Easy Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts with Thyme

How to perfectly pan roast chicken breasts with butter and thyme. Jump to the Easy Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts with Thyme Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.

Easy Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts with Thyme Recipe

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How to Pan Roast Chicken Breasts

Pan roasting is one of our favorite ways to cook chicken. We use the same method for cooking these lemon chicken thighs. It’s basically a two-part process. Sear the chicken in an oven-safe pan on top of the stove then slide it into the oven to finish cooking.

How to Pan Roast Chicken Breasts with Butter and Thyme

If we can find them, boneless skin-on chicken breasts are our go to for this recipe. Although, chicken thighs would also be great. If you cannot find chicken breasts with the skin left on and the bone out, you can make this with bone-in breasts. You can also use skinless breasts, although, I have to admit the golden-brown skin is my favorite part.

For this recipe, we cook the chicken in butter and add lots of fresh thyme — other herbs like rosemary or sage are also excellent. After generously seasoning the breasts, place them skin-side down into the hot pan.

Spoon the thyme butter over the chicken

When it’s golden brown, flip, add butter and thyme. Then spoon the melted thyme butter on top. Slide the pan into the oven so the chicken can finish cooking. While it roasts, open the oven door a couple times and spoon the butter on top of the chicken to keep it moist.

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Let the chicken rest

Recipe updated, originally posted December 2011. Since posting this in 2011, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

Easy Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts with Thyme

  • PREP
  • COOK

If we can find them, boneless skin-on chicken breasts are our go to for this recipe. Although, chicken thighs would also be great. If you cannot find chicken breasts with the skin left on and the bone out, you can make this with bone-in breasts. You can also use skinless breasts, although, I have to admit the golden-brown skin is my favorite part.

Makes 2 servings

You Will Need

2 boneless skin-on chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each)

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

1 tablespoon neutral oil, like grape seed or canola

2 tablespoons butter

Handful fresh thyme sprigs

Half of a lemon, for serving


    Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

    Pat the chicken breasts dry and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat.

    Carefully place chicken breasts into hot skillet skin side down. Cook without moving until skin is deep golden brown and crisp, about 6 minutes. Carefully flip the chicken then add the butter and thyme. When the butter has melted, spoon it over the chicken several times.

    Transfer skillet to the oven. Cook chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken breasts registers 165 degrees F, 10 to 15 minutes. Spoon the thyme butter over the chicken a couple times while it bakes.

    Remove skillet from oven and transfer chicken to a cutting board. Let it rest about 5 minutes before serving. Serve with butter from the pan spooned on top as well as a squeeze of lemon.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Calories 397 / Protein 43 g / Carbohydrate 0 g / Dietary Fiber 0 g / Total Sugars 0 g / Total Fat 24 g / Saturated Fat 8 g / Cholesterol 137 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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32 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Paula April 10, 2019, 8:01 pm

    This dish is absolutely amazing. I love the flavor,it was easy to make, and fast to cook. Most importantly my picky teenager like it as well. Thank you so very much!!!

  • Melanie Williams February 13, 2019, 7:35 pm

    Absolutely loved how easy and fast this was to make. It’s a new favorite dish at our house.

  • Nina January 15, 2019, 4:01 pm

    The timings in this recipe are perfect! Very juicy and tender chicken.

  • Stacy Morris April 8, 2018, 9:09 pm

    This recipe was easy and it tasted great! I used thighs instead and served it with zuchini and couscous. This recipe is a keeper!

  • Kathryn Mader February 28, 2018, 10:52 pm

    This recipe is great. I love simple recipes but using the best ingredients. Thank you for sharing your expertise. My house smelled so good and I used this roasted chicken breast for enchiladas.

  • Cade December 27, 2017, 8:32 pm

    Hello, can you advise what we did wrong? We used a cast iron skillet since I’m not sure if I have any other oven safe skillets. The chicken took close to 40 minutes to get to 165 in the oven. I have had a hard time with recipes and the chicken breasts that I’ve tried cooking and it’s frustrating. The chicken breasts I have are boneless skinless chicken breasts and are close to the correct weight.

    • Joanne February 8, 2018, 2:28 pm

      Hi Cade, A cast iron pan is perfect for this recipe. Are you sure the oven temperature was correct? The chicken should have come to 165F in the time you mentioned. It’s also possible the thermometer used is uncalibrated. I hope that helps a bit! Another recipe for chicken breasts (which works really well with boneless, skinless chicken breasts) is this Lemon Chicken Breast Recipe. We cook them on the stove and they turn out really juicy and tender. This Baked Chicken Breast Recipe is also a favorite.

      • JA February 21, 2018, 10:52 pm

        We also used cast iron and it took 35 minutes to reach 165- the chicken was definitely raw after 15 minutes, as I cut into it to check after my thermometer didn’t register above 130. Very Good, but did not cook in the time indicated.

        • Shannon December 7, 2018, 1:19 pm

          You didn’t use frozen chicken, did you?

    • Marjory March 21, 2019, 4:33 pm

      This was so good I made it twice in two weeks. Really fancy enough for company.

  • Barb July 22, 2017, 4:30 pm


  • JT July 17, 2017, 7:18 pm

    Wonderful! It was easy to make and tasted like it took more work and time. I thought the lemon was a nice touch.
    We had roasted red potatoes with it and even though those were seasoned, my son thought to spoon some of the butter sauce over the potatoes. So good! I actually used a brush to baste the chicken with the butter during the baking process.Thank you for sharing this…it is a keeper!

  • Kara June 21, 2017, 6:04 pm

    Love this recipe! Use it all the time! I switch it up between thyme and sage and I use unsalted butter. Yum! The skin adds a nice flavor, not sure why anyone would eat a meal that removes the flavor, but, OK. I don’t eat the skin, it’s a part of the presentation for me and adds to the flavor of the meat. Butcher removes the bones for me. AWESOME!

  • Maret January 11, 2017, 11:05 am

    Easy, quick, & delicious…who could ask for anything more?! I did use skinless, boneless breasts, so the outside was a tad dry, but dipping it into the butter/thyme sauce more than made up for it.

  • Nitia June 6, 2015, 9:18 pm

    We used chicken thighs bone – in with skin and it was great. Thank!

  • Maryam Nayibova September 27, 2014, 1:42 pm

    This looks absolutely delicious! I have been looking for new chicken recipes and will definitely be trying this one!

  • Jo February 3, 2014, 2:24 am

    Can I use another skillet besides a cast iron?

    • Joanne February 4, 2014, 11:04 am

      Yep — anything that can go into the oven will work fine. (If you don’t have another oven-safe pan, you can transfer the chicken to a baking sheet instead).

  • Makenzie December 31, 2013, 4:11 pm

    I have made this recipe several times and like it most with rosemary instead of thyme. I’ve tried to find boneless skin-on chicken every time and have been unsuccessful. Any suggestions on where to find it?

    • Joanne January 7, 2014, 11:32 am

      We’ve found it at Trader Joes and Whole Foods. You could also try buying bone-in and removing the breast from the bone.

    • Kara Libby January 2, 2017, 4:21 pm

      I just go to the butcher at my local grocery store and have them remove the bones. They do it. Easier for me! LOL!

  • Jude August 15, 2013, 7:19 am

    Hi! can i leave the oven part out? will the results be the same? xD

    • Joanne August 15, 2013, 10:27 am

      We really like to brown the chicken then slide into the oven to finish cooking. The chicken stays nice and moist this way. You could skip the oven if you want, just make sure the chicken is cooked all the way through.

  • Ana February 21, 2013, 9:51 pm

    This is a very delicious recipe. I have made this nearly every time I have had chicken for dinner ever since I discovered it a couple months ago. I have never made it with chicken breasts that have the skin still on even though that seems to be the focal point, but they still get plenty nice and crispy and delicious. I just can’t justify making skin=on chicken when the skin offers absolutely no nutrition, only taste and extra calories. But that is just personal preference. Excellent recipe all the same! Thank you!

  • Felicia Jackson December 16, 2012, 10:10 pm

    This chicken looks delicious. I want to try it, but I want to know what potato recipe was used in the picture. They look great.

  • Lisa October 3, 2012, 9:31 am

    Thought I should leave some love. I came across this recipe several months back and it’s now a favorite of ours. I’ve made it probably a dozen times over the last six months! I usually can’t find the boneless breasts with skin, so mine normally have bones. But it’s amazing – and not a big deal at all! Thanks so much for the awesome recipe!
    I always use a blend of fresh herbs – thyme, rosemary and sage (since it was suggested above).

  • AnnaZed February 29, 2012, 4:16 am

    The hard thing is buying breasts that aren’t bone-in with the skin still on. I can’t find them.

    • Adam February 29, 2012, 12:37 pm

      We will sometimes buy bone-in and carefully remove the breast from the bone.

      • AnnaZed February 29, 2012, 1:13 pm

        Hi Adam! Thanks for answering me.

        I was thinking the same thing. I have a nice boning knife. I can do that! I always use kosher chicken, not for religious reasons but because it tastes so very much better. Something they feed the birds, or something.

  • Bev Weidner December 7, 2011, 11:22 am

    Thanks for the linkage!

    And this chicken needs to be traveling down my throat right now.

  • Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon December 7, 2011, 9:29 am

    Crispy chicken skin is heavenly.


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