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5 from 1 vote

How to Cook Chicken Breast in a Pan

Perfectly Cooked, Juicy and Moist Chicken breast cooked in a pan is just minutes away.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time6 mins
resting time4 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to cook chicken breast in a pan
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 292kcal
Author: Wendi Spraker
Cost: $5


  • knife
  • cutting board
  • heavy skillet
  • Stove
  • Measuring spoons


  • 2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper


  • Cut the chicken breast in half like a butterfly (see video) or pound with a meat pounder until it is an even thickness. Each breast will provide 2 servings of meat.
  • While cutting or pounding the chicken, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat on the stove top.
  • Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breast with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne (divide the spices between the breast pieces).
  • When the oil is hot (if you sprinkle a drop of water into the oil it should pop and crack), add the seasoned chicken breast to the oil. Do not add more than two breasts to the pan at once. Allow to cook for 2 minutes on one side. Flip to the other side and allow to cook for 2 minutes on that side. Check the temperature. The chicken is done at an internal temperature of 165.



  • Make sure that the chicken breast is an even thickness. You'll notice that chicken breasts are thin on one end and thick in the middle and other end.
  • To achieve an even thickness, you can pound the chicken with a meat pounder (cover with plastic wrap and then gently pound the thicker parts to make it all the same thickness) or butterfly cut the filet in half.
  • Season the chicken breast well. The number one problem that I find with chicken is that it isn't seasoned well with salt and pepper. Additionally, you'll want to add flavoring ingredients like garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne.
  • Get the pan hot before adding the oil. Set the heat on medium to medium high.
  • Add a small amount of high smoke point oil like vegetable or peanut oil.
  • Do not attempt to use olive oil or butter for your chicken because these burn easily.
  • Use a good heavy pan that distributes heat evenly.
  • Once you put the chicken into the hot pan, allow it to sit for a bit before attempting to turn the chicken breast. If you try to turn it too early, it will want to stick to the pan. Only aim to turn the meat 1 time while cooking.
  • Do NOT cut into the chicken to see if it is done. This will let all of the juices out of the meat and you will end up with dry chewy chicken, ewww. Instead, invest in a decent thermometer (Thermoworks brand is the best and they make a very affordable "thermopop" instant read thermometer). Chicken is done at an internal temp of 165.
PRO TIP: For a hit of flavor, top each piece of chicken with a pat of butter just as it is ready to come off of the pan. Allow the butter to melt before serving while the chicken is resting.


Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 554mg | Potassium: 850mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg