It only takes 10 minutes to make the most TENDER & JUICY Blackened Chicken Breast! With just minutes of prep and one pan you can have this chicken sizzling to perfection for a flavor packed dinner. Our special blackened seasoning allows you to make it as mild or spicy as your family enjoys. Both delicious and healthy, this quick dinner is perfect for serving on a busy night and goes well with almost and side you have on hand.
Blackened Chicken Breast – The EASY Way!
Our travels have inspired many of the recipes I share with you here and this one is no exception. Blackened Chicken and fish is very prevalent throughout the south and especially in the coastal regions of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
The popularity is due undoubtedly to the amazing flavor that the blackening process gives the meat! If you haven’t had it, you are in for a treat!
What is Blackened Chicken?
Blackened may just sound like burnt food, but I assure you blacked chicken is not burnt, but rather incredibly flavorful, tender and juicy chicken!
Blackened chicken is chicken that is prepared by the cooking method of blackening. To blacken, the meat is seasoned and then cooked quickly in a very hot skillet with butter. The chicken develops a dark crust or “black” crust from the seasoning and milk solids from the butter.
Blackening is traditionally associated with cajun cuisine which is why you see it so often through the southern coastal regions, though it can appear in any type of restaurant or cuisine today.
Typically blackening seasoning is a blend of spices and includes using black or cayenne pepper which can add some spice. When it is not spicy it is often referred to as bronzed instead of blackened. In my recipe below, I give you options on how to adjust the seasoning from mild to spicy to get the best flavor!
If you are looking for fish, you can find my Blackened Fish Recipe here!
Why I LOVE this recipe:
- Fast– When I say, fast, I mean this recipe is about as quick as making a meal gets!
- So good! The flavor in blackened chicken never disappoints
- Healthy– This lean meat is packed with protein and low in carbs
- Goes with everything – Whatever else you have in the fridge or pantry can be a great side for this meal. It matches well with most side dishes.
- Leftovers are perfect second meals– Any leftovers you have can be used for salads, wraps, potatoes, or meal prep later in the week.
What to Serve with Blackened Chicken
While the flavor in this dish is bold, it matches well across the board, so you are able to serve Blackened Chicken with many different options based on what you have.
You can make the chicken breast seem very fancy, or extremely casual based on what you pair it with. It is up to you!!
- Salads– If you want to keep it light, blackened fish is perfect served with or on a salad. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Potatoes– At most restaurants here on the water, you will see french fries as an accompaniment to fish, you can pair potatoes at home just as easily.
- Vegetables– Add a veggie for a well rounded meal. Almost any you choose will go wonderfully, although these seem to be on repeat for us!
You can choose one or add a few sides to make a wholesome, well rounded dinner.
This Blackened Chicken recipe is as simple as promised! Just 10 minutes and one pan for a family friendly meal.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use for how to make blackened chicken to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
Ingredients + Substitutions
- Chicken breast– This recipe is written for chicken breast, so the cook time and measurements reflect that. If you prefer you can use the same method with any cut of chicken to get a blackened effect. Chicken thighs, chicken tenders, or even chicken wings will work, however the cook time and measurements can vary.
- Butter– You can use salted or unsalted. The taste won’t vary much either way, so I just use what I have on hand.
For the Blackened Chicken Seasoning
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Italian seasoning– You can use store bought, or make your own blend at home.
- Old Bay seasoning- you can find this in the seasoning section of almost any grocery store
- Cayenne pepper- this will be used to taste to make the blackened chicken more spicy or keep it more mild.
- Use thin chicken– This is VERY important to getting a great result! Our method cooks the chicken quickly at a high heat to get that classic blackened crust on the outside of the chicken. In order to make sure the chicken breast is cooked through, it really needs to be thin (around 1/4-1/2″ thick.) You can either cut the chicken with a knife, or pound it out with a meat mallet. Either work equally well here.
- Hot Butter + Hot Pan– One of the keys to getting that really great crust on the blackened chicken breast is making sure both the pan and the butter are HOT before putting the chicken in. You want them both to come to temperature over a medium high heat.
- Don’t Crowd the Pan– Make sure not to over crowd the pan. When the pan is too crowded the chicken isn’t able to get enough air to form the sear on each side that is the signature of the delicious blackened crust you look for. Depending on the size of the skillet, you may need to cook the chicken in batches.
- Don’t touch! While it is tempting to fiddle and check the chicken, you will get the best blackened crust is you leave the chicken without moving or touching it for the full 2-3 minutes. Then flip and leave it again!
- Cover to finish– After flipping the chicken, you will cover the pan which helps to finish the cooking all the way through. You will want the chicken to reach 165˚F to be done. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, this is the best, and only true way to make sure your chicken is cooked, and prevent it from getting dry and chewy or being over cooked.
Recipe Short Cuts
This recipe is already really fast, but if you are extra short on time, here are a few ideas that can help make this blackened chicken breast recipe even faster!
- Mix the seasoning in advance– You can mix the seasoning together as far in advance as you want! It will actually stay good for 1+ year, so feel free to mix up a big batch if you love these flavors, and keep it on hand to use as needed.
- Pre-cut the chicken– As we talked about above, the chicken needs to be either cut or pounded to thin cutlets. You can do this in advance as well, so it is ready to go when you need to cook.
To prepare Blackened Chicken as a freezer meal:
You can prepare this blackened chicken breast recipe up to 6 months in advance and freeze.
- Prepare seasoning mix
- Coat chicken with seasoning on both sides.
- Vacuum seal the chicken and freeze.
- When ready to cook thaw for 24-48 hours in the refrigerator and continue with recipe as directed.
Blackened Chicken Leftovers
If you have leftovers after making Blackened Chicken Breast, then it is your lucky day! They save and reheat well, and can make the start of another delicious dish.
To save leftovers, separate into meal sized portions and then place in an airtight container and store:
- in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
- in the freezer up to a month
Here are a few ways to repurpose those leftovers and give them a delicious makeover!
- Blackened Chicken Salad– xxx.
- Blackened Chicken Sandwich– Heat blackened chicken. Toast a hoagie roll. Mix mayo with old bay, salt, and a little lemon juice and spread it on the roll and add chicken, lettuce, tomato, and red onion.
- Blackened Chicken Pasta– Prepare your preferred pasta and use either jarred or my quick homemade alfredo sauce. Toss pasta with sauce and top with heated and sliced blackened chicken.
More Easy Chicken Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my Easy Chicken Dinner recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite recipes below.
- Asian Style Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs
- Mesquite Chicken Bake
- Fast Ranch Chicken Thighs
- BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
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Blackened Chicken Breast Recipe
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into thin cutlets (about 6)
- 2 tbsp butter
For the Blackened Chicken Seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or up to 1/2 tsp to taste (optional)
- Combine the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, Italian seasoning, Old Bay, salt, and cayenne pepper (optional) and mix.
- Lay the chicken cutlets flat and sprinkle seasonings on the first side, lightly pat them in, and then sprinkle the remaining seasoning on the back side and pat in. This can sit in the refrigerator for up to an hour seasoned.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat for 2-3 minutes, then reduce to medium high and add the butter.
- Once the butter is melted and starting to brown, but not smoke, put the chicken flat in the skillet. Do not crowd the skillet. Cook the chicken in batches if necessary.
- Let the chicken cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side without moving or checking it, then flip and cook 2 minutes on the other side. Then reduce heat to low, cover the pan and continue to cook until the chicken reaches an internal temp of 165˚F (about 2-3 more minutes.)
- Remove the chicken from the skillet (to prevent it from continuing to cook) and serve warm with fresh parsley or freshly squeezed lemon if desired.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)