These Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with burst tomatoes and spinach have become a summer staple in our house!
Here’s why you’ll love this chicken recipe so much:
- Perfectly pan seared chicken breasts: these skinless chicken breasts golden brown on the outside, but juicy throughout. We can get behind that!
- An insanely flavorful pan sauce: you can use chicken stock, broth, or white wine, but make sure to deglaze the pan after searing the chicken breasts to create a luscious pan sauce that not only keeps the chicken tender and juicy, but adds a ton of rich flavor to the dish.
- A bright, acidic taste! There’s a lot to love here, but mainly the combination of fresh lemon, sweet tomatoes, and a garlic compound butter, made with garlic, rosemary, and a bit of Kosher salt. Together with mascarpone cheese, you get a zesty flavor that is well-rounded and bright.
Truly, if you are looking to master juicy chicken breasts at home, add this recipe to your must-try list!
Everything You’ll Need To Make This At Home
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken cutlets
- Kosher salt, to season everything, including the compound butter
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Unsalted butter, room temperature, for the compound butter
- A couple of garlic cloves finely chopped, about 1-2 heaping tablespoons
- Fresh rosemary finely chopped: Can substitute with fresh sage or thyme!
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Shallot chopped: Can substitute with onion, but we love the delicate flavor of shallots.
- Grape or cherry tomatoes: These will burst and pop as they cook in the pan and the oven, which will help to give the pan sauce a tomato taste!
- Low-sodium chicken broth or stock or dry white wine, to make the sauce
- Fresh baby spinach: Feel free to substitute with chopped kale or Swiss chard.
- Mascarpone cheese, adds a creaminess to the overall sauce.
- Lemon, zested and cut into wedges for serving: A hit of fresh lemon juice at the end will round out the flavors!
- Chopped parsley, for serving!
You’ll need a small bowl to mix the compound butter in, as well as a large oven safe skillet. We also recommend a meat thermometer to check for doneness on all meats.
Can I Use Bone-In Chicken Instead?
Absolutely! Feel free to use chicken thighs, chicken breasts, or chicken cutlets — and whether you leave the bone-in or skin-on is entirely up to you! A quick note if using skin-on: do not flip the chicken until the fat has rendered and the skin is crispy and golden brown. You only get one chance to crisp her up!
Second note: bone-in chicken will take about 20% longer to cook than boneless. Adjust oven cook time accordingly.
Make The Garlic Herb Compound Butter
What is a compound butter? It’s when you mix flavorings into room temperature butter. In this instance, we’re making a garlic herb compound butter with fresh rosemary, Kosher salt, and finely chopped garlic cloves. It adds so much flavor to the pan seared chicken and the sauce!
Start On A Stove Top, Finish In An Oven
Why do you start the chicken breasts on a stove top, but finish in an oven? If you attempted to cook the chicken (without a pan sauce) on the stove top until it was fully cooked and registering an internal temperature of 165F throughout, you’d risk burning some of the other ingredients (garlic!) or having tough, dry chicken.
Instead, add a liquid to deglaze the pan — white wine or chicken broth work great! — then transfer to the oven to finish in a braise. A braise just means something that is cooked partially in liquid, such that the bottom sits in a sauce or liquid, while the top remains above and exposed to heat without liquid. This will gently finish cooking the chicken in an oven so it stays juicy and tender.
Best Sides Dishes For Pan Seared Chicken Breasts With Burst Tomatoes
There’s already a lot of fresh baby spinach and tomatoes stirred in there, but if you’re looking for more vegetables, we recommend a simple arugula salad or simply roasted veggies.
However, you’ll definitely want to sop up that glorious pan sauce, so we love to serve this over rice, mashed potatoes, or alongside crusty baguette!
Tips For The Best Pan Seared Chicken Breasts
- Use a paper towel to pat the chicken dry before cooking! You want to remove as much excess moisture before placing the chicken breasts in a hot skillet to sear.
- Don’t flip the chicken breasts until they release easily from the pan! Attempting to flip them before they’re ready will result in then ripping or shredding, not to mention, they won’t achieve that golden brown sear.
- Make sure the heat isn’t too high when cooking garlic / compound butter! The last thing you want is for the garlic to burn.
- Deglaze the pan! Be sure to use chicken stock or white wine to deglaze the pan, then use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to help release any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Browned bits = flavor!
- Season everything! While it may feel like a lot of salt, if you don’t season individual ingredients, they will be bland. Make sure to season and taste along the way.
Add this to your summer dinner rotation immediately! You will make this again and again.
If you make this Pan Seared Chicken recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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More Chicken Recipes To Try!
- Lemon Oregano Chicken Meatballs
- Skillet Chicken with Anchovies
- Chicken Florentine Recipe
- Braised Chicken Thighs
- Chicken Marsala Pasta
Pan Seared Chicken With Burst Tomatoes
- 1 ¼ – 1 ½ lb chicken breasts about 4 medium
- 1 ¾ tsp Kosher salt divided
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large shallot chopped, about 3-4 Tbsp
- 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
- ¾ cup low-sodium chicken stock or dry white wine
- 4-5 oz baby spinach
- 3 Tbsp mascarpone cheese
- 1 lemon zested and cut into wedges for serving
- 2 Tbsp chopped parsley for serving
- Season the chicken. Season chicken breasts on both sides with ¾ tsp Kosher salt and ¼ tsp black pepper. Preheat an oven to 375F.
- Make the compound butter. Place 4 Tbsp softened, room temperature butter into a small mixing bowl. Add ½ tsp Kosher salt, 2 chopped garlic cloves, and 1 Tbsp chopped rosemary, then stir until well mixed.
- Brown the chicken. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add 2 Tbsp olive oil and 3 Tbsp of the garlic herb butter. Once melted, add the chicken cutlets and cook for 5 minutes on the first side, or until golden brown and seared. Flip and cook an additional 2-4 minutes on the second side. Remove the chicken and place on a plate, then add the chopped shallot and cherry tomatoes to the pan. Season with ½ tsp Kosher salt, then stir well. Allow to cook for 2 minutes, then pour in ¾ cup of chicken stock or white wine. Use a spatula to help release any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Finish in the oven. Return the chicken to the skillet, along with any juices, then place the skillet in a preheated oven and cook for 7 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165F.
- Finish, then serve. Remove the chicken breasts once more, then stir in the baby spinach, mascarpone cheese, remaining 1 Tbsp of compound butter, and lemon zest. Taste and adjust seasoning of the sauce, if needed. Return the chicken to the pan, tossing to coat in the sauce, then serve with sprinkled chopped parsley and lemon wedges.