Baked Chicken Breasts

My all-time favorite oven baked chicken breasts recipe!  It never fails me, thanks to this simple 5-step method that is easy to make and customize with your favorite seasonings.

Perfect Oven Baked Chicken Breast

A few weeks ago on Insta, I asked if you all might be interested in a back-to-basics series about the best ways to bake proteins (i.e. chicken, pork, steak, seafood, tofu, etc.) in the oven.  And your answer?  A resounding yes please.  Tons of you had requests and questions about methods for cooking various proteins, plus more than a few tales to tell about proteins gone not-so-right over the years.  And oh boy, I hear ya.  My little kitchen has seen more than its share of overcooked steaks, completely dried out pork chops, salmon skin glued to pans, and not-so-crispy tofu over the years too.  Which are never fun, especially since proteins can be pricey and intended for special occasions.  But hey, it’s all part of the adventure of learning how to cook.  And eventually, I’ve trial-and-errored my way to some basic methods for baking proteins that have become super-reliable, super-delicious staples in my kitchen.

So over the next two weeks, I thought we could work our way through each of them, beginning today with the #1 most requested protein here on Gimme Some Oven…

…chicken.

Specifically, boneless skinless chicken breasts.

Over the years, I’ve received countless requests for new chicken breast recipes, and many more for tips on how to bake chicken breasts in the oven.  Because anyone who worked with chicken breasts before know that they can be incredibly versatile, yet also incredibly finicky to work with, especially when baked in the oven.  Cook them the wrong way and you’ll end up with a dry, rubbery, tough, and flavorless disaster.  But cooked the right way?!  We’re talkin’ juicy, tender, flavorful, perfectly baked chicken breasts that you will love.

The good news is that they’re also totally easy to customize with your favorite seasonings or sauces.  And also, incredibly easy to make with my 5-step baked chicken breasts method.  Thousands of our readers have tried it over the years and reported back that this method was a game-changer with cooking chicken.  So if you have yet to give it a try, let’s bake some chicken together!

Baked Chicken Breasts Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Baked Chicken Breast Ingredients:

To make this baked chicken breasts recipe, you will need:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts: You can either purchased fresh (my preference) or frozen (which you will need to completely thaw before using).  Some chicken also comes pre-brined nowadays, in which case you can skip step one below.
  • Butter or olive oil: Your pick!  I like the extra flavor of butter, but olive oil will also work well.
  • Kosher Salt: An essential ingredient in our brine, and also to season the chicken.
  • Seasonings: I included an all-purpose blend of smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and black pepper in the recipe below, which is super-simple and goes with just about anything.  But feel free to sub in any dry seasoning blend that you prefer.

Also, if you make baked chicken (or any other kind of baked proteins) regularly in the oven, I one million percent recommend having a cooking thermometer on hand too.  It is quite simply the most foolproof way to ensure that your chicken is not over- or under-cooked, and works like a charm.  I recommend either this:

  • Instant-read cooking thermometer (pictured below): which I have owned and used for years when cooking chicken, which retails for about $9.99 on Amazon.
  • Dual-probe wireless meat thermometer: which I also own and love because it can be used inside of a hot oven (especially helpful for baking steak, salmon and pork), which retails for about $24.99 on Amazon.
Baked Chicken Breast Recipe

My original photo for this recipe (2015).

How To Bake Chicken Breasts:

Alright, so here’s the secret!  To make perfectly baked chicken bbrrreasts, you simply need to follow this 5-step acroynm: B.B.R.R.R.

  1. Brine
  2. Brush
  3. Rub
  4. Roast
  5. Rest

Step 1: Brine

I’m telling you — this step is an absolute must for anytime you want to bake chicken breasts in the oven.  Brining chicken is super-easy, it makes your chicken extra juicy, and best of all, it can be effectively done in just 15 minutes.  Plus, if you brine chicken in lukewarm water, it also helps bring the chicken to room temperature, which makes for more even cooking.  Win-win!

To brine chicken, simply fill a big bowl with lukewarm (not hot) water.  Stir in a handful of salt until it mostly dissolves.  Then add your chicken breasts and let them sit in the saltwater to brine for at least 15 minutes.  If you are doing this in advance, you can cover and refrigerate the bowl of chicken and saltwater for up to 6 hours.  But you don’t want to let the chicken brine for much longer than that.

When you’re ready to go, remove the chicken from the brine.  Give it a good rinse it with cold water to wash off the salt, and then pat it dry with some paper towels.  And voila — your chicken is officially brined.

Really, don’t skip over this step!  It makes a world of difference.

Note: That said, some store-bought chicken breasts are now sold pre-brined.  So double-check your packaging beforehand.  And if your chicken has already been pre-brined in a sodium solution, just move onto step two.  :)

Step 2: Brush

…your chicken breasts with melted butter.  Or at least, I highly recommend using butter.  It adds great flavor and helps give a nice golden crust on the outside.  But if you’d rather use olive oil (or another favorite cooking oil), feel free.

Brush the breasts liberally on both sides to prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan, and also to help the seasonings stick.  Then place the chicken breasts in a large baking dish or roasting pan.

Step 3: Rub

If you’re really wanting to keep things simple, you can simply sprinkle some salt and pepper onto the chicken breasts.  But again, chicken will pick up the flavor of whatever seasonings you add.  So even if you’re making a simple dish that calls for “plain” chicken breasts, I highly recommend the simple chicken seasoning recipe I have included below that includes salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika.

Step 4: Roast

So this is the step that causes some squabbles amongst chicken lovers — how long to bake chicken breasts?  And what is the correct temperature to bake chicken?  Do you bake it low and slow (as in, 30 minutes at 350°F)?  Or do you roast chicken high and quick (as in, 15 minutes at 450)?  I have tested out both — and just about every interval in between — dozens upon dozens upon dozens of times.  And in the end, I fall firmly in the latter camp when it comes to baked chicken.

I like to roast my chicken breasts on high heat. 🔥

Depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts, roasting chicken at 450°F should require a cooking time of about 15-18 minutes (depending on the thickness/size of your chicken breasts).  It’s speedy and it’s easy.  But mostly I love it because cooking at high heat quickly develops a nice crispier “crust” on the outside of the breasts, which also helps to lock in those juices and keep the oven roasted chicken perfectly tender on the inside.  It’s the best of both worlds.

I highly recommend investing in a small cooking thermometer to measure the cooked chicken temp in order to tell if it is ready to go (the FDA says that the safe cooked chicken temp is 165°F), versus cutting into it with a fork, which lets those good juices seep out.  I use this instant-read thermometer (affiliate link) that I bought on Amazon for $10, and it will accurately measure your internal chicken temperature in seconds.

Step 5: Rest

This one is a non-negotiable.  You must, must let your beautifully baked chicken breasts rest before cutting into them — a tip which applies to cooking any meat, really.  If you cut in right away, you will lose all of the amazing juices and some of the tenderness that we’re going for.  But if you give your freshly baked chicken breasts a brief rest, it will finish cooking and lock in all of those delicious juices, resulting in the most tender and juicy and delicious baked chicken.

I recommend loosely tenting a sheet of aluminum foil over the pan to keep the heat in while the chicken rests.  And then after 5-10 minutes, you can finally serve and enjoy your perfectly-cooked chicken breasts.

And enjoy every last bite. 

How To Brine Chicken to make Baked Chicken Breasts

Baked Chicken Seasoning Recipe

Oven Baked Chicken Breast Recipe

How To Season Baked Chicken Breasts:

Again, I’m a big fan of the classic paprika-garlic-pepper mix in the recipe below.  But if you’d like to mix things up, feel free to sub in any of your favorite dry seasoning mixes, such as:

And of course, feel free to also toss the chicken breasts with your favorite sauces (once they have been baked).  Or try out any one of these 5 easy chicken marinades.  Chicken is an incredibly versatile protein flavor-wise, and can be seasoned just about however you please.

How To Make Baked Chicken Breasts Recipe

How To Use/Serve Baked Chicken Breasts:

The easiest way, of course, is just to serve these roasted chicken breasts fresh outta the oven.  But feel free to also slice, shred, or dice these oven baked chicken breasts for use in another recipe, such as these faves:

How To Store/Freeze Baked Chicken Breasts:

Once the chicken has been baked, it can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Or you can freeze it for up to 3 months.  (<– I recommend shredding, dicing or slicing the chicken before freezing for easier use.)

Perfectly Juicy Oven Baked Chicken Breast Recipe

Side Dish Recipe Ideas:

Looking for some side dishes to serve with this baked chicken recipe?  Here are a few of my faves:

Baked Chicken Breast with Roasted Asparagus

More Baked Protein Tutorials:

Be sure to also check out our tutorials for how to bake other meats, seafood and tofu here.  (More coming soon!)

Enjoy, everyone!

This post contains affiliate links.

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Baked Chicken Breast Recipe
4.8 from 508 reviews

Baked Chicken Breasts

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

Learn how to make juicy, tender, delicious baked chicken breasts with this simple 5-step method.


Scale

Ingredients

Baked Chicken Breast Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness and brined in saltwater (*see easy instructions below)
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (I prefer smoked paprika)

Instructions

  1. To brine your chicken breasts, fill a large bowl with 1 quart of warm water and 1/4 cup kosher salt.  Stir to combine until most of the salt is absorbed.  Add the chicken breasts and let them sit in the mixture to brine for 15 minutes.  Or you can also also cover the bowl and refrigerate for up to 6 hours.  Remove the chicken breasts from the brine, rinse them with cold water, then pat them dry with some paper towels.  (However, if the chicken breasts you purchased have already been pre-brined in a sodium solution, skip this step.)
  2. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  3. Place the chicken breasts in a single layer in a large baking dish or roasting pan*.  Brush on both sides (turning once) evenly with the melted butter or olive oil.
  4. In a separate small bowl, whisk the salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika until combined.  Then sprinkle the mixture evenly over the chicken on both sides.
  5. Bake for 15-18* minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.  I recommend using a cooking thermometer to know exactly when it is fully cooked; in the thickest part of the breast, it should be 165°F.  (Or, if you want the chicken to be a little bit browned and crispier on top, you can turn the broiler on high for the final 3-5 minutes and broil the chicken until it is cooked through and golden on top.  Keep a close eye on the chicken so that it does not overcook and/or burn.)
  6. Once the chicken is cooked, remove the pan from the oven, transfer the chicken to a clean plate, and loosely tent the plate with aluminum foil.  Let the chicken rest for at least 5-10 minutes.
  7. Serve warm.  Or, refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

How To Bake Chicken Breasts

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2,158 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

  1. What about if I have frozen chicken breasts?

  2. This was excellent I never used high heat and thought I would tryit.   I did the brine, and rubbed with crushed rosemary and garlic powder.   I was amazed how the flavors did flavor that chicken breast.    Simple easy and will keep making,  

  3. Best chicken I ever cooked. Thank you

  4. Tried this recipe on a single breast for a salad topping. Very moist & tasty. I have seen recipes similar where it says after brining to rinse the breast under cold water, then pat dry. What is the reason you choose no to? Also, can this recipe be adapted to bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts?

    • Eek, thanks for mentioning that! I didn’t realize that I forgot to include instructions to rinse the chicken after brining. And yes, it can be adapted to bone-in, skin-on breasts — they will just need a little more time in the oven. So keep an eye on them until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F.

  5. I can’t wait to try this! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Why is it so difficult to print your recipes? I have just passed over many good looking recipes, but have passed over them because I do not use my iPad in the kitchen.

    • Hi Sue, we’re sorry you’re having difficulty. Could you check the “print” button on your computer? When we click it, it works properly on our computers. Is it possible you are just clicking “print” within your browser, and not clicking the little “print” icon within the recipe box?

  7. This Was an amazing method to cooking chicken. It was so easy and everything came out incredible thank you so much!

  8. Well since everyone is saying such great things, I think I’ll give this a try. I hope it works well on Purdue chicken. I  already know my toddler isn’t gonna be feeling this one (super picky lil monster) ^___^ Either way I have lots of chicken and I will give it a try!

  9. This looks amazing! I love boneless, skinless chicken but my husband hates it and says it’s “boring and bland”. I’ve been trying to convince him for years. This recipe might be the one to change his mind (fingers crossed!). Can you thaw frozen chicken breasts in the brine solution, or do you need to thaw them fully before brining? 

    • Thanks Sarah! We’re not 100% sure, since we haven’t tried this with frozen chicken, but our gut tells us you should thaw the chicken fully before brining. We hope you enjoy!

  10. Thanks to this recipe, my children think I’ve cracked the code to the famous colonel’s secret recipe… needless today say I’m very popular with my children today! Greetings from the UK :-) 

    • Awww, you’re very welcome Christine — that’s so awesome your kiddos loved this! :D

  11. I found this to be very salty. Not sure if it was because of the brine or the salt included with the spices. My family did not love the seasoning….

    • Hi Debbie, sorry to hear that you didn’t like it. You’re welcome to try any other seasonings you prefer instead too!

  12. I am not even done eating and I had to write about how amazing this chicken is!!! Sorry mom and dad,, but with this post I made the best chicken I have ever had- and its my first time making chicken alone!!! 

    THANK YOU!!!

  13. I plan to try this recipe and surprise hubby tonight! I will be using chicken breasts that have been cut in half (so they will be thinner, but just as wide as regular chicken breasts), should I adjust the cooking time?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Madeline! Yep, they’ll definitely cook more quickly, so I’d cut the cooking time in half and then just keep an eye on them and wait until the insides are cooked through (165°F) and are no longer pink and translucent. Enjoy!

  14. I made this tonight with frozen breasts and it was delicious! I thawed them right in the brine. This will be my go-to recipe from now on!

  15. Can this be adapted to use chicken leg quarters??
    If so what should one do to use leg quarters?
    Sounds delish, I brine my turkeys every year, usually for about 4 or 5 days. It’s not salty at all and almost melts in your mouth. I’ll have to try that with chicken now. (Maybe a nice steak next)

    • Hey John! We’re not sure, since we haven’t tired this, however, we think it’s worth a try!

  16. This is amazing! I tried this recipe a few weeks ago and have already made it numerous times. It’s so easy and delicious! I’ve been having fun playing with different seasonings too :) Thanks for sharing!

  17. Followed your steps and chicken breast was delicious.  Thanks.

  18. I am currently cooking it and it already smells amazing! Hopefully it tastes as good as it smells thank you so much!

  19. Best chicken I ever made!!

  20. Could I substitute pork instead of chicken for this?

    • Hi Dave! That’s a good question – we’re not sure, since we haven’t tried that. We know you can brine pork chops, we’re just not sure how this particular recipe would work on them.

  21. I just made those for a dinner-it’s amazingly good!!!Thank you for sharing!

  22. This was really excellent. I followed your directions as prescribed and it paid off :)  I get very disappointed with hit or miss ‘dried up’ chicken breast.  I’ve never brined a chicken breast beforehand, so maybe this is the ticket to a predictable moist meat.  Thank you!  So easy and VERY good.  I used 450 heat and 20 minutes. Perfect. 

    • Thank you Marsha, we’re happy this turned out so well for you! Thanks for giving the recipe a try! Brining is a beautiful thing, eh? :)

  23. I made this chicken last night, and it was sooo delicious!  My husband kept saying, “This is so good!  You can make this again; it’s so good!”  
    I had to brine the 6 chicken breasts 5 hrs ahead of time, due to my “game day”.  As soon as I returned home, I rinsed the chicken under cold running water.  I added a heaping 1/4 tsp. of lemon pepper w/your seasonings, and had to add 5 more minutes to the cooking time for the meat thermometer to read 160-170* F.  I was very pleased with this recipe.  Thank you!

    • Thanks for sharing with us Connie, we’re so happy you and your husband enjoyed it! The lemon pepper sounds yummy too. :)

    • Thanks for sharing with us Connie, we’re so glad it was a hit with you and your husband! And the lemon pepper you added sounds yummy. :)

  24. I was looking for a way to bake chicken breast that was easy and simple. After reading the comments, I am definitely going to try this today.

  25. I tried this for the first time just last week.  I will never use another method in cooking chicken!!  My usually bland chicken was moist and very flavorful.  Some meals that call for chicken I just skip it and make it vegetarian but not any more because this chicken is awesome.

  26. Wonderful recipe!! Thank you!!! Chicken so moist on the inside 

  27. Wow.. This is a absoultly fab.. I did garlic & herbs with mine.. Was just beautiful..  

  28. This was simply amazing!!!!  I admit I was quite skeptical about such a high temperature but man o man this was the bomb!!! I did add about 5 more minutes in the oven to ensure it was cooked thoroughly because I was using large chicken breast. THANKS

  29. I just made this and WOW!! So moist and tender. I have an old oven from the 50’s so this was a major accomplishment for me as my chicken usually burns before it’s even done. The only seasoning I used was Lowry’s Season Salt. When my kids were little, they used to call that Chicken Salt. LOL!!! I will definitely be making this a LOT!!!

    • Thanks for sharing Judy, we’re so glad you enjoyed this! And chicken salt is adorable! haha :D

  30. After the brining, can I marinate the chicken? Or just use seasoning?

    • Hi Joy! Honestly after brining and seasoning as instructed in the recipe, this chicken is already super flavorful, so we think marinating it wouldn’t serve much of a purpose. It might overwhelm the other flavors. Plus, we’re not sure how that would affect the chicken after brining it. To be safe, we’d just stick with the seasoning. We hope this helps, and that you enjoy! :)

  31. Hi can this method be used on boneless, skinless  turkey breast?

    • Hi Ashley! We haven’t tried it with turkey, but we think that should work fine, since it’s still poultry, and brined turkey is awesome! It might need more/not as much time in the oven, so just keep an eye on it. We hope you enjoy!

  32. I made this tonight and it was awesome! However my smoke alarms went off because of the butter – anyone else have this problem? Or did I just have an excess of butter on the pan? 

    • Oh no, that hasn’t happened to us, we’re sorry! We’re glad you liked the chicken nonetheless!

  33. True Sceptic!!  Tried this and low and behold, even after 3 days in he fridge, reheated in the microwave….. STILL incredibly delicious juicy chicken.  Great start for any meal.  Pasta salad, quesadillas,chicken salad…  skies the limit!  Thank You ever so much:)

  34. AMAZING!  This is going to be my go-to recipe for baked chicken! Thanks for sharing. 

  35. Oh my goodness!!!!!! Making this now! I love how you made it so easy! 

  36. I used to hate chicken breast but not anymore!  I had the best delicious,  super moist and cripsy chicken breast ever! I was skeptical because recipes in the past have always failed me. So I placed the pat dry seasoned chicken breasts in a baking pan with half can of creamy chicken soup and water making sure that the top of the breasts is dry and not covered in the soup. I cranked up the broiler temperature to get a crispy top and then lowered the temperature to finish the cooking, resulting in super moist breasts. It’s kind of baked and poached chicken breast. Delicious and the way I like it. Will try on turkey and pork next. Thank you so much for the technique! 

  37. I absolutely love cooking chicken breasts, however my fiancé always tells me they come out dry. No matter how many times I tried cooking it for a long time at a low temp, it came out dry. The first time I tried this recipe, his jaw hit the floor (mine did, too!). It is so delicious! I’m cooking it tonight for the second time in a week. Thanks so much for posting and helping out this bride-to-be :)

    • We’re happy to hear you guys enjoyed this recipe Rachel – thanks for sharing! And congrats on your upcoming wedding! :)

  38. Thank you so much for this recipe! I have NEVER been able to bake chicken without it turning out incredibly dry. This is the first time I have been able to make moist and flavourful chicken in my life! My husband and I loved it. I will only use this method from now on. 

  39. This is the first time I’ve ever made chicken breast, and the ONLY recipie I’ll ever use. Perfect!! I used lemon pepper :) I didn’t have foil to cover it, but I still let it rest and it’s amazing. Eating it right now!

  40. Yum! I told my husband he better come home quick and try it before I ate both breasts myself. Do you have any idea how much sodium this adds? We eat a lot of chicken and I see myself wanting to brine all of it. Can you brine chicken then freeze it? I’m always looking for ways to make life easy. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Hi Christina! Unfortunately we aren’t sure about the sodium content, but we don’t imagine it’s much since this is a short brine. We think you would be fine to freeze the chicken after you’ve brined and cooked it but we wouldn’t freeze it brined and uncooked. We hope this helps! :)

  41. I just made this tonight very delicious however I must agree with one of the comments above it was a tad bit too salty for my liking (even though my picky fiancé said it tastes fine). I think next time I’ll just brine and not put any extra salt.  

    • Thanks Dee, we’re glad you enjoyed it, and you can definitely scale back on the salt next time if you prefer. Thanks for giving the recipe a try!

  42. Really great recipe. One small note if I may- I am pretty sure the new guidelines are 165 degrees for poultry. And while you can use an instant read, I am not sure the one suggested is really instant, regardless, have you tried the temperature probes? Very easy way to know exactly when the chicken is done to perfection.

    • Thank you for sharing, Brian – we’ve actually found that taking the chicken out when it’s at 160 works best, as it will still cook when removed from the oven, and will reach 165 while resting.

  43. This was absolutely amazing! I haven’t liked chicken since I was pregnant unless it was from a restaurant and this tastes even better! My aunt just flew in from Germany and I can’t wait to serve this to her. What would be appropriate sides to accommodate the smoked paprika??

    • Thanks so much Kelsey, we’re happy you enjoyed it! You could serve this chicken with some roasted or mashed potatoes, or a rice, and a green vegetable, or salad! We hope this helps, and that your aunt enjoys it as well!

  44. Delicious! Great way to bake chicken and very easy. I used Penzy’s north woods seasoning and baked in Le Cruiset . I have never brined before but will do in the future. Thanks!

  45. first time trying this recipe with  chicken and it was wonderful. chicken came out moist with flavor and tender. 

  46. This was the most moist and delicious baked breast I’ve ever had – thank you so much. I’ll never cook chicken breast without brining it again. I think I’ll try it before making chicken schnitzel. This really is a lovely recipe!

  47. I tried this last and it is great. I cooked mine longer very large breast. They were very juicy.

  48. This was amazing! My entire family loved it which never happens. I will be making this again very soon. Thanks!

  49. Hi! Just found your recipe and would love to try it!  I would like to try this with 2 chicken breasts (they are a pretty good size) instead of 4, would the salt amount in the brine be different? and would the cooking time be different as well?  Any help is appreciated, thanks!

    • Hi Leah! If you’d like to try this with two chicken breasts, we recommend just cutting the whole recipe in half, but cooking for the same amount of time. We hope this helps, and that you enjoy!

  50. Just like everyone else I made it and loved it. this cooking novice tanks you