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…


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.


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)


  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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2,097 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

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  1. Tried this tonight.  Chicken was tender and moist.  Husband loved it.  A little too spicy for me.  I guess I don’t like paprika.  Thanks for the recipe.  We eat a lot of chicken and I am always looking for new ways to prepare it.

  2. This was THE BEST baked chicken breast recipe, EVER. I’ve already made it twice in the last week or so. Husband was licking his chops. The dog was trying to jump up to get a bite (we never feed her table food and she knows this and usually never gets this bossy, but she must have known how great this chicken was)… 10 out of 10. I’ll be spending the rest of my night perusing your recipes.

    • Thanks for your sweet words, Trish — we’re so happy you and your husband loved it! :)

  3. Will this work when cooking for enough for 75 people? Do you need to add extra time?

    • Hi Nancy — this recipe makes enough for 4 servings, so you would need to do like 18 or 19x this recipe to feed 75 people.

  4. Hi! I was wondering how thick your chicken breast? I buy natures promise individual chicken breast and they are quite small. I just wanted to make sure so I don’t over cook.



    • Hi Jackie! It’s hard to say, sometimes they’re thicker than others. If really thick, you might want to pound them a bit. If they’re smaller, we’d set your timer for a few minutes shorter and check them with the thermometer just to be on the safe side. We hope this helps!

  5. hello i tried this method with chicken and it came out FABULOUS!!! really enjoyed it.  I was wondering can I do the same method with turkey breast? 

    • Thanks for sharing, Amanda — we’re so happy you enjoyed it! We haven’t experimented with turkey breast for this recipe, though we think it’s worth giving it a try!

  6. I followed the recipe exactly (except longer cooking to get to 170degrees – 10 minutes more but could be my oven) and the chicken turned out amazing! Love this, simple and easy technique that works! Thank you!

  7. Could I add a little mustard before sprinkling with seasoning?

  8. Hello! I made this last night for dinner and it was excellent!! Juicy and tasty! Thank you for sharing…now after all these years I finally can make a perfect chicken breast!

  9. Loved this chicken!  The pan was full of water after cooking – is this usual?  

    • We’re so glad to hear that, Alice! Hmmm, the pan shouldn’t have been full of water though — we’re not sure what happened there.

  10. I have never been able to cook chicken properly. I would cook it and eat it anyway because it is healthy. But, it all change when I tried this recipe. I did it and my family and I really enjoyed it. Can’t wait to make it again!

    • Thank you for sharing with us, Laura — we’re so glad you and your family enjoyed this! :)


  12. Newlywed here:
    I got married thinking I knew how to cook chicken, but I was wrong. A couple times my husband kindly commented that my chicken was a bit tough. So I went on a quest to find the perfect recipe. This one was perfect!! He raves about it! I’ve now started to add a bit of my own seasonings and it works perfectly every time. Thank you so much for saving our supper! ;) Nine months later, we are still happily married because I figured out how to cook! Thank you so much!

    • Thank you so much for sharing with us, Morghann — we’re happy you and your husband loved this! :)

  13. This way of cooking chicken breast made it come out so juicy and tasty! It was so easy, too. Can’t wait to try it again and experiment with the spices.

  14. This is just general question but is there perfect way to get rid off chicken smell? I love chicken breast but I’m very sensitive to the meat smell. I think I’ve tried almost all types of herbs and seasoning but nothing seems to work perfectly unless I make dishes including lots of fat, oil & salt. Any healthier way to control this?

    • Hi Stella! We’re sorry but we’re not really sure how to help you here. We think this chicken smells great! Lemon and garlic are always good to use though, and they’re both very fragrant.

  15. Do you put any water in the pan prior to cooking? 

  16. Although the breast came out tender, I found them to be too salty from the brining as I did not add additional salt. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Karen! Hmmm, were the chicken breasts you used sold in a pre-brined solution? That could explain why. We have a note about it in the recipe. Otherwise, it really shouldn’t taste too salty, as it’s a quick brine and you rinse it off afterwards.

  17. making this chicken now and there is a lot of water in the pan.

    • How did it turn out, Grace? There should definitely be pan juices, but not a lot of water…

  18. Can the chicken breast still be slightly frozen before brining?

  19. I made tonight and was great!! Not dry, lots of flavor! Never knew exactly what brining would do–we will have again for sure!!

  20. Thank you for these tips. I bought the organic breasts that were already brined, The rest was so easy and the chicken was super juicy. The kids loved it which is always a win in our picky family. Simple and so easy. Thanks!!!

  21. Made this chicken tonight and it was awesome- I was amazed at how moist it was! My boyfriend absolutely loved it! No more dry chicken ?

  22. Do you cover the chicken while it is baking with the foil or just after? I normally would cover it while baking.

  23. I am trying this recipe this weekend. Do I put the oven on bake or broil?

    • Hi Tosha! You put the oven on bake, but at the very end, 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. We hope you enjoy!

  24. You are a genius, Ali! Thank you so much! I just made this chicken and it is so moistness and delicious! I’m going to mix it in with your broccoli mac j cheese recipe now!  

  25. What is the best way to reheat without making it dry or tough?

  26. Will definitely try this for supper, looks so easy and yummmy,  what temperature in a convection oven? I would also like to roast potatoes in another pan , also would you have a recipe for roasted potatoes , something simple with onions and a few spices, thank you

    • Hi Lorraine! Unfortunately we haven’t tried this in a convection oven, so we aren’t 100% sure. However, based on what we’ve read, it looks like you would still bake at the same temp, just for a shorter amount of time (we just aren’t sure how much shorter). And we don’t have a roasted potato recipe currently on the blog, but there are so many great ones out there! Here’s one in particular we like…(you can never go wrong with Ina Garten). :)

  27. Tried this recipe tonight and LOVED IT! Added a little more garlic powder and used smoked paprika. I also only used 2 chicken breasts and cooked for about 18 minutes. Super juicy and full of flavor. Adding this to my favorites list!

    Thanks for sharing!

  28. Sounds good. Why not use chicken thighs with or without bones? I do things more or less than this author except with the aforementioned and coat with e e v olive oil and cumin/salt mixture. Tastes great! Will try brining today

    • We hope you enjoy the recipe, Ted! You could try this with chicken thighs (we haven’t), but we think it should probably work fine!

  29. I have no idea what I did wrong, but after 20 minutes in the oven the chicken was still raw in the middle. Followed the instructions to the letter, and was extremely disappointed.

    • Oh no, we’re sorry to hear that, CM! We wonder if your chicken breasts were just really thick? If so, we’d recommend pounding them a little bit beforehand.

  30. brining my chicken now so excited for the end result i will let you know how it turns out

  31. Delicious! Thank you!

  32. I make lots of chicken; mostly skinless/boneless breasts. I decided to try this oven baked recipe because of the brining and high heat – neither of which I had tried before. I brined the breasts for about 20 minutes, then rinsed them and patted them dry. Then I pounded them to about an inch thickness, with a wooden mallet. I followed the directions exactly, except for adding a bit of onion powder to the spice mix. I brushed the breasts with melted butter on both sides. and sprinkled the spice mix on both sidesover the breasts. I baked them at 450 degrees for 18 minutes.

    The chicken came out moist and very tender, although the large roasting pan did have lots of liquid on the bottom. I pulled the chicken out of the pan and drained it. I put a roasting rack into the pan, arranged the chicken on the rack and broiled it for about 5 minutes, watching it constantly to prevent burning. The chicken turned out a bit salty but it was moist and tender. Next time I bake chicken this way, I will use much less salt in the spice mix, and bake the chicken on a roasting rack from the beginning. The bottom side of the breast was a little “boiled” in texture, which I didn’t like. I will be making this again for sure.

    • Thanks for sharing with us, Elisa — we’re glad you enjoyed this! Definitely feel free to use less salt next time if you prefer (some groceries have the chicken sitting in a brining solution already, so that could be why yours tasted saltier).

  33. Tried this recipe exactly as written… didn’t work. It’s been in an extra 20 minutes and is still not at 170, however my oven is working perfectly based on everything else I cook. 

    • Hi John! Oh no, we’re sorry to hear that! Is your chicken just really thick? If so, we recommend pounding it before cooking, otherwise it could take longer to bake.

  34. I made this for dinner, it was i want to buy a bunch of chicken breasts so i can make this for salads, sanwiches and dinners, im so happy with this recipe. Thank you!!

  35. I just tried this recipe today and i absolutely love it as well as my family members. Thank you for sharing it,it is extremely delicious <3

  36. Thanks for this! Last night I decided to marinate some skinless chicken breasts in kimchi juice, and figure out what to do with them today. I decided to bake them, and went looking online for how to do so properly. I followed your advice. I took the chicken out of the marinade, brushed it with olive oil on both sides and salted on both sides. Then I put some sesame oil in the bottom of the baking dish. I baked at 450º as you suggested. It was done in a little under 15 minutes and it was perfect! I think the kimchi juice flattened out the chicken breasts somehow, or tenderized them, or whatever… But thanks to you, this spur-of-the-moment marinating decision turned out very well.

  37. great recipe

  38. I’ve been reading through the comments and I’ve noticed that some people have mentioned ending up with water in the pan after cooking. I’m wondering if it’s from ‘enhanced’ or ‘plumped’ chicken, which is injected with extra water. Google it and see that it can be a common practice. I can’t wait to try this recipe, and I have one question. Can coconut oil be used instead of olive oil or butter?

    • Hi Kathy! You raise a very good point, and we think you’re probably right. A lot of groceries seem to do that with their chicken (another reason this comes out a bit too salty for some folks). And we haven’t tried this recipe with coconut oil instead of butter/olive oil, but we think that should work fine. We hope you enjoy!

  39. Hi. Great tips. Have been using your technique for years (without the brining..look forward to trying that).

    My only twist on your recipe is something that really pleases me. Instead of butter & seasonings I use a vinaigrette salad dressing and top with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan….but that’s me. Nice tips.

  40. I am on a salt fee diet and salt in the bring is a no no. Is there anything else to use instead of salt to brine?

    • Unfortunately, I think that salt is the only ingredient that tenderizes the meat while brining. I would just skip the brining altogether if you’re trying to use less salt.

  41. Turned out great! Wish I could share a pic.

    • We’re glad to hear that, Angela! And in the future, just post your pic to Twitter or IG, and tag @gimmesomeoven or use the hashtag #gimmesomeoven. :)

  42. I just used this process tonight -:I thought it turned out great! (Sorry, I didn’t think to take a picture of it.)

  43. Could I use bone- in chicken breast with this recipe?

    • We haven’t tried that, Linda, so it’s hard to say. We know they’ll work fine, but they’ll take a bit longer to bake, and we’re just not sure how much longer. If you give it a go, let us know how they turn out!

  44. This baked chicken recipe was amazing. My chicken turned out perfect!  Thank you!

  45. This chicken is wonderful and so very easy to fix.  I have always brined my chicken and it does make all the difference regardless of how you prepare it.  This will be my new go to dish!  Thanks!

    • Thank you for sharing, Pat — we’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  46. instead of salt one can use citrus. Lemon is perfect with EVOO or orange for some sweetness.

  47. First time trying this recipe and we LOVED it!  I had gigantic chicken breasts, so I butterflied them first. Still worked just as well.  Quick question though.. I had a ton of juice in my pan, and my tops didn’t get very crispy (I used olive oil)… is this because I butterflied the breasts first?  Thanks! 

    • Thank you for sharing, Cate, we’re so glad guys enjoyed the chicken! Some juice is normal, but a lot could have been because you butterflied them. We’re sorry it didn’t get very crispy! For more of a crust, you can spray it with some cooking spray (or brush with oil) before baking, which will help. Or if you really want the crust and it’s not happening, you could cook the chicken until it’s nearly done, and then pop it under the broiler for a minute or two. That’ll definitely help it get a nice crust. We hope this helps!

  48. SO good! I don’t think I’ll be cooking chicken any other way going forward!

  49. Hi Ali, I’m making linguine carbonara and just made your chicken breast recipe to add to it. It’s”resting” right now. I’m very excited about using this chicken! I tasted it and just know it’s going to be a big hit! Like others have said, I’ve never been that successful at cooking boneless/skinless chicken breasts. Thanks for the brine recipe!! Definitely will share your technique with friends!

  50. Wonderful article. 450 degrees for 15 minutes was spot on. Lots of very helpful information. I’m currently cooking for an eccentric millionaire cowboy and he was very happy with how the chicken breasts turned out. I topped it with beurre blanc. Thank you so much for article.