How to Make Blackened Chicken

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If you have ever wondered how to make blackened chicken, look no further! It’s SUPER easy to make–just use a few of my tips and tricks to get your chicken perfectly browned and seasoned on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside! This delicious chicken recipe is great for tacos, salads, pasta, or just on its own with a tasty side dish!

Blackened chicken breasts in a cast iron skillet with lime.

What you’ll love about this recipe:


  • DELICIOUS FLAVOR – from a simple blend of spices.
  • NICE, BLACKENED CRUST – on the chicken and perfectly juicy on the inside.
  • EASY CHICKEN RECIPE that’s great for meal preps! Juicy, tender chicken breast that can be used in so many different ways! These Blackened Chicken Tacos are my fave!

RECIPE INGREDIENTS

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this easy blackened chicken recipe:

How to make blackened chicken. These are the ingredients you will need.

INGREDIENT NOTES

Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts work best. We’ll be pounding them out with a meat mallet in this recipe so they are an even thickness and cook quickly.

Spices: This is my go-to, traditional blend of blackening spices. In a pinch, a store-bought blackening seasoning will work, too.

HOW TO MAKE BLACKENED CHICKEN: STEP BY STEP

Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the printable recipe card below!

Step 1: With a meat mallet, pound out chicken breasts so they are even in thickness (about 1/2″ thick is perfect).

Chicken breasts being pounded with a meat mallet to make easy blackened chicken.

Step 2: Coat chicken with spices and rub it into the chicken until well-coated. Allow chicken to marinate in the spice blend for 30 minutes, if time allows (or up to overnight!)

Chicken breasts being seasoned with homemade blackening spices.

Step 3: Add chicken to a hot pan and cook for 5 minutes on the first side or until the chicken has a nice brown color with a few blackened spots. Flip, and cook on the second side for another 5 minutes until nicely browned AND the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 165°F. Allow chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Blackened chicken being cooked in a cast iron pan.

RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS

  • In a pinch, a store-bought blackening seasoning will work! I have also used Cajun or Creole seasoning as well. However, I like making my own seasoning blend to control the amount of spice and salt. 

  • Don’t skip the pounding-out step! This allows for even, and quicker cooking and prevents the chicken from getting too brown on the outside without being fully cooked on the inside.

  • If you are marinating the chicken for an hour or less, cover it and leave it out of the fridge (safe, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture). Allowing the “chill” to come off the chicken helps it cook quickly and evenly. 

Confidence Tip

Once the chicken has a nice brown/blackened color to it, feel free to flip it back and forth to allow it to cook through in the middle but prevent it from burning on either side. Remember, you want the internal temperature of the chicken to be no less than 165°F.

STORAGE & REHEATING

  • Storage: Store leftover blackened chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

  • Reheating: To reheat, add a bit of chicken broth to a skillet, along with your leftover chicken. Cover with a lid and cook over medium-low heat until chicken is heated through. You can also heat leftover chicken in the microwave, loosely covered.

Additions & Substitutions

ADDITIONS:

  • Spice: Feel free to play with the amount of cayenne pepper for more or less spice. You can also omit it altogether.

SUBSTITUTIONS:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is blackened chicken burnt?

Not at all! The “black” or rich brown flavor simply comes from the blend of spices that coat the outside. Paprika, cayenne pepper, and black pepper give the chicken the deep color that you see.

What spices are in blackened chicken?

Every chef has a different blend of spices but typically: paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, and thyme, along with black pepper and salt are the spices found in your typical blackening seasoning.

Is blackened chicken spicy?

When you make your own seasoning (recipe below!) you can control the exact amount of spice. Pre-made seasonings range in spiciness, but most are on the milder side. The spice typically comes from cayenne pepper.

What can you serve with this easy blackened chicken recipe?

Sky’s the limit with this tasty chicken! Here are a few of my favorite ways to serve this easy blackened chicken:

1) Hearty Meal: Serve with mashed potatoes and these crack green beans!
2) Light/Low Carb: Serve with a Ceasar salad or a simple tossed salad.
3) In Pasta: Dice it up and add it to this amazing, creamy Cajun pasta, this easy garlic parmesan pasta, or this creamy butternut squash pasta!
4) For Blackened Chicken Tacos: This chicken is delish on warm, corn tortillas with mango salsa!
5) Meal Prep: Divide the chicken into meal prep containers with rice and broccoli for healthy lunches all week!

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How to make blackened chicken. This is a close up photo of how the chicken looks after being cooked.

TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE

Check out all of my kitchen essentials in my Amazon store!

Cast-Iron Skillet: Cast iron gives the chicken great color. However, you can also use whatever large skillet you have.

Tongs: For flipping the chicken.

Meat Mallet: For pounding out the chicken so it cooks evenly.

Meat Thermometer: The best way to ensure your chicken is cooked through.

TRY THESE EASY RECIPES NEXT…

I hope you love this Blackened Chicken Recipe! f you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!

blackened chicken in a skillet garnished with lime and parsley

How to Make Blackened Chicken

Casey Rooney
If you have ever wondered how to make blackened chicken, look no further! It's SUPER easy to make–just use a few of my tips and tricks to get your chicken perfectly browned and seasoned on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside! This delicious chicken recipe is great for tacos, salads, pasta or just on its own with a tasty side dish!
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinate Time (optional) 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 260 kcal

Ingredients
  

For cooking the chicken

  • 1 1/2-2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil or enough to coat the bottom of your pan. Avocado oil or canola oil also work great.
  • 1-2 limes, optional for serving

For the blackening spice rub (See Note 1)

  • 2 tsp smoked paprika regular paprika is OK, too
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (or kosher salt)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (+more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme

Instructions
 

  • Prep: Place chicken breasts on a large cutting board. Cover with plastic wrap and use a meat mallet to pound out the breasts until they are uniform in thickness– about 1/2" thick is ideal.
  • Season Chicken: Transfer chicken to a large bowl or plate. Season with blackening spices (smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, salt, cayenne, dried basil, oregano and thyme). Rub the spice blend on well to make sure every nook and cranny is well-coated! Cover with plastic wrap and allow chicken to marinate for 30 minutes or up to overnight (if you are short on time you can skip this step, but I HIGHLY recommend it!). See Note 2.
  • Cook: Heat a large skillet (a cast iron skillet or grill pan work great) over medium-high heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, place chicken breasts in the hot skillet. Cook, without touching the chicken until the first side is nicely browned (about 5 minutes). Flip the chicken and brown the other side. Again, try to avoid touching or moving the chicken around too much, if possible. Cook chicken for an additional 5 minutes on the second side OR until the internal temperature reaches 165°F when tested with a meat thermometer. If the chicken is getting too brown/black on either side, feel free to flip it back and forth to allow it to cook through in the middle but prevent it from burning on either side.
  • Finish: Transfer cooked chicken to a plate and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes until cutting/serving. A squeeze of lime is delish over this chicken!

Notes

Note 1: In a pinch, a store-bought blackening seasoning will work! I have also used Cajun or Creole seasoning as well. I like making my own seasoning blend so I can control the amount of spice and salt. 
Note 2: If you are just marinating the chicken for an hour or less, cover it and leave it out the the fridge (safe, per US Department of Agriculture). Allow the “chill” to come off the chicken helps it to cook quickly and evenly. 
 
Nutrition is only an estimate based on the Very Well Fit Nutrition Calculator

Nutrition

Calories: 260kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 33gFat: 13.2gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 254mgPotassium: 302mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 0.2gCalcium: 22mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I can’t wait to try this recipe! I’ve tried my hand at blackened chicken a few times, but it just hasn’t come out right. I’m excited to try this.

  2. 5 stars
    I love all the things that I can make in a cast iron skillet and this is one of them that I love! Thank you for a delicious, flavorful recipe!