Perfect Pan Seared Chicken Breasts

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Easy pan seared chicken breasts with homemade gravy is a perfect weeknight dinner, and can be paired with nearly any side dish. It’s faster than you might think to make perfectly juicy chicken breasts on the stovetop! The secret is all about sticking to simple, tried-and-true techniques for creating a great sear without over-drying the chicken. Give my pan seared chicken and gravy recipe a try and enjoy this as a 30 minute meal tonight.

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plate of pan seared chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans

The Easiest Pan Seared Chicken Breasts and Simple Chicken Gravy

Chicken breasts are one of the most common proteins to have on hand, but they can be difficult to work with to make an easy weeknight dinner. While white meat is tasty, it really isn’t anything exciting. There are a million different ways to prepare breasts, but some recipes are very labor intensive or take too long, and/or leave you with a dried out and rubbery dish.

Sometimes you just need to get back to basics! With this recipe I’ll teach you how to cook the most juicy chicken breasts by perfecting a simple, classic searing method… in less than 30 minutes! It is so easy, you can even make side dishes at the same time and have dinner ready super quickly.

Why sear? By searing chicken breasts in a hot skillet, the outside of the breast becomes beautifully caramelized and flavorful. The juices are then sealed inside, so every bite is moist and tender. You don’t need lots of seasonings or anything special – the chicken is the star of the show here!

Pan seared chicken with homemade gravy is not only easy to make, it is a healthier alternative to other chicken breasts dishes – like fried or breaded and baked chicken dinners. This simple recipe is low in carbs, but still high in protein and and yumminess.

skillet of easy seared chicken breasts

What Ingredients You Need to Make Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Gravy

I like to keep the ingredients list simple for making the best healthy chicken breasts. Using just a few items really helps each to shine.

  • Skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil

Make an easy, delicious chicken gravy with the pan drippings and just a few other ingredients:

  • Chicken stock
  • Corn starch
  • Butter
  • Parsley

That’s it!

close up of skillet of pan seared chicken

How to Make the Best Pan Seared Chicken Breasts

With my handy tips and step-by-step recipe, you’ll be making perfectly juicy pan seared chicken breasts in no time!

Perfect Pan Seared Chicken Breasts Tip #1: To properly sear chicken, pat chicken breasts with paper towels to ensure they are completely dry.

After you’ve thoroughly dried the breasts, pound them flat to help them cook quicker and more evenly.

Then, heat olive oil in a skillet and carefully lay in the chicken breasts. Cook for a few minutes on each side to sear to a golden brown.

raw chicken breasts in skillet on the stove

Perfect Pan Seared Chicken Breasts Tip #2: Heat and temperature are key! After the chicken is seared, low heat finishes cooking the chicken, keeping it tender and juicy.

Cover the seared chicken with a lid as you continue cooking on low in the skillet. This ensures that the juices stay locked in and will help avoid undercooking.

Monitor the internal temperature of the chicken as it cooks, ensuring it does not go above 165º F.

For more tips on pan searing chicken (including video prep) see Chicken Piccata.

See Below for the Complete Perfect Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Gravy Recipe!

skillet of chicken showing how to perfectly sear chicken

To keep the chicken breasts moist, let rest for at least 5-10 minutes before serving.

Easy Homemade Chicken Gravy

Use the same skillet and drippings to make a quick gravy while the pan seared chicken breasts rest.

Here are the simple steps for making a yummy chicken gravy from scratch:

  1. First mix together cold chicken broth and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring until smooth.
  2. Then add butter to the skillet over medium-high heat. Once it’s melted, add the broth and cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boiling as you continue to stir, and deglaze the pan by scraping to loosen browned bits.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low; simmer and stir for a few minutes until the gravy has thickened.

Immediately remove the pan from the heat, and spoon hot gravy over your chicken dish.

plate of chicken breasts with homemade gravy

Frequently Asked Questions

What goes well with pan seared chicken breasts?

Potatoes are by far my favorite starch to serve alongside juicy chicken breasts. Try these incredibly easy and delicious no-drain Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes or this super flavorful Instant Pot Loaded Potato Casserole.

Our Sourdough Stuffing recipe is perfect for a holiday-inspired meal, and goes great with the homemade chicken gravy from this recipe.

And you should definitely have a basket of fresh, hot Drop Biscuits with Self Rising Flour on the dinner table!

Need something sweet after a wonderfully hearty, savory meal? Give this quick Bisquick Strawberry Cobbler a try!

Are cooked chicken breasts good for meal prepping?

Pan seared chicken breasts are a great protein for make-ahead meals. They keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months when properly sealed in airtight containers.

Use these perfect seared chicken breasts as the base for making chicken tacos or enchiladas, salads, pot pies, sandwiches, and much more!

How will know when my chicken is done? What temperature should it be?

Check internal temperature of chicken with a thermometer. Chicken is done when the internal temperature is 165º.

dinner plate of perfect seared chicken breasts, mashed potatoes, green beans and gravy dinner

Get the Perfect Pan Seared Chicken Breasts Recipe Here:

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5 from 2 votes

Pan Seared Chicken Breasts

These simple, easy pan seared chicken breasts are perfect for dinner any night of the week. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice and fresh green beans for an amazing dinner.
These chicken breasts are also the ideal foundation for meal prep to reuse the chicken in tacos, enchiladas, or pot pie.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword 30 minute meals, chicken breasts, chicken dinner, easy chicken breasts, pan seared chicken breasts
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 29 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 231kcal

Equipment

  • 11" – 12" skillet with a lid

Ingredients

For the Pan Seared Chicken

  • 4 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper divided
  • 1 tsp kosher salt divided
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil divided

For the Homemade Chicken Gravy

  • 1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)

Instructions

  • Pat chicken breasts dry with paper towels. Let chicken stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Flatten chicken breasts, using the flat side of a meat tenderizer or a rolling pin, until they are 1" to 1.5" thick. Brush on 1 Tbsp of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large stainless-steel skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to pan and swirl to coat. Place chicken in pan, rounded side down, and cook on medium-high for 4 minutes on each side. Turn heat down to low, add a lid to the skillet and let breasts cook for 5 minutes. Check internal temperature of chicken with a thermometer. Chicken is done when the internal temperature is 165º. Remove chicken from pan; let rest on a plate or platter covered with foil while preparing gravy.
  • While the chicken rests, make the gravy: Mix cold chicken broth and cornstarch, and stir until smooth. Add butter to skillet, once it's melted, add the broth and cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil, and deglaze the pan by scraping to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 3 minutes or until thickened. Remove pan from heat. Spoon gravy over chicken breasts before serving.

Notes

Cooked chicken breasts can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days, and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1breast | Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 781mg | Potassium: 450mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 123IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg

Here are more easy dinner recipes you’ll love:

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