Baked Chicken Breasts

My all-time favorite baked chicken breasts recipe!  It never fails me, thanks to this simple 5-step method.

Perfect Oven Baked Chicken Breast

Ever single time we do a survey on the blog and ask what kinds of new recipes readers would like to see, the #1 request is always the same:

Chicken.

Specifically, recipe that call for boneless skinless chicken breasts.

Not thighs, not legs, not wings, all of which I personally happen to also love.  Nope, everyone seems to be obsessed with the lean white meat that comes with chicken breasts, and all the better when you don’t have to mess with any skin or bones.  Plus, as lean proteins go, chicken is pretty affordable, it’s also extremely versatile to work with, and let’s be real, you can make it taste like just about anything you like!

However, anyone who has cooked entire chicken breasts before will tell you that they can be annoyingly 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.

Let’s make some!

Baked Chicken Breasts | 1-Minute Video

Baked Chicken Breast

My original photo for this recipe (2015).

The Secret To Perfect Oven Baked Chicken Breasts:

Everyone out there seems to have an opinion about how to make perfectly oven baked chicken breasts.  But I thought I’d go on record today and share with you my favorite way for baking up my favorite bird.  It’s incredible easy, it requires minimal prep, and it is absolutely foolproof (at least in my experience) for making juicy chicken breasts that you can either serve plain, cut up into strips, or shred for your favorite meal.  And — pro tip — these baked chicken breasts are also freezer-friendly, so go ahead and bake up a double batch to have leftovers for later!

All you need to remember is this simple 5-step acronym for making perfectly cooked chicken bbrrreastsB.B.R.R.R.

  1. Brine
  2. Brush
  3. Rub
  4. Roast
  5. Rest

How To Brine Chicken

How To Bake Chicken:

Step 1: Brine the chicken breasts.

Many people are in the habit of brining a turkey for Thanksgiving, but have never considered brining chicken breasts on a regular ol’ weeknight.  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 moist (yes, I used the “m” word), 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.

To brine chicken, simply fill a big bowl with warm (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 really don’t want to let the chicken brine for much longer than that.

Then when you’re ready to go, remove the chicken from the brine, rinse it with cold water, then pat it dry with some paper towels.  Again, don’t skip this step!!!  You’ll be amazed at the difference.

Edited: As it turns out, some store-bought chicken breasts are now sold pre-brined.  So double-check your packaging before doing this step.  If your chicken has already been pre-brined in a sodium solution, just move onto step two.  :)

Step 2: Brush the 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, partly so that the chicken does not stick to the pan on the bottom, and also to help the seasonings stick.  Then place them in a large baking dish (affiliate link).

Baked Chicken Breast Seasoning

Step 3: Rub chicken breasts with your desired seasoning.

If you’re really wanting to keep things simple, you can simply rub on some salt and pepper.  But again, chicken will pick up the flavor of whatever seasonings you add.  So even if it’s just 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.

Baked Chicken Breast

Step 4: Roast that chicken!

So this is the step that causes some disagreement amongst chicken lovers — what temperature and how long to bake chicken breasts.  Do you bake your chicken low and slow (as in, 30 minutes at 350)?  Or do you bake it high and quick (as in, 15 minutes at 450)?  I have tried both — and just about every interval in between — dozens upon dozens upon dozens of times.  And after testing, I fall firmly in the latter camp.

I like to roast my chicken breasts on high heat. 🔥

Depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts (pro tip — be sure to pound them beforehand if needed with a meat mallet so that they are uniformly thick for even cooking), roasting chicken at 450°F should require a cooking time between 15-18 minutes.  It’s speedy and it’s easy.  But I love it most because cooking at high heat quickly develops a nice crispier “crust” on the outside of the breasts, which also locks in those juices and keeps the 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 has fully cooked (160-170 degrees 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 $15, and it will accurately measure your internal chicken temperature in seconds.

How To Make Baked Chicken Breasts

5. Rest your chicken.

And this is where that “patience is a virtue” stuff comes in.  You must, must, must let your beautifully baked chicken breasts rest before cutting into them.  This goes for any meat, really.  If you cut in right away, you lose all of the amazing juices and some of the tenderness that we’re going for!

Instead, give the bird a rest so that it can finish cooking and soak back up all of those juices.  I recommend loosely tenting a sheet of aluminum foil over the pan to keep the heat in while the chicken rests.

Then after 5-10 minutes….

Perfect Oven Baked Chicken Breast Recipe

…you can finally serve and enjoy your perfectly-cooked chicken breasts.   And enjoy every last bite.

Baked Chicken Breast with Roasted Asparagus

How To Serve Baked Chicken Breasts:

Feel free to slice, shred, dice, or serve them whole.  Whatever sounds good to you.  Or if you’d like to save them for later, these chicken breasts can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or frozen (I recommend shredding, dicing, or slicing the chicken beforehand) for up to 3 months.

Enjoy, everyone!

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Baked Chicken Breasts

Learn how to make juicy, tender, delicious baked chicken breasts with this easy foolproof recipe.

Ingredients:

Baked Chicken Breast Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness and brined in saltwater (*see easy instructions below)
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (I prefer smoked paprika)

Directions:

  1. *To brine your chicken breasts, simply 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.  (Again, though, if your chicken breasts are sold 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.  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.  If you use a cooking thermometer to measure the temperature thickest part of the breast, it should be between 160-170°F.  (The FDA recommends 165°F.)
  6. *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 extra browned on top.  Keep a close eye on the chicken so that it does not overcook and/or burn.
  7. Once the chicken is cooked, remove the pan from the oven and loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil.  Let the chicken rest for at least 5-10 minutes.  Then serve immediately.
  8. Or, refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
All images and text ©

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 Make Baked Chicken Breasts

Also, if you’re interested in a lemony twist on this recipe, check out this Baked Lemon Chicken.  Or check out our new post (below) for 5 Easy Chicken Marinades!

These 5 Easy Chicken Marinade Recipes -- Teriyaki, Enchilada, Tandoori, Honey Mustard and Pesto -- are freezer-friendly (perfect for meal prep), naturally gluten-free, easy to make, and SO delicious. Perfect for chicken, steak, pork, and tofu. And flexible for baked, grilled, sautéed, or slow cooker chicken. | Gimme Some Oven #chickenrecipe #bakedchicken #marinaderecipe #chicken #glutenfree

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1,787 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

  1. Delicious! Perfect and simple

    Rating: 5
  2. This recipe is the best I have ever tried! The chicken was so moist and tender. I know i’ll be making this several times a month. I can not describe how absolutely delicious the chicken was. Thank you

  3. Turned out awesome super juicy and yummy for the whole family!

    Rating: 5
  4. Just Googled roasted skinless, boneless chicken breast, and this recipe popped up. Definitely a keeper. Husband announced the best chicken breast ever AND he’s a thigh man. Thanks. So good, and for a breast moist and flavorable.

    Rating: 5
  5. Great recipe! A few remarks. I like to brine my chicken in a gallon ziploc bag. I mix the salt in a measuring cup to taste before adding it to the chicken in the bag. It is easy to use too much salt so taste the water before pouring it in the bag. Then I press most of the air out of the bag and prop it upright before it goes into the fridge. I have brined whole chicken for up to 24 hrs. They do this at Church’s chicken. Looking forward to making this.

  6. Easy and delicious! I found I had to cook it quite a bit longer but we prefer it that way and are particular that chicken is thoroughly cooked. But we loved it. I’ve finally found my go to baked chicken that I can use in all types of recipes.

    Rating: 5
  7. This is genius. I come back to this recipe time and again because it makes chicken breast so tender and juicy. It’s almost foolproof. Thanks!

    Rating: 5
  8. This is the BEST baked chicken recipe I’ve come across! I have tried so many ways to make it just right and this is absolutely perfect! Thank you so much

    Rating: 5
  9. Chicken was too salty. Will not make again!

  10. I’m going to make that rub mixture and keep it ready for when I cook any poultry. It looks way delicious in your pics!

    Rating: 5
  11. I never cook chicken breasts any other way now. 🙌🏻 This recipe turns out perfectly every time!

    Rating: 5
  12. I️ used regular salt for brine. My own seasonings. Came out sooo juicy. Will make like this every time! Fantastic

    Rating: 5
  13. Excellent….very easy and quick to make….definitely recommend….turned out super juicy..

    Rating: 5
  14. I used this chicken recipe to mix in with my meal preps for the week. Absolutely perfect for a Mexican style salad, or any salad for that matter!

    Rating: 5
  15. Ali, Have you ever deglazed the baking dish to make a light sauce to drizzle over the chicken? I would imaging that a half cup of white wine would do the trick. What are your thoughts?

  16. So Good. My kids called it chickeny goodness from Heaven.

    Rating: 5
  17. This is my go to guide for making any baked chicken breast. Having my extended oven thermometor makes things even easier!

  18. I have literally never made a comment on any recipe before, but this was SO delicious I just have to recommend it! I felt like a gourmet chef, and everyone in our family had seconds!

  19. Thank you for this great recipe!! It was truly amazing and simple to do and I highly recommend anyone out there to try this recipe.You will love it I’m sure of that;-)

    Rating: 5
  20. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have never been able to bake tender, moist, flavorful chicken – but I can no longer say that thanks to you! This will be my go-to recipe. On one of the breasts I added some crushed Dijon pretzels and enjoyed that very much too. Yay!

    Rating: 5
  21. This is really a good way to make juicy and tasty chicken breast. I used more ingredients (chilli powder, onion powder, etc. on the spicy side) but didn’t smoke the house. I will make this more often. Thank you.

    Rating: 5
  22. Hi. Please guide me . What do you mean by roast or bake in oven. It’s microwaving , convection or grill function of oven. Bcz when i use convection Function my chicken gets dry like a wood. Not at all juicy . . ,

    Rating: 4
  23. I cook a lot,all fresh,organic gluten-free,this is one of my top 5 favorites! Have used this recipe many times as it makes poultry better than top restaurant quality. (Am am baffled why pro chefs would use anything else) Makes a chicken breast truly able to stand alone on the plate. I also use this method,instead of store bought rotisserie chicken for combination recipes as well,although I feel kinda guilty doing so, because it is a waste of a perfectly cooked piece of chicken. Follow the cooking time/temp directions,It cooks so quickly, you think a thick big piece won’t be ready.I will be!

    Rating: 5
  24. Made these tonight. Followed the recipe to the letter. Juicy and flavourful, I’ve found my new way to make chicken. I did find them a tad overly salty for my personal taste but I’ll just cut the amount called for in the rub in half. These could be made any flavour you want. Lemon Pepper, Cajun, Italian…it’s endless possibilities for delicious chicken I would not be embarrassed to serve to family or friends.

    Rating: 5
  25. I make chicken at least twice a week and this is the method I use every time. Thank you for a fool proof recipe for baking an otherwise tuff dry chicken breast.

    Rating: 5
  26. One word, EXCELLENT

    Rating: 5
  27. I tried this recipe last night 4 dinner for my son. Who is a very picky eater. Used the butter instead of the oil. Told him to cook 4 30mins. @ 350. Called him later to see if he likes it. To my surprise he said the chicken was delicious. I will continue using this recipe when I can’t use the grill. So very pleased with this recipe!

    Rating: 5
  28. Great flavor, but still came out a little dry. The breasts were HUGE…. Do you think that might have had an effect?

    Rating: 4
  29. Terrific recipe. Many thanks for posting it. I have never cooked a juicier, tastier chicken breast. It even came out looking like the photos! :)

    Rating: 5
  30. PHENOMENAL! Both of my boys and my Fiance’ loved this! My oldest is the pickiest eater in the world – he’s 16. My youngest is fairly picky is well, but not as picky as the oldest. They both absolutely LOVED this! Both said it was VERY GOOD! Everyone loved the flavor and said it tasted like turkey. I will be making this again. It is delish!! Definitely use the smoked paprika.

    I did use super large chicken breasts so upped the time a bit, but still super juicy & wonderfully tasty!!f

    Rating: 5
  31. Omg ! Soo good ! Thank you !

    Rating: 5
  32. This was great! I make chicken a lot and Sunday is my prep for the week. I normally do three different spice mixes with different infused olive oils to get great tasting chicken for the whole week. Last week the favorite was sweet and spicy. I used spicy olive oil with honey as the wet and for dry rub did some stevia brown sugar with cyane pepper salt and cracked pepper.

    Rating: 5
  33. Honestly, this is the best chicken breast recipe on the internet. I was shocked at how perfect my chicken turned out. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Rating: 5
  34. Wow! Just made 8 for my week. Delicious!! Perfect! Juicy!!!

    Rating: 5
  35. Made it. Loved it. Went with 450° for 18 minutes after brining for 15 minutes and ended up with the beast baked chicken in my career. Perfect flavor, so juicy and tenderrrrrrr!

    Rating: 5
  36. Made it. Loved it. Went with 450° for 18 minutes after brining for 15 minutes and ended up with the beast baked chicken in my career. Perfect flavor, so juicy and tenderrrrrrr!

    PS. I meant to give it 5☆☆☆☆, but accidentally saved with only 4. Please use this review. Thanks!

    Rating: 5
  37. Wow this a great recipe. I’ll definitely be making this again. I was amazed that brining makes such a huge difference (never did it before). I’ll have to decrease salt by a little next time but it was delicious and so soft nonetheless. Thank you!!

    Rating: 4
  38. I want to make to his chicken breast and then incorporate it in chicken thimadeira recipe, do you think that will work, also worried about this breast being to sag lty, how long should I rinse in cold woater, and maybe not add salt just before cooking??? thanks

  39. Perfect recipe, the best baked chicken breast I ever ate and I will eat more often. Thank you Tom

    Rating: 5
  40. Anyone use a convection oven on roast with this?

  41. I made this tonight for dinner…paired with boiled sliced carrots, parmesan garlic fries and spinach salad….all reports were ” it was great”…easiest chicken i have ever prepared from scratch and very moist..followed with home baked apple pie..thanks for a great meat main recipe…

  42. I made this for dinner tonight! My family loves it! And the chicken was so moist! Yummy!

    Rating: 5
  43. Perfection! Thanks for sharing.

    Rating: 5
  44. This is pretty much the only way I make chicken now. It comes out perfectly every time. So juicy and delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

    Rating: 5
  45. Best baked chicken I’ve ever made, I will never do it any other way! So easy, very most and tender. I make 8 breasts at a time, then chop them into bite size pieces and freeze for casseroles.

    Rating: 5
  46. I have never had chicken breast this juicy. Usually after cooking chicken breast I don’t look forward to the day where I have to cook another one, but this recipe has changed my mind about that. I did brine for five hours and cooked at 450 but it took me twice as long to achieve the 160 degree target. I did put them under the broiler for an additional 3 minutes to add some crispy texture to the breast. I only used three breasts but I think I could double up on the spices so that they’d cover more of the chicken, but all and all it was a fantastic juicy breast that I’ll definitely make more often.

    Rating: 5
  47. Wow!! This may be the moistest chicken I’ve ever made, and I love to cook. This recipe is so easy and simple and the chicken was delicious. I’ve never brined chicken breast before but now I think that I must do it every time. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  48. Hello Ali! Thank you so much for sharing this chicken recipe. It’s always a hit whenever I cook it! By the way, I also tried using regular salt and it still turned out just as good as the ones with the kosher salt. Looking forward to more yummy recipes!

  49. best chicken breast ever

  50. Made it exactly as written, BEST most tender chicken I’ve made. Thank you for a great recipe!