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.

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Baked Chicken Breast Recipe
4.8 from 539 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

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2,198 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

  1. Ali

    I want to use your recipe but put bbq sauce on after 10 min every few minutes TO MAKE THE SAUCE THICKER

    Ali

    I want to cook the chicken for dinner tonight, but add BBQ sauce after it bakes about 10 minutes every few minutes to get a thick coating of sauce. Will that work?

    Thank You

    Don

  2. 5 stars
    All I can say is perfect!! Simply juicy delicious made three times amazing. Going to venture out different rub next time( Tomorrow:::)))

  3. 5 stars
    We have now made this multiple times and it comes out AMAZING. The only issue I ever had was not watching closely enough to pull it out of the oven when it was close to temp, so I overcooked it big time by the time it rested. Operator error, not the recipe ;) we have tried it with an herb rub, the one recommended above and with the store bought chicken seasoning. They all came out so juicy. Even my kids eat it without complaint. Thank you for this. It has been years of chicken roulette. We finally have a consistent yummy chicken. My family thanks you!

  4. 5 stars
    I am a vegetarian mom with meat eating (but very picky) boys, and not a good cook. I tried this recipe on a whim after picking up some chicken breast at the store and not really knowing what to do with it. I skipped the brine step, since the packaging indicated the chicken was pre-brined. I rubbed with extra virgin olive oil and prepared the seasoning exactly how the recipe indicated, (except I swapped granulated garlic for garlic powder – that was all I had on hand). I can only base on my kids’ reaction since I didn’t taste it myself, but they voraciously gobbled it up and then complained I didn’t make enough. They asked me to make it again the next night, which I did, and my older son was literally licking his plate afterwards. This will definitely be my go to chicken recipe from now on, thanks so much for sharing this.

  5. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. Used the rack over the oven metal casserole tray to cook more evenly. Great recipe I would definitely recommend 👍

  6. 5 stars
    Our chicken turned out very juicy and tender!!!

  7. Took longer than 18 minutes. Like double!

  8. 5 stars
    It came out really good. I had thick chicken breast’s and my stove temp runs low, so I had to cook it about 25 min at 500%, and yes, it was still juicy. I will def use this recipe as my quick go-to chicken dish.

  9. 1 star
    I made this recipe and followed the directions to the letter, including the brine process. I followed the recommendation and baked them at 450. The baked chicken breasts came out so salty that they were barely edible. They were also extremely dry and seemed to be yearning for some kind of sauce. I will not be making this again.

    • Hmmm, were your chicken breasts by chance pre-brined? And yes, you’re always welcome to add a sauce if you’d like. :)

  10. 5 stars
    AMAZING!!! That quick brining and resting is a game-changer for chicken breasts! My 8-year-old said this was the best chicken he’s ever had and actually ASKED for leftovers today! My head is spinning with all the yummy flavor combos I can do in the rub next time. Fabulous info and recipe!!

  11. Can you use regular salt or sea salt? I just noticed I’m out of the kosher. thanks!

    • You can use regular (iodized) table salt for the brining. But when adding any extra salt to the chicken itself afterwards as a seasoning, I would use a little less. :) Enjoy!

  12. 5 stars
    Best chicken I’ve made by far!!! We love it so much it has become a weekly favorite. I added peppers to the butter at the bottom of the pan. It’s delicious thanks for sharing!

  13. 5 stars
    VERY easy with great flavor and kid approved.

  14. 5 stars
    Was absolutely perfect last night. Heated it up today and now it’s really tough and chewy. What went wrong?

  15. 5 stars
    These were excellent. I will make again.

  16. 5 stars
    This is delicious! A crowd pleaser. And so easy to make!

  17. When you brine, what amount is considered a handful of salt?

  18. 5 stars
    Juiciest chicken recipe ever. Never heard of brine before or letting chicken rest. Home run!!!

  19. 5 stars
    Okay it’s not easy to get excited about boneless, skinless chicken breast, but this is a great recipe. Having just ruined a beautiful chuck roast last night by cooking it in the pressure cooker (fine except it really needs to braise in the oven, IMHO but I was in a rush so I tried to pressure cook it) I was feeling unsure of even chicken breasts for salad tonight. But, this turned out delicious. The chicken may not even make it to the salad. I followed each step of this easy recipe, brining and all. I ended up having to roast the chicken a little longer (about 28 minutes all told) which made me nervous that I would have overcooked it – but after resting I sampled a bit and it is delicious. Faster and more tender than a low heat chicken (say, 350). Thank you for posting such a simple and hopefully reliable chicken recipe. I brined for about two hours.

  20. 5 stars
    This turned out great! I added a little flour with my seasoning and did a side dish of fried yellow squash and zuchinni 😁

  21. 5 stars
    I made this recipe this afternoon, using a rub that included mild curry powder. I sautéed mushrooms, garlic, and onion in some butter, and a little chicken broth, until the onion and garlic were slightly browned. I then poured that over the chicken before baking. 18 minutes at 450 was prefect, and I added an extra minute under a low broiler to finish caramelizing the onion. I served it with brown basmati rice and some garlic naan. It was absolutely delicious, and is going at the top of our list of family favorites. Thank you for your hard work in perfecting the recipe. I wouldn’t change a thing.

  22. 5 stars
    Every time I make this, I hate boring old chicken breast less and less! I like using these in meal preps. Super yummy!

  23. I like to do dinner prep in the morning while my little one naps. Thoughts/advice on following all the steps in the morning & then baking in the evening? Or a recommendation for another recipe on your blog that would be good for morning prep & evening bake?

    • I would brine but remove within an hour then let it sit in the fridge with the condiments you want to bake it with until you are ready. My kids absolutely love this chicken and I have made it with different seasonings and they keep on loving it. Its the brining that makes the difference.

  24. We are going to try this recipe tonight, as we suspect that it is well-thought out and will result in wonderfully cooked tender chicken breasts that can be used in many different ways.

    I only have one problem, and this problem appears to be the same with EVERY recipe I pull from the internet. When I go to print the recipe off, there appears to be no parameters available to adjust the hardcopy that comes off of my printer. I can not adjust the size of the font or to make any part of the print in bold, for example.

    Most times, the printed version is too small for my Mother to read, and this can be frustrating when we want to try some of the imaginative recipes online.

    • Hi Jeff! If you click the “print” button within the actual recipe box itself, it will print out a more printer-friendly version. :) Hope that you enjoy the chicken!

  25. 5 stars
    What are nutritional values for this? Great recipe!!!

  26. 5 stars
    I followed the recipe no variations. It came out moist and yummy all the time. I add it to my salad for a complete meal.

  27. 5 stars
    Make this chicken when I can wherever I can .always a big hit !
    Taste amazing like a proper roast

  28. I love this recipe! They come out delicious and tender every time…

    Have you ever roasted potatoes with the chicken in the same pan?

  29. 5 stars
    Absolutely the best recipe ever! I only use chicken breast and like to oven roast: every other week I use this method and my kids cannot get over how good a cook I have become (I just learned how to cook 2 years ago).

  30. 5 stars
    Sooooo good! Couldn’t believe this would actually work, but it did, as described.

  31. 5 stars
    Wow! These chicken breasts came out amazing! I made them
    for a friend who just had surgery. He texted me this:

    Pretty dope dinner Tish, thank you! Chicken perfectly cooked, well seasoned…you’d win Chopped or something for sure!

    Thank you for the recipe!

  32. 5 stars
    I am 67 years old and by far this is the best baked chicken I have ever had!!!!! Chicken is so juicy and flavorful. Thank you so much for this recipe❤️

  33. Thanks for the great instructions! I want to meal prep a large batch of chicken breasts to use throughout the week (panera chicken salad sanwiches, chicken fettuccine alfredo, chicken ceasar salads, et…) and was wondering if I should shorten the cooking time to allow for reheating later. Thoughts on how best to prepare these ahead of time and store for use within the week?

  34. I just made this and it is so simple. The problem it did not brown like the picture shows. I wanted a nice color on mine. What can I do? I used butter and I did the 450 oven.

  35. 5 stars
    AWESOME

  36. 5 stars
    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this recipe since I found it in January. My husband is so sad if we don’t have a huge batch of it in our fridge for him to take for lunch. I buy a big pack of fresh chicken from Costco and bake on cookie sheets; closer to 30 minutes unless I cut the chicken breasts into thirds. It’s so versatile we eat it alone with veggies, or in tacos, soups, etc. Love love love love.

  37. 4 stars
    When you brine do you put it back in the refrigerator?

  38. 5 stars
    Literally just had my last bite and couldn’t wait to post my review. EASY and DELICIOUS! I chose to rub mine with lemon pepper seasoning and I followed the instructions exact. I had 3 boneless skinless chicken breast and decided to cook them at 450 for 18 min and let them rest for 15-20 min. After resting, sliced the chicken and plated it and it was gone. Fast! So tender, so juicy and so yummy. Y’all need to adopt this method. Now I can finally bake chicken breasts again without having to worry about having dried out chicken.

  39. 5 stars
    I can not believe I made a juicy chicken breast. I am the worst cook ever and my family loved this. I am very impressed by such a simple recipe. Thanks!!

  40. I asked a question in the comments and never got a reply. Do you reply? Mine did not brown and I used butter so it would. Please answer.

    • Hi Sharon! Sorry about that, I don’t see your earlier question in the comments. But in order to brown the chicken, I recommend turning on the broiler for the last few minutes. Best wishes!

  41. 5 stars
    Never thought that(I)would B able to make such WONDERFUL,JUICY chicken breast!!!!THANKS SOOO MUCH FOR SHARING😊

  42. These came out so delicious! I used Montreal chicken seasoning. I didn’t get much color on them, not sure why, but they were pretty much perfect! I have tried so many different methods of cooking chicken breasts and wound up with so many dry, rubbery mess. This will definitely be my go to method from here on out!

  43. 5 stars
    I made it just like the recipe said but I substituted lemon pepper seasoning instead of the paprika n it came out AMAZING!!! The chicken was so tender n juicy. I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND THIS RECIPE TO OTHER PEOPLE!!!

  44. 5 stars
    I have not made baked chicken in many years because I pretty much always over-cook it. This recipe resulted in perfectly juicy chicken in 18 min at 450. My husband ate every bit! The only difference was that I used a marinade and will next time use more, as well as let it sit in the fridge for a while. Thanks for sharing such an easy-to-do recipe!

  45. 5 stars
    I am the person that could never cook a chicken breast to save my life. I could cook just about anything else but not that. It would always turn out rubbery, dry, flavorless. This method worked perfectly! I am thrilled! Thank you!

  46. 5 stars
    I followed the directions from start to finish. The result is tender, juicy, delicious chicken!

  47. 5 stars
    Super easy & came out absolutely perfect. Thanks for sharing!

  48. 5 stars
    This was fantastic and will be my go-to recipe for baked boneless chicken breasts. I used two Penzeys blends – Forward and Sunny Spain. I’ve never brined chicken or roasted it on high heat, but wow! Game changer. Thanks so much.

  49. 5 stars
    I openly admit I am “kitchen challenged” but this is a great recipe. My “chicken is life” husband loves it! Thank you so much for this “…works everytime recipe!”

  50. 5 stars
    Wonderful! ‘Nuf said.