One-Pan Garlic Butter Chicken with Zucchini and Corn is a simple weeknight meal that uses basic ingredients and takes only 30 minutes. The sliced skinless, boneless chicken breasts are coated with butter, minced garlic, and smoked paprika and pan-seared until golden brown. This restaurant-quality dinner might become your new favorite chicken dinner that both kids and adults will love!
Garlic butter chicken
This delicious and vibrant recipe is packed with veggies, fiber, and protein. All you need are a few basic ingredients to turn plain chicken breasts into something flavorful, colorful, and delicious. Make this easy one-pan, 30-minute garlic butter chicken on busy family weeknights or for special occasions when entertaining guests.
- First, the chicken is pan-seared in olive oil with smoked paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper.
- Then, the cooked chicken breasts and the veggies (zucchini and corn) are combined together in a lime-flavored garlic butter sauce. Both kids and adults will love this simple chicken meal.
- If you're looking for more chicken dinner inspiration made in skillets, try Lemon Garlic Butter Chicken with Brussels Sprouts or a simple Smoked Paprika Chicken with Creamed Spinach.
Chicken with Zucchini and Corn - One-Pan, 30-Minute Dinner
- This recipe is a simple 30-minute, one-skillet dinner that tastes like a meal from a fine dining restaurant!
- There are only 5 basic ingredients (excluding olive oil, butter, and seasonings): chicken, zucchini, corn, lime juice, and fresh cilantro.
- The clean-up is minimal. Only 1 cooking dish (cast-iron skillet) to clean!
- Perfect for meal prep. You can make garlic butter chicken ahead, refrigerate it or freeze it for the future.
- This easy dinner can be prepared on a busy weeknight or for a special occasion (parties, picnics, potlucks, and other festive events). Your family and friends will love it!
Why make it
- Garlic butter chicken is high in protein, rich in fiber, and gluten-free. It is a well-balanced meal that combines protein (chicken) with veggies and carbs (zucchini and corn).
- It's quick and easy comfort food that comes together in just 30 minutes and looks fancy on a plate - perfect for an everyday dinner and also for entertaining company.
What type of chicken to use?
- Skinless and boneless chicken breasts are what I used. They do tend to dry out faster, so be sure to watch your cooking times closely, ensuring that the chicken is cooked all the way through quickly, without drying out. The addition of garlic butter sauce and veggies to plain chicken breasts certainly elevates them.
- Skinless and boneless chicken thighs are your next best choice! They are juicy and tender and are usually quite forgiving to cook.
- Chicken tenders are also a perfect choice for this recipe. They are already sliced, so that saves you time. Make sure to avoid overcooking as chicken tenders cook fast.
- Can you use bone-in chicken? I do not recommend it as it takes much longer to cook. And, this recipe works best with chicken strips, so skinless, boneless chicken works the best.
What kind of veggies to use?
Corn and zucchini are a wonderful combination, but the beauty of this recipe is that it is super flexible and adjustable to what you have available. You can use roasted asparagus, green beans, broccoli, bell peppers, or mushrooms.
The Directions - How to sear garlic butter chicken
Below are step-by-step photos and general instructions for how to make garlic butter chicken. A more detailed recipe is provided in the recipe card below.
1) First, you will slice the zucchini and sear it with olive oil in a cast-iron skillet.
2) Then, you will remove cooked sliced zucchini from the skillet to a plate.
3) Next, prepare the chicken. Slice skinless, boneless chicken breasts into thinner strips.
4) Season the sliced chicken with salt, freshly ground black pepper, smoked paprika, and chili powder.
5) Next, you will cook the seasoned chicken in the same cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
6) You will cook the chicken on medium heat on one side for 5 minutes, without moving it around. This allows the chicken to get seared and acquire a nice color.
7) After the chicken is cooked for about 5 minutes, lower the heat to low-medium, flip the chicken over, add minced garlic, freshly squeezed lime juice, and butter. Cook for another 2 minutes or more until the chicken is completely cooked through.
8) Finally, add cooked corn kernels and cooked zucchini. Add more butter. Stir everything together on low heat.
- Use either lime juice or lemon juice. The most important thing is that it's freshly squeezed.
- Fresh herbs. Be sure to add fresh herbs - I used fresh cilantro here. You can also use fresh basil leaves or fresh thyme.
- Add cheese if you like. Sprinkle the garlic butter chicken with crumbled Feta cheese, Cotija, or grated Parmesan cheese.
- Spice. Add some heat by sprinkling red pepper flakes over the ingredients.
- Add-ins. Serve garlic butter chicken with zucchini and corn over pasta to make it a complete meal. You can also add rice, orzo, couscous, or quinoa.
- Fresh corn on the cob is the best option, of course. The fastest way to cook fresh corn is to boil it, remove it from the water, let it cool, then slice off the corn kernels. 3 ears of corn on the cob produce about 1.5 cups of cooked corn kernels.
- Frozen corn is a solution for when fresh corn is out of season or when you can't find fresh corn.
- Canned corn is also an option, however, the freshly cooked corn tastes the best!
What to serve with it
Garlic butter chicken is already a complete meal all on its own since it's made with carbs and veggies (corn and zucchini). If you would like to add more carbs to it, serve it over pasta. Or, pair it with rice, mashed potatoes, cauliflower rice, or quinoa.
Or, serve this simple chicken dinner with a refreshing salad, such as one of these:
- Arugula Salad with Lemon Zest, Parmesan, Pine Nuts, and Balsamic Dressing
- Avocado Corn Tomato Salad with Creamy Cilantro-Lime Dressing
- Corn Pasta Salad with Bacon and Creamy Pesto Dressing
How to store and reheat it
Garlic butter chicken is a great recipe to make ahead and reheat later. It stores well, is refrigerated well, and is great for freezing. Here are some tips:
- Fridge. Store it refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- Freezer. Freeze this in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
- Reheat in the microwave oven in 30 seconds increments until reheated through.
- How to reheat. To reheat on the stovetop, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over low-medium heat, add the chicken with zucchini and corn, and reheat, occasionally stirring, for about 5 minutes or until everything is heated through.
Other chicken and vegetable skillet recipes
If you enjoyed garlic butter chicken with zucchini and corn made in a skillet, you might like other chicken and veggies skillet recipes. Try these next:
- Lemon Garlic Butter Chicken with Brussels Sprouts
- Maple Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
- One-Pan Basil Pesto Chicken and Veggies (Asparagus and Tomatoes)
Garlic Butter Chicken with Zucchini and Corn - One-Pan, 30-Minute Meal
Garlic Butter Chicken
- ½ cup fresh cilantro chopped
Prepare the veggies
- Heat an empty large, high-sided cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Add olive oil and sliced zucchini. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes on medium heat. Flip the veggies once. Remove cooked zucchini to a plate.
How to make Garlic Butter Chicken
- Slice the chicken breasts into strips. Season the chicken with smoked paprika, chili powder, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat in the same, now empty, cast-iron skillet. Add the chicken in one layer and cook, undisturbed, for about 4 minutes.
- Flip the chicken strips over, add minced garlic, and cook for 2 more minutes. Lower the heat to low, add freshly squeezed lime juice, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook for another 2 minutes or more, frequently stirring, until the chicken is cooked through but not overcooked and the garlic has softened.
- Add cooked sliced zucchini and cooked corn kernels to the same skillet with cooked chicken.
- Add 2 remaining tablespoons of butter and melt it on low heat, stirring it together with the veggies. Do it rather quickly, for a couple of minutes, just until the butter melts and the garlic butter sauce coats both the chicken and the zucchini and corn evenly. Remove from heat.
- Stir in half of the chopped fresh cilantro. Season with more salt, smoked paprika, and chili powder, if desired. Add more freshly squeezed lime juice, if desired.
- When serving, top with the remaining half of chopped fresh cilantro. Sprinkle a small amount of chili powder over corn and chicken, for presentation purposes, if desired.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.