Baked Chicken Breasts

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

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.

Print
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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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

2,631 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

  1. PERFECTION! Found this recipe yesterday and made it last night. Used butter rather than olive oil. Because my chicken breasts were quite large, and I have 5 breasts, I doubled the seasonings (and barely had enough to cover all the breasts evenly).

    Moist, super tender, and seasoned to perfection. All of us loved it. This is now my “Go To” recipe anytime I want cooked chicken – for anything.

    Thank you for this easy, delicious recipe!

  2. Game changer chicken! I have been cooking chicken wrong all my life. 350 for 30 min. No More, it’s 450 for 15 min to get tasty juicy yummy chicken! Thank you!

  3. I’ve never brinned before because I thought that I would need to put in a complicated mixture of spices and leave it overnight. I took your suggestion and brinned for 15 minutes and it was juicy and delicious! It made all the difference in the world!

  4. Simple, quick, and good. Will be using this recipe going forward. Chicken was moist and tasty.

  5. Very good explanation and follow thru. Follow the directions and you will get the perfect breast.

  6. All I can say is “WOW”!!! Such a simple and quick recipe, and so delicious and juicy!!! No more dried out chicken breasts for us!!! Followed the recipe as our local market had organic chicken breasts on sale (about 6 ounces/breast). Because they were smaller I did not pound them out. They were a little past 165 degrees after 15 minutes at 450 degrees in my oven, but I rested them on a pre-warmed plate tented with foil for 6 minutes and they were fantastic!!! My wife loved them. Thanks!!!

  7. I made this last night for my family. It was the most tender chicken I have ever had! And the spice combination was great! Wonderful taste, and not a lot of added calories! Thank You!

  8. This might sound idiotic, but I was today years old when I realized I’ve been UNDER SEASONING my chicken my entire life. I did not realize how much I should be putting on! Thank you for this!

  9. Juicy and delicious! I used ghee instead of butter or olive oil and Seven Seasoning from Saltgrass Steakhouse, which has the same seasoning ingredients as this recipe, plus onion powder and thyme. My chicken breasts also appeared to be cut in half lengthwise, so they were a little thinner than shown but still cooked within 15 minutes. I’m an experienced cook so I wasn’t expecting much from a baked chicken recipe but I’m glad I tried it. Will definitely be brining and baking chicken this way from now on!

  10. Thank you!! For the first time ever, my kids LOVED my chicken. Definitely will look to you for more recipes!

  11. Seriously YUMMM! I’m always nervous to make recipes that I find online but this ones a keeper! Made it exactly how you suggested, using butter rather than oil, and it turned out beautifully! Moist & flavorful! Cant wait to play with this recipe more! Great diner & very inspiring for a home cook like myself! Thank you :D

  12. This recipe was a total winner! Usually cook thighs, but with only chicken breasts available at the grocery store these days, went on a search for a good recipe. Only had about 40 minutes to brine the chicken, then pounded them to an even thickness so they would all cook the same. Added the butter and a Weber prepared rub, then had my husband bar-b-que the batch, and the result was really juicy and tender. Yum! Will put this in my box of recipes to keep and do again.

  13. I followed the directions exactly, and checked the fillet at 10 minutes first to avoid over cooking, as times vary depending on the breast size, I ended up cooking the full 18 minutes and flipped it halfway, but it was dry and sour, (typical chicken breast sour taste, I didn’t add lemon juice or anything). I brined it for 2 hours. What went wrong?

  14. THANK YOU!! Best brined chicken. Say goodbye to dry chicken when you use this recipie

  15. So delicious! First-time-chicken-baker over here and it couldn’t have turned out better!! I have since baked chicken multiple times over the last few weeks using this recipe. Thank you!

  16. I’m in the process of making this chicken right now. The only problem I have is, you don’t learn you have to pound the breasts until the actual recipe ingredients/process. All of the pics show breasts that don’t look like they’ve been pounded to the same thickness. Even the text doesn’t mention it. It may not be a deal breaker, but just wanted to point it out. It may have been mentioned before, but I don’t have the time to read over 2400 replies and cook dinner too. I’ll post tomorrow for an after review. Cheers, Pete

    • I didn’t read the part about pounding the breast either but mine turned out lovely all the same. I did check the temperature at 18 minutes and it wasn’t cooked they yet, I had to cook it about another 15 mins, I guess that’s because I didn’t pound it. Thankfully it still tasted good.

  17. Just made this tonight for dinner. The chicken turned out awesome,very juicy and flavorful. My new way to bake chicken from now on. Thank you!

  18. Do you know how many calories are in each breast once cooked? Thanks!

  19. Delicious recipe! The chicken comes out amazing. The brine was a great cooking tip. I will always bake my chicken this way. The spices can be varied for different tastes. This recipe is easy and fast.

  20. I had never brined before. I am now a believer!

  21. I am very satisfied with this recipe. Unbelievable taste and texture. I will always use this method. It works!!

  22. So juicy and delicious. Thank you

  23. My wife and I really enjoyed this simple and tasty recipe. I made it just as you detailed and it came out just as you described. It’s definitely going into my recipe file. Thanks very much!

  24. Perfect. I have never tried baking chicken breasts before – I would usually pan fry the chicken was juicy and delicious cooked this way. I used the chicken in the Mexican Chicken Noodle Soup.

  25. Another brining trick. When you bring your fresh chicken breasts home from the store, sprinkle with kosher salt (front and back), then wrap well in cling wrap, put in a bag, and freeze. When ready to cook, just thaw, rinse, and you have brined chicken that will stay moist however you cook it.

  26. great!

  27. So Good!! Probably the best baked Chicken Breast Recipe!! Moist, flavorful!! It is so easy to over cook and tends to be dry. This recipe is the bomb!! Thanks!

  28. I was looking for something new to try and came across this recipe. So quick, so easy, and so delicious! My husband said it’s the best chicken I’ve ever made! It was so juicy and flavorful! Definitely adding it to our menu rotation! Thank you!!!

  29. Bravo! This recipe is a total game changer! Juicy, flavorful, easy and delicious!

  30. I followed the recipe to the letter and it came out perfect! So juicy! This will be my new go to.

  31. Oh my gosh! You nailed it!!! This should be the first thing newbie cooks learn! Over 3 decades I have cried (well nearly) over dry, chewy, leathery, disappointing or rock hard baked chicken breasts! Well no more! A quick brine. A little butter and seasonings and a screaming hot oven – and voila! – the most tender, juiciest yummy chicken breasts EVER!!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!!

  32. Chicken came out at 142 degrees. I’m going back to my old method.

  33. So easy and so juicy! I am making the Slow Cooker Enchilada soup (which is also amazing btw) and had one left over breast. Found this recipe, made it and it was perfect!!! I can’t wait to share it with the fam next week!

  34. Followed exactly and it turned out great! Thank you.

  35. I tried it tonight, JUST WHAT I NEEDED…. LOOONG DAY DID NOT WANNA DO A LOT and that couldn’t have been more perfect. I left mine in the brine for bout 30 mins while I did other stuff, followed your lead after, it was SO juicy and tender! I left it in the oven a few also to rest. With just that perfect simple spice combo, it’s perfect as is. Or add your favorite sauce if you want, but it’s perfect. Thank you for such an easy, perfect way to bake chicken well!

  36. Very moist!! Very tasty..only thing is it didn’t get crisp :( I did put the butter on…

  37. My chicken didn’t brown, so I had to cook it longer. Then, it came out chewy. What’d I do wrong? I’m trying to eat less chicken thighs. If the breasts aren’t tender enough, my family won’t switch.

  38. I made it and it was awesome! The breasts were so juicy and tender! Thank you!

  39. Should I bake this chicken covered? I’m
    using butter fly chicken breast. Thank you.

  40. We usually roast whole chickens but this time we had a couple of boneless, skinless breasts. I found this recipe , read the remarks and thought that it’d be nice and easy. Twas! SO tender and everything was perfect except for our oven which made us have to use an inserted-type thermometer. Turns out that we were a little over the best temp but the breasts were SO juicy and perfect. Nicely, nicely,

  41. Fabulous! I had only the chicken filets from Costco, so just baked them for less time. Came out perfectly, tender and juicy – thank you!

  42. Delicious, I wouldn’t change a thing

  43. Delish!!!! Quick simple moist, even after reheating they next day.

  44. I started using this recipe a couple of years ago but tonight I used bacon grease instead of butter – super great! I love cooking chicken breasts this way in my toaster oven to not heat up the whole house :)

  45. Tried this tonight and my husband said it was perfect! No more dry chicken. Thank you so much for posting this wonderful and easy recipe.

  46. I made this for my family and they loved it. I will definitely be making this chicken, again. 😋 This is an AWESOME chicken recipe. Thank you for posting it.

  47. Love this recipe

  48. Yummy! Wife raved about it! Used Webber salt free chicken seasoning and butter after brining like you said. It was soooo juicy, tender, etc.

  49. This was absolutely the best chicken I have ever eaten. The brining makes all the difference. This recipe is a total game changer. PS. My picky daughter devoured this and said it was the best chicken ever!

  50. AMAZING – Have never managed to get chicken just right but having found your recipe online I now know what I was doing wrong. Best chicken I’ve ever cooked – was worried it wouldn’t be ready in 15 minutes but it was scrumptious !!!!