Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken Breasts

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Sweet and savory Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken Breast is an easy chicken dinner that is as versatile as it is delicious. Use it for dinner with roasted veggies and then use the leftovers for salads, wraps, and more.

282 CAL 11g CARBS 6g FAT 41g PROTEIN

It’s always good to have a couple of quick-and-easy recipes up your sleeve. You know, the kind of recipes in which you are likely to have all the ingredients on hand and the kind of recipes that are just as likely to please everyone.

In my opinion, this is definitely one of those recipes. It has chicken breast, brown sugar, garlic, and then any array of spices that happen to be calling out to you while you're making this dish. Virtually any combination works and the sweet caramel brown sugar makes it a crowd pleaser.

It's simple, quick, and delicious, all the marks of a delicious meal that's sure to make everyone ask for seconds.

Brown sugar chicken with garlic in two brown dishes with a blue napkin.

Ideas for Customizing This Recipe

  • Consider Cajun seasoning for a sweet-and-spicy combination.
  • Add in a couple of teaspoons of thyme or rosemary (or both) for something more earthy.
  • Try using a simple grill seasoning to add some peppery goodness.
  • Squeeze some lemon juice on top before serving if it suits you or just stick to garlic and brown sugar.
  • In the mood for the flavors of Asia? Use a Chinese 5-spice blend on the chicken.
  • Use a teaspoon or two of curry powder (or jarred curry paste) and serve with some naan for an Indian flair.

How do you make Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken Breasts?

Making this dish is so easy, that you'll want to put it on rotation again and again!

First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Then, arrange the chicken breasts in a prepared glass baking dish, making sure to spray the dish first with cooking spray for easier cleanup. Season with salt and pepper. If you are using a premade spice mix, adjust if your spices already contain salt and pepper.

Next, heat up the oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic to the oil and saute it for 2-3 minutes, or until it's fragrant and tender. Take the garlic off the heat and add it to a small bowl. Alternatively, you can microwave the garlic and oil for 2 minutes to simply soften the garlic.

Next, stir in the brown sugar and any spices you are using in the bowl with the garlic. Pour this mixture over chicken. Put the chicken in the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the chicken is just cooked through. The cooking time varies here because it is very dependent on the size of the chicken breasts. Chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees.

Finally, turn up the oven to broil, broiling for 3-5 minutes, until the sugar caramelizes on top. Serve with fresh-squeezed lemon.

We also love making this Baked Honey Mustard Chicken for an easy oven-baked chicken dish.

How do I cook chicken breast without drying it out?

My secret for cooking chicken without drying it out is to cook it at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time. The longer it cooks, the drier it will become. Also, cooking it in a sauce can keep it from drying out too, as does allowing it to rest for about 5-10 minutes before slicing into it.

Chicken breasts with a brown sugar and garlic coating sliced on two plates.

Ideas for serving Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken Breasts

  • Serve this chicken over brown or white rice or a wild rice mix.
  • If you are watching your carbs, you can serve this chicken over the top of cauliflower rice, zoodles, or even in a spaghetti squash boat. (Add any remaining sauce from the pan to your "noodle" of choice.)
  • Roasted vegetables are a perfect side dish for this chicken. Consider roasted broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots
  • Try a low-carb or high-fiber noodle under the chicken (again add that juice if there is any).
  • Slice the chicken breasts and lay atop a bed of greens with all your favorite other toppings. Use a homemade dressing too for a lighter option.
  • Roll this chicken up in a wrap with lettuce, tomato, onions, and a filling dressing like hummus.
  • Adding leftover brown sugar garlic chicken to a quesadilla wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Dip in barbecue sauce for the ultimate treat.

More easy chicken recipes

The Recipe
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Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken Breasts

282 CAL 11g CARBS 6g FAT 41g PROTEIN
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  • 1.67 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 4 tsp garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or butter)
  • salt and pepper

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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the chicken breasts in a prepared glass baking dish. Season with salt and pepper (adjust if your spices contain salt and pepper.)

Chicken breasts in a baking dish.

Heat the oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and tender. Remove from heat and add to a small bowl. Alternatively you can microwave the garlic and oil for 2 minutes to soften the garlic.

Garlic and butter in a skillet.

Stir in the brown sugar and any spices you are using. Consider adding dried herbs, grill seasoning, or enjoy this simple sweet and garlicky version.

Brown sugar, garlic, and melted butter in a small wooden bowl.

Use a brush to coat the chicken with the brown sugar mixture.

Chicken breasts being coated with brown sugar and butter.

Bake the chicken for 25-35 minutes until cooked through. The exact cooking time will vary based on the size of the chicken. Turn up the oven to broil. Broil for 3-5 minutes until sugar caramelizes on top. Serve with fresh squeezed lemon.

Chicken breasts cooking in the oven.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 6 oz
Amount Per Serving
Calories 282
Calories from Fat 46
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 93mg
Sodium 72mg
Total Carbohydrate 11g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 10g
Protein 41g

* 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.


Optional: 2-3 tsp. Cajun seasoning or grill seasoning (1-2 tsp. dried herbs like thyme or rosemary) Optional: Fresh lemons for serving
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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
On Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken Breasts
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George Taruc
July 4, 2023 - 10:16
Wouldn't it be better to marinate the chicken in the sauce for a few houra instead of brushing the sauce on?
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September 19, 2023 - 09:47
That would also work out great! This recipe is meant to be an easy weeknight recipe that doesn't need any advanced prep.
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Rachel F
May 13, 2022 - 09:24
Add a Rating:
100% in the rotation now. Super easy, the kids love it. It comes out juicy and tender every time. I usually have it on my meal plan every other week.
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