Baked Chicken Breasts

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 acroynm: 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!

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Baked Chicken Breasts

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

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)

Directions:

  1. Brine: 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. Cook: Preheat oven to 450°F.
  3. Place the chicken breasts in a single layer in a large baking dish or roasting pan*.  Brush on both sides (turning once) evenly with the melted butter or olive oil.
  4. 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.
  5. Bake for 15-18* minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.  I recommend using a cooking thermometer to know exactly when it is fully cooked; in 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.)
  6. 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.
  7. Serve warm.  Or, refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

*I recommend using a roasting pan (with a roasting rack) if you have one, which will help the chicken to cook a bit more evenly on both sides.

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If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

How To Bake Chicken Breasts

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1,859 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

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  1. All around absolute best baked chicken recipe. I like it better than grilled.

  2. Absofrigginlutely delightful! The quick and hot is it! THANK YOU!

    Rating: 5
  3. Tried this last night. Delicious, easy, fast, and my husband loved it.

    Rating: 5
  4. This is the only way to bake Chicken. It is SOOO good.

    ATK has a chicken fingers recipe in which you brine the chicken like this, but add a dash of Worcestershire sauce. So I do that too and it’s really delicious.

    Rating: 5
  5. Hey ALI, thanks for the secret to perfect oven baked chicken breasts!

    And the 5-step acronym… B.B.R.R.R..so easy to remember. I will give it a try.

    Rating: 4
    • It is pretty good. Although b.b.r.r.r. isn’t an acronym, the abbreviated letters must form a word you can say you qualify , ex: NASA, PETA, FEMA ect

  6. So… for curiosity’s sake… what happens if you let it brine too long? I meant to make my chicken Monday night but then got caught up with a big exam so I figured I’d make it Tuesday. Then Tuesday came with its own myriad of problems… and my chicken has been sitting in the brining water for over 48 hours by now. Is it beyond salvageable?

  7. Great recipe. I’ve substituted pickle juice for the water brine and it also does the trick.

    Rating: 5
  8. PERFECT!! My family loves baked/roasted chicken breasts using this recipe. The chicken is better than the rotisserie chicken we buy at SAMS. The results are perfectly seasoned and moist chicken I can cut with a fork. The recipe is easy and the directions are easy to follow. I have shared this recipe with family and friends. Thank you.

    Rating: 5
  9. What’s your trick for reheating chicken that you have cooked and frozen? I don’t love microwaved chicken but if there is a trick, I’m all ears.

  10. Oh!! Really nice presentation. Content picture and information all are excellent. Thanks for Sharing this topic.

    Rating: 5
  11. Nice recipe

  12. Wow, this was honestly a delicious recipe. I cooked it for 15 min in the top rack, came out great. My spices were smoked paprika, chili powder, thyme, salt and pepper, and I couldn’t be happier. I went slightly fancier with the brine, using salt, sugar and soy sauce. 10/10 would recommend

    Rating: 5
  13. Tried your recipe and loved it! I used Mrs. Dash seasoning (due to salt restriction) but still delicious. It was just as tender and moist as your claim! Thank you.

  14. Normally my boneless/skinless chicken breasts come out like shoe leather. I couldn’t believe how juicy these came out. From now on I’ll always BBRRR!

    Rating: 5
  15. We’ve used this recipe a hundred times. It truly IS the best!!!

    Rating: 5
  16. Hi Ali,

    Perfect timing! I just always put chicken into the crockpot because my baked chicken is always so dry! Excited to try your method!

  17. This recipe is the bomb! I’m not talented in the kitchen, yet this recipe always comes out tasting amazing!

    And you can use the flavorful chicken in so many ways. This is how I found your awesome blog and you keep bringing us wonderful, fool-proof ideas.

    Thank you for all that you do!

    Rating: 5
  18. I love using this staple recipe for meal-prepping chicken for lunches to have on hand for the week! :)

  19. Those pictures made my mouth water – a perfectly cooked piece of chicken! I would be honored if you shared them at our recipe party – What’s for Dinner.

  20. Awesome chicken!

    Rating: 5
  21. Love this recipe for the brine… it worked perfectly…. as for the baking I cheated and used a generic shake and bake seasoning, but I added slices of baby Yukon Gold potatoes that I also coated in the same seasoning, then I added some shredded mozzarella, cheddar, and Parmesan cheese to the top and baked it in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes until the potatoes and chicken were fully cooked…. Roommate LOVED IT and so this recipe certainly has my vote!!! Thank you for the wonderfully juicy and delicious ideal.

    Rating: 5
  22. I’ve always hated baked chicken breasts, bc they are dry and bland. This is Best baked chicken I ever made. It’s juicy and flavorful. I can’t wait to try baked pork chops!!!

    Rating: 5
  23. We did our on seasoning mix but followed everything else and it came out fantastic! This will be my new go to method for baking chicken breasts. Thank you so much!

    Rating: 5
  24. This was so easy and kept the chicken super moist!!
    Thx!!

    Rating: 5
  25. What are the nutritional facts?

  26. #BEST

    Rating: 5
  27. Please tell me that using my cast iron pan is the reason my chicken did NOT turn out moist and juicy. I am so disappointed that it was chewy and rubbery to cut.
    I’m wondering if it could be the chicken breasts themselves? I did use fresh and followed your recipe exactly.
    I am going to try again with the roasting pan you suggested or my corning baking dish. I’m not giving up!

  28. So good ! Thank you! I am wondering about the salt? Does it need to be kosher salt? I think I need a salt tutorial :-) thank you so much for the recipe!

  29. Made this tonight exactly per the instructions, it was absolutely awesome and super quick and easy, perfect for those nights you leave work late and need to feed your family! Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  30. Omg. This recipe is friggen awesome! 🙌

    Rating: 5
  31. I’m usually not a fan of my own cooking but this exceeds expectations. I had 6 chicken breasts and they were THICK so I had to bake for closer to 30 mins at 450. Digital thermometers a life saver (literally)

    Rating: 5
  32. I wanted to know about skin and bone included as to how to bake chicken breast.

  33. Oh My GOOOOODNESS!!! You are absolutely right about this recipe. We LOVED IT… I made it following your suggestions the first time and it was so good that I have made it 4 times since and everyone has loved it. I have used several different seasonings even added Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese to the top of it during the last 10 minutes of cooking… let it rest and WOW… Now even my pickiest chicken eater loved it… and he usually prefers “dark” meat… but says if I am cooking the chicken breast this way he wants to know when so that he can join us again for (and I quote) “damn awesome chicken!” Now I have a question… do this work on bone-in Chicken legs and Thighs as well? My pickiest chicken eater loves the legs and things, And is all time favorite is baked (roasted) chicken with potatoes and gravy… his birthday is just around the corner so thought I would give him a home cooked meal (since he is my oldest son).

    Rating: 5
  34. Oh my goodness this is the BEST oven baked chicken breast I have EVER made…..thank you for sharing your recipe for oven baked chicken breast

    Rating: 5
  35. Oh my gosh. This chicken was so, so, so delicious. Best chicken I ever made, and definitely in the top 3 chicken dishes I’ve ever eaten .

  36. What’s the best way to heat this chicken so it doesn’t dry out? Thank you.

  37. This article convinced me to not skip the brining, which I almost did. Followed the recipe exactly and it was delicious!!

    Rating: 5
  38. Loved it! Everyone else did too. It was fast and easy! My pregnant daughter who hasn’t even liked meat ate it and came back for seconds. Glad I found this recipe, thank you!

    Rating: 5
  39. Delicious!! Zero complaints out of my picky sons and my husband said he couldn’t believe how juicy it was. No doubt I will be adding this to the list of easy weekly meals! ALSO* I used butter, not olive oil when rubbing the chicken and the flavor was insane!

    Rating: 5
  40. My family loved this recipe. I doubled it and made half with a basic garlic powder/salt/pepper seasoning for our kids, but one of my boys smelled the smoked paprika mixture and insisted on having that for dinner. Huge hit. The chicken was juicier than most we have made in the oven. Even my picky son who usually doesn’t like chicken said the garlic/salt/pepper version was good – which is a huge compliment. Thanks for the recipe and the variations!

  41. This recipe is the shiznit! Instant thermometer is a must. Mine has taken as long as 25 minutes if the boneless breasts are real thick. I like to buy the family pack of the thick bastards from Sam’s or Costco and brine them all at once, then rinse and vacuum seal the ones I not use that night. If your going to brine them anyway, may as well brine a pile of them!

    Rating: 5
  42. I am a firm believer in baking my chicken breasts HOT N FAST. I enjoy the extra crispiness that it gives the chicken. My daughter and husband literally ate everything there was…including the extra pieces I had made for me to put in our salads for all 3 of our lunches the next day. Love the simplicity, but you’d never know it by tasting. I have been trolling your recipes since I made these and have many more picked out for the fam and i to try! Thanks so much!!

    Rating: 5
  43. Can I make this recipe without using any oil?

  44. Wow! My chicken turned out so good! I will make chicken on a Sunday to use the rest if the week, adding to frozen meals or eating by itself. This was a winner! So flavorful and juicy. I am at 5280 altitude. I cooked mine at 450 for about 25 minutes. The chicken I used was rather thick and I had 4 breasts.

    Rating: 5
  45. THANK YOU!
    Your instructions were awesome.
    In addition to that, I cut the chicken breast in to small pieces before baking in the oven.

    Rating: 5
  46. This is so simple but so delicious. Out 10 year old grandson asks for it about once a week. Tried the with pork chops and was good also. Thank you for the good addition to our family meals

    Rating: 5
  47. Sorry – this is not working. Honest, I did this to the letter and Chicken was still not done. I am going back to my tried-and-true “50 @ 350”

    Rating: 1
  48. This post is SO well done! You’re amazing. Thanks for all of these great tips!

    Rating: 5
  49. Was absolutely delicious. Answer my recipes.

    Rating: 5
  50. In the past I’ve been a fan of dark meat because white meat always seems so dry. I really wanted to learn to enjoy chicken breasts and thanks to this recipe I now can!

    I only very, very lightly brush them with butter so they didn’t brown as well as yours but other than that I followed your recipe exactly and the breasts turned out beautifully.

    They have rested, been sliced, and are now in my refrigerator for this week’s meals. Thank you so much!

    Rating: 5