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!

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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. 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.
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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

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2,053 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

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  1. This was the best tasting chicken breast and very juicy too. This will be my go to recipe for baked chicken breast. Thanks for this extra delicious recipe.

    Rating: 5
  2. Very delicious thank you

    Rating: 5
  3. I actually prepared this super easy, yet yummy recipe last night for the fam. I am not a everyday cooker, so I needed something easy but great tasting. My 10 year old loves when I do cook dinner and he really enjoyed this recipe!! I just don’t have a lot of time to plan and prepare home cooked meals everyday with my job, so we get food To go a lot. By The way I chose to Cook them at 450° and I had to cook them for a little longer than 15 minutes but they were thicker chicken breast.Thank you for the recipe I’ll definitely check out other recipes on this website.

    Rating: 5
  4. Hi Ali,
    his was very well done I am trying it out for dinner tonight. I can’t wait to see out it turns out yours look so yummy.

    Thanks
    Rudy

  5. I’m so glad I came across this recipe! I will brine my chicken from now on. I did cook my chicken longer than 18 Minutes because my chicken was big. My family and I loved this chicken. Moist and flavorful. Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  6. I just made your baked chicken recipe using the brine and high heat. I am eating it with a huge smile on my face !!!
    Love in my mouth girl. Thank you.

    Rating: 5
  7. OMG! Your instructions were PERFECT!
    I did everything you instructed, including the brining, the cooking time and the resting. I also pounded the breasts to make them less thick. This was the first time I’ve made chicken breasts, only because they are always so dry. Not anymore! My guests loved the chicken. It was a hit.
    Thank you so, so much!
    By the way, I bought local, organic chicken, fresh from the butcher, which may have made a difference, too.

    Rating: 5
  8. I made this recipe for dinner with my family last, 2nd Passover (informal dinner) – the chicken was wonderful! Everyone loved it! I wish I could attach a photo to this review because it looked beautiful too!

    Rating: 5
  9. Found this recipe while searching for chicken recipes on Pinterest and I made this for my family last night and they all loved it there wasn’t a piece left. Very much a keeper and will make it again. Thanks for sharing.

    Rating: 5
  10. This is THE BEST chicken recipe ever. …Im not even really a fan of chicken breast. This nails it every time!

    Rating: 5
  11. Absolutely delicious. I have made this dish twice and every time I was never disappointed. My family loves this meal so much we have added chicken to our grocery list. Thank you for sharing this recipe my family absolutely loves it.

    Rating: 5
  12. Trying to night hopefully it’ll turn out great!

  13. I tried it in a gas oven and it was amazing…. My family calls me a super cook now….. Thanks again

    Rating: 5
  14. how comes this does not inform about how much sodium is in this?

  15. Chicken was awesome! Even if you want to tweak the seasoning to personal taste do everything the recipe tells you to do and the chicken will be cooked perfectly. Ovens are different so use a thermometer as suggested. A big fat FIVE STARS! Hey Gimme Some Oven, how about a great baked tri-tip recipe!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pleeeese😎

    Rating: 5
  16. Best chicken breast recipe ever!! Super moist and tender. Even the hubby raved about it. Thanks!

    Rating: 5
  17. As a member of Weight Watchers, we are allowed skinless, boneless chicken breasts with no points. On the whole, I find cooking and eating them a disappointment; dry, flavorless at best. I’ve tried several options, not much luck, until now. Even adding olive oil, I needed less than one tablespoon for four large pieces, made one breast less than one point. I used the rub suggested and it is perfect. Don’t skip any of the steps; brining, rub, and final rest all essential.
    Thanks for adding this to my arsenal of low-fat proteins.

    Rating: 5
  18. Delicious! I make this once a week.

    Rating: 5
  19. This is the best tasting chicken I’ve ever made! I didn’t know about the brining business, so cool! Also, I think the higher heat/shorter cook time paired with resting was key! Thank you, I will definitely add this to our regular menu :)

    Rating: 5
  20. I stopped making chicken in the oven because I would screw it up every time! Waiting for my husband to grill after work just doesn’t happen. Just made this tonight and it was fantastic! Thank you for finally cracking the code on baked chicken breasts!!

  21. Made it tonight- loved it! Thank you😊

    Rating: 5
  22. This was the most moist chicken breasts our family ever tasted. Your recipe is now a staple in our kitchen.

    Rating: 5
  23. Hands down the best chicken I’ve made! I even tried it with frozen breasts and just cooked it longer and they turned out amazing! Thank you!!!

    Rating: 5
  24. Hi there! Have you ever tried this with a full chicken? I just bought a beer roaster, and am planning on doing a side by side comparison with a “regular” roasted chicken. I have loved this recipe for chicken breasts, but haven’t ever short wet-brined a full chicken.
    Thanks!

    Rating: 5
  25. SO delicious!!!! Perfect with some corn on the cob and green beans. I used the leftover chicken to make a wrap for lunch the next two days – lettuce, tomato, cheddar, mushrooms, and Italian dressing…easy and delicious! I am passing this onto my friends. I am a school counselor, so this will be great to make for lunch this summer for salads, wraps, quesadillas…probably so much more! I love the different seasonings you use. I used Pilleteri’s seasoning on them (You must try it! It’s from Birmingham, AL). I have also been exploring your other recipes…can’t wait to cook up some new things! Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  26. Thank you! I’ve been cooking chicken breasts for ages and they’ve become barely edible. This recipe may be simple but I’ve just eaten the best meal I ever cooked! I swapped paprika for rosemary and thyme because I had no paprika and used olive oil spread, but hey, it worked a treat! I shall be checking out more of your recipes now, you have a new fan!! Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  27. This was so juicy and delicious! I made it last night with rice and again today for my chicken salad! So flavorful, even my extremely picky daughter ate it up!

    Rating: 5
  28. The best chicken breast – ever! Moist, succulent, and flavorful. Thank you, Ali!

    Rating: 5
  29. OMG. The best. I was getting so bored with my bland cooking chicken breast. And most people cook a lot of chicken. This recipe was excellent. I’m hooked.

    Rating: 5
  30. I made this for dinner tonight & got RAVE reviews from my family. Even my extremely picky, hard to please 19 yr old daughter was impressed. My husband said it was the juiciest chicken he’d ever had as he proceeded to have seconds & then thirds! Thanks for the excellent tips & perfect blend of simple spices! (I used your paprika, garlic powder, salt & pepper rub & opted for the 450° @ 17 mins method & actually could have cut the time down by a minute or two but it was perfect nonetheless. I even had some pretty thick breasts but my oven tends to cook a bit faster than normal. Thanks again!)

    Rating: 5
  31. Ali you need to shorten up your recipes I gave up on this one before I even got to the recipe. If you want to tell a story write a blog not a recipe.

  32. This recipe is perfection!!! 💯

    Rating: 5
  33. Best. Chicken. Ever. I have so much trouble baking chicken and this recipe was perfect. So juicy tender and tasty. So happy I found your blog, thank you!!

    Rating: 5
  34. I am not a cook like I NEVER cook, however new boyfriend has asked that i do,seeing how he works 14hrs a day. So i came across this recipe and gave it a try… absolutely perfect… my friend and I enjoyed it still waiting on him to come home and try it. Thank you

  35. Awesome and easy! Thanks so much, my picky eater loved it!

    Rating: 5
  36. Great! I just wasted 40-45 minutes of my life (roughly 10 mins of reading a bunch of rambling, and another 30 mins or so preparing the dish) that I will never be able to get back, just to make some bland mediocre baked chicken breast. Thinking that I would try something new besides my recipe for chicken breast, this was by far an absolute waste of good meat, time and energy.

    Rating: 1
  37. Wow wow wow!!! Moist, delicious, seasoned OMG! Thank you for the recipe it was a super huge HIT! I’m making chicken like this for now on. BOOM!

    Rating: 5