Easy Blackened Chicken is a quick flavorful chicken recipe! Chicken breasts seared with blackening seasonings like paprika, cumin, thyme, and white pepper.
This Blackened Chicken recipe is quick and easy, a perfect weeknight dinner when you want a flavorful main dish that you can serve with anything! Don’t let the name fool you, this baked chicken comes out with a beautifully deep golden-red crust on the outside and juicy, perfectly cooked meat on the inside. Common spices from your pantry come together to make a slightly spicy, smoky Cajun seasoning blend that you’ll want to use on everything!
Making Blackened Chicken is a delicious way to get boneless skinless chicken breasts full of flavor. The two step cooking technique of searing first then baking to finish ensures juicy, tender chicken every time. You start by locking in the spices by browning the seasoned chicken in a hot cast iron skillet with just a little bit of oil, and the coating seals in the juices while the meat cooks in the oven.
Unlike other Southern chicken dishes, Blackened Chicken isn’t loaded it up with butter or breading, instead the chicken gets all the flavors from the Cajun blackening seasonings. Blackened Chicken is also a healthier chicken recipe since you are cutting the chicken breast in half, similar to a thick chicken cutlet. You can save yourself time and buy chicken fillets, just keep in mind they are going to cook a lot faster and they are a bit more expensive cut of meat.
Serve Blackened Chicken with Southern favorites like Mac and Cheese and Fried Okra, or with simple but delicious sides like Mashed Potatoes and Sautéed Green Beans. This recipe for Blackened Chicken can easily be doubled or tripled for a hearty, protein-rich dish for your weekly meal prep. Top salads and sandwiches with leftover seasoned chicken, cold or reheated, for quick lunch or dinner the next day.
EASY SIDE DISH RECIPES TO SERVE WITH BLACKENED CHICKEN
Tips for Blackened Chicken
- Make sure your cast iron skillet (or heavy bottomed pan) is smoking hot before you add the chicken. The goal is to sear the spices, so if it is not hot enough you’ll have to leave your chicken in the pan too long.
- Your chicken breast halves should be the same thickness all the way down so they cook evenly and the ends don’t dry out. Use a meat mallet to flatten to the same size, but don’t pound them too thin, you are looking for about ½ inch thick.
- Try this hack to keep your leftover Blackened Chicken from drying it when you reheat it. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and let the chicken rest at room temperature while the oven is heating. Place chicken breast in a baking dish with a couple tablespoons of chicken stock and cover with foil. Bake until heated all the way through, about 5 minutes.
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VARIATIONS ON BLACKENED CHICKEN
- Spices: You can try other spices in this chicken rub like smoked paprika, oregano, black pepper, celery seed, or garlic powder. If you want spicer Cajun seasoning, up the cayenne pepper to ½ teaspoon, or try other hotter spices like chipotle powder or red pepper flakes.
- BBQ Sauce: The smoky flavor of Blackened Chicken goes great with your favorite barbecue sauce! Once you sear the spice rub on the chicken, drizzle a 1/4 cup BBQ Sauce over the chicken breasts before baking.
- Meat: You can use the blackening seasoning on fish, shrimp, pork chops, or steak instead of chicken. For pork or beef, sear as usual in the hot skillet and bake until cooked through. For fish and shrimp, cook it completely on the stove top so it doesn’t dry out.
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HOW TO STORE BLACKENED CHICKEN
- Serve: You can keep Blackened Chicken at room temperature for up to 2 hours before it should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Store: Place cooled Blackened Chicken in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven, wrapped in foil, to prevent dry chicken.
- Freeze: Once cooled, wrap individual cooked Blackened Chicken Breasts in plastic wrap and store in a freezer safe bag. Freeze chicken breasts for up to 3 months and thaw overnight in the refrigerator or reheat from frozen in the oven.
WHEN IS BLACKENED CHICKEN FULLY COOKED
According to the USDA’s website, chicken is fully cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken breast to measure the internal temperature.
- 2 chicken breasts , skinless, boneless, and cut in half longwise
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat for 5 minutes until it is smoking hot.
- Mix together the paprika, salt, cayenne, cumin, thyme, white pepper, and onion powder.
- Oil the chicken breasts with cooking spray on both sides, then coat the chicken breasts evenly with the spice mixture.
- Place the chicken in the hot pan, and cook for 1 minute.
- Turn, and cook 1 minute on other side, then place the breasts on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 5 minutes.