Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

Prep 5 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 25 mins
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Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken is juicy, tender, and bursting with garlic flavor. This quick and easy recipe is perfect for busy weeknights!

Juicy Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

There are so many things that I love about this easy chicken. First, the contrast from the sweet brown sugar and spicy garlic makes for a really flavorful bite. But my favorite part of this recipe is the simplicity. All you need to remember is that there are 4 main ingredients and you need 4 of each ingredient. With just a few minutes and ingredients you will get this sweet, garlic-y chicken that goes with just about everything.

This recipe is also cheap, you probably already have all the ingredients in your kitchen, and it’s ready in just 25 minutes. Plus, it’s dang tasty.

If you’re looking for more easy chicken recipes, make sure to check out my Easy Baked Chicken.

What You’ll Need

This simple recipe uses 6 ingredients that you probably have on hand:

  • Chicken: I recommend using breasts for this recipe.
  • Butter: Adds and enhances flavor.
  • Garlic
  • Brown Sugar: Adds a subtle sweetness.
  • Salt & Pepper
A Collage of Two Images of Cooked Chicken Breasts Inside of a Metal Skillet

How to Make Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

This quick chicken has just 4 easy steps! Here’s everything you’ll need to do:

Season the chicken. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breast and then set aside.

Prepare the pan. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add in the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes (or until fragrant and the mixture is just slightly starting to brown).

Cook the chicken. Add the chicken to the pan and cover for 12 minutes. After the 12 minutes, flip all breasts and continue cooking until the chicken is fully cooked (when all pieces have reached internal temp of 165°F).

Add the sugar. Sprinkle the tops of each chicken with brown sugar and then cover with the pan lid. Cook for about 1-2 minutes (this will allow the brown sugar to melt) and serve immediately.

Tips for Success

Although this recipe seems pretty simple, cooking meat can be challenging. Here are a few tips for making the best chicken:

  • Cover the pan: Covering your pans while cooking traps in more heat and moisture. This means a faster cook time and a jucier chicken.
  • Use a meat thermometer: It’s a good idea to use a meat thermometer when cooking any kind of meat. That way you know that you are cooking your meat safely and not serving undercooked food. For this recipe, that means all of the chicken breasts should have an internal temperature of 165°F.

Serving Suggestions

This recipe goes with just about anything. I like to pair it with some kind of starch and vegetable for an easy and well-rounded meal.

This chicken pairs well with almost any kind of starch. I like to serve it with these easy Oven Roasted Potatoes or creamy Sweet Corn Risotto.

Feel free to serve whatever kind of veggie you want with this meal. Some of my favorite vegetable sides for this dish are Air Fryer Asparagus and Creamy Lemon Zucchini Noodles.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

This easy chicken can be refrigerated for up to 5 days if stored properly. Once it’s cooked and cooled, just place any extra chicken and remaining sauce into an airtight container. Here are a few ways that you can reheat the chicken once you’re ready to eat it:

  • Pan: The best way to reheat this chicken is by placing a skillet over medium heat and covering the bottom of the pan with water. Then, just add the chicken add flip occasionally. Pour some of the sauce on top and serve once fully warmed.
  • Oven: Place the chicken in a baking pan and heat in the oven at 350°F until warmed through. You can top the chicken with some of the extra sauce to keep it moist.
  • Microwave: If you want the best results, I recommend using a pan or the oven to reheat this chicken. However, you can use the microwave if that is what you prefer. Just place the chicken in a microwave-safe container and top with a little bit of water (this keeps the chicken juicy). Cover with a microwave-safe wrap and cook for 2 minutes. If the chicken isn’t fully warmed flip and add another 30 seconds.

Can I Freeze Extras?

Yes, you can freeze leftover chicken! Make sure that you allow the chicken to cool before adding it and the sauce to a freezer-safe bag or container. Cooked chicken can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Yield: 4 servings

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

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

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken is juicy, tender, and bursting with garlic flavor. This quick and easy recipe is perfect for busy weeknights!

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.


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. 

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1/4 recipe

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


This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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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. 
    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 fiancé 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. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

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

      “Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes”

      Not, 24 minutes. 

      Hope this helps! 

  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 ;)

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      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! :-)

  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 :) 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!

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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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