This easy recipe for garlic chicken and green beans is a simple and delicious weeknight meal!
The chicken is pan-seared to perfection with a quick lemon garlic sauce that’s as delightful as it sounds and paired with tender-crisp green beans made quickly while the chicken cooks!
Easy Skillet Chicken & Green Beans
What I love about this recipe is that it turns a few simple ingredients we’re all used to cooking into a scrumptious meal.
While there are a few steps to the recipe, like cooking the chicken first and then removing it from the pan onto a plate to make the sauce, none of the steps are difficult, and the outcome is epic: juicy chicken, a sauce that’s to-die-for, and a meal that is devoured by everyone in the family.
The green beans cook in a separate pan at the same time as the sauce simmers, and the recipe card below explains how to make this easy recipe, so you’re able to serve both hot and at the same time.
Isn’t it great when you’re able to take simple ingredients and transform them into a meal that everyone practically inhales from their plate?
Here is what you’ll need to make this simple chicken and green beans recipe:
- Chicken breasts: 2 of them, butterflied into 4 pieces.
- Salt & pepper: for seasoning
- Olive oil: for cooking and searing the chicken.
- Butter: adds flavor and starts the sauce.
- Onion: white, but you can use shallots.
- Garlic: mince it or grate it, even paste works.
- Low-sodium chicken broth: your favorite brand or make your own chicken broth.
- Cornstarch: used to help thicken the sauce.
- Fresh thyme: for flavor but dried thyme or poultry seasoning works too.
- Fresh green beans: washed, ends trimmed optional.
- Italian seasoning: for adding flavor to the green beans.
- Red pepper flakes: this is optional but great for adding a little spice.
- Water: used to steam the green beans in the pan.
- Lemon: adds a fresh citrus flavor.
*Grab the ingredient measurements and detailed instructions from the recipe card below.
How to Make Chicken and Green Beans
While the recipe card below shares the recipe step-by-step, below I explain a few tips for each of these steps.
- Butterfly the chicken breast
Butterflying a chicken breast means slicing it in half in thickness. It helps the chicken cook faster and ensures even cooking.
Read this post for more on how to butterfly chicken breasts.
- Add heat
I always heat up the pan first before adding the oil to it, so my oil doesn’t go past its smoke point or burn.
- Cook the chicken
Place the chicken breasts on the pan and without moving them until the first side is seared, then flip to finish cooking.
- Start the sauce
Once the chicken breasts have been cooked, you can remove them and make the sauce in the same pan. The little drippings on the pan add lots of flavor to the onions and seasonings.
- Add liquid and simmer
This recipe uses chicken broth to make a pan sauce.
- Start on the green beans
In a separate pan, cook the green beans while the sauce simmers.
- Finish the green beans
Squeeze a little lemon juice to add freshness and that citrus flavor we love once they are done cooking.
- Add the chicken back in
Once the sauce has simmered, add the chicken back into the pan for about 2 minutes to heat it through with the sauce.
Plate the chicken breast, the green beans, and then add a few spoonfuls of the epic sauce right over the top!
Butterflying the chicken
Butterflying the chicken is a great way to ensure even cooking since all parts of the chicken breast are the same thickness, and it cuts the cooking time in half!
This simple step can be done with any pan-seared chicken breast recipe to make cooking dinner ultra-fast!
Check out this video for how to butterfly them if you’ve never done it before.
The Lemon Garlic Green Beans
The lemon-garlic seasoning combination is a simple one and always a winner. Whether it’s used in a lemon marinade or to infuse veggies with fresh flavor, it’s one that can easily transform the taste of a simple ingredient.
Fresh green beans hold their texture best in a pan, and it’s the best way to get that crisp-but-tender texture out of the veggie and that bright green color we all love.
Can I use Frozen Green Beans?
Using frozen green beans will leave a lot of water from thawing in the pan. And while it can be used, know that the seasonings will be diluted some.
One way to avoid this if you’re using frozen green beans is to thaw them first or remove some of that water from the pan before adding the seasonings and not add any additional water during the cooking process.
What Else to Serve with Green Beans & Chicken
There is always room for more side dishes! Here are some other yummy options to serve:
Garlic Chicken and Green Beans
For the chicken
- 2 chicken breasts, butterflied into 4 pieces
- Salt & pepper, for seasoning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup chopped onion, about 1 small onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped, or ¾ teaspoon dried thyme or poultry seasoning
For the green beans
- 1 lb fresh green beans
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup water
- 1 lemon, divided
- On a flat surface, butterfly the two chicken breasts into 4 thinner pieces. Pat dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil and heat it up.
- Place the chicken breasts in the hot pan and cook, without moving them, for 4 minutes on the first side, then once golden and seared, flip them over and continue cooking for an additional 4 to 5 minutes until the chicken breasts’ internal temperature reaches 165F. Remove from pan onto a plate.
- To the same pan, add the butter and melt it, using the back of a spatula to grease the entire surface. Add the onions and sauté, for 3 minutes, until they turn translucent and golden. Add the garlic, and stir to cook the garlic for about 30 seconds.
- Add the chicken broth to the pan, bringing it to a simmer while stirring the tidbits from the bottom of the pan. Add the thyme, stir to combine, and reduce the heat to medium-low to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the green beans by heating up a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, melt the butter. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add the green beans to the pan, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Stir to distribute. Add the water to the pan and cover it immediately. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, opening up the cover to stir occasionally.
- Once the green beans are ready, remove the lid, squeeze half a lime over the top, stir and turn off the heat.
- In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water and mix until smooth. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan, mix to combine, and add the chicken breasts back to the pan, spoon the sauce over the top and simmer for 2 minutes to heat everything through.
- Serve the chicken with the cooked green beans and lemon wedges from the remaining ½ lemon sliced into wedges.