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!

This post contains affiliate links.

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Baked Chicken Breast Recipe
4.9 from 561 reviews

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. 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. 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.

How To Bake Chicken Breasts

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2,226 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

1 26 27 28
  1. Just had this baked chicken breast recipe for supper tonight. I only have three words. IT’S A KEEPER

  2. 5 stars
    I made this recipe tonight with huge thick chicken breasts. It took about 35 minutes to get it up to the right temp because they were so big. I also didn’t have any paprika so I used just a bit of chipotle. This was hands down the best chicken I have ever fixed. My husband and son LOVED it even more than I did. Thank you for the super delicious recipe!!

  3. 5 stars
    My family LOVED this chicken! Such a simple and delicious recipe. Thank you!

  4. Amazing…thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    This was awesome! Easy and very juicy…. Would definitely do it again

  6. 5 stars
    Wow! I absolutely hate baking chicken breasts, but this recipe is just awesome! Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. 5 stars
    This is the best chicken I have ever cooked! Delicious, so juicy and full of flavour. I adjusted the spices but the technique is flawless

  8. 5 stars
    This is, by far, THE BEST chicken recipe I have ever made! Throw out any other recipes you may have bc this is the only one you need! I used a wireless thermometer which was key to not over cooking it. So juicy, so flavorful, so perfect! Thank you!!!

  9. 5 stars
    I made fantastic chicken in the oven! Can’t believe it! Thanks for this simple, but effective recipe.

  10. 5 stars
    I tried this and I must say the result was amazing; super tender and moist ! Thank you

  11. Followed the recipe to the letter, boneless chicken breasts, brined, dried, buttered, seasoned, 450 for 15 minutes plus until I got 165. Let it rest. Too tough to chew. Very disappointed.

    • maybe just go to 155 degrees and take out of oven and cover with foil

    • Check your thermometer! I unfortunately went a long time over cooking meat thinking my thermometer was calibrated correctly.. you can stick it in boiling water to make sure it reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit, if not you’ll need to reset or get a new one! :) hope this helps!

  12. 5 stars
    This was the juiciest most flavorful chicken breast I have ever made. I tweaked very little. I used real butter with sea salt and olive oil flavor. I used a few sprigs of fresh rosemary it was sooo complimentary. The smoked paprika was the show stopper. Do it!

  13. 5 stars
    First time roasting chicken that didn’t turn out dry! I’ve converted and will always brine and butter my chicken from now on!

  14. Made this tonight.. best baked chicken breast recipe I’ve found. Followed the instructions and did the brine and letting it rest st the end. Fantastic! Used pure butter to coat and Morton’s seasonal and pepper to season. Baked two very large chicken pieces at 450, but it took longer than 18 min to get to internal temp of 165. Took about 25-26 min. Thermometer is must! Turned out perfect! Like a chef made it.

  15. 5 stars
    I can’t stop eating this chicken! I made it a couple of weeks ago and left a review but just had to say again how much I love this dish! I think I’m going to try the spices on fish such as cod or tilapia. I’m also going to make a large batch of the spice mixture and store it in a container with a shaker lid so I always have some on hand!

  16. 5 stars
    This is THE BEST baked chicken recipe EVER ! it produces the moistest chicken I have ever had.
    followed the steps exactly. The recommended seasoning is perfect.
    Get yourself a meat thermometer if you don’t already have one as its a must for perfectly cooked meats especially chicken !

  17. 5 stars
    This chicken recipe is so versatile and delicious! I have made this a few times and it’s always a hit. I’ve tried the different seasoning variations and they are all amazing but the original is my go to. Love how tender this chicken always turns out! Thanks for a great recipe!!!

  18. 3 stars
    Chicken was nowhere close to being done after 20min. Needed to cover with tinfoil and cook longer. Bummed that timing was so far off for weeknight meal with two little kids :-/

  19. Did anyone use a convection oven? How did it turn out?

  20. Hi–quick question–does the marinade replace the brine, or is it in addition to the brine? In other words, do you brine the chicken first and then marinate it, or do you just marinate it since the marinade has some salt?

  21. 5 stars
    Amazing!! This has been added to the family menu! Thank you for sharing!

  22. 5 stars
    This is amazing! My family LOVES it and I think it may be the most flavoursome and juicy chicken I have ever eaten. This is now known as “Dad’s chicken” in our home and is requested often. Sincere thanks for sharing this.

  23. 5 stars
    Believer

  24. 5 stars
    I rarely eat chicken breasts but was in the mood today. I also had packaged rice pilaf and wanted something simple to go with it. I made the chicken per your recipe and it was a fantastic pairing. You can’t go wrong with this!

  25. Tried this tonight and these are the best chicken breasts I have ever cooked! So tender and juicy we could cut them with a fork. I did cook them longer (22 minutes) but they were quite large. Thanks!

  26. 5 stars
    I dont like frozen chicken breast and generally frozen meat because it gets dry whenever i cook them. I tried this recipe for frozen chicken breast and it was sooooo juicy and tender. It is a life saver !!! Thank you soooo much ♡

  27. 5 stars
    I’ve been trying to figure out how to keep my chicken from being dry for weeks now. This system is not only easy, but it works! I took one bite of my chicken and was immediately elated. 10/10 would use again.

  28. It taste quite amazing. Thank you for the recipe. I actually made it with a spaghetti & chicken legs. So good!

  29. 5 stars
    Thank you for this Chicken breast recipe! We eat alot of dark meat because it is so tender BUT not anymore. This came out fork tender and so juicy. I followed your instructions from brining to resting. Easy and this was delicious, who knew.

  30. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this recipe! My chicken normally turns out dries out but I tried your recipe last night. I needed chicken for chicken BLT sandwiches and wow for the first time ever my chicken turned out juicy and delicious! Thank you again for sharing a wonderful recipe.

  31. 5 stars
    Definitely gonna try this evening, mouth watering alreadk

  32. 5 stars
    This is a winner! Easy an tasty. I’ve varied the ingredients using both butter and olive oil and both are amazing!

  33. 5 stars
    This is a winner! Easy and tasty. I’ve varied the ingredients using both butter and olive oil and both are amazing!

  34. 5 stars
    You had me at ‘moist!’

  35. 5 stars
    OUTSTANDING recipe, and so easy to do! Even with brining it still took about the same amount of time as normal baked chicken would, and it was SO much better. Thank you!!

  36. 5 stars
    BEST chicken breast recipe I’ve ever made. So most and flavorful. There were no leftovers this time, and there’s ALWAYS leftovers when I make chicken.

  37. 5 stars
    Delicious! Great tips on brining and keeping the juices intact.

  38. 5 stars
    Best chicken I ever made! Fast too!

  39. 5 stars
    I have used many of your recipes and loved them all but I just feel I must comment on this one. I am a 63 year old grandma who enjoys cooking for family and friends. I have always struggled with boneless chicken breasts…they never come out the way I would like. Until now. I have never thought to brine chicken breasts. And of course I used butter. The spices seemed simple. My husband took a bite and looked at me in awe. Believe all the comments (except that one negative one). This chicken is perfect!

  40. 5 stars
    Done this amazingly simple recipe several times and it’s a winner!

  41. 5 stars
    I’m 49 years old and just made my first perfectly cooked chicken breast. Yes, it took that long. This recipe is fantastic! Can’t wait to try the other seasoning suggestions. So easy.

  42. 5 stars
    This recipe was on point!!!!

    I wanted to surprise my wife with a delicious meal tonight and this recipe did not fail.
    Thank you so very much.
    It was extremely easy to follow and that was by far and large the juiciest chicken breast I have ever had.
    I will definitely apply the brine solution method to this upcoming Thanksgiving Turkey.
    My wife was extremely pleased with this meal. Thank you for helping me score browning points.

    Sincerely,

    Dimitri

  43. 5 stars
    I make this every Sunday or Monday to use throughout the week for salads/sandwiches/snacks…AH.MAZE.ING. Thank you so much for sharing!

  44. 5 stars
    I love to cook. I’m always looking for new recipes for my menu, which makes me always interested in my work. Today’s my lucky day, oven baked chicken breasts recipe is great, just follow the instructions and everything is easy, I like that. Thanks for your sharing

  45. Used this recipe to bake chicken tonight and it was AMAZING! Thank you!!!

  46. Awesome!