Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

Prep 5 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 25 mins

This easy recipe for Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken is a godsend on busy weeknights. Juicy pan-seared chicken breasts are seasoned with garlic, brown sugar, salt and pepper for drool-worthy flavor in every bite!

A Collage of Two Images of Cooked Chicken Breasts Inside of a Metal Skillet

The Best Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken Recipe

Considering how well y’all took to me re-blogging the Fire Roasted Tomato Basil Soup, I decided to proclaim this week throwback week. So far I have managed to watch season one of Buffy, drink a Sonic Oceanwater with vodka (helloooo highschool, err ummm college), and listened to as many boy bands as Pandora could dish up.

Because of that, I now have LFO and Soul Decision back on my iphone. It’s pretty embarrassing since I am probably one of the only people who still remembers all the words… New Kids On The block had a bunch of hits, Chinese food makes me sick and I think it’s fly when girls stop by for the summer, for the summer. I like girls that wear Abercrombie and Fitch… You totally remember now right??!

Anyywhoo, to keep on rolling down memory lane I had to bring back my favorite dish from all of 2009. I blogged about this Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken almost 3 years ago, in July of 2009. The post is incredibly embarrassing…but because I am a glutton for punishment, you can see it here. While you wouldn’t know it from those old photos, this chicken is quite possibly my favorite way to prepare chicken on a weeknight.

Three Pan-Seared Garlic Butter Brown Sugar Chicken Breasts in a Metal Skillet on a Table

The flavor is perfect, but it’s the simplicity that gets me. The recipe is so easy to remember because there are 4 main ingredients and you need 4 of each ingredient. All you need is a little butter, chicken, garlic, and brown sugar and you will get this sweet, garlic-y chicken that goes with just about everything.

Maybe it’s because I worship all of those ingredients like they belong in their own food group, but this is probably one of my favorite things from the old archives. And if that doesn’t sell you on it…It’s also cheap to make, you probably already have all the ingredients in your kitchen, it takes almost no time at all and most importantly… it’s dang tasty. πŸ™‚


Yield: 4

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

Three Pan-Seared Garlic Butter Brown Sugar Chicken Breasts in a Metal Skillet on a Table

This easy recipe for Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken is a godsend on busy weeknights. Juicy pan-seared chicken breasts are seasoned with garlic, brown sugar, salt and pepper for drool-worthy flavor in every bite!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 4 chicken breasts (appx 1.5 pounds)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts and set aside.
  2. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes, or until fragrant and the butter/garlic is starting to brown just slightly.
  3. Add chicken, cover pan, and cook for 12 minutes. Flip chicken breasts and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked throughly (or has reached an internal temp of 165°F).
  4. Sprinkle the tops of each chicken breast with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Cover pan with lid once more and let the brown sugar melt, about 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately.


Recipe Note: Notice the pattern! Rule of 4’s! 4 main ingredients and you need 4 of each! Super easy to remember when you are at the grocery store or in a rush. πŸ™‚

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 346Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 133mgSodium: 258mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 38g

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57 Responses
  1. Skye

    I added just a little paprika to one side (because I ran out), but otherwise followed the recipe ingredients and it was delicious! Like absolutely fantastic.Β 
    I make chicken my main meat for a lot of recipes and I seriously can’t wait to make it again. I paired it with some garlic butter instant potatoes, and both my fiancΓ© and I agree, had we not both been stuffed, I’d have gone to the store to get more chicken! Thank you!

  2. Paula

    Okay, I’ve made this twice now, and I am NOT a novice cook, and both times have failed. You can’t cook butter, or garlic, at “medium high” for 24 minutes. They burn. Even 2 minutes at that heat will burn them. (Even with the flame turned down to medium low, they burned after about 8 minutes.) So, there’s something unusual about your setup that you’re having success. Either that or you have a typo in your recipe.

    1. Jessica

      Hi Paula, I think you may just have read wrong, it says:

      “Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes”

      Not, 24 minutes.Β 

      Hope this helps!Β 

  3. Lisa

    Thanks for the reminder about this recipe! It was on our weekly rotation for a while but then my husband was in the hospital and I lost track of my recipes.

    My whole family loves this recipe and I can’t wait to surprise them with it again! Thanks!!

  4. Brianna

    This looks delicious! About how long does it take for the chicken to cook all the way through after the covered 12 minutes? Sorry for the dumb question – i always overcook things in fear of poisoning my family with uncooked beef/poultry πŸ˜‰

    1. Jessica

      It depends on the thickness of your chicken breasts. If you are not comfortable cooking chicken, I suggest buying a meat thermometer! They are not expensive and you will never overcook (or undercook) chicken again! πŸ™‚

  5. Shar

    I just made this tonight and it was great! I really loved the simplicity of it and the delicious taste of the chicken. I am a self proclaimed dipper (always into something: bbq sauce, honey mustard) but I didn’t have to put anything on this delicious chicken!

  6. Aimee @ See Aimee Cook

    I made this a few weeks ago and it was delicious! We loved the garlic ‘n sugar mix – and I loved the simplicity even more! My photos are awful compared to yours but I did share it on my blog today πŸ™‚ Thanks for passing it on – it’s definitely a keeper!

  7. Ashley

    I tried this and did not like the combination of flavors. I should have gone with my instinct that I didn’t think brown sugar and garlic went well together.

  8. Cheryl

    I made this tonight and it was good but will be better the next time around as I will know more about what I’m doing!
    I seasoned my chicken with some special seasoning we like and lots of pepper. Next time I’ll use just plain salt and pepper but regardless, my husband went back for seconds so I would say it was a success! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Jessica

    This looks yummy and is great for a quick meal!

    As far as the LFO comment goes…That song brings back so many memories, but I never would have equated it to being old! Eeeek! I guess it’s time to come to terms with that awful fact!

  10. Kiran @

    Gotta love a simple and yummy dinners!!! Never thought of putting brown sugar in anything savory like this πŸ™‚

  11. Penelope Baker

    This looks like a wonderful recipe and I can’t wait to try it. In fact, it’s on the menu for this weekend with friends. It’s easy, quick and surely delish. Elegance with ease–just my style. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Sharon

    I just made this tonight and it was great! I really loved the simplicity of it and the delicious taste of the chicken. I am a self proclaimed dipper (always into something: bbq sauce, honey mustard) but I didn’t have to put anything on this delicious chicken!

  13. Heather of Kitchen Concoctions

    Making this for dinner tonight! I have been trying to make more simple recipes lately due to the lack of time, expense of ingredients, amongst other reasons. This recipe totally fits the bill! Thanks for sharing can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  14. Caite

    I just made this tonight and it was delicious! I have a hard time cooking chicken, but this was awesome. Thank you!! πŸ™‚

  15. Sarah

    Cooked this the other night, but my chicken breasts were too thick and I ended up overcooking them. The sauce was deliciously addicting so I’ll be cooking these again tonight and adding mushrooms to absorb some of the flavors!

  16. Shakeeta W

    This looks really good!! And I’m one of those few who still remembers the words and I still have my TAPE of the album lol.

  17. Tamara

    I saw this on Friday and went home and made it after work. It was easy and delicious! My kids loved it too! It’s definitely going into my recipe box! By the way, the sauce was very yummy over rice.

  18. Careisse

    Ha, I loved Buffy too, I actually own all seven seasons.
    This chicken looks simple and delicious, two of my favorite words! πŸ˜€

  19. Ang

    This was soo good! My boyfriend and I loved it. Very easy to make. I used half the amount of butter called for and it still turned out great. Thank you

  20. Alison@Mama Wants This

    I’m making this next week!

    I Pinned the picture from your original recipe and it got 141 repins! Needless to say, people know a good recipe when they see one πŸ™‚

  21. Jess

    This chicken looks soooo good! And no worries, I know all the words to that song too! Rich Cronin (the lead singer) went to my high school and his sister was in my class for a while! He sadly passed away a year or so ago from cancer, so I love that people still listen to and remember him through his cheesy music!

  22. Joanne

    (a) LOVE LFO. Still. Always. And forever. I wonder what happened to those boys…they were kind of a two hit wonder.

    (b) Mmm garlic brown sugar. That sounds swoonworthy.

  23. ErinsFoodFiles

    This looks like an awesome weeknight meal, or a meal to “assign” Nathan on his night to cook! As you know, I’ve been reading your blog a long time, but I don’t remember this one. Thanks for pulling it out of the archives!

  24. Jeannette

    talk to me when you can recite all the words to Butterfly by Crazytown. And if you can, we should be friends.

    This looks so good!! I’ll have to make this one a night when I’m lazy (that shouldn’t take too long) and when I have to make myself something separate from the hubs. Bookmarked!

  25. Home with Mandy

    What beautiful pictures! I need to literally trash my blog, take photography classes and START OVER. My first post will be this chicken. I must make it soon, it looks and sounds amazing!!!

  26. Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking

    Bahahaha! Thanks a lot now you got that dumb LFO song in my head! I’m definitely going to make this! I have all the ingredients and am super intrigued by the flavor combos!

  27. Bev Weidner

    1) Your shirt is dang cute.

    2) I love old posts! They make me giggle. Totes.

    3) Seriously if I can’t eat this garlic brown sugar chicken in the next 30 seconds….


  28. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen

    I love looking at people’s old photos! And I could totally sing every single word to that LFO song, it’s fine, we’re not old or anything. πŸ˜‰

  29. The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh

    When I regain my sense of smell, I want this is mah belly!!!

    By the way, Maculay Culkin was home alone. Fell deep in love but now we ain’t speakin’, Michael J. Fox was Alex P. Keaton. πŸ˜‰

  30. Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray

    I love how simple this recipe is–to make *and* remember. And you’re right, I do have all that stuff in my kitchen right now! This is definitely going to be added to my weeknight rotation…and I’ll just have to play LFO while I make it. πŸ˜‰

  31. Blog is the New Black

    I eat so much chicken that I am always looking for ways to change it up- this looks like a tasty way to do so!

  32. Kathryn

    OMG I loved that LFO song. I haven’t heard it for years and years. Proper blast from the past!

    I love how you’re revisiting old recipes, it’s so fun to see what’s in the archive and see what some of your favourites are! This sounds so delicious, I can imagine it entering our dinner rotation pretty quickly!

  33. Chung-Ah @ Damn Delicious

    I love this rule of 4’s. More recipes should abide by this. It would make life much easier.

    And your pictures are beautiful. You’ve seriously come such a long way since 2009. Well done!

  34. Jessica Lynn

    That sounds wonderful and easyβ€”nothing better than an easy dish on a weeknight! I’m glad you reblogged it, otherwise I probably never would have seen it!

  35. RJ (Kids and Cast Iron)

    I know all the words too. Got to love the early pictures. We all have them. Least I know I do. Mine still need work. Will have to give this chicken a shot. Never can have too many ways to cook chicken.

  36. Ann

    I gotta say – the recipe sounds FAB and your new pictures are terrific! Thank you SO much for showing us the old ones….I feel much better!

    Off to see if I can pull up the original “Electric Avenue” from iTunes!

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I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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