Italian
Simple Italian Basil Chicken

This Italian Basil Chicken is made with a mixture of fresh butter infused with garlic and basil, then pan-fried with olive oil and lemon juice until golden brown. It's an easy weeknight dinner that doesn't skimp on flavor!

As with most things in life, the simpler the better! This Italian Basil Chicken may have simple ingredients, but just like my Italian Skillet Fried Chicken and Italian Skillet Chicken and Peppers, the results are flavorful and mouthwatering.

Chicken pieces on a white plate.

When it comes to tips for making it Italian, I always recommend using the best ingredients! For this easy chicken breast recipe, which includes quality olive oil, butter, and lots of basil, garlic, and lemon for the best fresh flavor.

You will love the flavor that the basil and butter impart to the chicken breasts as they are gently pan fried on the stovetop until golden brown. This is a chicken dish you will make again and again!

Why I love this recipe

  • Simple ingredients: This chicken breast recipe has less than 10 ingredients, but will blow your taste buds away!
  • Tasty: Butter always makes things better, especially when infused with garlic and basil. Cooking the butter directly on the chicken adds a fresh, bold flavor!
  • Perfect for a weekday dinner: Servings 4, it's perfect for families! It's an easy dinner recipe that requires little work, leaving plenty of time to prepare a side dish to serve.

Ingredients of Italian Basil Chicken Recipe

  • Chicken breast:I used chicken breasts with bone and skin.
  • Fresh basil: Measure after cutting.
  • Garlic: Fresh, minced garlic, not jarred, gives the most flavorful garlic.
  • Salt and pepper: All you need are some simple seasonings!
  • Butter: Real butter, not margarine softened at room temperature.
  • Olive oil: I like to use a good quality extra virgin olive oil.
  • Lemon: You will need 3-4 lemon slices and fresh lemon juice.
Ingredients for the recipe.Ingredients for the recipe.

Variations to try

  • Chicken with tomato and basil: Towards the end of cooking add some cherry tomatoes: they will add a wonderful flavour, especially if they come from the garden!
  • A drop of cream: After browning the chicken, add a splash of cream and let it simmer for a few minutes. This adds a really nice creamy texture!
  • Add some vegetables: I like to add a little spinach towards the end so it has time to wilt. You could also add some mushrooms or zucchini.
  • Cheese: Add a slice of fresh mozzarella, sliced ​​or grated, on each chicken breast, let it melt and serve.
  • Spice: Add a few chili flakes to the butter mixture for a spicy twist!

How to Make Simple Italian Basil Chicken

To start, make the butter mixture. Add chopped basil to a bowl with minced garlic, salt, pepper and softened butter. Mix, then refrigerate until firm.

Let's prepare the dough for the filling.Let's prepare the dough for the filling.

Using your fingers, gently lift the skin off the chicken breasts and distribute the basil-butter mixture evenly between the chicken pieces and the skin-on pieces.

Place the filling under the chicken skin.Place the filling under the chicken skin.

In a medium or large skillet, add the olive oil to the hot skillet, then the lemon slices. Place the chicken bone-side down in the skillet.

The lemon slices on the pan and the chicken on top of the slices.The lemon slices on the pan and the chicken on top of the slices.

Drizzle the chicken with lemon juice, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then cover and cook over low to medium heat.

Pour the liquid over the chicken and cook in the pan.Pour the liquid over the chicken and cook in the pan.

Once the liquid has evaporated, raise the heat to medium-high and flip the chicken to brown the other side. Flip it, then garnish with some chopped basil and serve.

Baked chicken in a pan.Baked chicken in a pan.

Tips for perfect results

  • Using an instant-read thermometer: To avoid overcooking the chicken, check the doneness with an instant-read thermometer. For juicy chicken breasts, it should read 165°F.
  • Pound the chicken until it is of uniform thickness: This not only makes them more tender, but also allows for even cooking.
  • Fresh basil is best: Sorry dried basil! For the most savory flavor in this chicken breast recipe, it is best to use fresh basil in the butter mixture, although you could use dried basuk but use about a third of the amount specified for fresh basil since dried basil is more concentrated.
  • Chicken thighs: While I prefer chicken breast, you could also try bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs.
  • Garnish with parmesan: You can never go wrong with adding freshly grated Parmesan cheese to any Italian-inspired dish!

Serving suggestions

I like to keep it simple and serve it with my simple arugula salad or some parmesan roasted asparagus and crusty bread.

My Oven Roasted Rosemary Potatoes are an easy side dish that everyone always loves and no one ever turns down homemade pasta!

Can I use different herbs?

Sure! There are many fresh herbs that pair well with mild-flavored chicken breast. You might try thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley, or tarragon.

How can I make this dish healthier?

To make it healthier, use skinless chicken breasts, reduce the amount of butter, and increase the amount of fresh herbs and garlic.

Basil chicken on a white plate.Basil chicken on a white plate.

Can I make this in the oven?

Although I haven't tested it, it should work. Assemble the chicken as directed and place in a baking dish. Cover and bake at 375°F for 20-30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. It is recommended to roast the chicken for a couple minutes to brown it.

How to make chicken breasts moist and tender?

To keep the chicken from drying out, we cook it covered on low heat and only until it reaches 165°F. Covering it helps retain moisture in the pan. As the chicken cooks in the pan, the butter under the skin also helps keep it moist and juicy! If you are cooking your chicken using another method, a marinade is a great way to keep the chicken moist.

Can I prepare this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the chicken ahead of time and refrigerate it. Remove it from the refrigerator for 15 minutes before cooking.

What is the best way to store leftovers?

Let cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. I love this cold, but you can reheat it in the microwave until warm if you like. Chicken dries out easily when reheated, so adding a splash of chicken broth can help retain moisture.

Other Chicken Recipes

Basil chicken with a slice cut on a white plate.Basil chicken with a slice cut on a white plate.

This basil chicken is the perfect idea for a summer dinner. I hope you like it too! Enjoy!

  • 4 chicken breasts (with skin)
  • ½ cup fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1-2 Cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 dashes black pepper
  • 3 spoons softened butter)
  • 1-2 spoons olive oil
  • 3-4 slices lemon – cut into thin slices
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice

Prevent the screen from going dark

  • Chop the basil and place in a small bowl with the minced garlic, salt and 2-3 pinches of pepper and butter, mix, then refrigerate for about 15 minutes or until solidified. Using your fingers, gently lift the skin off the chicken and distribute the basil evenly between the chicken pieces.

  • In a medium/large skillet, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with lemon slices, place the chicken bone-side down on the lemon. Drizzle the chicken with 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice, sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt and a pinch or two of pepper. Cover and cook on low/medium heat for 25-30 minutes, once the liquid has evaporated, raise the heat and flip the chicken to brown well. Flip the chicken again, garnish with some chopped basil and serve. The chicken is cooked to 165°F.

Can I prepare this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the chicken ahead of time and refrigerate it. Remove it from the refrigerator for 15 minutes before cooking.

What is the best way to store leftovers?

Let cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. I love this cold, but you can reheat it in the microwave until warm if you like. Chicken dries out easily when reheated, so adding a splash of chicken broth can help retain moisture.

Calories: 369kilocalorie | Carbohydrates: 1G | Protein: 48G | Fat: 18G | Saturated fats: 7G | Polyunsaturated fats: 2G | Monounsaturated fat: 6G | Trans Fats: 0.4G | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 476mg | Potassium: 869mg | Fiber: 0.4G | Sugar: 0.2G | Vitamin A: 494IU | C vitamin: 7mg | Soccer: 25mg | Iron: 1mg

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