Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken

Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken is an easy skillet dinner recipe made with 3 ingredients on your stovetop or oven that will be a family FAVORITE in 30 minutes!

This recipe has a long history on our site including Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken, Brown Sugar Garlic Pork and Brown Sugar Garlic Baked Pork Chops which are all some of our most popular recipes.

Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken


This recipe has been requested by readers for years who have LOVED the slow cooker version and the bacon version that is made with white meat chicken. This version is a skinless chicken thigh version I made in a skillet on the stovetop but you can also make a version in your oven with skin on thighs.

Skillet chicken dinners are a great option because you don’t have to take a lot of time to heat up the oven and the cleanup is quick, just one pan for the whole recipe (plus you’re done in under 30 minutes!).

We love serving this recipe with Chinese Steamed Rice and Roasted Rainbow Vegetables. Sometimes I chop up the chicken and add it to the rice and veggies in a bowl topped with some spicy mayo and enjoy it as a chicken bowl. This also makes for an easy lunch option.

Skillet Chicken with garlic and brown sugar sauce


  • If you want to add spice, try a bit of Sriracha like in my Sriracha Brown Sugar Chicken or maybe some hot sauce or crushed red pepper flakes (to taste, but I’d start with 1/2 teaspoon of hot sauce or 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes).
  • If you want a deeper brown sugar flavor try dark brown sugar which has a higher molasses content.
  • For a healthier option you could of course swap out chicken breasts here since we are making this in the skillet. I would remove the chicken while letting the sauce reduce so you don’t overcook the chicken. Just be sure you fully cook the chicken while searing it.

How to Store Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken:

  • Serve: Don’t leave the chicken out for longer than about 2 hours without refrigerating it.
  • Store: Place leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: Always allow the chicken to cool down to room temperature before sealing it up or you’ll just store bacteria in with it. You can freeze chicken for up to 3 months.


According to the USDA, chicken is considered safe to eat when the insides reach 165 degrees F (73.8 degrees C). Always check the internal temperature of the chicken with a probe thermometer inserted into the thickest point to get an accurate reading.Garlic Chicken in skillet with sauce

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Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken
5 from 7 votes

Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken

Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken is an easy skillet dinner recipe made with 3 ingredients on your stovetop or oven that will be a family FAVORITE in 30 minutes!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5 servings
Calories 282 kcal
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • chicken thighs , boneless skinless
  • tablespoons  garlic minced
  • 1/2  teaspoon  Kosher salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1/2  cup  brown sugar packed
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Add the vegetable oil to your skillet on medium high heat with your chicken.
  2. Sear the chicken for 5-7 minutes then flip and cook an additional 5 minutes, then add in the garlic, salt, pepper, brown sugar and water and stir to combine.

  3. Lower the temperature to medium low and let cook until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken, about 8-10 minutes.

  4. Spoon the sauce over the chicken to serve.
Nutrition Facts
Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 282 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 107mg36%
Sodium 300mg13%
Potassium 332mg9%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 23g26%
Protein 22g44%
Vitamin A 27IU1%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 41mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken in a pan

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. I don’t like dark meat – legs and thighs. Can I use chicken breasts and wings? If so, should the breasts be skinless/boneless or or bone in/skin on? If boneless should they be thin?

  2. I don’t usually cook chicken thighs but I want to start. This recipe looks great! I have a question that might be dumb. Do you debone the chicken thighs? Or do I need to purchase them already deboned??

    1. Chicken thighs are a great thing to start cooking – they especially work well in a slow cooker and they have so much more flavor than chicken breasts 😀

      Great question! You leave them with the bones in and skin on. Let me know how they turn out!

  3. We made this last night. It was Tasty! I didn’t use as much garlic as it says to use but enough to tell it was in there…

    1. Hi! It looks soo YuM! ? Question ~ the chicken looks red in color, but I don’t see anything in the ingredients that would cause that. Is this the Siracha you mentioned? Thanks so much for sharing your recipes! ???

      1. That may be from the lighting on the picture combined with the caramelization of the brown sugar when baking. Hope this helps.

          1. Sorry about that. Sometimes I place it under a broiler for just a bit to crisp up even more. Didn’t mean to confuse you.

          1. For making in the oven, cook at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Hope this helps!