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Pan Seared Boneless Chicken Breasts are simple and flavorful! Make them for dinner tonight!
Our freezer is always stocked with boneless, skinless chicken breasts because there are so many ways you can prepare them, and they are a versatile ingredient in so many recipes.
But – as easy as they are to cook – boneless chicken breasts can also be more than a little finicky! If you cook them for too long, they get dry, tough and flavorless. So, it’s important to cook them long enough so that they aren’t still underdone in the middle, but not so long that they are overdone.
So how should you cook them? Our Pan Seared Boneless Chicken Breasts recipe is the delicious answer!
How do you cook juicy Pan Seared Boneless Chicken Breasts?
You’ll start by trimming off any fat and cartilage from boneless chicken breast halves. (If your breast came whole with the two halves attached to cartilage in the middle, cut each half off from that center piece.)
Next, combine softened butter with salt and pepper, a bit of sugar (helps give this dish a nice caramelized color), paprika, garlic powder and dried thyme. Spread half of the butter paste on the underside of the breast – then place the chicken with that buttered-side facing up in a hot skillet along with a little bit of olive oil.
Sear for four minutes, then flip each breast in the pan – buttered side now down. Reduce the heat and smear the remaining butter mixture on the side of the chicken facing up. Cover and cook for exactly six minutes.
After six minutes, remove the cover. Continue to cook, flipping the chicken breasts in the buttered pan until cooked through. To know that you’ve achieved the perfect level of doneness, use an instant-read probe thermometer and remove the chicken breasts from the skillet when the thermometer reaches 160 degrees F. Place the chicken on a platter and cover with foil to rest – the chicken’s internal temperature will rise to 165 degrees F.
What do you serve with Pan Seared Boneless Chicken Breasts?
Here are a few side dish suggestions:
- Perfect Mashed Potatoes
- Green Beans with Tomatoes
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Greek Rice (Spanakorizo)
- Mexican Tomato and Corn Salad
You may enjoy these other chicken recipes:
- Roasted Bone-In Chicken Breasts
- Perfect Herb Roasted Chicken
- Grampa’s Firehouse Chicken
- Keto Chicken Meatballs
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (any size)
4 tablespoons softened butter
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves*
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Trim the breasts of all visible fat and cartilage then pat them dry with paper towels. Do not split them, or butterfly them, they need to be left thick.
In a small bowl, whisk softened butter, sugar, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic and thyme to a paste.
Spread half of it on the side of the breasts that were originally attached to the bone (not the side that had skin).
In a large non-stick saute pan, over medium high heat, add the olive oil and once hot, add the breasts with the side that originally had skin face down, and the buttered side face up.
Sear for four minutes uncovered then flip. Immediately turn the heat down to just a whisper above low heat.
Spread the remaining butter on the seared side, cover and time it six minutes.
After six minutes (ten minutes total including the time to sear), remove the cover.
Continue to cook for up to ten minutes more depending on how large the breasts are. As the minutes pass, the butter will caramelize a bit in the pan so feel free to turn the breasts over once or twice to get that nice browned butter look and taste. (I even basted them a bit with a spoon by tilting the pan to get spoonfuls of butter).
To test for doneness, insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the thickest breast and remove from the pan at 160 degrees F. Cover loosely with foil and let rest for five minutes where the breasts will continue to cook to a serving temperature of 165 degrees F.
Discard the pan drippings or pour over the breasts just before serving. We served ours with the drippings because butter is better. 🙂
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*Dried thyme can be substituted for other herbs like dried basil or dried oregano. This will change the final flavor profile of the finished chicken.