Cast Iron Chicken Breast Recipe

This cast iron chicken breast recipe makes perfectly cooked chicken breasts in under 30 minutes. It’s easy. It’s reliable. And leftover chicken makes a fabulous chicken salad.

Unlike other recipes, this doesn’t require any fancy kitchen cookware or gadgets. No Instapot. No air fryer. All you need for these pan-roasted chicken breasts is an inexpensive cast iron skillet that goes from stovetop to oven.

Note: This cast iron chicken breast recipe was originally published 1/1/2021. It was last revised 5/14/2022.

two cooked chicken breasts in a cast iron skillet.

If you are new to cooking, pan-roasted chicken breast is one of the first things you should learn to make. And if you are an experienced cook, you can play around with spice combinations to make the recipe in an infinite number of ways.

I promise you. Some variation of this recipe appears on my dinner table nearly every week.

Tips and tricks for making cast iron chicken breasts

Things you need to make this recipe

In addition to chicken breasts and a little oil, you’ll need just two things:

1. A cast iron skillet

If you only have one piece of cast iron in your kitchen, it should be a 9 or 10 inch skillet. It should cost about $20 to $30 and can be “pre-seasoned” or you can do it yourself. Cast iron requires you to be gentle when you clean it, or you’ll just have to season it again.

a cast iron skillet.

2. Spices

Make a spice mixture of about 1 teaspoon per chicken breast.

a glass bowl filled with a red spice mixture.

Cook chicken breasts to perfection, every time.

Turn on your oven the minute you start making this recipe. Heat your cast iron pan over medium heat, and add a splash of vegetable oil.

Rub half of the spice mixture over one side of the chicken breasts. Turn them over, and repeat with the second side.

You don’t need to dry the breasts. And the infectious disease doctor in me needs to tell you not to wash chicken, because all that does is spread bacteria around your kitchen.

When the oil is hot, put the chicken breasts in the cast iron pan (Panel #1, below), and leave them be for about 5 to 7 minutes until the bottoms have browned (Panel #2).

two panels showing the steps in making the cast iron chicken breasts.

Flip the chicken breasts over so that the uncooked side is down and turn off the heat. Use an oven mitt or pot holder to move the cast iron skillet to the oven, and cook for about 15 minutes until the thickest part of the breasts are 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to serve cast iron pan-roasted chicken breasts

Here are some ideas:

  • Rub the chicken breasts with taco seasoning and make a chicken taco salad with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, a can of black beans, frozen corn, and some toasted sunflower seeds.
  • Add parboiled potatoes and/or cauliflower to the pan before you put it in the oven.
  • Serve over white rice (because it cooks quickly), steam or roast some vegetables, and top with cilantro.
  • Make a creamy mushroom Stroganoff.

FAQs about cast iron skillet chicken breasts

Can I marinate the chicken breasts before pan-roasting them?

Sure. If you have time, you can use a liquid marinade. For Asian flavors, try a mixture with 3 tablespoons of lime juice, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, a smidge of sugar, and equal parts of minced garlic, ginger, and chili pepper.

Can I freeze pan-roasted chicken breasts?

Yes, cooked chicken breasts will keep in the freezer for a few months, but they won’t be moist and juicy after freezing. Use this chicken in soups or stews.

Related recipes

Check out other recipes from the uglyducklingbakery chicken, duck, and turkey archives that are sure to go on repeat in your house. Try these BBQ chicken meatballs, baked coconut panko chicken tenders, or these Parmesan-crusted chicken muffins.

Cast Iron Chicken Breasts

This cast iron chicken breast recipe makes perfectly cooked chicken breasts in under 30 minutes. It's easy. It's reliable. And leftover chicken makes a fabulous chicken salad.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Unspecified
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 95kcal
Author uglyducklingbakery

Equipment

  • 1 9 or 10 inch cast iron skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon paprika sweet or smoked
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Instructions

  • Turn on your oven to heat to 425°F.
  • In a small bowl, combine the paprika, salt, and black pepper.
    1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Put the cast iron skillet over a stovetop burner on medium heat, and add the oil.
    1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil
  • When the oil is hot, smear the spices over both sides of the chicken breasts and place them in the pan. Let them cook for about 5 to 7 minutes until the side touching the pan has browned.
    2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Flip the chicken breasts over and turn off the heat.
  • Use an oven mitt or potholder to transfer the cast iron skillet to an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Cook for about 15 minutes until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast is 165°F.
  • If slicing the chicken breasts, move them to a cutting board and let them sit for a minute or two before slicing.

Notes

This recipe will use about 1 teaspoon of spice rub for each chicken breast.
Spice mix variations:
  • taco seasoning: 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, cayenne or other ground chile pepper to taste.
  • 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 95kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 356mg | Potassium: 213mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 56IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg

What’s next?

If you make this cast iron skillet chicken breast recipe, please leave a comment or rating here. I’d love to hear how you served your chicken breasts!

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