If fried chicken is the Sunday special, today’s recipe for quick Pan Fried Chicken Breast is the weeknight warrior.

Healthy pan fried chicken breast with salad

Pin this recipe on Pinterest to save for later

Pin It!0

It’s also a tasty change of pace from Baked Chicken Breast, as well as another satisfying way to cook chicken when Grilled Chicken Breast isn’t an option.

Because the chicken breast is well seasoned, this recipe can hold its own as a stand-alone entrée, and it’s versatile enough to dice and add to salads, sandwiches, pasta, and more.

Three pan fried chicken breasts on a plate with lemon slices

Baking Chicken Breast vs. Pan Frying

While both baking and pan frying can give you tasty, juicy chicken, if you are in a hurry, it is better to pan fry it.

  • Because baked chicken breast is easy to dry out, it needs time to brine or marinade before you cook it.
  • Pan frying chicken breast is a more moist cooking method because of the oil. The pan’s high temperature cooks the chicken quickly, before it can dry out. Brining or marinading isn’t needed, making the recipe faster. If you like, you can marinade pan fried chicken with this Chicken Marinade, but it’s not necessary.
  • Baked chicken breast is a good option if you have more time (even 15 minutes of brining will create juicier chicken) and you want to use less oil or no breading.
  • Air Fryer Chicken Breast is another excellent option if you are in a hurry.
Crispy pan fried chicken breast on a plate

How to Make Pan Fried Chicken Breast

This simple method for cooking chicken in a pan gives you fast, tasty results.

I like to make a big batch, enjoy some right away, then use the leftovers throughout the week.

Tip!


The Ingredients

  • Chicken Breast. A versatile, lean protein with universal appeal. It cooks quickly and pairs well with the pan fried chicken breast seasoning mixture.

Substitution Tip

If you prefer to use chicken thighs, you can swap the chicken breasts for boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead.

  • Flour. To create the irresistable crispy pan fried chicken breast exterior. Either white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour will work well.
  • Spices. A blend of paprika, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne gives the chicken smoky, herby, and savory flavor.
  • Canola Oil. Using an oil with a high smoke point is critical. Canola oil has a neutral flavor too, making it ideal for this recipe.
  • Lemon. A finishing touch of brightness and acidity.

The Directions

Three raw chicken breasts under a sheet of plastic wrap
  1. Cover the chicken with plastic wrap, then pound it.
Two raw chicken breasts
  1. Dry and season the chicken.
Spices in a pie dish
  1. Stir the flour and spices together.
A piece of meat in a dish of flour and spices
  1. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture.
Three pieces of meat coated in flour and spices
  1. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Heat oil in a skillet.
Three pan fried chicken breasts in a skillet
  1. Pan fry chicken breast for 7 to 9 minutes, flipping after 4 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes, then DIG IN!

Perfectly Cooked Pan Fried Chicken Breast

How long it takes to pan fry chicken breast will depend on many factors, including the size of the breast, the type of pan you use, and how long you heat the pan.

  • It is important that the pan is fully preheated, or your chicken will not be brown on the outside or be as moist. At the same time, you do not want it *too* hot, or your chicken will burn.
  • To pan fry chicken breast without burning it, use a heavy skillet (I like cast iron) and heat it for at least 5 minutes over medium high. As with Pan Seared Salmon, the pan is ready when a drop of water dances on the surface and the oil looks shiny.
  • I recommend using a neutral oil with a high smoke point, such as canola oil, peanut oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil to make sure your pan fried chicken does not taste burnt.
  • A lightly pounded, 8-ounce chicken breast will pan fry in 7 to 9 minutes. Be sure to let the chicken rest for 10 minutes afterwards.
Pan fried chicken breast on a white plate with salad

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate chicken in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave. 
  • To Freeze. Freeze chicken in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Meal Prep Tip

Up to 1 day in advance, pound the chicken breasts. Cover and refrigerate them until you’re ready to finish the recipe. The flour and spice mixture can be stirred together up to 1 day in advance. Cover and store at room temperature.

What to Serve with Pan Fried Chicken

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

The Best Cast Iron Skillet

This cast-iron skillet is incredibly high quality, easy to clean, and made to last a lifetime. It’s an investment piece you’ll have for years to come!

Healthy pan fried chicken breast with salad

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

I think we should eat this pan fried chicken for the Sunday special too!

Frequently Asked Questions

Will This Recipe Work with Bone-In Chicken?

Because pan frying is a fast and hot cooking method, I do not recommend it for bone-in cuts of chicken, which need a longer, slower time to cook through properly. If you’d like to make bone-in chicken, check out this Baked Bone-In Chicken or Baked Chicken Thighs instead.

What Is the Difference Between Pan Fried Chicken and Pan Roasted Chicken?

The difference between pan fried chicken and pan roasted chicken is the cooking method. Pan fried chicken is made in a skillet on the stovetop, and pan roasted chicken is typically baked in the oven. Sometimes, the pan roasted chicken will be seared on the stovetop before it is transferred to the oven to finish cooking.

What Can I Do with Leftover Pan Fried Chicken?

Leftover pan fried chicken is a fabulous salad topping. Try it over Spinach Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Poppy Seed Dressing. Leftovers are also delicious tossed into your favorite pasta dish. Try it with Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese or Eggplant Pasta.

Healthy pan fried chicken breast with salad

Pan Fried Chicken Breast

Pan fried chicken breast is a fast, tasty, healthy way to cook boneless skinless chicken. With easy paprika seasoning, it's scrumptious!

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 40 mins

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts about 3 medium breasts
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper divided
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne optional
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges
  • Chopped fresh herbs optional for serving

Instructions
 

  • Remove chicken breasts from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Place on a cutting board, cover with a large sheet of plastic wrap (optional to keep things tidier) and gently pound into an even thickness (about 1/2 inch).
  • With a paper towel, pat dry, then season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Set aside.
  • In a wide, shallow dish such as a pie plate, stir together the flour, paprika, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
  • Working one at a time, dredge each chicken breast in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Transfer to a clean plate.
  • Heat the oil in a large, sturdy skillet (such as cast iron or stainless steel) over medium-high heat. Once it is hot and shining, add the chicken, presentation (smooth) side down.
  • Cook 4 minutes on the first side without disturbing the chicken, until it is deeply golden and releases easily from the pan. Flip and cook an additional 3 to 5 minutes on the other side, until the chicken reaches 155 degrees on an instant read thermometer (chicken is considered cooked at 165 degrees F, but will continue cooking as it rests).
  • Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate or cutting board. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Enjoy warm with a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkle of herbs.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate chicken in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave. 
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze chicken in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 324kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 39gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 109mgPotassium: 744mgFiber: 3gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 973IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 34mgIron: 2mg

Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

Create an account to easily save your favorite projects and tutorials.

Register

More Ways to Make Chicken in a Skillet

Did you try this recipe?

I want to see!

Follow @wellplated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Share this Article

Pin0

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

You May Also Like

Free Email Series
5 Secrets for Cooking Tasty and Healthy
My secrets for making wholesome meals you'll WANT to eat.

Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

Leave a Comment

Did you make this recipe?

Don't forget to leave a review!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




2 Comments

Leave a comment

  1. Hi Erin,
    This recipe sounds delicious, I’ve made and loved many of your recipes!
    My general question is: Why isn’t there a Sodium amount in the Nutrition list in any of your recipes? Have wondered about this for a while.
    TIA, Sue

    1. Hi Sue! I stopped including sodium info because it can vary so much depending upon what products you used, and I found a lot of conflicting info online, so ultimately I didn’t feel comfortable publishing it because sometimes it wasn’t even in the ballpark. If you’d like to calculate it yourself, there are lots of free tools online (myfitnesspal.com is popular). I hope that helps!