Blackened Chicken

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Blackened Chicken is brushed with melted butter and spices, then seared on the stovetop before baking to perfection. This mouth-wateringly juicy chicken dish is perfect for serving atop salads, in wraps, over pasta, with grain bowls — you name it.

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This Blackened Chicken recipe may just be my new favorite way to make chicken breast. It is anything but boring!

I wholeheartedly believe you can never have too many recipes using blackening seasoning. It is a staple in my pantry. Just ask my Blackened Salmon, Blackened Steak, and this Blackened Shrimp.

If you’ve been with me for a while, then you’ve probably already figured that out. Because it packs in so much flavor, is extremely versatile, and budget-friendly, when I want to serve something with some serious flavor going with blackened protein is the way to go.

In a nutshell, this Blackened Chicken recipe calls for chicken breast to be brushed with butter and spices, then seared on the stovetop before baking. It is so good!

It comes together in just 20 minutes, making it ideal for meal preps and weeknight dinners. Blackened Chicken was made for anyone who likes their chicken juicy, tender, and insanely flavorful. Trust me, the days of bland chicken are gone. Now, onto the good stuff!

Chicken breast coated in blackening seasoning on a plate with lime edges and herbs.

What does it mean to blacken chicken?

In short, blackening your chicken refers to the process of dipping your chicken in butter, covering it with spices, and searing it in an ultra-hot pan (usually cast iron). A key difference between blackening and charring chicken is that Blackened Chicken always uses a delicious combination of spices, while charred chicken could be plain.

What You’ll Need for Blackened Chicken

The best part about this chicken dinner recipe is that it is so simple! All you need for Blackened Chicken are three key ingredients:

  • Chicken. While you can put blackened seasoning on just about any cut of chicken, I am partial to boneless and skinless chicken breasts.
  • Butter. Melted butter is used to glue the spice rub to the chicken. However, you can swap olive or avocado oil if needed.
  • Spices. Blackened Chicken is made with a truly irresistible combination of smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, chili powder, salt, and pepper.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

This dish is incredibly easy to make. That being said, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve for making this the best blackened chicken ever:

  • Use a ziploc bag. If you’re interested in skipping out on some extra dish-washing (seriously, who isn’t?), you can use a ziploc bag to blend your spices. Just toss your spices into the bag, shake, and throw it away when you’re finished.
  • Know that different-sized chicken has different cooking times. If you use particularly large chicken breasts, they are going to take longer to cook. On a similar note, to make your chicken cook even faster, you can simply cut it into smaller pieces.
  • Cover it with foil. After the chicken comes out of the oven, cover it loosely with aluminum foil (tent-style) for 10 to 15 minutes. This will ensure the chicken stays warm while it’s resting, and it’ll give its juices a chance to spread.
  • Adjust the spice mixture: If you are using a homemade spice mixture, feel free to adjust it to your preferences. Add more spice, herbs, and sweetness. Make it your own.

Ways to Serve Blackened Chicken

Not only is it delicious, but blackened chicken is ultra-versatile. It elevates just about any dish for a seriously tasty meal. If you need some inspiration, here are some of my favorite ways to serve this dish:

  • Salads. Looking for a simple and mouthwatering protein to throw on top of your salads? Look no further. blackened chicken tastes amazing on top of this Spinach Salad with Creamy Balsamic (or any other salad you can think of).
  • Wraps. Because it is so juicy and tender, this chicken is ideal for stuffing into any of your favorite wraps. Simply combine blackened chicken, your favorite veggies, and a squirt of dressing into a pita wrap or tortilla for a quick and easy lunch or dinner option. The leftovers also make a seriously good chicken salad.
  • Pasta. I am a firm believer that every good pasta meal needs some protein. That being said, I’m a sucker for putting Blackened Chicken atop this One Pot Tomato Basil Pasta and this Creamy Mushroom Pasta.
  • Grain bowls. I’ll admit that I used to toss just regular old chicken atop my rice and quinoa bowls. However, having a batch of Blackened Chicken on hand changes the game. Not only is it an easy way to add tons of protein, but this chicken has an amazing flavor that compliments whatever is in the bowl.
  • Tacos. Craving a fresh spin on taco night? This recipe is the answer! This baked chicken is the perfect way to mix up your Taco Tuesday rotation and surprise your family in the best way. Take inspiration from these Blackened Steak Tacos and add some fresh fruit salsa.

Baked blackened chicken breast pieces with paprika and spices served in a plate.

How to Store Leftover Chicken

As you can see, there are many different things you can do with blackened chicken. For that reason, I’ve found that it is a terrific dish to keep on hand. Now, whenever I make this chicken, I try and make an extra batch for later.

Leftover blackened chicken is great for work lunches and no-fuss dinners. Trust me, it is the perfect solution for those weeknights when you really don’t feel like cooking. To store leftovers, simply seal them up in an airtight container or storage bag. Then, you can refrigerate them for up to 3-4 days or freeze for up to 2-3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you’ll find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this tasty chicken recipe:

A lot of folks fear that blackened chicken will come out tasting dry and burnt. However, that is simply not at all the case. While blackened chicken might look burnt (hence the name ‘blackened’), it certainly doesn’t taste like it! Instead, the combination of spices being seared on the stove results in intensified flavors that pack a huge punch.

Searing the skin on the stovetop first actually helps prevent the chicken from drying out, as the seared skin helps to contain the chicken’s juices.

Another trick for ensuring a tender and juicy chicken is simply to let it rest. Now I know how tempting it might be to dive right in, but giving the chicken time to rest allows its juices to spread throughout the meat (aka producing a juicier chicken).

Chicken with homemade blackening spices seared until crispy and served with potatoes and dipping sauce.
The Recipe
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Blackened Chicken

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  • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast (4 6-8 oz filets, larger breasts will take longer to cook)
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme (or oregano)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder (or more)

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Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, thyme, black pepper, and chili powder. For a spicier chicken breast, add more chili powder or a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Paprika being added to a bowl for blackening seasoning.

Brush the chicken breast with melted butter and cover with seasoning mix. Flip over and repeat. If there is any extra butter you can add it to the skillet.

Chicken breast being coated in blackening seasoning.

Heat a cast iron skillet (or other heavy skillet) over high heat until very hot. Add the chicken breast and cook for 30-60 seconds on each side to blacken.

Chicken breast covered in spices being blackened in a skillet with butter.

Place the entire skillet in the oven and cook for 10-14 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked. The exact cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

Blackened chicken breast on a plate with limes.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 6-8 oz
Amount Per Serving
Calories 249
Calories from Fat 68
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
Saturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 99mg
Sodium 656mg
Total Carbohydrate 2g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 0g
Protein 37g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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