Baked Chicken Breasts

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

Perfect Oven Baked Chicken Breast

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

Baked Chicken Breast

My original photo for this recipe (2015).

The Secret To Perfect Oven Baked Chicken Breasts:

Everyone out there seems to have an opinion 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 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

How To Brine Chicken

How To Bake Chicken:

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 your chicken 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 (affiliate link).

Baked Chicken Breast Seasoning

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.

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 bake it 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 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 chicken temperature in seconds.

How To Make Baked Chicken Breasts

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….

Perfect Oven Baked Chicken Breast Recipe

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

Baked Chicken Breast with Roasted Asparagus

How To Serve Baked Chicken Breasts:

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.

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. 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!

How To Make Baked 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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1,746 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

1 17 18 19
  1. I was skeptical about the high temp but I tried it and it’s great. This will become a regular for me now.

    Rating: 5
  2. I absolutely love this! This is the perfect recipe for juicy delicious chicken. My kiddos loved it! Definitely making it again….

    Rating: 5
  3. This recipe is awesome. I may never fix chicken breasts any other way!

    Rating: 5
  4. This is an awesome recipe that’s easy and wholesome. Perfect for a dinner with some veggies as accompaniment. Thanks for sharing this recipe, the chicken breasts turned out real juicy.

    Rating: 5
  5. This is an awesome recipe. It’s so easy to make and the chicken turns out real juicy and tasty. I added some lime juice to give it a little more flavour. Thanks for sharing this recipe

    Rating: 5
  6. This is without a doubt the best chicken recipe I’ve ever made or had!!!! It’s so moist and delicious. I use the brine step everytime I make any kind of chicken… It makes all the difference….

    Rating: 5
  7. Super recipe. Thank you

    Rating: 4
  8. This chicken was delicious! I put it over a salad and it was perfect.Thanks for sharing!

    Rating: 5
  9. I found this recipe about six months ago and can’t even count how many times I have made it. I always make extra for a lunch salad the next morning. The meat is so juicy even cold!

    Rating: 5
  10. I loved this recipe it was great def. looking forward to try more recipes thank yu much!

    Rating: 5
  11. Can’t say enough good things about this recipe. It’s the only way I bake chicken now!

    Rating: 5
  12. This recipe is amazing. I e made it numerous times and every time my chicken comes out juicy and delicious.

    Rating: 5
  13. Tried this recipe for dinner & it came out great. The chicken breasts were super tender AND moist. Which is very surprising since dryness is the reason why I don’t eat chicken breast. Lol This is my 1st time trying a brine so I will watch my salt seasoning the next time, as they were a little too salty. But that’s my heavy hand, not the recipe’s. Definitely won’t cook my chicken breasts in the oven any other way. Thank you for sharing! 😍

    Rating: 5
  14. Dumb question as this is all new to me: Do you pound the chicken breasts down with a meat mallet for even thickness of the breasts, so they will cook evenly BEFORE you brine them or AFTER you brine them?

  15. How many pounds are the chicken breasts?

  16. Hello, Why is this recipe Bake at 450° and the tandoori marinade recipe is bake at 425°? When I followed the recipe at 450° the chicken was a little dry. When I did the tandoori marinade recipe at 425° it was perfect

    Rating: 4
  17. Everyone in my family loves my chicken-they come to me for chicken dishes, they don’t know my secret, this is by far the ONLY way to bake chicken!

    Rating: 5
  18. It came out SO good! My dad was skeptical, but he took one bite and then looked up at me in shock before saying “Wow, this is actually really good.” Will be trying again!

    Rating: 5
  19. Five stars!!! O M G the chicken was absolutely delicious!! I’ll never bake chicken any other way again!! Thank u so much for sharing!!

    Rating: 4
  20. This is a great recipe for chicken breasts. Make sure you temp and don’t overcook. Also, they were way too salty brining for four hours and adding the seasoning. I would skip adding the kosher salt in the last step if brining more than three hours.

    Rating: 5
  21. So easy and turned out awesome! Thank you.

  22. This. Was. Delicious!

    Rating: 5
  23. I have used this recipe twice before but tonight I used smoked paprika and followed the directions to a tee. It was the best chicken breast I have ever made, just perfect. Thank you!!

    Rating: 5
  24. Love this . So tender.

    Rating: 4
  25. Hello, really enjoy chicken recipes, made this tonight, sliced the breasts lengthwise, so they were thinner, and of course took less time to bake, a good recipe, will make again, thanks!!!

    Rating: 5
  26. This recipe was amazing! Best chicken breasts I’ve ever cooked! Thank you for a great recipe!

    Rating: 5
  27. Hi! My daughter rubs a whole chicken inside and out with kosher salt but doesn’t rinse it. It comes out so tender and moist, but the next day I am retaining so much water my rings don’t fit; I am afraid my blood pressure may be sky high. Does rinsing the chicken breasts cut down the salt content enough so I won’t have to worry about sodium overkill? I’m anxious to try your recipe but need to know about the salt issue. Thanks.

    Margie

  28. Haven’t been able to figure out how to not get horribly dry chicken, but this did the trick! Super juicy, thanks!

    Rating: 5
  29. This recipe was great!!!! I am trying to make healthy dinners for my fiancée and daughter and it’s hard sometimes because she is a child and he eats like one. This chicken was a hit and I will be making this more often!!!!

    Rating: 5
  30. This is my first recipe review ever–I had to comment because the chicken came out so well! It was easy to follow and the chicken was moist and flavorful. I’ve been searching and searching for a way to bake boneless chicken in the oven and I’ve finally found it. Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  31. Amazing! I have never baked chicken right! It’s always dry.
    This was easy and it came out perfect! So juicy and flavorful!
    My Family raved about my cooking for the first time!
    Thank you!!
    And I have never posted a review for anything in my life but this deserves a 5 Star Rating! I am a fan!

    Rating: 5
  32. I made this recipe and it turned out perfect!!!!

    Rating: 5
  33. Holy cow. I’ve never had a chicken breast come out so perfect! I use mayo instead of butter or oil and roasted my breasts for 15 minutes at 450. Delicious!

    Rating: 5
  34. This chicken was fantastic!! Loved the spice blend. Beautifully juicy and tender. I will definitely make again!

    Rating: 5
  35. I prepared and baked this exactly as described and it turned out like chicken jerky :( Very dry and sad.

    Rating: 1
  36. I made these tonight !!!!! They were amazing.
    Will make for company for sure.

  37. Can you do this same recipe with bone-in chicken breast? All I have right now is bone-in but I will definitely try this with boneless.

  38. Cooked chicken breast for 15 mins in a convection oven at 450. It was super juicy! I used salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. I then let it rest for ten mins. It was so moist! I used the rest the next day (still moist) and shredded it, added mayo with a little bit of old bay seasoning, chopped onions and celery. My husband loved it!!! Will definitely cook it again no other way!

    Rating: 5
  39. I did this with airline chicken or Frenched chicken breasts. I did not skip a step. I did them with herbs de Provence. Roasted them on a rack over blanched carrots and fingerling potatoes for a dinner party. They were fabulous. Follow all the B’s. You won’t be disappointed ! Roasted on high heat.

    Rating: 5
  40. Definitely foolproof! I somehow missed the brining step and they still tasted amazing

    Rating: 4
  41. I’m curious about suggesting to pound it, but you don’t show that in your video or pictures?