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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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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1,962 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

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  1. Is their a way to nominate you to Chicken Breast Sainthood?

    Rating: 5
  2. This recipe is so good chicken is tender, flavorful, and juicy.

    Rating: 5
  3. Do you flip the chicken over halfway through cooking?

  4. They turned out PERFECT thank you i never thought to bother with brineing before,that had to have made the difference. Thanks 😊 -Krista K

  5. I do not have a thermometer, is there any way to test the chicken
    I’m afraid not to know when the chicken will be ripe, feel puzzled, need advice

    Rating: 5
    • Cut into the centre of the chicken breast and look at the centre. The meat should be white and the juices clear (not pink). The thermometer is suggested so you don’t release the moisture or marr the surface of the meat (ruin the visual). The cut piece is the piece I serve myself, so everyone else’s is perfect. Bon appetit!

  6. I really liked it, but wife didn’t like the paprika and my 15 y/o son said it wasn’t anything special.
    I will make chicken salad with the leftovers.

  7. Solid! Just made this with a Sea Salt, Black Pepper and Turmeric Rub. So goooooooood. The brining is really the trick I think.

  8. I used store-brined chicken, so maybe the breasts didn’t warm up as much as they would in a brine at home. It took over 50 minutes to get the breasts to 165 degrees, and then the chicken was relatively dry. I’ll try it again with a home brine sometime.

  9. This is my go to recipe for a simple, baked/roasted chicken breast. I’ve made this countless times so far and each time, they come out juicy and tender as described. I refrigerate them once they’ve rested and use them in recipes the next day; they are NOT DRY whatsoever. :)

    Rating: 5
  10. I followed your recipe step by step and the results were delicious! The chicken breasts were moist and flavorful throughout and everyone loved them. From now on this is the way I’ll cook them. Thanks for helping a neophyte cook with a reliable, delicious and easy recipe. :)

    Rating: 5
  11. Excellent recipe! I did the brine at home and it did take a lot longer to bake at 450 than 18 mins but it’s definitely a great and easy recipe! So easy even I can make it! :)

  12. I didn’t believe that this was “the” recipe for chicken breasts, but my gosh, the chicken has come out beautifully every time. Moist, tasty, shockingly delicious. THANK YOU. And, I confess, my 14 yo daughter made it first. I thought maybe beginners luck, but when I made it a second and third time, it’s been great. YAY!

    Rating: 5
  13. Can I do this with bone in skin on? I bought some on sale and if I didn’t have to de-bone and skin, I’d be so happy!

  14. Thank you so much for these chicken tips! I just used this to make chicken for the cold sesame peanut noodle recipe, and it is so juicy and tender. I feel like I have achieved quite the feat!!

    Rating: 5
  15. PERFECT! I’ve been looking for something like this..so so so good!

    Rating: 5
  16. Thanks so much for providing a truly solid method for roasting chicken breasts! I agree that the brining is a “don’t miss” step which adds a lot of moisture to the birds. Made the recipe following the basic seasoning suggestion and cooking at high temp. The breasts I used were massive, so they still required an extra ten minutes in oven to reach temp, but even so they did not dry out at all. As well as being very tasty freshly cooked, this really is a terrific way to prep moist chicken for use in other recipes!

    Rating: 5
  17. Excellent recipe will make again

    Rating: 5
  18. This is definitely the best boneless chicken breast re ipe ever. Trust me I’ve been trying to cook chicken for 30 plus years this is by far the best recipe I’ve come across+

    Rating: 5
  19. Oh, my goodness! Just finished up this recipe for the third time, and it is magnificent!!! You have made me the Chicken Queen of the House!
    Each time, the chicken is sssoooooo moist, and so flavorable! I honestly have never had such delicious chicken breasts (at 66, I ordinarily do not eat them due to their dryness) than what your recipe has delivered to us. And it is disgustingly easy. I give it a zillion stars.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Terri B.

    Rating: 5
  20. This was great! Made just as the recipe described.

    Rating: 5
  21. You don’t need to brine in luke warm water. Salt solubility is unaffected by temperature (unlike sugar) and luke warm is more friendly to bacteria than cold water.

  22. This recipe is the Best Roasted Chicken I have ever tasted, Thank You!

    Rating: 5
  23. This was fabulous. I followed the recipe just as listed, and the chicken was wonderful and juicy. Thank you! I normally hate chicken breasts because they always come out dry, but this was perfect! Winner, winner chicken dinner!

    Rating: 5
  24. The first time I made this recipe, my husband, who is hard to please, raved about it. He said it was almost as good as steak, which is the highest praise I’ve ever heard him give. The second time, he said it was the best chicken he’d ever had. Both my daughters love it, too. It’s a keeper!

    Rating: 5
  25. Will regular iodized salt work the same? I don’t have any sea salt handy.

  26. After all these years of hating chicken breast I now realize it’s because I didn’t know how to cook it! This is the simplest most delicious chicken breast recipe ever!! Thank You!!

    Rating: 5
  27. This is the best way to cook chicken breasts. I have done it a few times now and every time the chicken is juicy and delicious. This is now my go to chicken breast recipe. Thank you!

  28. Oh, my goodness! I just made juicy, not dry chicken for the first time ever. Thank you so much, Alison!

  29. Everything about this chicken was amazing!! It was so juicy and flavorful. My only reason for 4 stars was that I used the butter against my judgement and we had a smoke storm in the house. I’ll definitely continue using this recipe, but I’ll use my tried and true avocado oil from now on.

    Rating: 4
  30. These were amazing! They were tasty and juicy the first night, and also delicious and juicy the next day when I served them in a salad. I will use this recipe as my go-to for ckn breasts, and look forward to trying the shrimp, pork chop and steak recipes, too. Thank you!!!

    Rating: 5
  31. Oh my goodness – this was the absolute best way ever to make delicious, moist chicken breasts! I’m so glad I stumbled on your site! I did not flatten them enough, and when the meat thermometer reached 165º, I took them out of the oven and tented foil over them for a little more than 5 minutes, but the thicker parts were still a bit too pink – so I just popped them back in the oven for a couple more minutes. Perfect!

    Rating: 5
  32. Finally, FINALLY. After 18 years I can finally say I made a FANTASTIC chicken breast. My husband was practically in tears. Poor man. Has suffered so much. Now… I know this an oven website. … but if you could just teach us all step by step detail by detail how to poach the perfect chicken breast… I would be in heaven. Thank you so much for this. Thank you!

  33. Best baked boneless chicken breast I made. So flavorful!

    Rating: 5
  34. I have sea salt and pink himalaynn salt…will they work?

  35. These were amazing! Best recipe for juicy boneless, skinless breasts I’ve ever come across. Don’t have to look anymore!

    Rating: 5
  36. I am making this for dinner it sounds so yummy!

  37. MADE THIS FOR SUPPER IT WAS DELICIOUS!!!!!!! MOIST GREAT RECIPE MY GO TO FOR OVEN CHICKEN
    THANKS

  38. This is a great recipe and the starting point for many variations. I used large bone-in and skin-on chicken breasts so my cook time was over 30 minutes. For my taste no additional salt is needed in the seasoning mix.

    Rating: 5
  39. So I’m a huge germaphobe and the thought of rinsing my chicken off in my sink is freaking me out because the probability of chicken juices splattered all over my kitchen goes way up. Could I possibly skip the rinse and leave out the salt from the spice mixture? Thanks!

  40. Thanks , I made it tonight and it was delicious!

  41. Have you done this before with turkey breast and if the result similar?

    Rating: 5
  42. I made this and it was amazingly juicy!

    Rating: 5
  43. Made this last night. OMG, it was incredible. Will always brine before cooking chicken breasts. Can’t wait to try different seasonings. I’m an old dog who loves to cook and you have taught me something new. Thank you.

  44. I fixed this tonight and it got RAVE reviews! Hubby said it was absolutely amazing. Tasty AND juicy – this is my new go-to recipe!

  45. I tend to shy away from chicken breasts because they always turn out dry. This recipe is a total game changer!!! I only had one breast thawed but figured I’d adjust the seasonings accordingly and give it a whirl. AMAZING!! Super flavorful and SO SO juicy!! Thank you so much!!!

    Rating: 5
  46. Made this tonight pretty much as directed. Cooked 3 split breasts for 20 minutes after bringing and let rest 5 minutes. Perfect

  47. Followed the recipe . Perfect

    Rating: 5
  48. So simple but so mother f&*#$%^ good!

    Rating: 5
  49. Thanks for the great recipe! We loved it and will add to the regular rotation. Question for you though – what thickness breasts do you recommend? I had to bake mine for substantially longer than the recipe called for, and I’m not sure if our breasts were unusually thick, or if it’s an oven issue. Thanks again!

    Rating: 5
  50. They say you learn something new everyday, I have never cooked chicken this way. But I will tell you this was the best chicken I have ever cooked and eaten. It was so flavorful, tender and juicy. Thanks for the recipe and coking tips. I will definitely be making it again in the future. And sharing it with friends and family.

    Rating: 5