Cast Iron Chicken Breast

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5 from 5 votes
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Learn how to make cast iron chicken breasts for an easy and flavorful protein that’s ready in less than 15 minutes! It’s a foolproof cooking method that always leaves you with crispy-on-the-outside and juicy-on-the-inside chicken. 

cast iron chicken breast.

I always rely on chicken breasts as an easy, fast, and tasty protein to pair with dinners and lunches. Whether they’re cooked sous vide, in the air fryer, or in the Instant Pot, the chicken is always flavorful and goes well with everything.

When time is of the essence, stick with this cast iron chicken recipe. The chicken breasts are lightly seasoned, then pan-fried in a cast iron skillet. In about 10 minutes, you have a delicious protein that’s filling, healthy, and can be paired with practically anything!

Why this recipe works

  • It’s so fast and easy! There’s no marinating, complicated seasonings, or lengthy cooking techniques involved. Just pan-fry in a cast iron skillet, then serve!
  • Cast iron = crispy chicken. Cast iron is a pro at conducting heat, which means the chicken breasts will easily develop a beautiful golden sear on the outside while staying juicy on the inside.
  • Pairs well with anything. Seared chicken breasts pair well with all of your favorite side dishes, from salad to pasta to grains, making this the perfect recipe for dinners and meal prep.

Ingredients needed

You don’t need any complicated ingredients to make cast iron chicken breasts. Simple Italian herbs and seasonings are infused into the meat as soon as it hits the buttered skillet. Here’s the full list of ingredients for this recipe:

  • Chicken breasts – Use skinless or skin-on chicken breasts. Or, if all you have are boneless chicken thighs, feel free to use them instead. Just know that they’ll take a few minutes longer to cook through.
  • Olive oil – To prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan and to help form a gorgeous golden crust.
  • Butter – To infuse flavor into the chicken.
  • Italian seasonings – This is a pre-mixed blend of dried basil, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, and thyme. Make your own or use a store-bought mix.
  • Salt and pepper – For extra flavor in the spice mix.
  • Smoked paprika– For that gorgeous smoky flavor. 

How to cook chicken breasts in a cast iron skillet

Cooking chicken breasts in a cast iron skillet is one of the easiest and fastest cooking methods:

Step 1: Make the spice mix

Whisk the Italian seasonings, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

spice mix for chicken breast.

Step 2: Season the chicken

Rub the spice mix all over each chicken breast. Finish by drizzling olive oil over each one.

seasoned chicken breasts.

Step 3: Cook in the cast iron

Melt the butter in a preheated cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook until golden brown and crisp on both sides.

skillet cooked chicken.

Step 4: Rest, then serve.

Transfer the seared chicken breasts to a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes. Serve with your favorite sides, and enjoy!

sliced chicken breast.

Tips to make the best recipe

  • Are you new to cooking with cast iron? Prepare your skillet the right way using the tips in this video from Tasty.
  • Preheating cast iron for 5 to 10 minutes is essential because it can prevent the chicken from sticking. Hold your hand over the skillet to feel if it’s hot enough before placing the chicken inside.
  • Add parmesan cheese to the Italian seasoning mix for a cheesy, salty element in each bite!
  • You can play with the flavors by swapping the Italian seasonings with my Keto Taco Seasoning, blackened seasoning, or the seasoning blend of your choice.

What to serve with this dish

For a well-rounded meal, serve the cast iron chicken breasts as the main protein paired with any keto side dishes or something simpler, like potato salad, brussels sprouts, or grilled sweet potatoes.

The chicken breasts would also make for a quick and filling protein to pack for lunches and meal prep. After they’re done resting, slice each chicken breast and layer the slices over top of a green salad, stuff them into homemade gyros, or pair them with keto mashed potatoes and asparagus.

Storage instructions

  • To store: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 
  • To freeze: Place the cooked and cooled chicken breasts in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to 2 months. 
  • Reheating: Microwave the chicken for 20 to 30 seconds or reheat it in a warm skillet over medium heat.
skillet chicken breast.

More healthy chicken recipes

All of these healthy chicken recipes would be perfect for flavor-packed dinners or meal prep:

Frequently asked questions 

My chicken is sticking to my skillet! What should I do?

Two ways to prevent the chicken from sticking to the skillet are: (1) Bring the chicken breasts down to room temperature, and (2) preheat the cast iron skillet.

Take the chicken breasts out of the fridge and place them on the kitchen counter for about 20 minutes before seasoning and cooking.

To preheat the skillet, heat it over low to medium heat while you wait for the chicken to come down to room temp. You’ll know the pan is ready when you can feel the warmth radiating off of the cast iron as you hold your hand above it.

How do I know when the chicken is cooked?

The chicken is fully cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.

Can you use frozen chicken breasts?

Yes, you can make this recipe with frozen chicken breasts instead of fresh ones. Ensure the breasts are thawed completely and dried well before adding the seasonings.

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cast iron chicken breast recipe.

Cast Iron Chicken Breast

5 from 5 votes
Learn how to make cast iron chicken breasts for an easy and flavorful protein that’s ready in less than 15 minutes! It’s a foolproof cooking method that always leaves you with crispy-on-the-outside and juicy-on-the-inside chicken. 
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 1 min
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 11 mins

Ingredients  

  • 4 chicken breasts 4-6 ounces each
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the Italian seasonings, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Rub the spice mix over each chicken breast all over. Drizzle with olive oil.
  • Add butter to a non-stick cast iron skillet. Place the cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken breasts and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, turning once.
  • Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

TO STORE: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 
TO FREEZE: Place the cooked and cooled chicken breasts in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to 2 months. 
TO REHEAT: Microwave the chicken for 20 to 30 seconds or reheat it in a warm skillet over medium heat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 195kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 24gFat: 10gSodium: 422mgPotassium: 441mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 179IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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  1. 5 stars
    I’ve always used my other pans for chicken breasts, haven’t tried using my cast iron, which I use regularly to cook steak, so should work well to cook chicken too, thank you