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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2,444 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

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  1. just made this recipe , my mother and I loved it , it was so easy but delicious , definitely recommend if you want to make something quick but fancy!

  2. I generally cook thighs, as breasts are too dry. This was perfection.

  3. I don’t usually leave comments, but I just had to say thank you. I made these last night and they came out tender and juicy. Being able to have a consistent way to make chicken breasts tasty is a good skill to have and thank you for sharing it!

  4. You nailed this! The quality of the finished chicken rivals any restaurant entree. I am truly surprised!
    Thank you : )

  5. Where is the basic rub recipe? You said “ see below” but it isn’t anywhere in this article

  6. It took twice as long to cook the chicken breasts as the directions said to reach the temperature. Is that possible?

    • I had the same problem, they’ve been in there over a half hour now. Still pink inside and thermometer only reaching 140! Granted my oven was on 425 instead of 450 because I also had a side dish in there with them. But that can’t make that much of a difference can it?

  7. I tried this recipe and found it to be my new recipe for baked chicken breast. Thank you.

    • Consider the weight, the fat content, skin or no skin, where in the oven it is placed, how often you open the door, how long you leave door open and loose heat that takes time to come back to the proper temp in oven. Never trust the temp gauge on oven. Always use a seperate thermometer you can leave in oven. All this can affect the time it takes to cook any food.

  8. I just saw this recipe and will run right out and buy the ingredients and make the scalloped potatoes and deviled eggs. Hope our stores have some more potatoes with all the frenzy out there with this virus.
    Keep the recipes coming, they all sound like the way I like to cook.
    Thank you.

  9. This is amazing! I also had to cook my chicken quite a bit longer. I made this for the Chicken Enchilada Casserole, but I will make it again to serve as is. Soooo Very Good. Thanks

  10. Tried this just now. Cooked two chicken breasts. I cooked at 450 for 16 1/2 minutes. I had never cooked at that temp before. I was one of those at 350 for 30 minutes. I won’t be doing that anymore. This is sooo good.

  11. This way is definitely the best way to make chicken aside from grilling, but it always takes around 40 minutes.

  12. YUM! Tried this simple, healthy recipe with my picky fam & they enjoyed it! Thank youuuuuuuuu! :-)

  13. A person’s success does not depend on his wisdom, but perseverance

  14. A wonderful recipe. Cooked perfectly and received raves on the taste. Thank you.

  15. This was the most perfect chicken I’ve ever cooked! My boyfriend described it as “inspiring” :) Thanks you, this will be a staple in our home from now on.

  16. I am about to try this recipe, because my husband bought enough chicken for a family of 11 (and it’s just him & myself, and he is a vegetarian! … which leaves me). However, I haven’t been able to find the link to the 1-minute video. Is it on this page?

  17. The best, juiciest, tender, most tast chicken breast I have eaten. I used olive oil rather than butter!

  18. I make this almost every week for my family. They are hard to please but they love it! Thank you for posting!!!

  19. Followed recipe to the letter but no crispy skin. That was disappointing as I love crispy skin! It was juicy though!

  20. Great recipe! I didn’t read the Pyrex note until after I cooked the chicken and it still turned out awesome. Just wondering why you don’t recommend it.

  21. Hi! Tried it today and it was a hit since my oven is not electric I gave them 28 minutes in the oven and ten in the broiler to give them a bit more color, they were juicy and delicious. This is my new recipe for chicken breasts.

  22. My whole family loved this recipe! The flavor was so good and the chicken was also very tender! One of my sons compared it to the chicken at The Dixie Stampede! This will be my go to chicken recipe! I didn’t think that chicken breast could be this juicy and tender! I followed the recipe and I did use butter instead of olive oil. I seriously think that it’s the best that I’ve ever had!

  23. Thank you SO much for this method of baking chicken breasts. It was ONLY one I found online that was an absolute success!

  24. Even with my crazy oven the recipe worked. 450 degrees 15 – 17 min 160F internal temp + carry over cook time and they were perfect. Thanks Ali!

  25. My husband never liked chicken breast meat until I came across your recipe. Now every time I thaw out breasts he requests I bake them this way. Thank you for giving us ‘some oven’!! I use the probe that plugs into our oven and they come out perfect every time. And its so versatile that I can make lots of recipes using the meat.

  26. Excellent! Make this every week now. I go to the butcher for my chicken breast, because they are the perfect size, they only bake for 15 minutes. The supermarket chicken breast are larger, so you have to bound them and they are still thicker, so they take longer in the oven.

  27. Best baked chicken breast I have ever had.moist and not dry at all.will definately make over and over again.

  28. Don’t have garlic powder so I chopped garlic and put it in the melted butter. It’s in the oven, fingers crossed. If it works well, I’ll call it garlic spread chicken breasts.

  29. This is the best way to cook chicken breasts. We’ve done it twice now with our whole Costco pack of chicken breasts, then freeze. They are still juicy after reheating, flavourful enough to eat on their own but not too much to not be able to easily add to a stir-fry, salad, or whatever you’re having!

  30. Can I make this on a cookie sheet with aluminum foil?

  31. Awesome! I followed recipe to the letter. The chicken was moist and delicious.

  32. While I like to eat chicken, I often end up cooking it too long and it dries out. I made this recipe tonight and loved it! I followed the instructions exactly, but because I had a very large chicken breast, I ended up having it cook for 24 minutes and then tented it for 10 minutes (mainly because my husband was late coming home). I sliced it into long strips and was able to fork cut on my plate because they were so tender. Thank you!

  33. Thank you so much, for the 5 steps, I will never have dried out chicken again! Tonight was my second time using this recipe and it came out great again. I will be exploring more of your recipes. God bless you!

  34. best baked chicken breast recipe ever!

  35. I tried this recipe for the first time last night and it was superb. I had huge chicken breast, 21/2 inch thick, so the cooking time took about 10-12minutes longer but with a meat thermometer it was no problem and instead of the basic rub I had Cajun rub and used that. This was my first time cooking chicken and the recipe was great, couldn’t believe how tender the meat was. I was going to save half but I kept nibbling and “oh well”. Thank you.

  36. This recipe is great for people who love chicken, It tastes sweet, cooked, and overall amazing.

  37. I needed cooked chicken breast for a chicken salad I was making.

    I made this recipe exactly as set out. I brined for 20 minutes (ok I went over the 15 minutes) and I basted it in butter and seasoned with Montreal Chicken seasoning and salt and pepper. I baked at the prescribed temperature and checked it after the allotted time. I was baking 6 breasts and two needed more time on the basis of the thermometer reading. All the chicken breasts were juicy and flavourful. My family loved it and they normally only want to eat dark meat. I will definitely use this recipe again when I cooked chicken breasts for a recipe. It is also yummy enough for the chicken breast to be served on its own with a side. Thanks for this fantastic recipe.

  38. Everything was great except it popped all over the oven and smoked it up inside. I was afraid it would set off the smoke alarm. Oven was on 450. I pounded the chicken to make it even and it cooked for 20 minutes. Anyone else have this problem?

  39. I’m actually curious why you don’t recommend baking in a glass dish.

  40. If you freeze two of the 4 chicken breast cooked, what do you recommend for thawing/reheating process? Thanks!

  41. Amazing! Juicy as described. I made a bit of gravy from the juice in the baking pan while the chicken was resting. Easy. I did it exactly as the recipe stated but had to bake it a little longer to get to temp. I used butter to brush on before the seasoning. I will use this recipe every time I bake chicken. So helpful to know what to do to make it juicy. It’s easy but it’s more than just putting chicken in the oven as I used to do and wonder why it was dry. Thank you.

  42. Why do you use warm water to brine the chicken if you put the chicken in the fridge? The water will get cold and the chicken will be brining in cold water.

  43. I never comment on recipes but I was in search of a reliable way to cook chicken breasts and this is the best damn chicken breast recipe out there. Perfectly juicy and moist every time!

  44. Excellent! Thank you for teaching me to cook chicken breasts in the oven tonight. The combo of pepper, paprika, and garlic powder made them just Right! I followed directions exactly- brining 15 min in lukewarm water with salt and rinsing with cold water and drying them off. I used avocado oil and left two large breasts (pounded) for 18 minutes at 450. Perfect!

  45. Can I use coconut oil instead of butter or olive oil

  46. So delicious! First-time-chicken-baker over here and it couldn’t have turned out better!! I have since baked chicken multiple times over the last few weeks using this recipe. Thank you!

  47. Bravo! This recipe is a total game changer! Juicy, flavorful, easy and delicious!

  48. I followed the recipe to the letter and it came out perfect! So juicy! This will be my new go to.