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. The seasoning was ON POINT and the chicken is incredibly tender and delicious. Had to babysit the oven bc of the butter (I used a bit extra too so it sat in it) but it didn’t catch fire (middle rack). Took about 30-35 mins with my chicken being 2.5-3 inches thick. Always use that food thermometer. The only alteration I made was a little bit of lemon juice around the edges, serve with lemon slices <3 and adobo-seasoned rice

  2. Thank you for this amazing recipe! The most tender and juicy chicken I have ever made. My husband loves it. This will absolutely be in dinner rotation. So simple. I usually over do everything with chicken from the marinade to seasoning. I recommend this recipe to everyone. Delicious.

  3. Followed all instructions, 18 minutes later, chicken not done. It was white and in a lot of water. Had to put back in the oven for 12 more minutes. The temp was then 165.
    It tasted ok it was tender but on the dry side.
    Evelyn

  4. Great recipe, worked well on the bone-in, skinless chicken breasts I bought; cooking time was more like 30 minutes at 450 til they hit 165, but maybe that’s due to the bone or due to them being big..or maybe its because I kept pulling them out to check the temp starting at 15 mins 0:). I will be brining all my chicken from now on! Does that work for other meat too?

  5. Recipe is amazing thank you!! Husband loved it!

    The baking dish you’ve linked is only rated to 400f degrees but the recipe suggests baking at 450f. Might want to link a different dish.

  6. We often have salad with a protein for lunch – we had been disappointed with our chicken tasting rubbery. I ran across your method and it is our go to way to cook chicken breasts – moist and tender. Maybe it is the size of the breasts I get (usually from Costco) – our cooking time runs around 20 minutes to get to temperature. Delicious! And although I don’t read your blog on a regular basis, we always know we can trust your recipes to be excellent.

  7. So juicy and flavorful! This is now my go-to chicken breast preparation. Thank you!

  8. I made his tonight for my dinner. I made only 1/4 as I cook only for myself most ot the time. It was delicious. Unfortunately, The chicken was tough and chewy. No fault of the recipe only a poor quality piece of meat as so much we are getting lately. I did brine it for over two hours. Thanks for a very tasty recipe that I will try again.
    Barb

  9. This was delicious! New to cooking here, and this recipe was simple but so good. The chicken was super moist and flavorful. Normally I douse any and all chicken in BBQ sauce, but not this time! I also used skinless boneless thighs instead of breast, so cook time took was more like 20-25 minutes which was expected. Will definitely make again.

  10. I cannot find the recipe for your basic rub. I must be blind because you are thorough with all your other directions. Thank you so much

    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
      1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
      1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
      1/2 teaspoon paprika (I prefer smoked paprika)

  11. I thought I would try this recipe to see if brining was worth the effort. Oh, my goodness – what a difference! The chicken was incredibly moist, and for a minimal amount of added effort. I will absolutely use this method from now on! I admit I used my own Hungarian chicken seasoning mix, in place of the salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika in the recipe – the result was too salty for my taste. Next time I will try different seasonings, including those suggested above as well as salt-free options.

  12. I am the WORST chicken cooker. Usually overcooked to heck. But ever since I started doing it this way…holy crap!! It comes out perfect!!!

  13. I used my own lemon rub with butter and both the flavor and the texture were amazing. Mine did not get golden within 18 minutes, so I just broiled it for 2 minutes and it was again, just amazing. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  14. I followed this recipe almost to a T. The only thing I did not do was pound the chicken. I was skeptical. I thought 450 degrees, no way will it be juicy. I also used your classic paprika seasoning. The chicken was amazing! Juicy and tasty. My 7 year old, who prefers Mac n Cheese, had thirds!! Excellent recipe.

  15. Hi Gimmie, (Ali)
    I’ve been making hit or mis chicken for way to long,
    ur recipe is perfect every time.
    Thank you,
    Robert L.

  16. I love this method & recipe for chicken breasts!! Ever since I first tried it, it’s the recipe I use! So moist & flavorful! Thank you!

  17. I’ve used this method for chicken breasts for several years. It is hands down the absolute best way to cook chicken breasts. I use the cooked breasts for chicken salad, to add to green salads, tacos,…
    I also use the brining method before I put the chicken breasts in the slow cooker to make enchiladas.

  18. I would include in the instructions as noted when it mentions baking dish, to state at that time not glass, I hadn’t seen the foot note until it was in the oven for 10 minutes .

  19. Made this a few times and it’s perfect at 18 min 450F. The chicken is so juicy and tender even with just a 15 min brine.

  20. I discovered this recipe about a year ago, and we don’t make baked chicken breasts any other way now. Thank you for posting this!

  21. I told my husband I was never making chicken again….until I found this recipe. This is now my go-to recipe for baking chicken breasts. Turns out great every.single.time. Thanks, Ali!

  22. ALI,
    I’m a 66 yr. old single man. I’m not much of a cook, but now thanks to your B.B.R.R.R. recipe for chicken breast… even I can’t screw it up! Thanks!

    -BigBob

  23. So far tried 1 recipe & absolutely easy to do & taste is great ! Thank you

  24. worked perfectly. 15 min at 450. Came out excellent. Juicy and tender. My new go to recipe for baked chicken breasts!!

  25. What a difference the brine makes! I used the techniques set forth in this recipe and it turned out amazing. I made a dry rub of garlic powder, dried chopped onions, white pepper, brown sugar, paprika, ground mustard, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and garam masala. I brushed the chicken with olive oil and then added the rub. Marvelous!

  26. This is the very best baked chicken recipe EVER. Fool proof, simple and you can serve it for any occasion. Have passed it along to many friends who have had the same reaction.

  27. WOW! This is the best recipe. Thank you so much for sharing. I am a single dad with a 14 year old boy who is pretty picky. I have to tell you not only did my son love this chicken (he ate two breast the first time,) but he thought it was so good he wanted to learn how to make it himself. It was a great bonding experience cooking with my son. Now we bake chicken breast at least once a week.

  28. I like this

  29. Just tried this in my new convection oven (thanks https://www.sweetesthome.ca/ for helping me choose the right one) and it was delicious. I liked how tender the chicken turned out, thanks for the recipe.

  30. Juiciest chicken I’ve ever made. My wife left the table mad because she couldn’t believe I made this chicken! No pussy tonight, but so worth it!

  31. I love chicken! And to that end, I am VERY picky about how it has to be. This recipe is so spot on, and extraordinarily easy that it has become my go-to on busy weeknights. When my hubby doesn’t have the time to grill, this is the best alternative I have found. I followed the directions to a T, and even added some of my own spices to jazz it a little on other days. (We eat a lot of chicken, so being able to dress this recipe for different flavor combinations is just awesome!) I have zero complaints, and thank you so much for an excellent and amazing recipe!!

  32. REALLY, REALLY GOOD! Moist and very delicious. I used the juices from the pan to make a milk gravy. My husband loved it and he does not alway love chicken breast.

  33. 15-18 minutes at 450F was way too short and the chicken was too raw. Needed over 10 more minutes to fully cook it, but then it was very dry.

  34. This was the best baked chicken breast I have ever made!!! My chicken never came out that great but your tips made all the difference. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  35. Love it and juicy chicken and i added coffee and it is amazing

  36. Use half as much salt.

  37. I only knew how to make mince and foil-bake salmon before I stumbled on your website. I followed the instructions with some help and it was among the most moist and tender chicken breast I have ever tasted – given that I did avoid eating them after some horrible experiences.

    I did some things differently:
    1. I bought some Lilydale chicken from Coles (Australia)
    2. let the package stand in room temperature (RT) for 30 minutes
    3. covered 2 breasts in a glass bowl with 2 measuring cups of lukewarm water, and added 2 tablespoons of fine salt to it, stirring the salt in to make the brine, and letting it sit for 15-20 minutes (so 1:1 ratio of 1 cup warm water to 1 tablespoon salt; I used measuring cups for all of these)
    4. drained the brine, patted it dry, washed with cold water, and then added oil to the glass bowl to mix (instead of brushing)
    5. lay out foil, place oiled chicken into foil, marinate with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder
    6. fold the foil into a package and put it on a tray into the oven
    7. 350F/180C for 25 minutes then let it rest for 5 mins

    It was absolutely moist and tender when we opened up the foil and cut it open. When we cut into it, it parted like thick jelly, and when we bit into it we were able to enjoy the fibre and juices sealed into the meat.

    Thank you for the recipe.

  38. I made this recipe exactly as published. It turned out perfect! I didn’t have an instant-read thermometer but I do now. I will make this one again and again!

  39. i followed your recipe and my chicken breast turned out great! thank you!

  40. I love baked chicken recipes because they use less oil than the fried ones or no oils at all.

  41. I made this dish last night and it was amazing. It was simple to follow and will be doing it again very soon.

  42. The chicken turned out juicy, which is what I gleamed from this article, but it was too salty! To the point where it was almost not eatable. I substituted Malaysian Pink Salt for Kosher salt and left the breasts in the brine for ~4 hours. I followed the directions and used 1 tsp. of salt (Iondized, not Kosher salt) in the rub. What could I have done to make it turn out with the right amount of saltiness? Shorter time in the brine or cut back salt in the rub?

  43. The best, my breasts were big and I usually do not like breasts. They were awesome. 👍

  44. Absolutely D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!!!
    I had 4 large chicken breasts that were frozen. I put them into a large kettle with salted water and I did leave it in longer than 15 minutes (I forgot they were in there). Next I looked, they were thawed so I patted them dry and put them in the refrigerator until I was ready to make them. I mixed the seasonings together, buttered the bottom of the breasts, seasoned them and turned them over, buttering and seasoning the tops. Put them into a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes…soooo good and tender! Easy Peasy!!!
    THANK YOU!!!

  45. Finally, a way to cook tender, moist chicken breasts!! I have used this recipe for chicken for salad, sandwiches and to serve sliced, with a sauce. Even my husband, who wouldn’t eat white meat chicken, because he said it was too dry, loves it. I skip the brining, and find that it usually takes a little longer than 20 minutes for the chicken to reach 165 degrees.

  46. Followed instructions to a tee. Way too salty. Took about 30
    Minutes at 450. Chicken did turn out tender, but tasted too salty.

  47. Thank you for sharing this recipe! My other half, trying to be helpful, picked up and packaged for freezing our order of boneless, skinless chicken breasts for me. Not being the cook in the family, he had no idea I usually freeze 2, 3 breasts max in one bag. He packaged 6 breasts per freezer bag. 🤦‍♀️.
    This has left me struggling to cook 2-3 chicken recipes at once every time I thaw chicken out.
    Tonight while I was making chicken noodle soup I tried this recipe out to utilize the rest of the chicken in the hopes that it would be tasty and tender enough to be worth reheating. It was delicious!!! Tender, tasty, and super easy. Thank You!

  48. This is one of the best baked chicken recipes I have tried, and the brine makes all the difference. Just out of curiosity – why do you recommend not using a glass/pyrex baking dish? I used one and it came out perfect!

  49. This was delicious! I had 6 large boneless breasts, thick. I brined them for about 30 minutes. Brushed them with butter and doubled the spices. Baked @450 for 30 minutes in a glass baking dish. Flipped chicken over and spooned the juice over it, baked it for 15 more minutes. Thermometer was 165..covered with foil for 15 minutes. Perfect! Great recipe, thank you!

  50. Sounds good going to try this tonight.