Baked Chicken Breasts

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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 acroymn: 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

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. Brine the chicken. 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. Heat the oven. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  3. Season the chicken. 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.  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.
  4. Bake. Bake for 15-18* minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.  Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken breasts, so I recommend using a cooking thermometer to know exactly when it is fully cooked.  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.)
  5. Rest the chicken. 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.
  6. Serve. Serve warm.  Or, refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.


Notes

Baking Dish: Please note that I do not recommend using a glass baking dish for this recipe (such as Pyrex).  Instead, I recommend using a metal or ceramic (porcelain) heat-safe baking dish.  Or if you do not have a 9×13-inch dish, you can also use a rimmed metal baking sheet instead.

How To Bake Chicken Breasts

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2,562 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

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  1. Wow, I never wanted to cook chicken breast because it never turned out good …. until now, thanks!

    • I’m always scared to bake chicken breast because I’m worried about drying it out, but this was so easy and the results were perfect!

  2. This turned out great! I especially like the variation where you turn up the broiler at the end – taste stuff!

  3. I followed the recipe to a T only I used a sweet mesquite seasoning blend. So good. The moistest chicken breast I’ve ever had and made, which says alot. A definite keeper! Kudos!!

  4. Cooking with wine is good too.
    And yeah, I would never leave this in the brine more than 1/2 hour if cubing then chicken.

  5. Just curious…if frozen, what would be the best method for thawing and reheating?

    • I always run cold (not warm) water on my frozen chicken to thaw. A bit of a wasteful way to do it, but the moving water gently but surprising quickly thaws the chicken. Then just start from the brining part of the recipe.

  6. Found out by accident that high heat is best! I followed a grilled chicken recipe once where grill was preheated to 450. Added the chicken walked away and someone yelled “your chicken is on fire!” It was and I shut off the grill and left the chicken in there waiting for it to cool down. What do you know. about 15 minutes later, Voila! Best.Chicken.Ever.

  7. First let me say, I “Never” cooked chicken breasts. The result was always dry and stringy. I usually bake chicken thighs, and while they always come out juicy, they tend to have a stronger taste that can affect the final product (i.e. chicken salad). In any event, yesterday my boyfriend insisted that I bake chicken breasts for dinner. I found your recipe and, initially, I didn’t have high hopes. Just let me say, I’ve never been more happy to be more wrong about something! My boyfriend AND my parents (who avoid white meat in general) were floored by how juicy and delicious this turned out. Your recipe will definitely be a weekly staple in my house.
    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!

  8. Just curious if I can use skinless/boneless chicken thighs because that’s what I have in the fridge currently :)

  9. Looks good. Wondering if you knew the smoke point of butter was 302 degrees. Have you successfully done this with a high heat oil that doesnt oxidize?

  10. This was awesome

  11. Usually I dry out chicken breasts in the oven but these came out perfectly! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  12. My first time brining. Followed the recipe exactly. Turned out great! I usually bread my chicken breasts and bake at 350. This was so much tastier and more moist. Definitely a keeper!

  13. Hi,

    I tried this recipe and the taste of the chicken was amazing, but I think I’m missing something. I have a couple of questions:
    1) Is there a certain a recommended thickness for the chicken breasts? The chicken breasts I bake usually have a thickness of 2cm at the thickest part – at 450F the internal temperature will be 165 in about 10 mins (not 15-18 mins) and the chicken will still look kind of white on the outside. Is this ok?
    2) I usually make meals for 3 days (about 1300gr raw chicken – ~12 chicken breasts) so can I bake more than 4 breasts at once? If yes, how many should I bake each time? Do I change the Oven heat since the heat distribution will be different than in the case of baking 4?
    3) Do you flip the chicken breasts while they’re baking?
    4) Do you use the standard oven mode? (Top/bottom heating)

  14. Delicious recipe!! I love the spice mix and the chicken was very juicy and tender!!

  15. Amazing – I can’t believe how good this was! I’m soooo happy to have found your website!!

  16. If I use chicken tenders, what’s the approx cook time?

  17. I made this today and it was delicious. For the spices I used paprika, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and basil. Chicken was juicy and tender. My family lived it. Thanks for the recipe. I’ll be making this again.

  18. Thanks for your recipe. I’m a bodybuilder, so you can imagine I eat a lot of chicken breast. Your recipe allows for a great flavor, that I can eat day in and day out without getting tired. I usually put garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Goes great with rice and broccoli!

  19. This chicken is so easy and sooooo delish!!! Paired with a baked sweet potato and a side of sautéed green beans with garlic, butter, s/p, and a dusting of bread crumbs makes dinner at our home once a week !! Thank you for sharing and keep in cooking my friend!!!

  20. Sounds terrific – am so anxious to try your ideas. But I have questions:

    IF I’m not pre-baking the chicken but instead am making a chicken casserole with toppings poured over the raw chicken breasts- and then baking, how do you recommend pre treating the chicken – just do the brine for 30 mins. and rinse ?

    Haven’t brined before because of keeping a low salt diet- perhaps the rinse removes the salt?

    Thank you!

  21. I’ve been looking for good baked chicken recipes and I stumbled upon this one. I made it the other night and the entire family loved it. Bookmarking this recipe and definitely trying it again. Absolutely love it!

  22. That was something!)

  23. I love the chicken recipes. They are healthy and delicious and easy. I would recommend to family and friends.

  24. I tried baking at 450 for 18 minutes… the breast was pretty large so I had to cook them a little longer. I’ve never cooked a chicken breast and had it turn out as juicy as this one! I’m sold on this method! Thank you for the tip!

  25. My husband and hard to please son raved about the recipe. I used your “go to” seasoning mix proportions but didn’t have paprika on hand so used curry instead. Perfect seasoning!

    I have a wired thermometer that allows me to monitor the temp without opening the oven door, and I removed it from the oven at 158. It climbed to 170 during its rest period, so next time I will pull it at 155 (it was just a tiny bit dry for my tastes).

    But overall a success for a first run!

  26. You have definitely made me a believer of chicken breast, I have to admit, this is a part of chicken that I don’t hesitate to ignore. But after trying your recipe, everything changed, I now have found a new love for chicken breast 😘 thank you for sharing.

  27. I think dry brining makes the chicken way better than adding water. I tried both ways and there was a huge difference! I loved the ideas for the spice mix though! Thanks a bunch.

  28. This recipe is da bomb 🤤🤤🤤 I made it and didn’t know when I finish the chicken breast. I have been on a diet and I was ready to add some pounds with this tasty chicken. Will have to start working out tomorrow. Thanks. Will be watching out for some more of your recipes. Yummy!!!

  29. Excellent, excellent, excellent! Easily the best chicken I have ever made at home.

  30. Great and thank you!!! Delicious and all my Guest think I’m the best cook in the world which all I did was follow your instructions! Ha I will never tell!!

  31. I’ve made this recipe several times now. Turns out perfectly, the best chicken breast I’ve ever cooked.

  32. I will never make chicken any other way. This has been a game-changer. I’ve used this recipe nearly a dozen times. In my opinion, a meat thermometer (which I never owned before) is essential. An hour of brining seems perfect to me. A couple of thoughts: chicken breasts are almost never the same size, so, they will be done at different times; the recipe does require a lot of handling of the raw chicken, which means taking care to clean, clean, clean. My routine, if it’s helpful to anyone out there, has become 1) soak the chicken in a glass Pyrex container, in the sink; 2) when finished, pour water into the sink, rinse the chicken in the sink, blot the water off of the meat and the container; 3) put the chicken back in the Pyrex dish, which is still in the sink; 4) make sure you have your olive oil (or other fat) and spices next to the sink and open; 5) use a napkin (because your hands have germs) to pour the oil and rub onto chicken, then do the same with the spices; 6) hopefully your dinner or routine is such at the Pyrex dish can go straight into the oven; 7) then clean (the hardest part)!

  33. Amazon recipe!! The meat was so juicy & good! Highly recommend to baked at 450 degrees.

  34. Do you cover the chicken while it’s in the oven?

  35. Brining is everything!!! This has much SUCH a difference in my chicken! Thank you.

  36. Ali, just made this baked chicken and it was perfect. Used evoo will try butter next time; I suspect flavor will be enhanced. I am curious how you are faring during this covid19 crisis? Have you posted on this? Also have you done well since your procedure? Remembering you from our days at COR. Stay well, Judy B

  37. Good

  38. This is great. Really juicy even left over. I coat it with olive oil. There are a few steps, but definitely worth it.

  39. I agree with the vast amount of positive reviews. Tried this tonight and it was simply amazing.

  40. this is a really best share

  41. My family and myself totally enjoyed! It turned out very tender and juicy.
    Thank you kindly for offering this recipe!

  42. Hi Ali! I’ve been looking for some simple chicken recipes to make while we’re inside. I definitely can’t wait to give this one a try. I hope all is well for you guys in Barcelona. We’ve been inside for a little over a week here in Paris. Thank you!

  43. Thank you for an easy to read and do recipe for delicious baked chicken. I am a working mom/elementary school teacher with not a lot of cooking talent or time. My kids thank you too.

  44. Best baked chicken I ever made. This is a keeper.

  45. This was a hit with the family. I saw someone else posted that they used curry instead of paprika and also had great results, so I think I may use that on occasion to change things up. However, I will say this isn’t the juiciest breast meat I’ve ever had. For those of you who haven’t tried it, poaching it in an instant pot is quick and incredibly flavorful!

  46. Perfect solution! In these strange times, my grocery store closed the deli. So no rotisserie chicken. I had a big Chicken Greek Salad planned for dinner. Gimme Some Oven to the rescue with this recipe! Easy and perfect. Moist & tasty. Think I won’t need to buy a rotisserie chicken again!

  47. So excited to try this recipe! but have a question about using marinade…do you still use brine, if you’ve marinated the chicken breast?

  48. My wife was having a really stressful week with work and the pendemic that is the Coronavirus. Unfortunately, I was on a temporary layoff stuck at home. I wanted to lift her spirits so I googled chicken breast recipes and found this one. I swear it was quick,easy and delicious! Ive never seen a bigger smile on my wife’s face! Thank you so much for being there in this time of need!

  49. Great recipe and easy to make!

  50. Love this recipe! The best chicken breasts ever❤️