ArrowDownFill 1arrow-small-lineFill 1GroupStaff FaveGroupClose IconEmailLike Cooking Light on FacebookShapePage 1 Copy 3Page 1 Copy 2Grid IconFollow Cooking Light on InstagramList IconMenu IconPrintSearch IconSpeech BubbleFollow Cooking Light on SnapchatFollow Cooking Light on TwitterWatch Cooking Light on YouTubeplay-iconWatch Cooking Light on Youtube

Smoky Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts

Photo: Jennifer Causey
Active time 8 mins
Total time 20 mins

Serves 4 (serving size: 1 chicken breast)

Crispy on the outside, tender-juicy on the inside, this 20-minute chicken is the ultimate weeknight dish. Pan searing is a wonderful technique that gives you the deliciously crisp crust with hardly any effort. Simply sprinkle cumin, salt and pepper evenly over both sides of the chicken, add to oil-coated skillet over medium-high heat, and cook for just four minutes on each side. Pair with a simple side salad, or slaw, and drizzle with an herbaceous sauce to bring a flavorful meal to the table with ease. And, at just 216 calories per breast, this chicken dish is one healthy alternative you’ll turn back to time and again.


  • 4 (6-oz.) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • Calories 216
  • Fat 7.5 g
  • Satfat 1.4 g
  • Monofat 3.6 g
  • Polyfat 1.8 g
  • Protein 34 g
  • Carbohydrate 0.0 g
  • Fiber 0.0 g
  • Cholesterol 94 mg
  • Iron 1 mg
  • Sodium 323 mg
  • Calcium 21 mg
  • Sugars g

How to Make It

  1. Place chicken breasts in a single layer between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound with a meat mallet or heavy skillet until chicken breasts are about 3/4 inch thick.

  2. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high. Combine cumin, salt, and pepper; sprinkle evenly over both sides of chicken breasts. Add chicken to skillet; cook until done, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board; let stand 5 minutes. Cut across the grain into slices. Garnish with parsley, if desired.