Baked Chicken Breasts

My all-time favorite oven baked chicken breasts recipe!  It never fails me, thanks to this simple 5-step method that is easy to make and customize with your favorite seasonings.

Perfect Oven Baked Chicken Breast

A few weeks ago on Insta, I asked if you all might be interested in a back-to-basics series about the best ways to bake proteins (i.e. chicken, pork, steak, seafood, tofu, etc.) in the oven.  And your answer?  A resounding yes please.  Tons of you had requests and questions about methods for cooking various proteins, plus more than a few tales to tell about proteins gone not-so-right over the years.  And oh boy, I hear ya.  My little kitchen has seen more than its share of overcooked steaks, completely dried out pork chops, salmon skin glued to pans, and not-so-crispy tofu over the years too.  Which are never fun, especially since proteins can be pricey and intended for special occasions.  But hey, it’s all part of the adventure of learning how to cook.  And eventually, I’ve trial-and-errored my way to some basic methods for baking proteins that have become super-reliable, super-delicious staples in my kitchen.

So over the next two weeks, I thought we could work our way through each of them, beginning today with the #1 most requested protein here on Gimme Some Oven…

…chicken.

Specifically, boneless skinless chicken breasts.

Over the years, I’ve received countless requests for new chicken breast recipes, and many more for tips on how to bake chicken breasts in the oven.  Because anyone who worked with chicken breasts before know that they can be incredibly versatile, yet also incredibly finicky to work with, especially when baked in the oven.  Cook them the wrong way and you’ll end up with a dry, rubbery, tough, and flavorless disaster.  But cooked the right way?!  We’re talkin’ juicy, tender, flavorful, perfectly baked chicken breasts that you will love.

The good news is that they’re also totally easy to customize with your favorite seasonings or sauces.  And also, incredibly easy to make with my 5-step baked chicken breasts method.  Thousands of our readers have tried it over the years and reported back that this method was a game-changer with cooking chicken.  So if you have yet to give it a try, let’s bake some chicken together!

Baked Chicken Breasts Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Baked Chicken Breast Ingredients:

To make this baked chicken breasts recipe, you will need:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts: You can either purchased fresh (my preference) or frozen (which you will need to completely thaw before using).  Some chicken also comes pre-brined nowadays, in which case you can skip step one below.
  • Butter or olive oil: Your pick!  I like the extra flavor of butter, but olive oil will also work well.
  • Kosher Salt: An essential ingredient in our brine, and also to season the chicken.
  • Seasonings: I included an all-purpose blend of smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and black pepper in the recipe below, which is super-simple and goes with just about anything.  But feel free to sub in any dry seasoning blend that you prefer.

Also, if you make baked chicken (or any other kind of baked proteins) regularly in the oven, I one million percent recommend having a cooking thermometer on hand too.  It is quite simply the most foolproof way to ensure that your chicken is not over- or under-cooked, and works like a charm.  I recommend either this:

  • Instant-read cooking thermometer (pictured below): which I have owned and used for years when cooking chicken, which retails for about $9.99 on Amazon.
  • Dual-probe wireless meat thermometer: which I also own and love because it can be used inside of a hot oven (especially helpful for baking steak, salmon and pork), which retails for about $24.99 on Amazon.
Baked Chicken Breast Recipe

My original photo for this recipe (2015).

How To Bake Chicken Breasts:

Alright, so here’s the secret!  To make perfectly baked chicken bbrrreasts, you simply need to follow this 5-step acroynm: B.B.R.R.R.

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

Step 1: Brine

I’m telling you — this step is an absolute must for anytime you want to bake chicken breasts in the oven.  Brining chicken is super-easy, it makes your chicken extra juicy, and best of all, it can be effectively done in just 15 minutes.  Plus, if you brine chicken in lukewarm water, it also helps bring the chicken to room temperature, which makes for more even cooking.  Win-win!

To brine chicken, simply fill a big bowl with lukewarm (not hot) water.  Stir in a handful of salt until it mostly dissolves.  Then add your chicken breasts and let them sit in the saltwater to brine for at least 15 minutes.  If you are doing this in advance, you can cover and refrigerate the bowl of chicken and saltwater for up to 6 hours.  But you don’t want to let the chicken brine for much longer than that.

When you’re ready to go, remove the chicken from the brine.  Give it a good rinse it with cold water to wash off the salt, and then pat it dry with some paper towels.  And voila — your chicken is officially brined.

Really, don’t skip over this step!  It makes a world of difference.

Note: That said, some store-bought chicken breasts are now sold pre-brined.  So double-check your packaging beforehand.  And if your chicken has already been pre-brined in a sodium solution, just move onto step two.  :)

Step 2: Brush

…your chicken breasts with melted butter.  Or at least, I highly recommend using butter.  It adds great flavor and helps give a nice golden crust on the outside.  But if you’d rather use olive oil (or another favorite cooking oil), feel free.

Brush the breasts liberally on both sides to prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan, and also to help the seasonings stick.  Then place the chicken breasts in a large baking dish or roasting pan.

Step 3: Rub

If you’re really wanting to keep things simple, you can simply sprinkle some salt and pepper onto the chicken breasts.  But again, chicken will pick up the flavor of whatever seasonings you add.  So even if you’re making a simple dish that calls for “plain” chicken breasts, I highly recommend the simple chicken seasoning recipe I have included below that includes salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika.

Step 4: Roast

So this is the step that causes some squabbles amongst chicken lovers — how long to bake chicken breasts?  And what is the correct temperature to bake chicken?  Do you bake it low and slow (as in, 30 minutes at 350°F)?  Or do you roast chicken high and quick (as in, 15 minutes at 450)?  I have tested out both — and just about every interval in between — dozens upon dozens upon dozens of times.  And in the end, I fall firmly in the latter camp when it comes to baked chicken.

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

Depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts, roasting chicken at 450°F should require a cooking time of about 15-18 minutes (depending on the thickness/size of your chicken breasts).  It’s speedy and it’s easy.  But mostly I love it because cooking at high heat quickly develops a nice crispier “crust” on the outside of the breasts, which also helps to lock in those juices and keep the oven roasted chicken perfectly tender on the inside.  It’s the best of both worlds.

I highly recommend investing in a small cooking thermometer to measure the cooked chicken temp in order to tell if it is ready to go (the FDA says that the safe cooked chicken temp is 165°F), versus cutting into it with a fork, which lets those good juices seep out.  I use this instant-read thermometer (affiliate link) that I bought on Amazon for $10, and it will accurately measure your internal chicken temperature in seconds.

Step 5: Rest

This one is a non-negotiable.  You must, must let your beautifully baked chicken breasts rest before cutting into them — a tip which applies to cooking any meat, really.  If you cut in right away, you will lose all of the amazing juices and some of the tenderness that we’re going for.  But if you give your freshly baked chicken breasts a brief rest, it will finish cooking and lock in all of those delicious juices, resulting in the most tender and juicy and delicious baked chicken.

I recommend loosely tenting a sheet of aluminum foil over the pan to keep the heat in while the chicken rests.  And then after 5-10 minutes, you can finally serve and enjoy your perfectly-cooked chicken breasts.

And enjoy every last bite. 

How To Brine Chicken to make Baked Chicken Breasts

Baked Chicken Seasoning Recipe

Oven Baked Chicken Breast Recipe

How To Season Baked Chicken Breasts:

Again, I’m a big fan of the classic paprika-garlic-pepper mix in the recipe below.  But if you’d like to mix things up, feel free to sub in any of your favorite dry seasoning mixes, such as:

And of course, feel free to also toss the chicken breasts with your favorite sauces (once they have been baked).  Or try out any one of these 5 easy chicken marinades.  Chicken is an incredibly versatile protein flavor-wise, and can be seasoned just about however you please.

How To Make Baked Chicken Breasts Recipe

How To Use/Serve Baked Chicken Breasts:

The easiest way, of course, is just to serve these roasted chicken breasts fresh outta the oven.  But feel free to also slice, shred, or dice these oven baked chicken breasts for use in another recipe, such as these faves:

How To Store/Freeze Baked Chicken Breasts:

Once the chicken has been baked, it can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Or you can freeze it for up to 3 months.  (<– I recommend shredding, dicing or slicing the chicken before freezing for easier use.)

Perfectly Juicy Oven Baked Chicken Breast Recipe

Side Dish Recipe Ideas:

Looking for some side dishes to serve with this baked chicken recipe?  Here are a few of my faves:

Baked Chicken Breast with Roasted Asparagus

More Baked Protein Tutorials:

Be sure to also check out our tutorials for how to bake other meats, seafood and tofu here.  (More coming soon!)

Enjoy, everyone!

This post contains affiliate links.

Print
Baked Chicken Breast Recipe
4.9 from 562 reviews

Baked Chicken Breasts

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

Description

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


Scale

Ingredients

Baked Chicken Breast Ingredients:

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

Instructions

  1. To brine your chicken breasts, fill a large bowl with 1 quart of warm water and 1/4 cup kosher salt.  Stir to combine until most of the salt is absorbed.  Add the chicken breasts and let them sit in the mixture to brine for 15 minutes.  Or you can also also cover the bowl and refrigerate for up to 6 hours.  Remove the chicken breasts from the brine, rinse them with cold water, then pat them dry with some paper towels.  (However, if the chicken breasts you purchased have already been pre-brined in a sodium solution, skip this step.)
  2. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  3. Place the chicken breasts in a single layer in a large baking dish or roasting pan*.  Brush on both sides (turning once) evenly with the melted butter or olive oil.
  4. In a separate small bowl, whisk the salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika until combined.  Then sprinkle the mixture evenly over the chicken on both sides.
  5. Bake for 15-18* minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.  I recommend using a cooking thermometer to know exactly when it is fully cooked; in the thickest part of the breast, it should be 165°F.  (Or, if you want the chicken to be a little bit browned and crispier on top, you can turn the broiler on high for the final 3-5 minutes and broil the chicken until it is cooked through and golden on top.  Keep a close eye on the chicken so that it does not overcook and/or burn.)
  6. Once the chicken is cooked, remove the pan from the oven, transfer the chicken to a clean plate, and loosely tent the plate with aluminum foil.  Let the chicken rest for at least 5-10 minutes.
  7. Serve warm.  Or, refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

How To Bake Chicken Breasts

Leave a Reply to Krystal K. Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2,227 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

  1. I made this last night and it turned out perfectly. I’m not much of a cook so it shocked my family. They really enjoyed it! Will be making my chicken like this from now on. 

  2. Awesome recipe!  Thank you… FINALLY amazing baked, boneless, skinless chicken breast

  3. Chicken breasts turned out amazing! Thanks. I love when I brine but always forget now I will remember everytime! I did mine at 450 for 15 min and they were perfect. 

  4. Absolutely delicious!! It came out perfect.  I used slightly less paprika to make it less spicy, and it was amazing.  Best chicken I’ve had. Thank you!

    • Thanks Kristen, we’re glad to hear that – thanks for giving the recipe a try!

  5. FABULOUS !! i LOVE IT AND MY FAMILY TOO thanks WAS DELICIOUS , THIS IS GOING TO BE ONE OF MY FAVORITE RECIPES.

  6. Just putting in my 2 cents worth!!  I have found that if you buy breasts with the skin on, if you leave the skins on, brine with skins on, and bake with skins on, and put your spice rub on the skin, and under the skin, the chicken is even tastier from the flavoring from the skins.  Yes, there’s a little more fat, but fat is where the flavor is…!!!  I’ll shut up now..!! 

    • Thanks Susan, that is great advice, and we will definitely have to try that! :)

  7. This was perfect! I already brine my pork chops … haven’t done it to my chicken breast’s before …. they were absolutely perfect!!!! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! I did the rub as well. PERFECT!

  8. omg! Thank you for sprucing up a usually boring and flavorless meat into deliciousness. I follows to the T and it was easy and super tasty and healthy to boot! Hubs loved it too. 

  9. I cook a ton of chicken. This is by far, hands down, the best oven roasted chicken recipe I’ve come across. I had to adjust cook times cuz Ralphs sold me some gigantic chickens, but wow, they turned out amazing. Thanks so much!

  10. how does it work on chicken thighs

    • Hi Bet! We haven’t tried this with chicken thighs. We suspect it would work well, you just might not need to bake them as long, since they’re smaller. Let us know if you try it with them, and how they work out!

  11. A weekly dinner I make regularly is chicken thighs with potatoes, carrots and green beans all in one dish. I really want to try it with this recipe for chicken breasts since the chicken thighs are so small once baked. I like to throw in the veggies and chicken together all at once. Do you think it would be okay to do so with this chicken recipe? With my regular dish, I bake everything at 375F for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Since I cut my veggies so small, I’m scared they’ll get burnt at 450F for 15-18 minutes. What do you think?

    • That sounds so yummy! We think this could work, and would suggest sticking to the 375 for one hour and 20 minutes. Just keep an eye on everything (especially the veggies). We hope that helps!

  12. I have just followed this lovely recipe for chicken and it was amazing. I broiled for an hour before and the chicken was lovely and moist and the kids loved it. Thanks for posting. 

  13. I LOVE this recipe. It’s my go to if I want chicken on fettuccine, sandwiches or salads. I make a whole pack of chicken with this recipe each Sunday night and use it for my lunches throughout the week. It makes a perfect chicken and chopped salad, chicken and veggie panini, and chicken and apple salad. thanks so much! 

    • Thanks Joni, we’re happy to hear that! Thanks for sharing your meal plan inspiration! :)

  14. Can you brine in sea salt instead of kosher salt? Looks amazing and I’m planning on making it tonight! 

    • Hey Kristine! You should really use kosher salt if you can. Sea salt is pricier, and better for using small amounts to finish dishes off with. Plus, the sea salt will be too strong for the brining purpose. We hope this helps, and that you enjoy the chicken! :)

  15. Great recipe -Simple-Love photos!

  16. I just tried this recipe tonight and it was soooo delicious!  My 12 year old loved it!  I had never made chicken this way before.  When I have baked chicken in the past, it was always 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  So glad I found this recipe!  Thank you!

  17. I made this and the results were fantastic. I froze several for later use- but now I’m wondering how to thaw them.
    Microwave turns chicken into leather, and the oven dries it out.
    How best to thaw them?
    Thanks

    • Hal, we’re happy to hear you liked these! We actually haven’t tried freezing these ourselves, but we would suggest putting them in the fridge overnight/a day. We hope that helps!

  18. This was the absolute best chicken recipe ever! Thank you so much for sharing. Looking forward to more great recipes from you. This is the only way I will prepare my chicken. The brining of the chicken was interesting. I had never done this to any of my birds. It will be a step I won’t skip in any of my recipes. Many Thanks!!

    • Thank you Nancy, we’re so happy you liked it! Brining is such an amazing tool, isn’t it?! :)

  19. I made this exactly as directed, except that I brine all of our meats longer.
    There was no need to send a picture as our dish looked exactly like the picture with the recipe !
    Simply delicious ! Everyone loved it and asked if I would please use this as my go-to recipe for chicken from now on !!
    GREAT RECIPE – THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING !!

  20. Tried boneless chicken thighs. Yummy too. Great to fix and eat all week.

  21. I never go back to a recipe just to comment but this was by far the best chicken I’ve ever cooked let alone tasted! I never bake chicken for dinner because it’s a dry dish every single time!!!! Thanks so much!

    • Kristen, that’s so sweet of you to say! We’re thrilled that you love the recipe so much! :)

  22. Best chicken I’ve ever made! THANK YOU!

    • Wow thank you Colleen, what a nice compliment! We’re so happy you love the recipe!

  23. Was amazing! And I dont even like breast .. im a thigh/leg girl. My 6yo was eyeing off my share as he was eating his. 
    I have a new favorite in my kitchen! Yummo

    All thanks and praise is for God

  24. thank you for this amazing recipe! I had given up on making chicken breasts anymore because they never turned out well. Made these last night and they were AMAZING!  Looked just like yours. My new go to recipe for sure!

    • Brenda, you’re so welcome, we’re so happy you enjoyed the recipe! Brining is pretty amazing, huh? :)

  25. OK. I thawed the frozen baked chicken breasts in the fridge over night. For supper I sliced up a breast and heated it in the micro for 1 minute, 30 sec. Along with some Birdseye chicken flavored rice with veggies and some sweet mango chutney – it was fantastic.

    • Thanks for sharing Hal, we think that mango chutney sounds awesome! We’re glad you enjoyed the chicken! :)

  26. I had made this recipe a couple of weeks ago and it was some of the best chicken I have eaten in a long time. I made it again tonight this time having to use the stove top as our oven is broken and it was just as good as the first time. The only thing I did differently was to make more of the seasoning I did a tablespoon of each spice and it was awesome. Thank you for an awesome recipe to add to my collection.

  27. Do you have to use salt to brine? Because I try to limit my sodium intake.

    • Hi Vic! Unfortunately, yes, salt is essential to the brining process. If you’re watching your sodium, this might not be the best recipe. That being said, it doesn’t taste salty at all, but if you’re still concerned, perhaps you could try our slow cooker rotisserie chicken recipe!

  28. This turned out great!!! Thanks! AND the skinny fettucini turned out great too.  New on the rotation. Thank you!

  29. Thanks for the recipe!  I made this for dinner tonight and my husband kept commenting on how moist the chicken was.  I am glad for your method.  Best wishes and thanks for sharing.

  30. I’ve made this a few times now & it always comes out perfect! Many friends have asked me to make it again or give them the recipe! I just love how simple it is.

  31. Stumbled upon your blog and this post – I have a problem overcooking chicken but just followed your instructions to the letter and the chicken is perfect!!!  Thank you!

  32. Amazing recipe… Tried it today n my son loved it!
    Thank you for sharing!

  33. Made these last night and they were awesome! They still had plenty of juice and lots of flavor. I used a really smoky paprika that helped give it a good smokey flavor!

  34. For the first time in 55 years, I cooked moist chicken using this recipe. I will never cook chicken again without brining it.

  35. Fantastic Dish!!! Follow the directions, and this chicken is amazing.  Baked chicken breast that is moist, fantastic. Thank you.

  36. Very-very good as-is, with the brine / high-heat/ instant thermometer method being the key to crispy, tender and juicy. I experimented further and here are 2 things that you may want to try, and you should ‘pound-out before brining (if you don’t have a hammer, cover with plastic wrap and use a small heavy saucepan as a hammer).. # 1. “Season” the brine and brine ‘cold’ in the fridge or in a cooler for 6 – 8 hrs. The seasoned brine needs to be brought to a boil first to incorporate the seasonings, so should be made ‘strong’ and ‘iced’ (will dilute brine) before adding chicken. The seasoning depends on personal taste, but start by adding 1/4 cup or more salt to a soup base instead of water…… chicken base, chicken broth, bullion, or my personal preference, vegetable base. (good for turkey too). Add to the ‘soup’ some whole peppercorns, and whatever spices you like with chicken like granulated garlic, paprika, and a few bay leaves to mirror your rub, or lean toward Italian spices with oregano, basil garlic, or go with citrus juice or slices if ‘lemon pepper’ suits you. Seasoning the brine adds BIG flavor. #.2. Brine in salt water ONLY, then follow with a marinade sauce / mixture for a few hours before baking. same rules apply….personal preference. You can create a marinade from scratch or simply use pre-made items. Italian salad dressing works well, as does a good honey barbecue sauce….. endless possibilities. Use 3/4 of the marinade to soak the chicken, then rinse, pat dry, coat with butter (if dry seasoning) or oil (canola likes heat) and brush on the remaining sauce and bake. A few seconds under the broiler at the very end will caramelize the sauces. I’ve bought a family pack of breasts and done each differently at the same time (separate ‘foil’ pans in a big baking dish). Chicken is cheap to experiment with. Food for Thought.

  37. I just recently moved out with my fiancee and we are equally clueless in the kicthen. This recipe made us feel like kitchen superheros! Thank you so much for the clarity and making baking chicken (which we were totally intimidated by) a breeze! Your blog is lovely & delicious :) 

    • Yay, that’s awesome Kelly, we’re glad to hear that! And thank you for your sweet words, we’re glad you enjoy the blog! :)

  38. I have been having so much trouble baking the perfect chicken breast…. this is perfect!!! The best chicken breast I’ve EVER had!

  39. Thank you!!! This chicken breast recipe is amazing!!! So juicy and delicious. I had no idea brining your meat made it this juicy! My kids loved it and My husband kept complimenting it! No leftovers of the chicken, but we have left over Mac n’ cheese…. That speaks for itself at my house. Thank you, again!

    • Lori, we’re so happy the chicken was a hit with you and your family — thanks for sharing! :)

  40. OMG BEST CHICKEN EVER!!!!! Thanks so much for this GREAT recipe!!

  41. Found I needed to bake longer probably  secondary to bone left in. Outcome was fabulous! 

  42. Mix up the herbs, but don’t skip the brine and bake at 450 and oh my goodness it was the juiciest chicken breast I have eaten, and it was my first time baking chicken (I was a bread and fry guy – no longer). Thank you 

    • Thanks for sharing your version Scott! This recipe is definitely all about the brine though. We’ve found that step is key to making the chicken so juicy and tender! :)

  43. This is the best method for cooking chicken breats that I have found. I don’t put olive oil or anything on them. Just salt and a little bit of pepper. They turn out great every time and super moist!

  44. Thanks for the helpful chicken recipe! I use it every time I cook chicken (which is usually twice a week haha). Very easy as well!! 

  45. This chicken is amazing. My wife won’t stop eating it as she’s cutting it for chicken alfredo lol

  46. I made this for dinner tonight. First time for brining and it was the best chicken I have ever made. Definitely a keeper!  Thank you!!

  47. Wow! You’re spot on with this, I am SO impressed!

    The breasts I used were huge (3 = over 2lbs) so after 15 minutes, I added 10 more to the cooking time. They turned out perfectly cooked & juicy! I’ve longed for the perfect way to bake breasts and now I have it. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  48. do you cover chicken while baking?

  49. Try this it was awesome 

  50. 1.) I don’t comment on things.
    2.) I hate chicken. As in, haven’t willingly had it in over a decade. Hate. Chicken. But my husband has been eating this nasty processed turkey meat so I had to try something.
    3.) This chicken is bomb.

    • Haha thanks for taking the time to comment Jessica, we’re happy you loved this even though you normally hate chicken!