Chicken With Sage


Chicken with Sage is a simple recipe for Chicken breasts. It’s quick, easy and delicious. I like to serve it over white rice, but you could also use mashed potatoes or egg noodles if you prefer. Sage is a herb that is often used in the Mediterranean and other regions of Europe and North America. And you’ll be awed when you find out the numerous heal benefits of sage

Are you looking for a delicious Thanksgiving or Christmas main dish recipe? This Brown Butter Sage Chicken Thighs may be one of the most tender, juicy, and flavorful chicken thighs recipes ever.

Chicken With Sage

This chicken breast recipe is from Trattoria by Patricia Wells. I’m adding it because it goes very well with the Lemon Risotto recipe that I posted. Moreover, it’s so easy with tons of lemony flavor.

I really am going to stop talking about my stove soon.

But for the first time in my cooking life, I am able to cook chicken on the stove top without it sticking to the pan and destroying all my hopes and dreams, or at least the ones pertainings to poultry, before my very eyes. I have chosen to believe this is less about my failure as a cook, or my unfettered impatience when it comes to turning meat before it’s time, and rather about the failures of my prior stoves to heat things evenly.

Just work with me on this delusion, because it’s leading somewhere.

Although I have often scorned the boneless chicken breast, I saw some that were so lovely at the Bethesda farmers market on Sunday I had to pick them up. This takes us to Chicken Breast with Fresh Sage, which was instantly appealing on several levels. First of all, it’s adapted from a Patricia Wells recipe, which is practically synonymous with guaranteed-simply-divine; it involves sage, one of my favorite herbs and there are few other ingredients to mess with here.

The first thing you will notice is the call for what seems like an excessive number of sage leaves. (Is it just me or has there been a shortage of sage at the markets this year? I noticed this all year in L.A., where it is currently easier to procure medical marijuana some days than furry batches of this herb, and the trend continues in D.C., where I had to settle for one lonely bunch from the herb lady, who seemed genuinely pained by my sage-less sadness yet fobbed the blame on the last sage-hoarding customer.) Don’t worry–if you get a nice big bunch you will have plenty for this recipe.

So once you get your olive oil and butter going, pop your nice chicken breasts in there (hopefully purchased from people who raise really good flavorful birds it does make a difference here) and let them sizzle away. Are you tempted to turn them too early? Please stop that.

Once you have turned the breasts, tuck your sage leaves under and close to (as opposed to the not-quite-specific “around” that the recipe suggest) and keep a watchful eye so that you don’t over cook them. I realize this can be a tricky dance (one of my breasts would not quite finish in the center) so if you have particularly plump meat you may wish to finish this in the oven.

The sauce reduction takes no time and really enhances this dish, a bit of lemony goodness infused will all important butter fat. You can actually skip the last bit of butter if you choose, but then please don’t serve it to me. 

Sautéed Chicken with Sage Browned Butter

  • Total Time
  • 25 Mins
  • Yield
  • 4 servings (serving size: 1 breast half and 1 tablespoon sauce)

The full-bodied flavor of sage browned butter dresses up classic sautéed chicken in this 25-minute supper.


  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 sage sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Fresh sage leaves (optional)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories 326
  • Fat 11.1g
  • Satfat 6.1g
  • Monofat 2.8g
  • Polyfat 0.9g
  • Protein 41.1g
  • Carbohydrate 13.1g
  • Fiber 0.5g
  • Cholesterol 122mg
  • Iron 2mg
  • Sodium 320mg
  • Calcium 26mg

How to Make It

Step 1

Place each breast half between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; coat with cooking spray. Place flour in a shallow dish; dredge chicken in flour. Add chicken to pan; sauté for 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan.

Step 2

Add butter and sage sprigs to pan; cook over medium heat until butter browns. Discard sage. Add shallots and thyme; cook for 30 seconds. Add lemon juice; cook for 30 seconds. Serve with chicken. Garnish with sage leaves, if desired.

Brown Butter Sage Chicken Thighs

Brown butter sage skillet chicken – juicy chicken breasts, rich sage-infused browned butter, white wine, and a squeeze of lemon juice combine in the most delicious 30-minute chicken dinner.

Close-up of a chicken breast cooked in a skillet with sage-infused brown butter.

Call me basic, but the simple skillet chicken dinner is a definite heavy-hitter in our dinner rotation. And this is one chicken recipe we come back to time and again.

I especially love it as the calendar begins turning to fall. Browned butter and sage are amazing any time of year, of course, but something about the warm, heady aroma and flavors are especially appealing with the prospect of leaves changing soon!

And a squeeze of lemon is always a good idea, right?

Prep plate of fresh sage and cut lemon slices.

How to keep chicken breasts juicy

This recipe starts with the same basic concept from my go-to simple lemon thyme chicken, which is also the foundation of this reader-favorite chicken bruschetta with balsamic glaze. Chicken breasts, cut or pounded thin, generously seasoned with salt and pepper and dredged in a light layer of flour before being cooked in a sizzling skillet.

The seasoning and coating locks in flavor and allows the chicken to form a nice little crust, keeping it juicy and moist. After all, there’s nothing worse than a flavorless or dry chicken breast!

Large skillet filled with browned butter sage chicken with lemon slices.

Sauce and sides

After the chicken is cooked, a simple pan sauce is all that stands between you and dinner! As a bonus, the sauce is perfect to drizzle over any sides you might make. Some of my favorites with this would be:

  • orzo or other light pasta
  • arugula or other salad greens
  • roasted broccolini or asparagus
  • cubed and roasted sweet potatoes

And definitely don’t forget a loaf of crusty bread to sop up the rest of the sauce! You won’t want to let a drop of browned butter sage goodness go to waste!

Large skillet filled with browned butter sage chicken with lemon slices.

If you try this brown butter sage chicken or any other recipe on the blog, please remember to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing from you, and other readers will benefit from your experience!

Brown Butter Sage Skillet Chicken

  • prep time: 10 MINS
  • cook time: 20 MINS
  • total time: 30 MINS
  • servings: 4

Simple and delicious, brown butter sage skillet chicken is the ultimate weeknight comfort food.


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – sliced or pounded thin
  • kosher salt
  • freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter – divided
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh sage leaves (a generous handful)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon – use the other half for serving as wedges
  • 1/2 cup white wine or low-sodium chicken broth


  • Season both sides of the chicken breasts generously with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow bowl or plate, then dredge each piece of chicken through it to form a light coating, shaking gently to remove any excess.
  • Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat. When butter melts, add the chicken and saute for 2-3 minutes per side, until cooked through and lightly golden. Remove the chicken to a plate, cover with foil, and set aside. 
  • Add remaining 4 tablespoons butter to the skillet. When butter has melted, add sage leaves. Allow the butter to brown and bubble, about 2-3 minutes, until it begins to give off a warm, nutty aroma. Remove sage to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving butter in the skillet.
  • Add lemon juice and wine or broth to the skillet. Simmer the mixture for 2-3 minutes, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Taste sauce and adjust with more salt and pepper, if desired. When the sauce is slightly thickened, return chicken to the skillet to warm through, then top with sage, garnish with additional lemon wedges, and serve.

Nutrition Estimate

calories: 441kcal, carbohydrates: 2g, protein: 48g, fat: 23g, saturated fat: 12g, cholesterol: 189mg, sodium: 266mg, potassium: 886mg, fiber: 1g, vitamin a: 750iu, vitamin c: 3.5mg, calcium: 63mg, iron: 1.7mg

Health Benefits Of Sage

1. High in Several Nutrients

Sage packs a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals.

One teaspoon (0.7 grams) of ground sage contains

  • Calories: 2
  • Protein: 0.1 grams
  • Carbs: 0.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.1 grams
  • Vitamin K: 10% of the
    reference daily intake (RDI)
  • Iron: 1.1% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 1.1% of the RDI
  • Calcium: 1% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 1% of the RDI

As you can see, a small amount of sage packs 10% of your daily vitamin K needs.

Sage also contains small amounts of magnesium, zinc, copper and vitamins A, C and E.

What’s more, this aromatic spice houses caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, rosmarinic acid, ellagic acid and rutin — all of which play a role in its beneficial health effects

Since it’s consumed in tiny amounts, sage provides only minuscule amounts of carbs, calories, protein and fiber.

Summary Sage is
rich in nutrients — especially vitamin K — despite being low in calories. One
teaspoon (0.7 grams) boasts 10% of your daily vitamin K needs.

2. Loaded With Antioxidants

Antioxidants are molecules that help fortify your body’s defenses, neutralizing potentially harmful free radicals that are linked to chronic diseases

Sage contains over 160 distinct polyphenols, which are plant-based chemical compounds that act as antioxidants in your body

Chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, rosmarinic acid, ellagic acid and rutin — all found in sage — are linked to impressive health benefits, such as a lower risk of cancer and improved brain function and memory

One study found that drinking 1 cup (240 ml) of sage tea twice daily significantly increased antioxidant defenses. It also lowered both total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol, as well as raised “good” HDL cholesterol

Summary Sage is
loaded with antioxidants that are linked to several health benefits, including
improved brain function and lower cancer risk.

3. May Support Oral Health

Sage has antimicrobial effects, which can neutralize microbes that promote dental plaque.

In one study, a sage-based mouthwash was shown to effectively kill the Streptococcus mutans bacteria, which is notorious for causing dental cavities.

In a test-tube study, a sage-based essential oil was shown to kill and halt the spread of Candida albicans, a fungus that may also cause cavities

One review noted that sage may treat throat infections, dental abscesses, infected gums and mouth ulcers. However, more human research is needed to make comprehensive recommendations.

Summary Sage
has antimicrobial properties that may kill microbes that encourage the growth
of dental plaque.

4. May Ease Menopause Symptoms

During menopause, your body experiences a natural decline in the hormone estrogen. This can cause a wide range of unpleasant symptoms.

Symptoms include hot flashes, excessive sweating, vaginal dryness and irritability.

Common sage was traditionally used to reduce menopause symptoms

It’s believed that compounds in sage have estrogen-like properties, allowing them to bind to certain receptors in your brain to help improve memory and treat hot flashes and excessive sweating

In one study, daily use of a sage supplement significantly reduced the number and intensity of hot flashes over eight weeks

Summary Sage
may help reduce the intensity and frequency of menopause symptoms, such as hot
flashes and irritability.

5. May Reduce Blood Sugar Levels

The leaves of common sage have been used traditionally as a remedy against diabetes.

Human and animal research indicates that it may help lower blood sugar levels.

In one study, sage extract reduced blood glucose levels in rats with type 1 diabetes by activating a specific receptor. When this receptor is activated, it can help clear excess free fatty acids in the blood, which in turn improves insulin sensitivity .

Another study in mice with type 2 diabetes found that sage tea acts like metformin — a drug prescribed to manage blood sugar in people with the same disease

In humans, sage leaf extract has been shown to lower blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity with a similar effect as rosiglitazone, another anti-diabetes drug

However, there is still not enough evidence to recommend sage as a diabetes treatment. More human research is needed.

Summary While
sage may lower blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity, more human
research is needed.

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