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. 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!

  2. Kiran @

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. Caite

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

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Careisse

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

  11. 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

  12. 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 🙂

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

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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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