Gimme Some Oven

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:

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 check out our tutorials for how to bake other meats, seafood and tofu too!

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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.


Ingredients

Scale

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 double-check the maximum temperature of your baking dish for this recipe. Glass dishes (such as Pyrex) usually have a maximum recommended temperature of 425°F, so we do not recommend using a glass dish for this recipe. You can also just as easily cook this recipe on a metal baking sheet.

How To Bake Chicken Breasts

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Recipe rating

3,039 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

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  1. OMG, I thought I don’t like chicken breast! This recipe changed my mind! Followed the recipe to a tee, and it turned out fantastic, thank you for sharing your recipe. You are completely right, brining is the key.

  2. I have made this chicken breast dish over a 100 times and it is ALWAYS a HIT with everyone I make it for. They can’t believe how juicy and moist the breast are. Thank you for this recipe.

  3. Really!!!
    use alright if you like it and don’t care that it’s not the favored form. There’s nothing essentially wrong with it.

  4. Ali, we’ve probably used this recipe a hundred times now, so I realized I’m long overdue for leaving a comment. We obviously think it’s the best! :)

  5. Don’t cook until temperature is 165 as it will be over done because it keeps cooking after you take it out. I pull it out at least 5 degrees before recommended temperature.

  6. Delicious!! I just fixed this for my family, and everyone loved it! The chicken is tender, juicy, and so flavorful.

  7. It was delicious!!! I baked at 425 degrees, 30 minutes. Used Montreal chicken seasoning. It was so so good!!

  8. Simple, easy and delicious. This was a big hit for dinner served with rice and green beans. My only question was why photograph the chicken breasts in a pan that is only safe to 400 degrees and have a link to the pan when the note reads to be careful since some pans can’t take the 450 degrees the breasts are cooked at?

  9. Sorry to say the chicken was way to salty. I’m not used to using kosher salt, but followed the recipes measurements exactly as it said. I did leave it in the brine for 30 minutes . None of us could eat it.

    • Agree with you! I gave it another try and did brine as instructed, but did not include salt with the paprika, garlic powder seasoning. I also used unsalted butter. It turned out great and was very moist without being salty tasting.

  10. This was so easy to prepare and I am sure I will be making these for get-togethers many times in the future. I will let you know how they came out and I plan on checking out a lot more of your recipes. Thank you!!! and please visit us: https://www.beckandbulow.com

  11. Made these tonight for a last minute dinner. Wasn’t expecting much as chicken usually tastes really dry when I bake it. Served it with some rice pilaf and my husband raved about it! This is a keeper!

  12. If I don’t have kosher salt, can I just use regular salt? Really looking forward to trying this recipe out!

  13. I loved the recipe and cooking method. It really helped me learn how to cook chicken. It came out great and is delicious. You helped me gain confidence in the kitchen.

  14. Adding to the million comments here already to say…we love it too!!! Everyone needs to have this recipe. :)

  15. This recipe is spot on. Brining is the key. The chicken breast were moist and tender.

  16. Wow, this turned out really good! Juicy and flavorful, and it was my first time brining chicken. Definitely keeping this recipe. Thanks!

  17. Delicious

  18. Not sure what’s wrong with my oven but it took an hour to cook to temperature. I had it on 450. That’s not the recipes fault at all though. The chicken was awesome.

  19. This recipe never lets us down. Thanks, Ali!

  20. It was delicious!! My family absolutely loved it and rated this as the juiciest and best chicken ever. Although I didn’t use 450 degrees. I baked it for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. I soaked it in the brine for almost one hour, and added a little black pepper and garlic powder. And then followed the recipe – washed the chicken, dried it, and rubbed it with olive oil. Seasoned it with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika (increased the amounts for one tsp of each). I baked 3 large boneless skinless breasts (total 2.85 lbs). Will definitely do it again.

  21. We need to talk about this…. It was superb!!

  22. Wow, I’m impressed with how moist this actually did turn out! The reviews don’t lie.

  23. This is the best baked chicken recipe I ever tried! Soaking the chicken breasts in brine (salt and water mixture) was the best way to prep the chicken. It came out so moist and tasty. 5 stars flavor quality. So easy to do.

  24. I found this recipe this week and tonight was already the second time making it. I have never had chicken breast turn out so moist and perfectly cooked!! My daughter loved it as well. Thank you!!

  25. Great recipe! It is delicious. However, I recommend to NOT use the broiler if cooking it in a glass baking dish. Based on what I’ve read, it could break… or explode.

  26. LOVED it!!!! I can’t believe one of the comments said it was too salty🙄. They apparently didn’t do something right. Or the old saying you can’t please everyone definitely is TRUE. It almost seemed it was from a great restaurant! Will definitely keep this recipe. So thankful for this shared recipe. 🥰

  27. These chicken breasts were the best! Easy peasy and so juicy, tender and delicious. I’m putting this dish on weekly repeat!

  28. First time doing this… So easy and wicked good!!! I didn’t know what kind of salt to use considering I have regular salt . But very delicious!! Would make again for sure!

  29. Best baked chicken I’ve ever made!

  30. I never comment on anything unless I just seriously have to. Since finding this exact method…it’s my go to EVERYTIME! I always knew and was always lazy but once I saw basically my usual recipe but with the brine step! Perfection everytime..I always re look when I’m making it but it’s imprinted in my memory for sure. At least a solid year this is the go to breast method for me. The LETTING OT SIT IS CRUCIAL! Everything you wrote was in my language and said to the point and that’s how I prefer things. If anyone can follow a recipe… this is super stranger/friend easy to follow and then also Just remember. Thanks so much 😎

  31. Thank you for the recipe. It’s good for new cooks to know the basics. It’s a great starting point for meal prepping. I do want to mention that the baking dish you recommend, and provided a shopping link to, has a max baking temp to 400 degrees. Probably not a good idea to recommend bakeware that isn’t suitable for the recipe. Some novice cook could get injured.

  32. Seriously brining has changed my life. I never heard of this before and now this is the only way I prep my chicken. My 15 year old was not a fan of chicken breasts before because he always felt they were not juicy enough, but not anymore. Brining – what a game changer! Always come out juicy (as long as they are not over cooked). Thank you for sharing this method.

  33. Awesome! Not only is it easy to prepare, but it’s delicious. It was full of flavor and cooked perfectly. I will definitely be keeping this recipe.