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…

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…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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How To Bake Chicken Breasts

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1,905 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

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  1. Awesome! Cooked the breasts at 425 for 30 minutes. So juicy and delicious! My first time brining and now im obsessed!

    Rating: 5
  2. I am so glad I found your site. This chicken is the best I have ever made. Thank you so much. Next time I will remember to take a picture.

    Rating: 5
  3. This.is.amazing! I have struggled with chicken breast my entire cooking life, but this has changed all that. The chicken is juicy and delicious. I used it for meal prep and days later it’s still the same juicy. #LifeChanging

    Rating: 5
  4. Really good recipe. Easy to make. Omitted mushrooms. Just don’t like them. I’ll also back off a little on paprika. It was a little strong. Yummy otherwise.

    Rating: 4
  5. This is great. I’ve finally stopped overcooking chicken. The chicken breasts are turning out perfectly and my family is frankly stunned :) thank you!!

    Rating: 5
  6. Loved this chicken, every other time I would try the chicken would be dry. This is delious thank you!!!!

    Rating: 5
  7. Ok… The best chicken breasts I have ever eaten. So excited to have it ready so quickly and easy clean up.

    Rating: 5
  8. I liked the cooking method a lot and thought it was great for keeping the chicken moist. I think brine time needs to be increased at least 2 hours to help the salt penetrate deeper but 15 minutes certainly will do the trick to keep it moist! Also I wasn’t a fan of the smoked paprika but definitely wanna try the other seasonings! Thank you so much for this recipe, I always had trouble with dried chicken breasts in the past and now I won’t! 😊

  9. This is how I will be making chicken breasts from now on! Thanks so much for the recipe/process. They turn out perfect (and easy).

    Rating: 5
  10. Very nice! I used my own spice mix and the paprika, but otherwise followed the recipe to a t. You’ve taught this old cat a new trick.

    Rating: 5
  11. WOW! This is THE BEST baked chicken recipe ever! I never thought about Brining my chicken and wow what. A difference it makes! Thanks so much for your recipe!

    Rating: 5
  12. I have tried so many oven baked chicken recipes and always failed. This one actually turned out perfect and it was so easy!

    Rating: 5
  13. Best chicken I’ve ever made!

    Rating: 5
  14. Thank You so much! Save the chicken breasts! 🤗👏🏻

    Rating: 5
  15. The best chicken I ever made. Couldn’t believe how juicy it was. Never will I ever cook boneless chicken breast any other way!

    Rating: 5
  16. Best chicken I’ve ever made. Juicy! Never will I ever make boneless chicken breast any other way.

    Rating: 5
  17. Thank you soooo much.
    Did you mention if the Pan should be covered?

    Rating: 5
  18. JUST TELL ME HOW TO COOK THE CHICKEN

    Rating: 5
  19. Just made these per the recipe. I brined for 20 minutes and only had three breasts available, but still made it. This was SOOOO good. Tender and moist and juicy and yummy. My husband took one bite and exclaimed “MMMMMMM!” Will be making this probably once a month! Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  20. Excellent recipe for baked boneless chicken breast. It comes out perfectly moist and flavorful every single time. I’ve made this with melted butter and another time with olive oil. Delicious either way. Thanks for a great recipe!!!

    Rating: 5
  21. This changed my life. I thought I was a good cook before, my whole life has been a lie.

    Rating: 5
  22. The Best Chicken Ever!! Qill be making again! Also will be trying the other flavors as well!

    Rating: 5
  23. Yummy!!!

  24. The baked chicken breast recipe was right-on. I was a little dubious about using a temp of 450F, but this is definitely the way to go.

  25. Thanks so much for this recipe/cooking method! I don’t usually cook white meat chicken because it ends up rubbery and flavorless, but this is a simple and effective cooking method to yield tender and juicy chicken breasts. I added a little red curry to your recommended spice mix this time and I can’t wait to try some other spices next time!

    Rating: 5
  26. I literally told my husband before making, “if this chicken does not turn out, I am NEVER making chicken again!” (Mine is always embarrassingly dry). It turned out great! I only had 3 chicken breasts and had to use a metal cooking pan, but it still was nice and juicy. Cooked for about 22 minutes and broiled at the end. Would make a little more spice mixture next time to better coat the breasts. Thanks for helping this wife & mama!

    Rating: 5
  27. Oh my stars….this recipe worked amazingly – i have been a chicken breast failure for a life time and now this simple step recipe has lifted my spirit. perfect, tender, follow the recipe exactly.

  28. i was skeptical of the high temp oven bake but if you season / rub the breast it does act as an insulator/crust.
    i did use butter melted and added a bit of honey mustard, then shredded parmesan. it was tasty. a sauce and some bubbly would have made it extra…special……

  29. Always brine my Turkey for Thanksgiving never thought it would work so well with boneless skinless chicken breasts!!! Best ever… I actually put some seasoning in with the brine. Perfection!!!

    Rating: 5
  30. Super quick, yummy, juicy chicken!

    Rating: 5
  31. Great recipe and it works every time! Can I cook skinless, boneless turkey breast with the same method? Thanks!

  32. I will officially NEVER bake chicken again without brining first. The difference it made was crazy! In a good way :)

    Rating: 5
  33. HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!! the chicken was fork tender and very juicy, I made stuffing and gravy with the chicken, I never knew boneless skinless chicken could taste this great, A BIG THANK YOU

    Rating: 5
  34. The very first time I made this, it came out perfectly. Possibly the best chicken breast I’ve ever tasted! Question for you: does this same technique (brining, etc.) work the same miracles for turkey breast?

    Rating: 5
  35. So easy, and so good! I didn’t think the high heat and quick cook time would work, but it did and it’s great!

    Rating: 5
  36. Excellent. 100% agree with those other reviews….best bake skinless chicken ever.

    Rating: 5
  37. So easy! These are the best chicken breasts i’ve ever cooked.

    Rating: 5
  38. It is very good. Been making this for awhile now. This is now the only way I make chicken bressts. When I want to spice it up I add 1/2 teaspoon Toney’s seasoning.

    Rating: 5
  39. This has been our go to chicken breast recipe for several years now. It is simply The Best!!! Chicken breast any other way just don’t compare! We have shared it with so many people, and they all love it! THANK YOU so much for this recipe! ❤️

    Rating: 5
  40. Super easy and super delicious!! I’m not a good cook by any means but even I can do this and have it work out!! Thanks!

    Rating: 5
  41. My boyfriend is the pickiest eater in the world and he loved this! So simple and amazing! Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  42. O.M.G. Brining made ALL the difference! I did everything the same, but I added a little curry to the seasoning. My 12 year old hollered “this is awesome!” And he is pretty picky.

  43. I have never made better baked chicken!! I follow this recipe to a T, and have made it several times now, because it has become my absolute favorite way to bake chicken. The breasts come out SO juicy. It’s very versatile and I like to serve it with a side of veggies, like green beans or asparagus, and some brown rice, or diced up in a salad, or shredded for tacos! If I wanted to try it with boneless thighs in the future, would you recommend changing the oven temp or bake time?

  44. Can this be made in a toaster oven versus a regular oven? Recently moved into an apartment with no oven so we brought a toaster oven.

  45. Searched on web for a recipe that would produce a enjoyable chicken breast. Thank you, it was really delicious.

    Rating: 5