Easy And Healthy Blackened Chicken Recipe

Knowing how to whip up some blackened chicken in a pinch will save you from a lifetime of bland meals. Not only is it perfect for meal prep, but is also perfect for use in a variety of dishes—everything from a blackened chicken Cobb salad to Chili’s cajun chicken pasta. 

I also love making blackened chicken because, as an apartment dweller, my wife and I don’t have a grill. So blackened chicken is a close substitute (at least in my mind) for making BBQ chicken on a grill. 

Below I cover how to make blackened chicken and a few of our favorite recipes that highlight this versatile recipe. 

How to Make Blackened Chicken

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 6 minutes 

Total time: 11 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 Boneless skinless chicken thighs (can also use chicken breasts)
  • Cooking oil (avocado oil, canola oil, ghee, or olive oil)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less if desired)

Instructions

If you’re using frozen chicken, remove your chicken from the freezer and let thaw completely.

  1. In a small bowl or dish, combine your blackening spices and set aside.
  1. Remove your chicken from the package and pat dry with a paper towel. If you’re using chicken thighs, I recommend pounding them to tenderize the meat further. Pounding your chicken with a meat mallet also allows you to ensure that your pieces of meat are even in thickness. With this said, I don’t recommend pounding chicken breasts because they can quickly become dry.  
  1. Baste or spray your chicken with olive oil or vegetable oil (or a vegetable oil substitute). Then cover your chicken on both sides with blackening seasoning. 
  1. On high heat, preferably in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat, heat one to two tablespoons of oil and cook your chicken for three to four minutes on each side. You want a hot pan when making blackened chicken in cast iron, it will help give you that delicious blackened crust. 

Recipe Notes

Purchase a handy-dandy meat thermometer to keep on hand. Chicken is not a protein you want to mess around with. If you’re new to cooking chicken (or any type of poultry), taking the temperature of your meat will put your mind at ease and ensure your chicken is cooked to a safe temperature.

blackened chicken on fettuccini
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Easy and Health Blackened Chicken

Savory with a dash of heat, this chicken is perfect with veggies as a side or as part of larger dish such as pasta or a salad.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Caribbean
Keyword: blackened chicken, blackened chicken recipe, one skillet blackened chicken
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 231kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • If you're using frozen chicken, remove your chicken from the freezer and let thaw completely.
  • In a small bowl or dish, combine your blackening spices and set aside.
  • Remove your chicken from the package and pat dry with a paper towel. If you're using chicken thighs, I recommend pounding them to tenderize the meat further. Pounding your chicken with a meat mallet also allows you to ensure that your breasts are even in thickness. With this said, I don't recommend pounding chicken breasts because they can easily become dry. 
  • Baste or spray your chicken with olive oil or vegetable oil (or a vegetable oil substitute). Then cover your chicken on both sides with blackening seasoning.
  • On high heat, preferably in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat, heat one to two tablespoons of oil and cook your chicken for three to four minutes on each side. You want a hot pan when making blackened chicken in cast iron, it will help give you that delicious blackened crust.

Notes

Purchase a handy-dandy meat thermometer to keep on hand. Chicken is not a protein you want to mess around with. If you’re new to cooking chicken (or any type of poultry), taking the temperature of your meat will put your mind at ease and ensure your chicken is cooked to a safe temperature.

Nutrition

Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 247mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 105IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

What Are Blackening Spices?

Blackening spices or blackened seasoning is what it sounds like, it’s the seasoning and spices you put on your chicken before you blacken it. 

The fantastic thing about the spice mixture for blackened chicken is that it’s easy to make and can be tweaked depending on your taste. Like your food spicier? You can add more cayenne pepper. Garlic lover? Up the garlic amount. 

Follow this basic recipe, and then choose your own adventure when tweaking it!

spice ingredients for blackened chicken

Can you use chicken thighs?

Using chicken thighs for blackened chicken is not only easy but also quite tasty. I prefer it. The more recipes you read on this blog, the more you’ll become familiar with my obsession with skinless, boneless chicken thighs. 

If you’re more of a chicken breast fan, that’s fine too. No judgment. You’ll just want to make sure that you adjust the cooking time. Since you won’t be pounding your chicken breasts, you’ll want to cook them for a total of 7 to 9 minutes, depending on their thickness.

Blackened Chicken In Your Air Fryer Oven

You absolutely can make blackened chicken in an air fryer. If you’re a die-hard air fryer fan, I hear you. They’re amazing. The amount of time I save cooking on a nightly basis and the variety of food I can quickly whip up are mind-blowing. (In my humble opinion.)

Depending on the cut of meat you are cooking, the cooking time will vary. But in general, it will run somewhere between 20-25 minutes for a chicken breast at 375 degrees Fahrenheit and around 12 minutes in total for a pounded chicken thigh. 

How to Use Blackened Chicken

Blackened Chicken Pasta with Alfredo Sauce

If you’re looking for an easy and delicious pasta dish, you have to try blackened chicken Alfredo. The chicken is spicy but not too spicy, and the Alfredo sauce is creamy and flavorful. This dish is sure to please everyone in your family.

Blackened Chicken Tacos

Blackened chicken tacos are one of our favorite dishes! The chicken is spicy and flavorful, and the tacos are perfect for any occasion. They’re easy to make and taste great, whether you’re feeding a crowd or just looking for a quick and easy meal.

Blackened Chicken Tenders With Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Easy enough to do, cut your chicken into chicken tender strips and go from breast or thighs to fancy and fun dipping chicken! Not to mention healthier than breaded and fried chicken strips. Make blackened chicken tenders and use our delicious honey mustard sauce for dipping.

Chili’s Cajun Chicken Pasta

The Chili’s copycat chicken cajun pasta is one of the most delicious pasta dishes. The sauce is creamy and has a perfect mix of spices that give it a Cajun flavor. The chicken is also cooked to perfection and goes so well with the pasta. It’s a dish I would recommend to anyone looking for something tasty and comforting.

Blackened Chicken Cobb Salad

Blackened chicken Cobb salad is delicious and full of flavor. The chicken is cooked until it’s blackened and crispy, while the bacon, avocado, and cheese add a ton of flavor and creaminess. It’s the perfect meal for a summer day or a delicious lunch to enjoy at home or work.

blackened chicken - pinterest pin

Is this the best blackened chicken recipe you’ve ever tried? Let us know in the comments below. Until next time: Stay salty, and sweet 😉

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