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!

This post contains affiliate links.

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Baked Chicken Breast Recipe
4.8 from 509 reviews

Baked Chicken Breasts

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

Learn how to make juicy, tender, delicious baked chicken breasts with this simple 5-step method.


Scale

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)

Instructions

  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.

How To Bake Chicken Breasts

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2,161 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

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  1. Can I use garlic paste instead of garlic powder?

    • We haven’t tried that but we think that should probably be okay. We hope you enjoy!

  2. When you use a brine does the chicken take in the extra salt? I must eat a very low sodium diet and use rubs and seasonings from mrs dash and bensons but will the 15 minute brine add extra salt?

    • No, it doesn’t (and rinsing the brine off will help ensure that). What it does is just make the chicken incredibly moist and juicy. As for the salt content though, we’re really not sure what that is (we just know it doesn’t taste salty). If you’re on a very low-sodium diet though, you probably want to avoid this recipe to be safe (or at least check with a doctor or nutritionist first). We hope this helps!

  3. This was a great alternative to grilling. Chicken was very moist & my family loved it. 

  4. Made this for my family tonight. Everyone- including my picky preschooler, loved it. Easily the best, juiciest baked chicken I have ever made. And it was so EASY! Thank you times a million!

  5. This was absolutely delicious! My new go-to way to make chicken!
    Thank you so much!

  6. I had the common problem of dry chicken:( I made this chicken recipe for my boyfriend and I. I added peppercorn and fresh garlic and let it sit for a couple hours. Let me tell you this method was absolutely perfect! Thank you so much!

  7. Love this recipe for chicken. It’s become my staple. I have also used the dry rub on white fish like tilapia. Pan fried with this rub is delicious. Made the fish for fish tacos and the flavours were perfect!

  8. Oh my God. I love everything on this site (as of late especially the slow cooker butternut squash soup) BUT I FINALLY tried this recipe. And I have to admit, initially I thought “this is baker chicken breast. Not sure if this will blow my mind.” I STAND CORRECTED! I think my husband and I are just in shock.  These were INCREDIBLE. I actually substituted smoked chipotle powder for smoked paprika and it was out of this world. This is now the only way I will bake chicken. THANK YOU a million times over!!! Just another reason this site is my absolute favorite!!! Cheers! 

    • Thank you so much for your sweet words, Mary-Ella! We’re so glad you guys loved this! :)

  9. I pinned this recipe about a month ago and have made it three times already. For food prepping my proteins in the winter, this is THE best recipe! 

  10. This baked chicken breast recipe is the best and most moist chicken I’ve ever had! It’s the only one I use now. 

  11. Did not brine chicken but followed the rest of the recipe. Chicken was great and really moist. Thanks!!

  12. Great and easy! Single father here and even with our busy schedule is faster than most home cooked chicken recipes!

    • Thanks for sharing with us, Aaron, and for giving this a try — we’re glad you enjoyed it!

  13. This was a delicious and moist chicken BUT it took twice as long to cook as I was anticipating.  I pulled it out at 20 min. and the chicken was only 160.  At 15 min. it was not quite 160 and still visibly pink from the outside.  I did let it rest for ten minutes but after cutting into one of the pieces realized it was still slightly pink so I cooked it ten minutes longer and didn’t bother letting it rest again.  It was really really good.  I hadn’t pounded the breasts and I’m sure that’s why it took so much longer than 15 min.  But no matter, I LOVED this recipe and the seasoning.  Also, I thawed some Costco chicken breasts and they were already brined so I didn’t have to deal with the first step.  Super easy and delicious.

    • Thanks for sharing with us — we’re so glad you enjoyed the chicken! We’re sorry to hear it took twice as long to cook though, that’s really strange!

  14. Has anyone tried this method with pork chops??

  15. I have been looking for crispy on the outside and soft on the inside kind of chicken breast recipe. I usually “bake my chicken”. It get cooked very well but looks so unappetizing. All the seasoning runs off the chicken in the chicken juice that i find in the pan. I am very excited to try your recommendations. 1 question? My oven only has bake and broil options. Is broiling the same thing as “roasting”? if not how do I get my chicken to roast as you described? Thanks

    • Hi Nishu, we’re sorry for just now responding to your comment! Broiling is not the same thing as roasting. You just want the regular bake setting for this (we just use the broiler for the last couple of minutes to get the skin a little crispy), but it’s totally not necessary. We hope you enjoy!

  16. Just made this for dinner and if I do say so myself, it was amazing! 
    Not dry not chewy, just perfect! So absolutely delicious would 10/10 recommend this to anyone! 

  17. Thank you! I LOVE juicy chicken. I breaded my chicken and this still works for me, they came out perfect.

  18. I never thought to roast chicken breasts before. I have only ever steamed or poached breasts; or roasted whole chooks.

    I tried this tonight and I kept the seasoning simple like yours. Olive oil, touch of salt, garlic powder and Hungarian sweet paprika powder. 15 min at 230*C as you suggested – and they cooked beautifully! Must admit, I skipped the brine step, as I forgot about it.
    The whole time they were cooking, they smelt wonderful. Sliced them up and used them in the creamy chicken pasta I was making for dinner. They added an extra flavour to an other-wise plain sauce.

    Thank-you for posting this recipe!

  19. I was looking for a great Oven Baked Chicken and I discovered your website and found this recipe and by far is the
    BEST OVEN BAKED CHICKEN EVER my daughter want me to make all the time and I can eat it all the time also
    Thank You a million times over 

    • Thank you so very much, Fern! We’re happy you and your daughter enjoy the recipe!

  20. Made this tonight and it came out perfectly.  Followed the recipe to a T and was very happy with the outcome.  

  21. Hands down the juiciest most flavorful chicken breast I’ve ever made. I’m an old novice (i.e., despite years of experience, I still suck at cooking). So I love easy, no-fail recipes like this. Thank you!!

  22. Made this last night…OMG!! So good! I can never get chicken breast right and hardly make it because I always make it too dry. This recipe is fool proof. I followed the steps to a T (I did use Kosher Chicken) and it turned out beautifully. I plan on making a large batch every other week for meal preps.

  23. My husband and I love this! He said I finally found the perfect way to cook chicken! Thanks!!!!

  24. I did this today. It was a hit. My family really enjoyed it. Thank you so much. Will be cooking this often

  25. A friend of mine shared this recipe with me, the instructions are easy to follow the end result is even better.

    My four year old son and my wife loved the chicken, it was juicy and moist as advertised. I served it with quinoa and steamed broccoli.

    I slightly modified the rub, I added some cumin and chopped garlic; baked for 18 mins @ 450 F.

    For an extra crispy finish I broiled for 3 mins.

    @Ali thanks for a great, simple and delicious recipe.

    • Thanks for sharing with us, Azeez — we’re happy you and your family enjoyed the recipe!

  26. I love this recipe and must admit, there have been weeks when my husband and I have looked one another in the eye and said “Paprika Chicken?” (as we call this) even after we already had it once already that week! It is a staple in our home and recently, when we returned from vacation, was the first home cooked meal we made because we had missed it so much! We love the smoked paprika, and think that it gives the dish an amazing smoky flavor that can’t be beat! Thanks so much for what has become our favorite recipe!

    • Thanks for sharing with us, Ashly — we think that’s so sweet and we’re happy you and your husband love the recipe! :)

  27. Tried this tonight using a Caribbean curry seasoning and I can’t believe how amazing it was, especially considering it was just cheap frozen chicken!

    • Thanks for sharing with us, Bethany — we’re so happy you enjoyed it, and that Caribbean curry seasoning sounds awesome!

  28. Awesome, easy recipe!

  29. Do you have to turn the chicken when baking

  30. Does the chicken need to be turned

  31. Just started brining.  Is it better to brine longer than 15 minutes if you have the time?

    • Hi Sue! You could brine these for up to two hours if you really wanted and if you have the time. We hope you enjoy!

  32. Just made this chicken to use with your chicken enchilada casserole. I nearly quit just after making the chicken because it was SO GOOD. I knew about brining meat and I always try to do so when prepping for dinner – however, you took tis a step further with that seasoning blend! DELICIOUS!

    Every time I search Pinterest for a recipe – I always get excited to find one from you! Have tied several and have never been disappointed. Thank you for sharing your talents! Looking forward to trying the casserole – just waiting for that last layer of cheese to melt!

  33. I tried this about a month or so ago, and I won’t ever cook muy breasts another way!
    Thank you so much for this juicy, melt-in-your-mouth recipe!
    I have even passed it along to others :)

  34. Ive been struggling to find a good recipe for my meal prep! Thankyou so much! Best chicken ever!

  35. Delicious chicken! But, it took me much longer on the cook time. However, I didn’t pound it, but wasn’t sure that it was necessary. Does it make that much of a difference?

    • Hi Grace — it sounds like it took much longer to cook because the chicken breast was too thick (in that case, pounding definitely makes a big difference in reducing the cook time).

  36. This is the second time I have made chicken like this and it’s the best chicken we have ever had. Normally when my boyfriend and I make chicken or order it from a restaurant, it comes out dry or it just tastes flavorless so I hardly ever eat chicken anymore. It’s also a bummer for my boyfriend because he’s a personal trainer so he eats healthy and loves his chicken but I don’t cook it as much anymore. After I tried this recipe, I can’t get enough! We don’t have many spices so we just do melted butter, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and it tastes amazing. Thank you for this recipe!

    • Thank you so much for sharing with us, Angie — we’re so happy you and your boyfriend enjoy the recipe!

  37. I have never brined a chicken in my life, and I’m 57 years young! I thought I’d give this recipe a whirl – BOY am I glad I did!! My 17 yr old daughter (who thinks chicken is disgusting and who turns up her nose and picks at the food whenever I serve it) practically inhaled this chicken – she even commented that it was “Delicious!” I almost fell out of my chair!!Thank you for a fast, delicious dinner! I will always brine my chicken from now on – it truly make it moist and so very tasty!! I can’t wait to try it with some different spices – a favorite of mine is salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.

    • Thank you for sharing with us, Cindy — we’re so happy you and your daughter loved the recipe! :)

  38. What if my chicken is frozen is it ok to boil it first for a little be to unthaw? Or no

  39. Hi!

    Thank you for detailed instructions. I’ve got a question – on one website I saw that they recommend pre-heating the pan for the chicken in the oven also. What do you think of that? Good idea, bad idea, neutral (nothing lost, nothing gained)?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Zee — we haven’t tried that so it’s hard to say, but we think it’s worth a try! :)

  40. This was AMAZING!!! I will never cook chicken another way. so happy I gave it a try!

  41. I made this tonight. Looked exactly like the photo. Baked for 20 minutes at 450 and they were perfect and delicious. Not sure if it’s the brining or the drying or the higher heat, but I have apparently been cooking chicken wrong for 35 years. Did I mention they were perfect?  Moist but not juicy, which is what I wanted and added the extra 5 minutes.  Never will do it any other way. Mmmmm. No photo: ate it all!

  42. This chicken changed my life. SO GOOD.

  43. I’ve ALWAYS messed up chicken breasts! I tries your method and it came out moist and tender. Thanks so much.

  44. excellent, thanks….I’ll always brine now. Had most success with your recipe baking in a cast iron skillet at 450 degrees. At the end of baking I gave it a quick broil blast that crusted the top very nicely to match the bottom. After giving it a rest with tin foil hat, breasts were super juicy.
    -I would suggest not salting the breasts until they’re sliced and served. The brining process took care of most of that for my taste.
    -also I didn’t have much luck brushing with butter the first time I tried this when I baked in a pyrex dish uncovered. Burned too much at the high heat before the breasts were done

    • You’re welcome, Peter — we’re glad you enjoy the recipe and we appreciate your feedback!

  45. Thank you so much! I have tried everything to bake the perfect chicken breast and they always end up dry or rubbery requiring some sort of condiment to salvage. I followed your tips and brined the chicken, basted with very little butter, added the seasonings, used an instant read thermometer (that i just purchased after reading your blog) I baked the chicken and I let it rest under foil. And voila…they were juicy and fabulous! Even my two picky high school boys devoured them!! Thank you!

    • You’re very welcome, Sheila — we’re so glad to hear you and your boys enjoyed the recipe! :)

  46. Super simple, yet delicious! I’m one happy student and appreciate the guide & steps! :)

  47. These were the best chicken breasts I’ve ever had!!! Thank you!! 

  48. I found this recipe via a Google search. I love the ease, I love the tenderness of the chicken, and the flavor. Speaking of the flavor, one-half a teaspoon of black pepper, one-half a teaspoon of paprika, are far too much for 4 chicken breasts. Personally, I think it makes the dish overly spicy. Also, a quarter cup in warm water to brine the chicken? Wow! I used 5-6 dashes of salt and it was plenty. Pairing down the salt as well as the spices worked perfectly. I am curious however, if the person who wrote this recipe is a smoker? It’s the only reason I can think of for the spice and salt measurements. 

    • We appreciate your feedback, John! We use more salt because that’s how brines work. You can read about them here. That being said, you can always use less if you like, same with the other seasonings!

  49. I’ve made this recipe twice.  Definitely came out perfectly tender and moist.  I didn’t use butter and it was still great.