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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2,631 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

  1. My new go to for chicken breasts.

  2. Why not use a glass baking dish?

    • Probably because you’re not supposed to use pyrex under a broiler, which the recipe says to do for 3 – 5 minutes if you want it crispier.

      I used pyrex, but no broiler, for my chicken thighs and needed about 22 minutes. It was the first time I made moist chicken!

  3. Used recipe more as a guide, brined chicken in buttermilk with paprika, garlic powder, and hickory smoked salt, coated with bbq seasoning and baked as directed. I typically do not like chicken breast, but this may have changed my mind.

  4. chicken tastes nice but did everything the recipe says and was raw after 18 mins! had to cook for nearer to 30????

    • Did you pound the breasts? Mine were big and fat, after pounding evenly thinner, they were pretty big around, but cooked in exactly 18 min.

  5. Oh boy… Where have you been all of my life?!?! I made this for the fam tonight. It turned out beautifully! Brine, Brine, Brine! I am a believer.

  6. Simple and very very tasty! Never brined before – made a darn fine meal!

  7. The best way to cook chicken breasts I have ever tried! Thank you!

  8. Doesn’t the butter start to smoke in an oven at 450 degrees? We can’t afford another visit from the fire department due to the smoke alarm! :)

  9. This is great! Only “suggestion” I have is to line your pan with foil.

    Just trust me on this. :)

    Does anyone want to come over and scrub up a metal brownie pan? I have delicious chicken to trade. LOL

  10. Perfection!!!

  11. Have not used this baked chicken recipe (although
    I plan to) but asking why you don’t recommend
    glass baking dish.

  12. Baked chicken

  13. I have been cooking since I was 14…. a loong time ago. I have always dreaded making chicken breast. It always, always comes out dried and bland. I tried stuffed, breaded, smothered in bbq sauce, and in the skillet. Nothing changed the fact you needed some sort of dip with it.
    This recipe and advice was a total game-changer! I not only impressed my husband, but managed to impress myself!
    Thanks so very much for sharing your recipe and the importance of brining!
    Donna
    Algonquin Park Canada

  14. This was brilliant because it meant I could ensemble a roast dinner in 20 mInutes, with the oven being on high for everything. I didn’t achieve a crispy finish but that could say more about the oven than the recipe.

  15. So tender and juicy! These were a big hit with company and will absolutely make again. I would make more of the seasoning next time because I loved it and wished there was more of it!

  16. This was really, really good! I LOVED it. I will try other spice blends, but the method creates a really juicy, but perfectly done, chicken! My husband actually likes his chicken more dry and didn’t like how moist it was (imagine that), so I will definitely broil it the next time, and there will be a next time (many)! When I reheated it, I used my Ninja Foodi with the tender crisp lid, and then he loved it! So I do recommend broiling at the end of you (or your family) don’t like very moist chicken! Thanks for sharing. Like many others, I wish I had read this years ago!

  17. I would personally cook for 45 to 50 mins , 30 minutes is not enough time

  18. Thank you for sharing this recipe. B.B.R.R.R. is great. Most delicious chicken.

  19. Well, I followed your directions exactly and my chicken breasts ended up just kinda wet on the outside (not crispy) and all the butter and seasoning slid off onto the pan and burnt. (Oven was at 450.) So, they just ended up pretty plain and boring.

    Sadly, I’ve NEVER successfully baked chicken in the oven and this was another fail for me. :(

    Not sure what

  20. Can I use bone in chicken breasts?

  21. I don’t know what happened but when I checked on them after 15 minutes they were swimming in about an inch of water. I had patted them all dry several times before placing them in the oven too With paper towel so I don’t know what happened

  22. I mostly cook vegetarian at home because of my husband so I have a bit of a fear when it comes to properly cooking poultry, meat, and fish. I want to get over that now that I have a baby to cook for and want her to try everything. This recipe was so perfect. I’ll be going back to it again and again.

  23. I made this with your cajun seasoning. yum! and it help my sinuses. Even my 5 year old loved it my almost 13 year old has 2 bowls with rice. I also used older chicken breast so i too had to cook for around 50 minutes

  24. I have been making bland dry chicken for the first 30 years of my marriage. About six months ago I came upon this recipe and easy instructions for brining (I had never heard of that before) and resting was also new to me. I made this recipe exactly as written and my husband couldn’t believe that I actually made it and didn’t order in. Since then I have a new fondness for cooking. I have made several of your recipes and have plans to make many more. I do have one question about brining. If I want too marinade chicken overnight should I brine it before I marinade or does the marinade make brining unnecessary?
    Thank you for all the work you put into this site and my husband thanks you for teaching me how to cook something other than dry bland food!

  25. Although the chicken breast weren’t tough, they were really salty. If I try this again, I’ll skip the brining or use less salt in the rub.

  26. I’m getting ready to make this recipe again & my family is so excited! I’ve never been a big fan of chicken because it tends to be dry and flavorless. If you’re like me, follow this simple recipe & prepare to change your mind! Be sure to take the extra time to brine & don’t overbake. The simple seasonings compliment the meat without overwhelming. This recipe is perfection! We gobble it up hot from the oven but I’m making extra to add a protein to my salads for lunch this week. It’s great to have a new protein I like!

  27. Have made this several times and it is my go to for moist baked chicken.
    Thanks for recipe with tips!

  28. Ali,
    THANK YOU!! My family absolutely raved about the deeelicious baked chicken breast meal I served tonight -all thanks to you! You made this recipe super easy! I did end up cooking it at 450 for about 25 minutes. It was so juicy and moist we could cut it with a fork. Ive signed up to cook/make more of your recipes.
    I haven’t been much of a fan of cooking but I think with your help I’ll start liking it.
    Huge thanks!

  29. I’ve been eyeing this off for what feels like forever but finally tried it tonight – PERFECT! Thank you Ali!

  30. Love this it’s “almost like mom made on chicken night” only better!
    A suggestion based on your site name (because I found myself dancing to it as I cooked) license “Gimme Some Lovin’ ” from Winwood – it’s just too great to do your cooking too!

  31. So I was looking for something a little different for baking the package of chicken breasts that I buy at Sams Club for multiple day food prep, and this caught my eye because it had much less cooking time. I’ve never brine chicken, so I thought I would give it a try. And, the spice rub is very similar to what I use, so I thought I’d know the results. Well, I have to say I was underwhelmed. The chicken did cook fast, but it wasn’t as juicy as when I bake it at 375 degrees for about a half hour, or until my remote thermometer gets to 165 degrees (I don’t check the time since I got the thermometer years ago, cause I just set the temp) Didn’t seem like brining made any difference in texture or flavor, neither good or bad, just Meh, and they seemed to shrink up more than normal. I really wanted ’em to turn out spectacular, but didn’t happen for me.

  32. Very good recipe! Followed the recipe as given. This is the best result I’ve gotten out of baking boneless, skinless breast. It was flavorful and juicy.

  33. Far too salty. I didn’t think it was any more tender than not putting it in a brine. Not a keeper.

  34. Perfectly cooked, great method especially the brining (had never done this) and the resting.
    Moist and tender.

  35. Do you need to rinse the chicken after brining? I am hesitant to rinse raw chicken. Wondering what you would suggest!

  36. Really tasty and quick!

  37. Tasty and quick!

  38. This is without a doubt the best chicken I’ve ever cooked. So moist, tender and delicious! Happy to learn how to brine. Can’t wait to try more recipes from gimmesimeover!!

  39. It was delicious. I used a glass dish, it was fine. I haven’t experimented with other cookware. And as someone else said, you’ll end up cooking this longer than 15 minutes. I popped my oven up to 500° afterwards (I’m inpatient). I’d suggest pairing it with a seasoned rice like a garlic butter rice or herbed rice 😍 ORRRRR if you slice up some French bread and eat it with the chicken like a sandwich, that’s yummy too. I like the versatility of this recipe thoigh. It also works great with pork chops.

  40. I used this recipe yesterday, and I was very happy with the results. I am used to making stove-top dishes, so I am unfamiliar with how to make good baked dishes. Every time I tried to make chicken breast in the past, it came out very dry. Soaking the chicken in the brine solution was an absolutely brilliant call, and I am very happy with how moist the chicken was! I did have to cook the chicken closer to 30 minutes however. Anyway, thanks for the great recipe! I will definitely be baking chicken more often in the future!

  41. My chicken is always dry but today I found this recipe. I followed your steps and my chicken turned out moist and delicious. Thank you for your help. I am so happy.

  42. Fifteen minutes at 450. It was not without a degree of trepidation that I undertook this recipe. But, as others have mentioned, dried chicken breasts are a drag. So I followed this recipe pretty much exactly, and I want to thank this lady. This turned out to be the best I have ever cooked, or for that matter, ever tasted!

  43. We enjoyed it immensely! However, it was way too salty so I would not salt the chicken at all after rinsing the brine off of it. It took an extra 5 minutes to cook which is normal for a gas oven. It’s a “keeper”!

  44. Wow! You were right, brining makes all the difference. This was the best chicken we’ve had in a long time. Thank you for the recipe and great tips!

  45. This was so easy. More importantly, it was tender and delicious. Everybody loved it! This is now saved as THE chicken breast recipe for our household. Thank you for this great recipe!

  46. Thoroughly enjoyed the chicken breast. I followed the given recipe, added a little chicken spice. I will definitely cook it again
    *****

  47. I have made this chicken, following the recipe exactly, about 5 times now. Comes out perfectly every time. The chicken is great on its own, sliced over salad, on a bun with some ketchup, etc.

  48. I like the recipe is simple and I’ll be trying for the first time tomorrow. I’ll give it five stars because it’s easy instructions are understandable and buy what is said in the recipe for chicken should be delicious

  49. All I had was a glass baking dish and my breasts turned out AMAZING!!! Such an easy, incredible method that I’ll now use forever. Thank you for sharing!!

  50. This was the most perfect chicken breast of all time, and quite possibly the most perfect thing I’ve ever made and ever will make! Thank you!