Today we’re keeping it simple with an easy recipe for healthy pan seared chicken breasts. Simple, however, does not mean boring.
This homemade delicacy delivers rich, royal flavors using a peasant’s most prized ingredient — the chicken breast. It’s great for all sorts of meals, including family feasts, quick dinners, make-ahead freezer meals, or low-carb lunches.
Pan seared chicken breast is a buttery sear of chicken seasoned with garlic and paprika. Once done, it comes out golden, glossy, and picture-perfect “for the gram.”
If that’s not convincing, wait until you bite into it — you’ll love it! But first, let’s dive into the know-hows for this dish.
Is Pan Seared Chicken Breast Healthy?
Our pan seared chicken breasts are as healthy as meat gets. The recipe centers around chicken breast — a holy grail for every bodybuilder.
You can hop onto it too. Every 4-ounce serving of chicken breast contains 25 grams of protein, which equates to 14%-50% of the required protein on a 2000-calorie diet.
Served with vegetables, as we did in this meal, it’s enough to keep you feeling full until dinner. So no more between-meal snacks and no sugar-laden munchies. This dish delivers both flavor and that full feeling.
As far as nutrients go, chicken breasts come with plenty, some in the form of vitamins B6 and B12.
Vitamins B6 and B12 are essential for providing you with energy to fuel your workouts and regulating fuel (glucose) for your brain, thereby preserving your health.
We also kept a strict eye on the amount of sodium. The total amount in this recipe takes up 21% of your daily sodium intake.
As a precaution, you may want to avoid pre-packaged foods that sneak in excess amounts of salt and sugar. We encourage you to stick to healthier, homemade meals, and this recipe is a great place to start!
How to Prepare Chicken Breast for This Recipe
Step 1: Select fresh chicken breasts and use a sharp knife to create vertical incisions along the belly of each breast.
Step 2: Mix the spices and oil.
Step 3: Pour the marinade onto the chicken before cooking.
Marinade for Pan Seared Chicken Breast
The marinade is a blend of readily available spices like oregano, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and salt. It’s a basic mix that carries our favorite flavors.
What’s even better is you can use it over and over again with excellent results. The spicy herbs and pleasant hints of paprika will keep you coming back for more!
Garlic and olive oil also make a perfect combo to elevate the taste of chicken breast and any meat in general. Mix the two with the rest of the spices in a bowl and stir until you’ve formed a paste you can easily slather onto the chicken.
Once fully coated, the chicken breasts are ready for the next step.
How to Pan Sear Chicken
In this recipe for pan seared chicken breast, we use searing and sautéing techniques for a crispy touch and buttery finish.
Tips for Cooking Chicken Breast
In some instances, you may end up with a dark, near-black sear. This is fine if using blackening spices like Cajun and Creole seasoning.
If not, however, ensure that a black crust is not just the chicken burning during the searing process.
You can slice the chicken breast lengthwise for easy and quick cooking. It also helps to prevent the exterior from drying out before the center cooks.
To ensure the chicken is ready, check that the internal temperature is at 165 F. Or that the juices run clear (not pink) before removing it from the heat.
Can You Freeze Cooked Chicken Breasts?
Yes, you can freeze cooked chicken breasts with no problems. It’s a genius way to work in those freezer meals, make-ahead meals, and meal preps.
To store it, leave it to cool to room temperature after cooking and then transfer it into a freezer-safe container. Tupperware and Ziploc bags are perfect for this as they keep the air out and prevent the meat from contamination.
After tightly sealing shut, you can safely store cooked chicken breast in the freezer for 2-6 months.
When you’re ready to use it, leave the chicken to thaw in the refrigerator until fully defrosted. Then reheat it again; you can microwave it for a few minutes or bake it until hot before serving.
How Long Do Cooked Chicken Breasts Last in the Fridge?
Cooked chicken breasts can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days in an airtight container.
Again, Ziploc bags or any Tupperware containers are A-okay. Just avoid keeping the chicken breasts for more than three days.
Longer storage time starts to see the chicken turn greyish while giving off a foul odor accompanied by a slimy texture.
Ensure that the lid is tightly sealed shut and the chicken is always in the fridge, and avoid keeping it at room temperature for over an hour.
When ready to consume it, check that the chicken is still in good condition before reheating again.
What to Serve With Pan Seared Chicken Breast
Plain chicken breasts cooked well can make a great meal. But they’re even better with complements to make them a more rounded dish.
Here are a few pairings:
1. Mashed Potatoes
Add a little milk and cheese to your potatoes to end up with silky-textured mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes pair incredibly well with cooked chicken breasts because of their creamy texture.
They help make the firmer chicken breast more pleasant to chew. Plus, they add healthy carbs that chicken breast lacks, helping to balance out the meal.
2. Baked Vegetables
Baked vegetables are even more fun to add as a side. Think of broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, and onion; a variety of textures in one cook.
As we did with this recipe, you can sauté some veggies and add them to the cooked chicken breasts. They not only add versatility to the dish but nutrients too.
Besides, chicken breasts are mostly protein and could do with some veggies to accompany them. Try adding your favorite ones and let us know how you enjoy them!
For other ideas on serving cooked chicken breasts, you can check out our collection of 50 healthy chicken recipes. We guarantee that there’s a little something for everyone who enjoys the beauty that is chicken. Enjoy!
More Delectable Trays of Chicken and Vegetables
Prior to the baking, we seared our chicken skin side down until golden to achieve a better texture of the skin. You can see that there’s just a few ingredients, but thanks to this technique it doesn’t need a lot either.
Our chicken marbella cooks in the oven and develops this beautiful color, indicating how tasty it is. The tray contains chicken and plums, as well as a savory sauce flavored with red wine and capers.
Neola Muhambi is a food and travel writer and SEO outreach specialist. Her African heritage and travels across various countries in Asia have given her a keen appreciation for cultural diversity and a sensitivity to the unique characteristics of various cuisines. Her experiences also sharpened her communication skills, which are helpful in her tasks to establish organic connections among websites.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Lizzie Streit is a Minneapolis-based dietitian and founder of It’s a Veg World After All. She completed her MS in Human Nutrition from Drexel University, and is an expert in culinary nutrition, recipe development, and nutrition communications. Lizzie’s philosophy is centered around making nutrition recommendations, and especially the advice to eat more vegetables, approachable and realistic. She is excited to be working with the team at Healthy Recipes 101 to ensure that their recipes are both nutritious and delicious.
Pan Seared Chicken Breast Recipe
Pan-seared chicken breast is a quick and tasty meal for any day of the week.