Baked Chicken Breasts

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My all-time favorite oven baked chicken breasts recipe!  It never fails me, thanks to this simple 5-step method that is easy to make and customize with your favorite seasonings.

Perfect Oven Baked Chicken Breast

A few weeks ago on Insta, I asked if you all might be interested in a back-to-basics series about the best ways to bake proteins (i.e. chicken, pork, steak, seafood, tofu, etc.) in the oven.  And your answer?  A resounding yes please.  Tons of you had requests and questions about methods for cooking various proteins, plus more than a few tales to tell about proteins gone not-so-right over the years.  And oh boy, I hear ya.  My little kitchen has seen more than its share of overcooked steaks, completely dried out pork chops, salmon skin glued to pans, and not-so-crispy tofu over the years too.  Which are never fun, especially since proteins can be pricey and intended for special occasions.  But hey, it’s all part of the adventure of learning how to cook.  And eventually, I’ve trial-and-errored my way to some basic methods for baking proteins that have become super-reliable, super-delicious staples in my kitchen.

So over the next two weeks, I thought we could work our way through each of them, beginning today with the #1 most requested protein here on Gimme Some Oven…

…chicken.

Specifically, boneless skinless chicken breasts.

Over the years, I’ve received countless requests for new chicken breast recipes, and many more for tips on how to bake chicken breasts in the oven.  Because anyone who worked with chicken breasts before know that they can be incredibly versatile, yet also incredibly finicky to work with, especially when baked in the oven.  Cook them the wrong way and you’ll end up with a dry, rubbery, tough, and flavorless disaster.  But cooked the right way?!  We’re talkin’ juicy, tender, flavorful, perfectly baked chicken breasts that you will love.

The good news is that they’re also totally easy to customize with your favorite seasonings or sauces.  And also, incredibly easy to make with my 5-step baked chicken breasts method.  Thousands of our readers have tried it over the years and reported back that this method was a game-changer with cooking chicken.  So if you have yet to give it a try, let’s bake some chicken together!

Baked Chicken Breasts Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Baked Chicken Breast Ingredients:

To make this baked chicken breasts recipe, you will need:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts: You can either purchased fresh (my preference) or frozen (which you will need to completely thaw before using).  Some chicken also comes pre-brined nowadays, in which case you can skip step one below.
  • Butter or olive oil: Your pick!  I like the extra flavor of butter, but olive oil will also work well.
  • Kosher Salt: An essential ingredient in our brine, and also to season the chicken.
  • Seasonings: I included an all-purpose blend of smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and black pepper in the recipe below, which is super-simple and goes with just about anything.  But feel free to sub in any dry seasoning blend that you prefer.

Also, if you make baked chicken (or any other kind of baked proteins) regularly in the oven, I one million percent recommend having a cooking thermometer on hand too.  It is quite simply the most foolproof way to ensure that your chicken is not over- or under-cooked, and works like a charm.  I recommend either this:

  • Instant-read cooking thermometer (pictured below): which I have owned and used for years when cooking chicken, which retails for about $9.99 on Amazon.
  • Dual-probe wireless meat thermometer: which I also own and love because it can be used inside of a hot oven (especially helpful for baking steak, salmon and pork), which retails for about $24.99 on Amazon.
Baked Chicken Breast Recipe

My original photo for this recipe (2015).

How To Bake Chicken Breasts:

Alright, so here’s the secret!  To make perfectly baked chicken bbrrreasts, you simply need to follow this 5-step acroymn: B.B.R.R.R.

  1. Brine
  2. Brush
  3. Rub
  4. Roast
  5. Rest

Step 1: Brine

I’m telling you — this step is an absolute must for anytime you want to bake chicken breasts in the oven.  Brining chicken is super-easy, it makes your chicken extra juicy, and best of all, it can be effectively done in just 15 minutes.  Plus, if you brine chicken in lukewarm water, it also helps bring the chicken to room temperature, which makes for more even cooking.  Win-win!

To brine chicken, simply fill a big bowl with lukewarm (not hot) water.  Stir in a handful of salt until it mostly dissolves.  Then add your chicken breasts and let them sit in the saltwater to brine for at least 15 minutes.  If you are doing this in advance, you can cover and refrigerate the bowl of chicken and saltwater for up to 6 hours.  But you don’t want to let the chicken brine for much longer than that.

When you’re ready to go, remove the chicken from the brine.  Give it a good rinse it with cold water to wash off the salt, and then pat it dry with some paper towels.  And voila — your chicken is officially brined.

Really, don’t skip over this step!  It makes a world of difference.

Note: That said, some store-bought chicken breasts are now sold pre-brined.  So double-check your packaging beforehand.  And if your chicken has already been pre-brined in a sodium solution, just move onto step two.  :)

Step 2: Brush

…your chicken breasts with melted butter.  Or at least, I highly recommend using butter.  It adds great flavor and helps give a nice golden crust on the outside.  But if you’d rather use olive oil (or another favorite cooking oil), feel free.

Brush the breasts liberally on both sides to prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan, and also to help the seasonings stick.  Then place the chicken breasts in a large baking dish or roasting pan.

Step 3: Rub

If you’re really wanting to keep things simple, you can simply sprinkle some salt and pepper onto the chicken breasts.  But again, chicken will pick up the flavor of whatever seasonings you add.  So even if you’re making a simple dish that calls for “plain” chicken breasts, I highly recommend the simple chicken seasoning recipe I have included below that includes salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika.

Step 4: Roast

So this is the step that causes some squabbles amongst chicken lovers — how long to bake chicken breasts?  And what is the correct temperature to bake chicken?  Do you bake it low and slow (as in, 30 minutes at 350°F)?  Or do you roast chicken high and quick (as in, 15 minutes at 450)?  I have tested out both — and just about every interval in between — dozens upon dozens upon dozens of times.  And in the end, I fall firmly in the latter camp when it comes to baked chicken.

I like to roast my chicken breasts on high heat. 🔥

Depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts, roasting chicken at 450°F should require a cooking time of about 15-18 minutes (depending on the thickness/size of your chicken breasts).  It’s speedy and it’s easy.  But mostly I love it because cooking at high heat quickly develops a nice crispier “crust” on the outside of the breasts, which also helps to lock in those juices and keep the oven roasted chicken perfectly tender on the inside.  It’s the best of both worlds.

I highly recommend investing in a small cooking thermometer to measure the cooked chicken temp in order to tell if it is ready to go (the FDA says that the safe cooked chicken temp is 165°F), versus cutting into it with a fork, which lets those good juices seep out.  I use this instant-read thermometer (affiliate link) that I bought on Amazon for $10, and it will accurately measure your internal chicken temperature in seconds.

Step 5: Rest

This one is a non-negotiable.  You must, must let your beautifully baked chicken breasts rest before cutting into them — a tip which applies to cooking any meat, really.  If you cut in right away, you will lose all of the amazing juices and some of the tenderness that we’re going for.  But if you give your freshly baked chicken breasts a brief rest, it will finish cooking and lock in all of those delicious juices, resulting in the most tender and juicy and delicious baked chicken.

I recommend loosely tenting a sheet of aluminum foil over the pan to keep the heat in while the chicken rests.  And then after 5-10 minutes, you can finally serve and enjoy your perfectly-cooked chicken breasts.

And enjoy every last bite. 

How To Brine Chicken to make Baked Chicken Breasts

Baked Chicken Seasoning Recipe

Oven Baked Chicken Breast Recipe

How To Season Baked Chicken Breasts:

Again, I’m a big fan of the classic paprika-garlic-pepper mix in the recipe below.  But if you’d like to mix things up, feel free to sub in any of your favorite dry seasoning mixes, such as:

And of course, feel free to also toss the chicken breasts with your favorite sauces (once they have been baked).  Or try out any one of these 5 easy chicken marinades.  Chicken is an incredibly versatile protein flavor-wise, and can be seasoned just about however you please.

How To Make Baked Chicken Breasts Recipe

How To Use/Serve Baked Chicken Breasts:

The easiest way, of course, is just to serve these roasted chicken breasts fresh outta the oven.  But feel free to also slice, shred, or dice these oven baked chicken breasts for use in another recipe, such as these faves:

How To Store/Freeze Baked Chicken Breasts:

Once the chicken has been baked, it can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Or you can freeze it for up to 3 months.  (<– I recommend shredding, dicing or slicing the chicken before freezing for easier use.)

Perfectly Juicy Oven Baked Chicken Breast Recipe

Side Dish Recipe Ideas:

Looking for some side dishes to serve with this baked chicken recipe?  Here are a few of my faves:

Baked Chicken Breast with Roasted Asparagus

More Baked Protein Tutorials:

Be sure to also check out our tutorials for how to bake other meats, seafood and tofu here.  (More coming soon!)

Enjoy, everyone!

This post contains affiliate links.

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Baked Chicken Breast Recipe

Baked Chicken Breasts

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

Learn how to make juicy, tender, delicious baked chicken breasts with this simple 5-step method.


Scale

Ingredients

Baked Chicken Breast Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness and brined in saltwater (*see easy instructions below)
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (I prefer smoked paprika)

Instructions

  1. Brine the chicken. To brine your chicken breasts, fill a large bowl with 1 quart of warm water and 1/4 cup kosher salt.  Stir to combine until most of the salt is absorbed.  Add the chicken breasts and let them sit in the mixture to brine for 15 minutes.  Or you can also also cover the bowl and refrigerate for up to 6 hours.  Remove the chicken breasts from the brine, rinse them with cold water, then pat them dry with some paper towels.  (However, if the chicken breasts you purchased have already been pre-brined in a sodium solution, skip this step.)
  2. Heat the oven. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  3. Season the chicken. Place the chicken breasts in a single layer in a large baking dish*.  Brush on both sides (turning once) evenly with the melted butter or olive oil.  In a separate small bowl, whisk the salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika until combined.  Then sprinkle the mixture evenly over the chicken on both sides.
  4. Bake. Bake for 15-18* minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.  Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken breasts, so I recommend using a cooking thermometer to know exactly when it is fully cooked.  The thickest part of the breast, it should be 165°F.  (Or, if you want the chicken to be a little bit browned and crispier on top, you can turn the broiler on high for the final 3-5 minutes and broil the chicken until it is cooked through and golden on top.  Keep a close eye on the chicken so that it does not overcook and/or burn.)
  5. Rest the chicken. Once the chicken is cooked, remove the pan from the oven, transfer the chicken to a clean plate, and loosely tent the plate with aluminum foil.  Let the chicken rest for at least 5-10 minutes.
  6. Serve. Serve warm.  Or, refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.


Notes

Baking Dish: Please note that I do not recommend using a glass baking dish for this recipe (such as Pyrex).  Instead, I recommend using a metal or ceramic (porcelain) heat-safe baking dish.  Or if you do not have a 9×13-inch dish, you can also use a rimmed metal baking sheet instead.

How To Bake Chicken Breasts

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2,772 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

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  1. Very good! So simple and delicious. I like the recipe so much! Thank you!
    From Jacks!.

  2. An absolute game changer to brine before you bake. The chicken came out moist and very flavorful.

  3. As usual even when I follow this recipe word for word, when I take the chicken out of the oven it’s watery and rubbery looking. Not crispy. The liquid pools around the base of the breasts.

  4. I loved it and so did my family.

  5. I used about 1/8 cup kosher salt for brine and soaked chicken for 45 minutes. Very juicy and I will use this recipe from now on. Thanks!

  6. Baked chicken breast looks so yummy. I’ve tried to make this for my family, and my family is really love it. I will introduce your recipe for my friends. Thank you so much. I love it.

  7. Made this recipe today. First time ever that we ate a baked chicken fillet that’s so tender and tasty! I sided it with oven sweet potato “fries” and it was amazing! Best baked chicken fillet recipe ever!

  8. Loved it, thank you.

  9. This will be my “go to” chicken breast recipe from now on. I have never had my chicken breasts come out as juicy as they did using your recipe. Delicious! Thank you!

    • I have had a problem enjoying chicken breasts because they always seem to dry out. The brining process is so essential but I didn’t think it would take so short of time. YUM YUM YUM.

  10. Super easy and so delicious with everyday pantry staples. The brining makes such a difference, as it gave them so much more flavor and they were so very juicy. Will definetly make them again.

  11. The meat itself did not brown in my electric oven, only the rub. However, the chicken was thoroughly cooked. I even put it under the broiler for 5 minutes. Chicken is still pale.

  12. Can you use this for thighs?

  13. Absolutely the best recipe ever. So thrilled to have found this. Thank you

  14. That’s so great!!! Your share is very awesome. Every day, I have to think what meals should I cook for my family. Now, your share can help me for that. Thank you for sharing. I love it so much.

  15. Fantastic- So easy to follow, brining the chicken for just 15 minutes worked wonders. The fillets I was cooking with were very large so they wound up needing about 23 minutes, but the meat thermometer was a lifesaver, telling me to keep cooking and once they reached the recommended temperature they were perfect. I always follow the recipe exactly for the first time then make changes, but this time I don’t think I’ll change a thing. Delicious!

  16. The only regret I have about this recipe is that I didn’t find it sooner. Made it tonight, and will only make chicken this way from now on! Look forward to customizing the seasoning, but this mix will probably be better than what I put together!

  17. I can not believe how juicy and flavorful this chicken was. I forgot to rub the spices in but it does not seen to be a problem. Best baked chicken I have ever had!!! I only did 2 breasts but plan to do the other 2 immediately.

    Thank you so much!

  18. Best recipe ever!!!

  19. I’ll never mind eating a chicken breast again. Ordinarily the are dry and overcooked. These were so tender and juicy. I didn’t see the note about not using a glass pan until it was too late, but it didn’t seem to matter – don’t know the reason for that recommendation. I did reduce the temp to 425. My chicken breasts were quite large, so baking time was longer – I had to add 5 minutes 2 or 3 times, just checking each time for the internal temp. Will definitely make this again.

  20. I love this recipe. I have made it several times and have used the cajun seasoning on it, but I plan to try the others. I am eating more chicken since I found this recipe!!

  21. This was excellent! Very easy and so tasty. I will use this recipe from now on. My husband is not crazy about chicken breasts and he raved about these. Thank you!!

  22. I’ve used this several times now and have got in the habit of brining all my meat since it turns out so tender and moist.

  23. Why not a pyrex dish? Can I use a disposable aluminum pan instead?

  24. With a recent health kick, I was looking for a chicken breast recipe that would be easy to make, and came across this one. After reading through the recipe, I couldn’t help being a bit skeptical, given how easy it sounded. I ended up trying it almost exactly as written, the changes being that I didn’t pound the chicken, and I used an aluminum sheet pan lined with foil rather than going with the baking dish. I was extremely surprised, the results came out phenomenal.

    The first time I tried this, I used the spice mix that was suggested (salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika), and though flavorful, it was slightly salty. So, if I try it again, I would decrease the salt slightly while adding more of the other three spices. I also didn’t set an exact time, since I felt the chicken breasts I was using were fairly thick and big, but I ended up overcooking them slightly, I think it reached between 175-180 degrees F after almost 25 minutes, though still quite juicy.

    The second time, I tried using McCormick’s Montreal Chicken seasoning, and was more careful with the time, aiming to get as close to 165 degrees F as possible (end result was between 165 to 170 after 23 minutes, but that was removing it twice from the oven to poke for a temperature reading), this one came out phenomenal. The spice mix was really delicious, and the chicken was surprisingly juicy.

    Thanks for the wonderfully simple and delicious recipe!

  25. I made these the other night. They were fantastic! Thank you.

  26. I have made this chicken once before and did a great job, because it was fantastic!!!!! i am making it again for New Years!

  27. Thank you! This recipe was so mosit and delicious! I will always use the BBRRR method now!

  28. This recipe never lets us down!

  29. I’ve made this recipe a bunch of times and loved it but tonight it came out weird and I was wondering if anyone could troubleshoot. I made a change near the end of the cooking but it doesn’t seem to me like it should have made as much of a difference.

    I brined for 30 minutes, and then buttered and lightly seasoned. Baked for 12 minutes, then took it out and dipped it in a teriyaki sauce, and put it back in. Cooked to the right temp, took it out and rested the chicken, thickened more sauce in the pan.

    It looked great and tasted ok, but the texture was wildly off. It felt oddly raw, or rubbery. One of my kids said “spongy.” I can’t imagine that the quick saucing during cooking would cause the problem. Any ideas?

    Thanks!

    • This happens when my husband grills chicken breasts and consistently brushes the meat with bbq sauce. The chicken stays moist but spongey is the exact word I use. I wonder if it has something to do with using the sauce during late-stage cooking? I don’t know 🤷🏼‍♀️

  30. THIS IS THE JUCIEST CHICKEN EVERR. I’m only ever using this recipe to bake my chicken. I did add cayenne because I love me some spice. I also added 3 minutes since my thermometer was reading 145-150 at 18 minutes. Turned out amazing 🤩 thank you.

  31. Question-why not a glass baking dish?

  32. Excellent recipe and agree with the 450F cooking method. Breasts came out amazingly tender. But 1 teaspoon salt (especially after brining) is too much and would instead use 1/2 teaspoon max. Mine came out too salty.

  33. I STRUGGLE cooking chicken and had resigned to let my husband cook all chicken. Tried this recipe and WOW!!! Simple and delicious! Is there a better combo? Hubs agreed that it was great, said it was the best chicken I’ve ever made.

  34. Absolutely scrumptious! The most juicy & tender chicken breasts I have ever eaten! 5 star rating plus 👍 I am cooking this delicious meal tonight with yellow rice, yum, yum 😋 I am so looking forward to dinner 😊 Enjoy people this recipe is a winner!!

  35. This was absolutely amazing. Best baked chicken I’ve ever made. My picky children even loved it. Loved the flavor and how juicy it was.

  36. Fool proof. Takes a bit longer in my oven, but it the chicken comes out moist and delicious every time. Love this recipe.

  37. This was the best chicken breasts ever that my fussy family really enjoyed! Thank you

  38. Holy cow! So delicious and easy! We just used salt, pepper and a little garlic powder to season (since I didn’t have paprika🤦‍♀️) and it came out amazing.

    Thanks SO much for this! You just changed my chicken game!

  39. Wow! I’m a guy, 61 yo, who hasn’t tried cooking for myself very much except breakfast food and grilling meats. I tried this recipe of yours and it was fantastic. Reminded me of my wife’s good cooking. I followed it to the letter, but it took 30 mins at 470 to get up to 160 degrees. I did a naked potato at same time with package chicken gravy and side salad. I’m so proud of myself right now. Thank you so much ❤️.

  40. Best boneless chicken breast recipe I’ve ever used

  41. This method works every single time. 👏 I never cook my chicken any other way now!

  42. This recipe is excellent! I don’t often comment about recipes but, this one’s a keeper. Easy and delicious!!

  43. This recipe is just the BEST!

  44. I’ve been making boneless skinless chicken thighs for awhile as my go-to, because they aren’t as finicky as breasts. The store only had breast fillets, so I searched for a recipe and found this one. I’ve never brined anything before, but this was super easy, fast and TASTY! Cooked up beautifully in my Breville compact oven. Will definitely be going back to this recipe often. Thanks for sharing it!

  45. I have made this recipe at least once a week since i first tried it!
    Keep em coming

  46. I was a little hesitant to try this. I don’t have much luck with chicken breast coming out tender or flavorful. My fiance and I loved it. It came out so good. I can’t wait for the next recipe. Thank you!

  47. Absolutely delicious. Made this exactly as the recipe calls for, using butter. Even my extremely picky 91 year old mom loved it. Called it a winner and to make chicken like this from now on!

  48. The whole family LOVED it!