Baked Chicken Breasts

My all-time favorite oven baked chicken breasts recipe!  It never fails me, thanks to this simple 5-step method.

Perfect Oven Baked Chicken Breast

Every time we do a survey on the blog and ask what kinds of new recipes readers would like to see, the #1 request is always the same:

Chicken.

Specifically, recipe that call for boneless skinless chicken breasts.

Not thighs, not legs, not wings, all of which I personally happen to also love.  Nope, everyone seems to be interested in the lean white meat that comes with chicken breasts, and all the better when you don’t have to mess with any skin or bones.  Plus, as lean proteins go, chicken breasts are pretty affordable.  They also extremely versatile to work with.  And — let’s be real — you can make chicken taste like just about anything you like!

That said, anyone who has baked chicken breasts before will tell you that they can be annoyingly 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.

Let’s make some!

Baked Chicken Breasts | 1-Minute Video

The Secret To Perfect Oven Baked Chicken Breasts:

Everyone out there seems to have an opinion about how to make perfectly roasted chicken breasts.  But I thought I’d go on record today and share with you my favorite way for baking up my favorite bird.  It’s incredible easy, it requires minimal prep, and it is absolutely foolproof (at least in my experience) for making juicy chicken breasts that you can either serve plain, cut up into strips, or shred for your favorite meal.  And — pro tip — these baked chicken breasts are also freezer-friendly, so go ahead and bake up a double batch to have leftovers for later!

All you need to remember is this simple 5-step acronym for making perfectly cooked chicken bbrrreastsB.B.R.R.R.

  1. Brine
  2. Brush
  3. Rub
  4. Roast
  5. Rest
Baked Chicken Breast

My original photo for this recipe (2015).

Step 1: Brine The Chicken Breasts

Many people are in the habit of brining a turkey for Thanksgiving, but have never considered brining chicken breasts on a regular ol’ weeknight.  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 moist (yes, I used the “m” word), 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.

To brine chicken, simply fill a big bowl with warm (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 really don’t want to let the chicken brine for much longer than that.

Then when you’re ready to go, remove the chicken from the brine, rinse it with cold water, then pat it dry with some paper towels.  Again, don’t skip this step!!!  You’ll be amazed at the difference.

Edited: As it turns out, some store-bought chicken breasts are now sold pre-brined.  So double-check your packaging before doing this step.  If your chicken has already been pre-brined in a sodium solution, just move onto step two.  :)

How To Brine Chicken Breasts

Step 2: Brush The 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, partly so that the chicken does not stick to the pan on the bottom, and also to help the seasonings stick.  Then place them in a large baking dish (affiliate link).

Baked Chicken Seasoning

Step 3: Rub Chicken Breasts With Your Desired Seasoning.

If you’re really wanting to keep things simple, you can simply rub on some salt and pepper.  But again, chicken will pick up the flavor of whatever seasonings you add.  So even if it’s just 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.

Oven Baked Chicken Breast

Step 4: Roast That Chicken!

So this is the step that causes some disagreement amongst chicken lovers — what temperature and how long to bake chicken breasts.  Do you bake your chicken low and slow (as in, 30 minutes at 350)?  Or do you roast chicken high and quick (as in, 15 minutes at 450)?  I have tried both — and just about every interval in between — dozens upon dozens upon dozens of times.  And after testing, 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 (pro tip — be sure to pound them beforehand if needed with a meat mallet so that they are uniformly thick for even cooking), roasting chicken at 450°F should require a cooking time between 15-18 minutes.  It’s speedy and it’s easy.  But I love it most because cooking at high heat quickly develops a nice crispier “crust” on the outside of the breasts, which also locks in those juices and keeps 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 has fully cooked (160-170 degrees 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 $15, and it will accurately measure your internal chicken temperature in seconds.

How To Make Baked Chicken Breasts

5. Rest Your Baked Chicken Breasts

And this is where that “patience is a virtue” stuff comes in.  You must, must, must let your beautifully baked chicken breasts rest before cutting into them.  This goes for any meat, really.  If you cut in right away, you lose all of the amazing juices and some of the tenderness that we’re going for!

Instead, give the bird a rest so that it can finish cooking and soak back up all of those juices.  I recommend loosely tenting a sheet of aluminum foil over the pan to keep the heat in while the chicken rests.

Then after 5-10 minutes, you can finally serve and enjoy your perfectly-cooked chicken breasts.

And enjoy every last bite. 

Perfect Oven Baked Chicken Breast Recipe

Ways 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:

Or if you’d like to save them for later, these baked chicken breasts can also be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or frozen (I recommend shredding, dicing, or slicing the chicken beforehand) for up to 3 months.

Baked Chicken Breast with Roasted Asparagus

Side Dish Recipe Ideas:

Looking for some side dishes to serve with this baked chicken recipe?  Here are a few of my faves:

Enjoy, everyone!

This post contains affiliate links.

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Baked Chicken Breasts

Learn how to make juicy, tender, delicious baked chicken breasts with this easy foolproof recipe.

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. *To brine your chicken breasts, simply 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.  (Again, though, if your chicken breasts are sold 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.  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.  If you use a cooking thermometer to measure the temperature thickest part of the breast, it should be between 160-170°F.  (The FDA recommends 165°F.)
  6. *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 extra browned on top.  Keep a close eye on the chicken so that it does not overcook and/or burn.
  7. Once the chicken is cooked, remove the pan from the oven and loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil.  Let the chicken rest for at least 5-10 minutes.  Then serve immediately.
  8. Or, refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
All images and text ©

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

Also, if you’re interested in a lemony twist on this recipe, check out this Baked Lemon Chicken.  Or check out our new post (below) for 5 Easy Chicken Marinades!

These 5 Easy Chicken Marinade Recipes -- Teriyaki, Enchilada, Tandoori, Honey Mustard and Pesto -- are freezer-friendly (perfect for meal prep), naturally gluten-free, easy to make, and SO delicious. Perfect for chicken, steak, pork, and tofu. And flexible for baked, grilled, sautéed, or slow cooker chicken. | Gimme Some Oven #chickenrecipe #bakedchicken #marinaderecipe #chicken #glutenfree

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1,793 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

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  1. When I’m not grilling this is my go to recipe.

    Rating: 4
  2. Sooooo Good!

    Rating: 5
  3. Amazing! Thank you so much!

    Rating: 5
  4. I’ve finally found a juicy and delicious baked chicken recipe that works. THANK YOU!

    Rating: 5
  5. This is the very best quick and easy baked chicken breast recipe/cooking method. I used it twice and am so happy I found it. Much better than standard.

    Rating: 5
  6. By Golly, this works! I had bought some chicken breasts on sale, and they were grilling up so tough! I Googled how to cook tender chicken breasts, and decided I’d give this one a try.
    Since I was using a cast iron skillet to bake my two l had left, I let it preheat in the 450° oven. Pre-oiled it with EVOO, which I did use instead of the butter.
    Thanks so much for the recipe! And, since these were pre-cut into thinner (but not the *real* thin) pieces, I baked for only 13 minutes. Anyway: yum! Thanks again.

    Rating: 5
  7. Thank you so much, this is perfect as promised! I have struggled with dried out chicken until now. I will never use another recipe for chicken breasts!

    Rating: 5
  8. Just made these….they were AHHHMAZING!!! I saw it on Pinterest and just had to try. You’re right….brining is KEY!!

    Rating: 5
  9. I made the chicken breasts last night and WOW! Best chicken breast ever!!! I will never again buy already roasted whole chicken. Usually, the breast part is quickly gone and the rest often goes to waste because it just doesn’t taste as good as when it’s still hot. Anyway, I made minor changes to the recipe. Instead of just salt and pepper, I used Brookfields seasoned salt and instead of regular paprika, I used smoked paprika. I brined the chicken for about 2 hours, rinsed it, patted it dry and followed the recipe. The meat was super juicy and very tender.I let it sit for about 30 minutes before cutting it. I stored the uneaten breast in a plastic bag along with all the juices and had some for lunch today. Incredibly tasty. I can eat this every day at every meal.
    Thank you so much. Though I am a pretty good cook, and I have roasted many meats and love my lemon pepper chicken wings done in my toaster oven that has convection, my absolute new favorite is this chicken breast.

    Rating: 5
  10. Will never make chicken any other way again.

    Rating: 5
  11. This recipe is bang on. My chicken turned out great.

    Rating: 5
  12. Outstanding. We don’t normally cook chicken breasts. They have been boring. Bland, dried out and chewy.
    But NOW, I love them! Brining and careful temp check with digital thermometer.
    We did it this way:
    Brined about 1/2 hour because they were still just a little frozen.
    3 large breasts in a 9×9 glass pan. Olive oil brushing. Heavy sprinkle of paprika. 1/4 cup white wine
    Roasted uncovered at 350 because they were thick.
    Temp check at 20 minutes, gave them another 10. Done.
    Rested 10 minutes under foil while we finished a wine.
    Wow, wow, wow.

    Rating: 5
  13. I made this recipe tonight – it was delicious!

    Rating: 4
  14. This recipe is perfection!

    Rating: 5
  15. This baked chicken breast is literally the best I’ve ever tasted. Super tender and moist, not to mention so easy! My husband and I eat a lot of lean protein and I can see myself making this every week. The leftovers are just as delicious! I am looking forward to trying a variety of different seasonings but that doesn’t change the fact this method of cooking is spot on! Thanks so much for an amazing recipe!!

    Rating: 5
  16. For some reason it didn’t let me rate 6 stars at first…this is definitely at 6 star recipe!!

    Rating: 5
  17. This was so easy and came out great! Incredibly moist and juicy. A real standout!

    Rating: 5
  18. I haven’t made it yet but plan on trying it this weekend. I know you roast at a temperature of 425 degrees, but my oven is broken and the highest temp I can gets 399. Can I do this at this temperature and still have the same juiciness as in the recipe with the higher cooking temperature. Do I leave in in the oven for an addition 5-10 minutes?

  19. I just want to say my family absolutely loved me when I made this. I had cooked about 12 servings of this recipe because I planned on freezing some of it (at the time, I was meal prepping). However, I didn’t get to freeze any because my family descended on this like a bunch of vultures. lol

    So, thank you so much! I plan on checking out your other chicken marinades!

    Rating: 5
  20. Even my picky eater loved this one! I had to double the recipe the 2nd time I made it!

    Rating: 5
  21. I was searching for a baked chicken breast recipe and found yours right after I had already started baking with the other recipe. About to eat it now but I’ve been drooling over this post as soon as I put the other one in the oven. We’ll see how it is but this o e sounds delish! Will definitely try it this week.

  22. Hands down the BEST way to cook chicken!

    Rating: 5
  23. This is it

  24. I made this, but coudnt get kosher salt, so I used sea salt flakes, the same quantity, it tasted to salty. I did rince it after it was brining for 4 hours. The chicken was lovely and moist, but just a bit on the salty side? What is a substitute and quantity when you cant get kosher salt? Or does it have another name in the uk? Thank you Margaret

    Rating: 4
  25. Delicious!!! So easy and quick!

    Rating: 5
  26. YAY!! Finally a SIMPLE recipe for baking boneless skinless chicken breasts! Very flavorful and so moist. Loved it and will definitely do this again.

    Rating: 5
  27. I made the baked chicken breasts this evening. I was very surprised at its simplicity! I would have never thought about rubbing the chicken with butter. However, it gave the chicken a very nice flavor. I already had the ingredients, so that made it very convenient. I followed the recipe, and was happy that it called for some of my favorite seasonings. Brining the chicken really made a difference! I would not have thought of that. I baked the chicken on high at 450 degrees. I was happy to see how quickly it cooked. After the chicken was done, I let it rest for 10 minutes. When I cut into it, the chicken was juicy and very tasty! I’ve added this recipe to my list of favorites. Thanks!

    Rating: 5
  28. My girls and I loved the chicken. It was delicious! Thank you

  29. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!! I was skeptical at first but this recipe is easy peasy and SO GOOD!!!

    Rating: 4
  30. I have never had a problem cooking chicken breasts after I used this recipe. They always come out moist with a nice skin.

    However, I would suggest not to use the recommended salt for the brining. Less will work just fine.

    Rating: 4
  31. Absolute game changer!! My boneless skinless chicken breasts have always been hit or miss. This recipe is fabulous! Brining! Who knew?! Dinner tonight was delicious!
    I will definitely shake up the seasonings, but the brining and butter are spot on!
    Thanks so much for this recipe! We eat chicken all the time and now it will be perfect every time!!

    Rating: 5
  32. I find it always takes a lot longer to cook at 450 then 15 -18 minutes. It’s still raw. Is this because i am cooking over 10 breasts at a time? How much cooking time should I add for each breast?

  33. Just made these tonight…absolutely delicious!

    Rating: 5
  34. Easy. Delicious. Very moist!

    Rating: 5
  35. I have made this before with the boneless skinless chicken breast and t turned out wonderful! I am trying now with bone in pick of the chicken.

  36. This recipe is the best!!!

    Rating: 5
  37. We make this almost every week. Sooooo good!

    Rating: 5