Baked Chicken Breasts

Learn how to make delicious baked chicken breasts with this easy 5-step recipe.  It’s so delicious!  (This post contains affiliate links.)

Learn how to make a PERFECT baked chicken breast -- delicious, juicy, tender, and fool-proof! | gimmesomeoven.com

Ever single 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 obsessed with 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 is pretty affordable, it’s also extremely versatile to work with, and let’s be real, you can make it taste like just about anything you like!

However, anyone who has cooked entire 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, deliciousness.  

 

Baked Chicken Breasts – 1-Minute Video

 

Everyone out there seems to have an opinion (and get ready, they differ!) about how to make perfectly baked chicken in the oven.  But I thought I’d go on record today and share with you my favorite way for baking up my favorite bird.  It’s very easy, requires minimal prep, and is absolutely foolproof (at least in my experience) for making juicy chicken breasts that you can either serve plain, cut up into strips, or even shred for your favorite meal.  (And if you really want to be efficient, you can also bake up an extra-large batch and freeze the leftovers for future use.)

The secret is my 5-step method that has an easy-to-remember acronym for chicken brrrrreasts: 

B.B.R.R.R.

Can you guess what they stand for?

Learn how to make a PERFECT baked chicken breast -- delicious, juicy, tender, and fool-proof! | gimmesomeoven.com

They’re not rocket science, but they are 5 important steps for making a perfect baked chicken breast:

  1. Brine
  2. Brush
  3. Rub
  4. Roast
  5. Rest

Learn how to make a PERFECT baked chicken breast -- delicious, juicy, tender, and fool-proof! | gimmesomeoven.com

Step 1: Brining 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.  It’s super easy, 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.  Brining the chicken in warm water also helps bring the chicken to room temperature, which makes for more even cooking.

To brine the 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 it has already been pre-brined in a sodium solution, just move onto step two.  :)

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.

Learn how to make a PERFECT baked chicken breast -- delicious, juicy, tender, and fool-proof! | gimmesomeoven.com

Step 3: Rub the 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 seasoning recipe I have included below that includes salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika.

Learn how to make a PERFECT baked chicken breast -- delicious, juicy, tender, and fool-proof! | gimmesomeoven.com

Step 4: Roast that chicken!

So this is the step that causes some disagreement amongst chicken lovers.  Do you bake your chicken breasts low and slow (as in, 30 minutes at 350)?  Or do you bake them 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 such, I fall firmly in the latter camp.

I like to roast my chicken breasts on high heat.

Depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts (and note — be sure to pound them beforehand if needed with a meat mallet so that they are uniformly thick for even cooking), roasting them at 450 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 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 temp of the chicken 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 that I bought on Amazon for $15.

Learn how to make a PERFECT baked chicken breast -- delicious, juicy, tender, and fool-proof! | gimmesomeoven.com

5. Rest your chicken.

And this is where that “patience is a virtue” stuff comes in.  You must, must, must let your beautifully baked chicken breast rest before cutting into it.  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!

Nope, you must give the bird a rest and give it time to 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….

Learn how to make a PERFECT baked chicken breast -- delicious, juicy, tender, and fool-proof! | gimmesomeoven.com

…you can finally serve and enjoy your perfectly-cooked chicken breasts.   And enjoy every last bite.

Feel free to slice, shred, dice, or serve them whole.  Whatever sounds good to you.  Or if you’d like to save them for later, these chicken breasts can 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.

 

Learn how to make a PERFECT baked chicken breast -- delicious, juicy, tender, and fool-proof! | gimmesomeoven.com

So remember, when cooking your chicken BBRRReasts, remember to brine, brush, rub, roast and rest that chicken.  And I think you will be glad you did.  Enjoy!

5
5 / 5 (132 Reviews)
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review »

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. Heat 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!

Update: Also, if you’re interested in a lemony twist on this recipe, check out this Baked Lemon Chicken.
Learn how to make a PERFECT baked chicken breast -- delicious, juicy, tender, and fool-proof! | gimmesomeoven.com

Leave a Reply to Ira Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1,636 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

1 15 16 17
  1. So..I just packed my hubby’s lunch for tomorrow. This may very well be the first time -i’m not even kidding-that he is looking forward to a left-overs lunch of CHICKEN! While this bird is my favorite, it most definitely is not his. We BOTH LOVED this recipe and when I told him i was writing this one down for a keeper he said, “make a copy for me too!”
    Your brine, brush,rub, roast and rest has made me a star in my own kitchen.
    Thank you so much!
    And now I can say…Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

  2. Made this for dinner tonight and used Jamaican Jerk seasoning. It came out perfectly!!!!!! My husband was very happy to have his chicken on a sandwich and I just ate mine with a knife and fork! I can’t wait to cook chicken like this again. Thank you!!!!!

    Rating: 5
  3. This is my first review ever. This chicken breast recipe was the BEST I have ever had. Easy to make, and very juicy. I was worried about brining but think that made a huge difference.

    Rating: 5
  4. Thank you so much for this! I’ve never been able to get chicken right. I absolutely loathed making it, because most of the time it came out disappointing. This recipe is so easy, and it actually made chicken enjoyable! Amazing! Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  5. I’ve never done a simple baked chicken breast. OH. MY. GOD. My family LOVED this – even my picky teenager son!! I’m making it again tonight and so excited!

    Rating: 5
  6. Wow. Thanks so much for sharing. It was perfect. Delicious, tender and so juicy. My daughter and I enjoyed it eminciesly.

    Rating: 5
  7. DEEEELICIOUS!! My husband said “this is really good chicken!” and my son said “this is actually good!” I am famous for overcooking/undercooking chicken. This was restaurant quality! thank you thank you!

    Rating: 5
  8. Wow! I have been baking chicken for years and years, and I had never tried the brining method and the high heat, less time trick. What a difference! Everyone at my book club commented on how juicy and flavorful it was. Thank you so much for this recipe!

    Rating: 5
  9. Excellent tasting chicken. Moist & flavorful. Thanks for sharing the recipe : ) : )

    Rating: 5
  10. This was super easy and has excellent flavor. I liked how moist it was. I practiced tonight with this recipe. Tomorrow night I am making this to feed our Wednesday night church group, which is about 35 people. It will be a hit with them!

    Rating: 5
  11. Awesome!! Followed instructions exactly…and its the first time i’ve baked chicken that didn’t come out dry and rubbery! my son loved it…said it was perfect. Thank you so much!

    Rating: 5
  12. Perfectly tender and juicy chicken every time! Thank you for the fail-safe recipe!

    Rating: 5
  13. Hi Ali! I’m making this dish tonight. I don’t have any kosher salt on hand. I only have Pink Himalayan. Could I brine the chicken with this instead, and would I use the same amount? Thanks. I’m so looking forward to trying this method. My last chicken attempt was a disaster, but this looks super easy!

  14. Having been raised in a house where the chicken is always cooked to the 0 moisture point, the idea of baked chicken always makes my brother and I cringe. THIS RECIPE THOUGH. This is amazing! I made it once and immediately forwarded it to my brother, who now makes it several times a week with different variations. Thanks so much for this! We love it!!

    Rating: 5
  15. I will definitely try this recipe.

  16. Best baked chicken recipe I’ve ever used. It is always tastey and tender and it’s a major bonus that my young kids love it, too!!!

    Rating: 5
  17. I have brined whole birds and pork roasts. I don’t know why I never thought of brining chicken breasts! I’m on weightwatchers so always looking for lean protein dinners. This was amazing and will be my basic go-to recipe for chicken breasts going forward. I can see how this can be adapted to many different cuisines and tastes. No more dry chicken! This was so juicy and flavorful even after just 20 minutes of brining and baking as instructed. Bravo!

    Rating: 5
  18. First time ever in my life that I baked chicken breast that was not dry. This is the most delicious chicken breast ever. My chicken didn’t get a crispy crust the seasoning were still soft but perfect.

    Rating: 5
  19. Wow, never knew that brining a chicken breast could make such a difference! This will now be my go-to chicken recipe. Turned out perfectly moist, juicy and delicious! Even my fiancé loved it and said is was the best chicken I had ever made. Thank you!!!

    Rating: 5
  20. Wow! Great recipe! Chicken was
    So tender and
    Juicy!

    Rating: 5
  21. This is one of your best recipes ever and I always come back here to see what others have done. Thanks for sharing – 5 stars from me!

    Rating: 5
  22. This was excellent! The chicken came out so tender and juicy, I couldn’t believe it. I’m not usually a fan of white meat chicken, but I’ve never had it like this–it’s usually dry and stringy–but this is simply good enough to eat all by itself or with a green veggie or salad on the side.

    Rating: 5
  23. This chicken breast method was just wonderful. The chicken came out incredibly tender and juicy. I don’t usually like white meat chicken since most I’ve ever had has been dry and stringy. This could be dinner all by itself, but it is grand with side of green veggie or salad and even some rice for those who eat it to soak up the delicious juices.

    Rating: 5
  24. I seriously can not cook chicken… EVER! I decided to give it one last shot and this was the BEST chicken I’ve had in a long time. We’ve made it bone in and out, it’s bern wonderful every time! My husband was so surprised he asked for more. Itvtastes like a rotisserie and is better than most restaurants. Thank you so much for this easy and delicious recipe.

    Rating: 5
  25. Juicy , succulent
    In my 52 years of life ! Well not quite, I have been trying to make a good chicken breadt meal and today was a great success
    You are the master in this art of chicken breast making
    So delicious , I added a few other ingredients for the rub like cumin, Basil leaves , cracked Peppers and paprika mixed in with olive oil as the rub and then brush it on
    Then followed the rest of the recipe
    And there you have . I will try others if your recipes
    Thank you so much for a great education

    Rating: 5
    • Thank you so much, Angella! I’m SO happy the recipe was a success for you! Cheers to many more years ahead of perfectly cooked chicken. ;)

  26. Looks good, I will try it. Thanks

  27. Not a fan of chicken skin and bones, so pretty much only use breast. Never could get them baked to not be dry though. Tried this methodis today and it was perfect! Thank you! Now I will jst play around with different flavours of spices.

    Rating: 5
  28. I have been cooking for over 35 years. This chicken breast recipe is without a doubt the absolute best recipe I have ever ever used. I had my doubts – both breasts were thick and boneless skinless breast are always dry – right? Wrong! I followed your recipe to a T. Did them at 450 in a convection oven for 18 minutes – let them rest for about 15 minutes. PERFECT. Moist, tasty, perfect texture. I would have taken a pic but they’ve already been devoured. So good.

    Rating: 5
  29. This is the most delicious baked chicken I have ever made. Thanks for the recipe!

    Rating: 5
  30. Such a great recipe, so simple and easy! Made it with pasta and four cheese sauce, it was so delicious!

    Rating: 5
  31. Cooked this meal tonight with oven baked potatoes and I have NO leftovers. Delish!

    Rating: 5
  32. WOW! First time making this recipe and it came out amazing! I am usually super picky with chicken but stumbling across your recipe I figured I’d give it a try and it came out perfect! Super flavorful and moist! Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  33. I love this recipe so much! Ever since I found it I’ve used it numerous times and is now my go to recipe for chicken breasts! It is so easy and when you follow every step it makes the best juicy chicken breast! Thank you so much!

    Rating: 5
  34. This was the best recipe I have ever found that was so easy, moist and absolutely lip smacking good. It was so easy I had to look at the recipe several times thinking I must be leaving out something. Thank you for posting this & I will be using this recipe from now on.

    Rating: 5
  35. Perfection…who knew??? The brining made all the difference in the world. I have made this four times and each time it has come out of the oven moist and delicious!

    Rating: 5
  36. This is definitely THE recipe for chicken breasts. It’s the perfect building block to combine with whatever you like – delicious every time. (And I’m usually not even a fan of straight up chicken.) Ah-mazing! Thanks so much for sharing, Ali!!!

    Rating: 5
  37. Wow! Chicken recipe is the best! Delicious! From now on that’s the only way I am cooking boneless chicken breasts!

    Rating: 5