Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken

5 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken is an easy skillet dinner recipe made with 3 ingredients on your stovetop or oven that will be a family FAVORITE in 30 minutes!

This recipe has a long history on our site including Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken, Brown Sugar Garlic Pork and Brown Sugar Garlic Baked Pork Chops which are all some of our most popular recipes.


This recipe has been requested by readers for years who have LOVED the slow cooker version and the bacon version that is made with white meat chicken. This version is a skinless chicken thigh version I made in a skillet on the stovetop but you can also make a version in your oven with skin on thighs.

Skillet chicken dinners are a great option because you don’t have to take a lot of time to heat up the oven and the cleanup is quick, just one pan for the whole recipe (plus you’re done in under 30 minutes!).

We love serving this recipe with Chinese Steamed Rice and Roasted Rainbow Vegetables. Sometimes I chop up the chicken and add it to the rice and veggies in a bowl topped with some spicy mayo and enjoy it as a chicken bowl. This also makes for an easy lunch option.

Skillet Chicken with garlic and brown sugar sauce


  • If you want to add spice, try a bit of Sriracha like in my Sriracha Brown Sugar Chicken or maybe some hot sauce or crushed red pepper flakes (to taste, but I’d start with ½ teaspoon of hot sauce or ¼ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes).
  • If you want a deeper brown sugar flavor try dark brown sugar which has a higher molasses content.
  • For a healthier option you could of course swap out chicken breasts here since we are making this in the skillet. I would remove the chicken while letting the sauce reduce so you don’t overcook the chicken. Just be sure you fully cook the chicken while searing it.

How to Store Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken:

  • Serve: Don’t leave the chicken out for longer than about 2 hours without refrigerating it.
  • Store: Place leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: Always allow the chicken to cool down to room temperature before sealing it up or you’ll just store bacteria in with it. You can freeze chicken for up to 3 months.


According to the USDA, chicken is considered safe to eat when the insides reach 165 degrees F (73.8 degrees C). Always check the internal temperature of the chicken with a probe thermometer inserted into the thickest point to get an accurate reading.Garlic Chicken in skillet with sauce

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Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken

Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken is an easy skillet dinner recipe made with 3 ingredients on your stovetop or oven that will be a family FAVORITE in 30 minutes!
Yield 5 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • chicken thighs , boneless skinless
  • tablespoons  garlic minced
  • 1/2  teaspoon  Kosher salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1/2  cup  brown sugar packed
  • 1/4 cup water


  • Add the vegetable oil to your skillet on medium high heat with your chicken.
  • Sear the chicken for 5-7 minutes then flip and cook an additional 5 minutes, then add in the garlic, salt, pepper, brown sugar and water and stir to combine.
  • Lower the temperature to medium low and let cook until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Spoon the sauce over the chicken to serve.


Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 300mg | Potassium: 332mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 27IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg

Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken in a pan

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. This was so simple yet so good! I used pork chops instead of chicken, added in sweet onions and topped it over quinoa! While i was cooking it everyone in the house kept telling me how good dinner smelled!

  2. This is really good. I used chicken tenders as I didn’t have boneless skinless thighs. Cut them into pieces. Also we like onion so I caramelized one also added a Tbsp of tomato paste. Grandson’s approved so I will be making it again.

  3. This is one of my husband and I’s new favorite recipes! We cooked chicken breasts in the crock pot, then made the sauce in a pan and added the chicken before serving. It was delicious!

  4. I don’t like dark meat – legs and thighs. Can I use chicken breasts and wings? If so, should the breasts be skinless/boneless or or bone in/skin on? If boneless should they be thin?

  5. I don’t usually cook chicken thighs but I want to start. This recipe looks great! I have a question that might be dumb. Do you debone the chicken thighs? Or do I need to purchase them already deboned??

    1. Chicken thighs are a great thing to start cooking – they especially work well in a slow cooker and they have so much more flavor than chicken breasts 😀

      Great question! You leave them with the bones in and skin on. Let me know how they turn out!

  6. Just the title, has me wishing I had a piece right now! This sounds so good! I love all the ingredients! Adding to my menu!

  7. We made this last night. It was Tasty! I didn’t use as much garlic as it says to use but enough to tell it was in there…

    1. Hi! It looks soo YuM! ? Question ~ the chicken looks red in color, but I don’t see anything in the ingredients that would cause that. Is this the Siracha you mentioned? Thanks so much for sharing your recipes! ???

      1. That may be from the lighting on the picture combined with the caramelization of the brown sugar when baking. Hope this helps.

          1. Sorry about that. Sometimes I place it under a broiler for just a bit to crisp up even more. Didn’t mean to confuse you.

          1. For making in the oven, cook at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Hope this helps!