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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How To Bake Chicken Breasts

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1,885 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

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  1. Yum!! Thank you. My picky kids raved about. My husband and I couldn’t believe how moist chicken breasts could be.

    Rating: 5
  2. Perfection every time I make this recipe. I am a terrible cook with fear of undercooking things. I even add 5 minutes to this recipe and it still comes out dripping juicy after cutting slices. Chicken game changer; I am now the chicken whisperer.

    Rating: 5
  3. So..I just packed my hubby’s lunch for tomorrow. This may very well be the first time -i’m not even kidding-that he is looking forward to a left-overs lunch of CHICKEN! While this bird is my favorite, it most definitely is not his. We BOTH LOVED this recipe and when I told him i was writing this one down for a keeper he said, “make a copy for me too!”
    Your brine, brush,rub, roast and rest has made me a star in my own kitchen.
    Thank you so much!
    And now I can say…Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

  4. Made this for dinner tonight and used Jamaican Jerk seasoning. It came out perfectly!!!!!! My husband was very happy to have his chicken on a sandwich and I just ate mine with a knife and fork! I can’t wait to cook chicken like this again. Thank you!!!!!

    Rating: 5
  5. This is my first review ever. This chicken breast recipe was the BEST I have ever had. Easy to make, and very juicy. I was worried about brining but think that made a huge difference.

    Rating: 5
  6. Thank you so much for this! I’ve never been able to get chicken right. I absolutely loathed making it, because most of the time it came out disappointing. This recipe is so easy, and it actually made chicken enjoyable! Amazing! Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  7. Hi, Ali! This recipe worked very well! I am tired of dry roasted chicken breast and the brining certainly did the trick! I used some fresh rosemary and a bit of sage to match the flavors of the roasted potatoes I was making, so I cut down a bit on the paprika because I was afraid of competing flavors of the seasonings. I won’t do that again because the finished chicken was a little too pale for me (not that beautiful browned look yours had). As suggested, I broiled it for a few minutes and that helped. Maybe next time I’ll add a drop or two of Kitchen Boquet to the oil when I brush it on the chicken. That would give it more of a brown color. However…the flavor and texture were EXCELLENT Finally, moist roasted chicken breasts!! Can’t wait to make it again! THANK YOU! For some reason, the site will not allow me to indicate a star rating, but I can say that this recipe deserves a 5-star rating!!

  8. Thank you for this recipe! It’s given me juicy tender chicken everytime. Can you tell me how to best reheat the chicken, after it’s been baked, sliced, and frozen?

    Rating: 5
  9. I’ve never done a simple baked chicken breast. OH. MY. GOD. My family LOVED this – even my picky teenager son!! I’m making it again tonight and so excited!

    Rating: 5
  10. Wow. Thanks so much for sharing. It was perfect. Delicious, tender and so juicy. My daughter and I enjoyed it eminciesly.

    Rating: 5
  11. DEEEELICIOUS!! My husband said “this is really good chicken!” and my son said “this is actually good!” I am famous for overcooking/undercooking chicken. This was restaurant quality! thank you thank you!

    Rating: 5
  12. Wow! I have been baking chicken for years and years, and I had never tried the brining method and the high heat, less time trick. What a difference! Everyone at my book club commented on how juicy and flavorful it was. Thank you so much for this recipe!

    Rating: 5
  13. Excellent tasting chicken. Moist & flavorful. Thanks for sharing the recipe : ) : )

    Rating: 5
  14. This was super easy and has excellent flavor. I liked how moist it was. I practiced tonight with this recipe. Tomorrow night I am making this to feed our Wednesday night church group, which is about 35 people. It will be a hit with them!

    Rating: 5
  15. Awesome!! Followed instructions exactly…and its the first time i’ve baked chicken that didn’t come out dry and rubbery! my son loved it…said it was perfect. Thank you so much!

    Rating: 5
  16. Perfectly tender and juicy chicken every time! Thank you for the fail-safe recipe!

    Rating: 5
  17. Hi Ali! I’m making this dish tonight. I don’t have any kosher salt on hand. I only have Pink Himalayan. Could I brine the chicken with this instead, and would I use the same amount? Thanks. I’m so looking forward to trying this method. My last chicken attempt was a disaster, but this looks super easy!

  18. Having been raised in a house where the chicken is always cooked to the 0 moisture point, the idea of baked chicken always makes my brother and I cringe. THIS RECIPE THOUGH. This is amazing! I made it once and immediately forwarded it to my brother, who now makes it several times a week with different variations. Thanks so much for this! We love it!!

    Rating: 5
  19. I will definitely try this recipe.

  20. Best baked chicken recipe I’ve ever used. It is always tastey and tender and it’s a major bonus that my young kids love it, too!!!

    Rating: 5
  21. I have brined whole birds and pork roasts. I don’t know why I never thought of brining chicken breasts! I’m on weightwatchers so always looking for lean protein dinners. This was amazing and will be my basic go-to recipe for chicken breasts going forward. I can see how this can be adapted to many different cuisines and tastes. No more dry chicken! This was so juicy and flavorful even after just 20 minutes of brining and baking as instructed. Bravo!

    Rating: 5
  22. I tried this recipe tonight. I just wanted a different recipe than I normally used. I love this recipe. My family loved it also. Every drop was gone. Next time I might go a little easier on the pepper. My son and myself do not love pepper, but my husband loves it. I may have to make 2 different batches next time. One with the pepper and one with less. Either way it was fabulous. I have already shared it with my mother.

  23. First time ever in my life that I baked chicken breast that was not dry. This is the most delicious chicken breast ever. My chicken didn’t get a crispy crust the seasoning were still soft but perfect.

    Rating: 5
  24. This chicken was perfect! The most flavorful and moist breasts I’ve ever made . I used them for a salad. I sliced the breast and laid them on a bed of (I used iceberg lettuce because it’s my favorite) with avocado slices. I served it with garlic toast and it was delicious. Baking at a high heat and letting them rest was key. Excellent recipe….

  25. Wow, never knew that brining a chicken breast could make such a difference! This will now be my go-to chicken recipe. Turned out perfectly moist, juicy and delicious! Even my fiancé loved it and said is was the best chicken I had ever made. Thank you!!!

    Rating: 5
  26. Wow! Great recipe! Chicken was
    So tender and
    Juicy!

    Rating: 5
  27. My chicken bRRRRReasts were perfect, tender and juicy! Thanks for those tips!

  28. This is one of your best recipes ever and I always come back here to see what others have done. Thanks for sharing – 5 stars from me!

    Rating: 5
  29. This was excellent! The chicken came out so tender and juicy, I couldn’t believe it. I’m not usually a fan of white meat chicken, but I’ve never had it like this–it’s usually dry and stringy–but this is simply good enough to eat all by itself or with a green veggie or salad on the side.

    Rating: 5
  30. This chicken breast method was just wonderful. The chicken came out incredibly tender and juicy. I don’t usually like white meat chicken since most I’ve ever had has been dry and stringy. This could be dinner all by itself, but it is grand with side of green veggie or salad and even some rice for those who eat it to soak up the delicious juices.

    Rating: 5
  31. I seriously can not cook chicken… EVER! I decided to give it one last shot and this was the BEST chicken I’ve had in a long time. We’ve made it bone in and out, it’s bern wonderful every time! My husband was so surprised he asked for more. Itvtastes like a rotisserie and is better than most restaurants. Thank you so much for this easy and delicious recipe.

    Rating: 5
  32. Juicy , succulent
    In my 52 years of life ! Well not quite, I have been trying to make a good chicken breadt meal and today was a great success
    You are the master in this art of chicken breast making
    So delicious , I added a few other ingredients for the rub like cumin, Basil leaves , cracked Peppers and paprika mixed in with olive oil as the rub and then brush it on
    Then followed the rest of the recipe
    And there you have . I will try others if your recipes
    Thank you so much for a great education

    Rating: 5
    • Thank you so much, Angella! I’m SO happy the recipe was a success for you! Cheers to many more years ahead of perfectly cooked chicken. ;)

  33. Looks good, I will try it. Thanks

  34. Not a fan of chicken skin and bones, so pretty much only use breast. Never could get them baked to not be dry though. Tried this methodis today and it was perfect! Thank you! Now I will jst play around with different flavours of spices.

    Rating: 5
  35. I have been cooking for over 35 years. This chicken breast recipe is without a doubt the absolute best recipe I have ever ever used. I had my doubts – both breasts were thick and boneless skinless breast are always dry – right? Wrong! I followed your recipe to a T. Did them at 450 in a convection oven for 18 minutes – let them rest for about 15 minutes. PERFECT. Moist, tasty, perfect texture. I would have taken a pic but they’ve already been devoured. So good.

    Rating: 5
  36. This is the most delicious baked chicken I have ever made. Thanks for the recipe!

    Rating: 5
  37. Such a great recipe, so simple and easy! Made it with pasta and four cheese sauce, it was so delicious!

    Rating: 5
  38. Cooked this meal tonight with oven baked potatoes and I have NO leftovers. Delish!

    Rating: 5
  39. WOW! First time making this recipe and it came out amazing! I am usually super picky with chicken but stumbling across your recipe I figured I’d give it a try and it came out perfect! Super flavorful and moist! Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  40. I love this recipe so much! Ever since I found it I’ve used it numerous times and is now my go to recipe for chicken breasts! It is so easy and when you follow every step it makes the best juicy chicken breast! Thank you so much!

    Rating: 5
  41. This was the best recipe I have ever found that was so easy, moist and absolutely lip smacking good. It was so easy I had to look at the recipe several times thinking I must be leaving out something. Thank you for posting this & I will be using this recipe from now on.

    Rating: 5
  42. Perfection…who knew??? The brining made all the difference in the world. I have made this four times and each time it has come out of the oven moist and delicious!

    Rating: 5
  43. I have a wildtree recipe that I want to do in the oven and I’m hoping to use this high heat method. However, it does have some peppers and onions with it. 😬Think they’d be ok to cook in the same pan at this temperature??

  44. Hi! So I stumbled here to find just basic temperature and time to roast chicken and I discovered this amazing thing which is brining the chicken. It’s a game changed! I just made the best chicken ever and my boyfriend was super impressed! Thank you! He was even like dang, I need to look into this brining thing, last time I made this dinner it was so dry. He has a favorite easy go to called cheesy chicken which is what I made tonight. Just roasted chicken, then melt some shredded cheddar on top for a minute or so after the chicken is done. I just upped the cheesy chicken game and the resting made the cheese extra melty. So awesome!

    Thank you so much!

    Rating: 5
  45. This is definitely THE recipe for chicken breasts. It’s the perfect building block to combine with whatever you like – delicious every time. (And I’m usually not even a fan of straight up chicken.) Ah-mazing! Thanks so much for sharing, Ali!!!

    Rating: 5
  46. Wow! Chicken recipe is the best! Delicious! From now on that’s the only way I am cooking boneless chicken breasts!

    Rating: 5
  47. First off, I am not a cook. I google every recipe starting with the word “easy” because a. I have a full time job. b. I have 5 children to feed. And c. Cooking has never really been my first favorite on household work…but this is my go-to recipe for chicken breast, taking the extra few minutes to brine and rest, totally makes a difference.

    Rating: 5
  48. This was very good. 15 min brine and it was perfect. I brushed w butter, added minced onion, s&p, paprika and grated parm. 450 18 min uncovered rest 10 min w foil. Maybe the best ch breast I’ve ever had!!

  49. I don’t know why I haven’t commented on this before. I’ve been using your recipe for months now. It’s the best-tasting easy-to-prepare recipe I’ve ever used. My go-to recipe from the first timeI tried it. Thanks so much!

    Rating: 5
  50. This is BY FAR the best chicken breast recipe I’ve ever tried. Followed the recipe exactly and the chicken came out perfectly!!! Ridiculously good.

    Rating: 5