These Sauteed Chicken Breasts are tender and juicy with lots of flavor! They’re perfect when you need to make something quick for dinner or meal prep them for lunch. And the best part is you can pair it with just about any vegetable, a quick pasta recipe or add it to your favorite salad!
What I love most about cooking chicken breasts is it's fast and you can switch up the seasoning to try new flavors and combinations. You can keep it simple with just salt, pepper and a little garlic powder or try out your favorite mexican blend with cumin and chili powder if you plan on using your chicken for tacos or fajitas. It’s totally up to you!
But there are a few important steps to take to make sure you end up with juicy chicken breasts that are not overcooked or undercooked that I will share with you in this recipe.
HOW TO COOK SAUTEED CHICKEN BREASTS
Follow these key steps to make sure your chicken breasts are packed with flavor, moist and cooked evenly each and every time.
Step One: Make sure your chicken breasts have an equal thickness throughout the breast. You can do this by pounding the thicker part of your chicken breasts with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer on a cutting board. You can also slice your chicken breast in half lengthwise to make 2 thinner chicken breast cutlets. Even if you decide to slice your chicken breast in half, it may still need to be pounded slightly on the thicker edge of the breast.
Step Two: Rub olive oil on both sides of the chicken breasts. Then season chicken breast generously with the seasoning mix combination listed below. Make sure to rub the seasoning into each breast thoroughly so every piece is coated evenly.
Step Three: Heat a large skillet over medium heat with olive oil or avocado oil. Add chicken breasts to the skillet and cook for approximately 4-5 minutes on each side. Turn the heat down to medium low if you notice your skillet getting too hot. This will allow the chicken breasts to cook all the way through without burning too quickly. Take your time, don't rush it.
Step Four: Once chicken is browned on both sides, check the internal temperature of your chicken to make sure they are done with a meat thermometer. Place the meat thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken breast. Internal temperature should be 165°F. Be careful not to stick the meat thermometer all the way through touching the skillet or you will end up with an inaccurate reading.
Step Five: Very important….Let the chicken breasts rest! Remove the chicken breast from the skillet and set aside on a plate or clean cutting board. Allow the breasts to rest for 3-5 minutes before cutting into them so you don’t loose all of the juices that help the chicken retain its moisture.
DO I HAVE TO CUT THE CHICKEN BREASTS IN HALF?
You certainly don’t have to cut the chicken breasts in half before you cook them. Chicken breasts tend to be very thick, so they cook more evenly when you cut the breast in half or when you pound them with a meat tenderizer ahead of time. I almost always cut my chicken breasts in half before I start cooking them. If you don't then you risk your chicken cooking too quickly on the outside before they are fully done on the inside.
HOW TO SEASON YOUR CHICKEN?
Oftentimes we tend to just “sprinkle” our seasoning on the top and bottom of the chicken breast. For this recipe I recommend mixing all of your spices into one small bowl, coating the chicken breasts with just a little bit of olive oil and generously rubbing the seasoning mix into the meat with your hands. This way each chicken breast gets thoroughly coated with all of those spices, which results in chicken that’s packed with flavor!
WHAT SKILLET SHOULD I USE TO COOK MY CHICKEN BREASTS?
I recommend cooking your chicken breast with a good heavy bottom skillet like this stainless steel 12 inch fry pan or a good cast iron skillet. Both cast iron and stainless steel skillets distribute heat very well and give meat a great sear on the outside. If you don't have either one of these, then a non stick skillet will certainly work as well!
HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOUR CHICKEN BREASTS ARE DONE
The only safe way to know when your chicken breasts are done is to use a meat thermometer. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F with a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of your chicken breast. Digital meat thermometers are inexpensive and simple to use. This is the digital meat thermometer that I use.
NEED TO COOK MORE CHICKEN BREASTS?
A large 12’’ inch skillet will hold 4 chicken breasts or 4 chicken cutlets (chicken breasts that have been cut in half). If you need to cook more than 4 chicken breasts, my advice would be to cook your first batch of 4 breasts, then set them aside. Next move your skillet off of the hot burner and allow it to cool down for 2-3 minutes. Take some paper towels and carefully wipe out some of the excess grease and charred bits that were left in the skillet from the first batch of chicken. Now you can return your skillet to the hot burner on a medium heat, add a little more extra virgin olive oil and proceed to cook the next batch of chicken breasts.
SIDE DISHES TO SERVE WITH YOUR CHICKEN BREASTS
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Instant Pot and Stove Top instructions)
- Sauteed Skillet Green Beans
- Roasted Broccoli
- Baked Potatoes
- Instant Pot Maple Glazed Carrots
MORE EASY CHICKEN RECIPES
- Oven Baked Chicken Breast
- Chicken Marsala
- The BEST Chicken Tortilla Soup
- White Chicken Chili
- Easy Chicken Stir Fry