Recipe Challenge: Blackened Chicken

Stephanie Chen, RD | Nutrition Specialist
/ May 13, 2021

Ever have Sweetgreen’s blackened chicken? There’s something magical about it – it’s juicy, flavorful, and the perfect addition to any salad or bowl. This recipe is inspired by Sweetgreen, but it’s a slightly lighter take that uses chicken breast and minimal oil. FYI – blackening refers to the toasting of the spices used to season the chicken, not burning the chicken itself!

Adapted from Healthy Recipes

4 servings


  • 1 tbsp paprika 
  • 2 tsp dried thyme 
  • 2 tsp onion powder 
  • 2 tsp garlic powder 
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper 
  • ½ tsp kosher salt 
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (~8 oz each) 
  • 1 tsp avocado oil or avocado oil spray


  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the paprika, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, and kosher salt. 
  • Brush (or spray) the chicken breasts with the oil on both sides, then sprinkle both sides with the seasoning mixture, pressing with your fingers to help the coating adhere. 
  • Heat a well-seasoned, large cast iron skillet over high heat until smoking hot, about 5 minutes. 
  • Add the chicken breasts. Cook 30 seconds on each side to blacken, then place the skillet in the oven to finish cooking, 10-12 minutes. Chicken is done when no longer pink in the center, when juices run clear when pierced with a fork, and when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Larger chicken breasts may require additional cook time.
  • Remove the blackened chicken to a platter, loosely cover them with foil to keep them warm, and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Nutrition Facts

(per ½ breast, ~3 oz cooked): 162 calories, 4.4 g total fat, 0.8 g saturated fat, 83 mg cholesterol, 194 mg sodium, 3.4 g total carbohydrate, 1.1 g fiber, 26 g protein


  • Have a little more time for prep? Try dry brining the chicken breasts before coating in spices (omit salt from spice mix if salting beforehand). Dry brining salts the meat throughout instead of just on the surface. To do this, pat the chicken dry on both sides, place on a plate, and lightly sprinkle both sides with coarse or kosher salt (about 1 tsp total for 2 breasts). Refrigerate the chicken for 30 minutes to 1 hour, pat dry again, and proceed to coat in oil and spices before cooking.
  • If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can sear the chicken in a nonstick pan and then move to a lined baking sheet to finish cooking.
  • Additional herbs may be used. We added chopped fresh oregano to the spice mix.


Stay in the Loop

Our newsletters are curated for providers, members and anyone who wants to stay up to date on healthy living, best practices in weight loss, and trends in healthcare technology.

Skip to content