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. 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!