much for the technique. I am going to try this with turkey breast cutlets too. Yum.

    1. That’s the best part about this method – you can use any seasoning you like! We had this for dinner just last night. Still a favorite!

    1. Unfortunately each stove is different. Medium-high works perfectly on mine, however you have to use your discretion in your own kitchen.