Gimme Some Oven

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:

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 check out our tutorials for how to bake other meats, seafood and tofu too!

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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.


Ingredients

Scale

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 double-check the maximum temperature of your baking dish for this recipe. Glass dishes (such as Pyrex) usually have a maximum recommended temperature of 425°F, so we do not recommend using a glass dish for this recipe. You can also just as easily cook this recipe on a metal baking sheet.

How To Bake Chicken Breasts

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Recipe rating

2,991 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

  1. This is truly the best way to bake chicken breasts that have been frozen. Perfect!!!

  2. I use this in my commercial kitchen and my customers rave about how awesome and tender and juicy it is!!! Thanks so much!!

  3. Looking forward to trying it

  4. Tried this out with frozen chicken breasts I thawed from the freezer – I brined them in the fridge for a few hours before I cooked them and they were total perfection!!! I followed the directions as is and had to cook a little longer because my chicken breasts were thick. I will definitely make these again!!

  5. Omg!!! You changed my life with this recipe! I brined, used the butter, made a quick mix of the spices you suggested and cooked 17 minutes on 450!!! Quick, Easy and PERFECTLY delicious!!! Thank you!!

  6. If only preparing 2 breasts instead of 4 should I stick with the given brine instructions (salt to water)? Thank you!

    • Yes, you should stick to the brine instructions. Handful of salt in a big bowl of water is a good brine estimate, but if you want to get technical, a good ratio is 1 cup NaCl to 1 gallon H20.

  7. Absolutely delicious! I won’t bake chicken any other way! Moist, tender, fully cooked!

  8. 20 min at450 was NOT even enough time – I pounded mine but they were still thick – no way 17 min is Enid time – it was almost 40

    • Right there with you, I’ve followed these directions several times trying different pans each time and I always have to put ir back in several times. Usually ends up taking about 25-30 minutes.

    • I think people should keep in mind that temperatures vary from oven to oven. Try testing the accuracy of your oven’s temperature if the cooking times seem off. Sometimes the stated temperature on the oven is incorrect.

  9. Amazing!!! I did the first two steps and then used turmeric, chili powder and paprika – along with salt & ground pepper – and then baked it as suggested My oven started smoking a bit so I took them out at 14 minutes and they were perfect. Thank You!!

  10. The chicken will not cook in 18 minutes even with the brining technique. Wasn’t even close to being done. Had to cook it more than twice as long, especially taking it out to check the temp every 5-10 minutes it took closer to an hour.

    • Kenton, your oven’s broken, dude….If it took you “closer to an hour” at 450, then your oven wasn’t anywhere close to 450….

  11. Super easy and tasty. Next time I will probably sear the chicken breasts then throw in the oven. I didn’t get a crispy outside even with broiling.

  12. It was perfect. I’m an experienced Home Chef and I have mastered almost everything except for Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast in the Oven. Tried your method. 45 minute brine. Cooked hot at 450 for 20 minutes (breasts were thick) came out perfect. Thanks!

  13. A customer of mine gave me a 10 lb, bag of frozen chicken breasts. I’m so used to using thighs I wasn’t sure I’d like the breasts much which are generally dry and don’t have any flavor of their own.. I was wrong. The thing with boneless chicken breasts is that the flavor is all in the spices. They would be good in any country’s cuisine. I did Mexican this time and shredded the chicken for soft chicken tacos, Topped them with chopped onion and cilantro and served with a lime wedge and hot sauce. It was delicious. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe.

  14. A win for the brine…it does work!

  15. I like this recipe. I do brine, but reduce the salt in the seasoning. It still come out juicy. I guess it’s a choice. My wive loved it, but I found it too salty for my taste. My wife just adds some salt on hers after it’s done.
    I’m not sure I liked your choice on instant read thermometers. The lower priced instant read thermometers seem to take forever to stabilize. Ive tried 3 different low priced instant read thermometers. I purchased a Thermopen MK4 about a year ago. Fast and accurate, but a tad pricey. You may want to try one out. I liked it so much I sent my older sister one. (She overcooks everything :))

  16. I don’t cook much so I followed your recipe. The family loved it!! They were worried at first and thought for sure mom was gonna make the chicken all dry. Boy did I surprise them! Thank you for teaching me how to bake chicken the right way

  17. Hi can anyone tell me the calories for this recipe? ALSO I’ve tried this recipe for the fourth time now as my meal prep, it is INCREDIBLE every time!!!

    • I use a web site called fatsecret to determine the nutritional information of any food. If you enter boneless skinless chicken breast into the food search box you will be given many choices such as Walmart, Kroger, or no name, if you are in the U.S.. Pick the brand that you are using and the nutritional information will come up for that food. In the case of this chicken, serving size is usually 1/4 lb. And the number of calories will be around 140.

  18. Delicious

  19. I use this recipe weekly – I typically do one breast at a time for salads – my husband loves it – no rubber chicken! And we love your other recipes too!

  20. Amazing!! I followed recipe exactly with the exception of time & temp. My fresh chicken breasts were almost 3 inches thick, so I cooked at 425° for 30min. and they were absolute perfection!! Spooned butter/pan drippings over roasted veggies. Yum! Thanks for the technique!!

  21. My picky family said this is the best chicken breasts we have had outside of grilling season. The best part is that I forgot to brine them first – because I was multi-tasking on the phone – and they still turned out the juiciest and most tender chicken breasts we’ve ever made at home. Also – because one of my children cannot have butter or oil – I made these completely fat-free, by spicing both sides liberally without the butter. I also added lots of extra salt to the mixture of paprika, garlic powder, and pepper – because I forgot to brine. No idea if this made a difference. I am looking forward to making this again with the brining this time.

  22. Tried it didnt liked it

  23. What a great recipe! My husband loved it.
    Thank you.

  24. Simply delish!
    Thank you for sharing.

  25. This is a dorky comment but just wanted to say I am a terrible cook and your recipe is the first time I’ve ever been able to make chicken well! Thank you :)

  26. Do you cover the chicken or not

  27. Oh!! This is so good. Chicken is juicy and savory. I like it so much. I Definitely will recook it

  28. Too salty for my liking but they did have a ton of flavor. It also took about 30 minutes to bake and unfortunately I didn’t get the crispy outside. I would make again but 1/2 the salt and pepper.

  29. This is the most authoritative, substantive, concise, and comprehensive document concerning one of the most vital and foundational aspects of developing a practical, healthy, independent, economical, scrumptious, and pragmatic self-sustaining diet. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

  30. Thank you! The use of brine and simple seasoning made it so very juicy and tender, full of flavor! Very different flavor…we love it!

  31. Excellent baked chicken. Love the 5 B’s.

  32. PSA. This cooking time left me with chicken that wasn’t fully cooked.
    Add 15 to 17 minutes to it if you’re using (actual) store bought boneless skinless breasts. Or else you’ll have cold side dishes.

  33. Amazing! So juicy and tender. Finally an end to dry chicken breasts.

  34. Amazing recipe and cooking method. Briming and using butter instead of olive oil really made it’s magic.
    I have also added a bit of cumin and Espelette pepper to the spice mix as we do like spicy food. Also before rubbing chicken breasts with spices I have made little cuts across to make the flavors penetrate better.

  35. I haven’t had roasted chicken breast in a long time so I wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy this. Happy to say it tasted great! Will definitely make it again.

  36. I needed very tender and moist chicken breast for hubby who had recent dental surgery. I used your baked chicken breast method to a T and WOW are these baked breasts the most perfect tender, moist and delicious I have ever made. THANK YOU for this recipe. I will never cook chicken breast any other way!

  37. Oh… my… LANDS!!! I normally don’t post on recipe sites, but I just had to this time. I have been searching for a way to make juicy chicken breasts in the oven for years. Thank you, thank you, thank you! These are so tender and juicy, I just couldn’t believe it. Again, thank you so much!

  38. Awesome recipe, I’ve never cooked chicken this juicy and tasty before. My new go to recipe. Thanks

  39. juicy and delicious..my oven is slow, but I baked 3 breasts at 450 for 18 minutes and seasoned them with salt, pepper and paprika. After letting them rest for 5 minutes, we used them for chicken burgers. I would make them again and the brine works!
    Thanks!

  40. Simple. Well explained. I’m following this recipe for the first time yet I know it will be good.

  41. Amazing flavor. I used frozen chicken strips by Tyson. They were also very juicy but they were hard to eat because they were tough. I don’t know what I did wrong. I went by the recipe at the high heat.

  42. Best baked chicken time and time again! Going strong for the past 4+ years. This is my go-to recipe for baked chicken. It is a success every single time. My husband asks for this chicken ALL THE TIME. It’s juicy, flavorful, and absolutely delicious. Thank you, gimmesomeoven!!!!

  43. Absolutely perfect!! Moist, juicy and tastes great with that simple seasoning. Brined previously frozen chicken for only about half an hour and still so perfect! Thank you!

  44. I seasoned it differently, but THANK YOU! With thick breasts its so easy to have it come out dry. These easy tips made the juiciest chicken ive ever made!!

  45. I followed the directions exactly, using my favorite chicken spices. My husband said that it was the best baked chicken breast he ever ate– and I agree.

  46. Brining definitely makes the difference!!!!! ?

  47. Fantastic dish! I baked my chicken breasts at 425° for 25 minutes and they came out tender and juicy as promised. This will be my new go-to way to fix chicken breast; however, next time I will add a little less salt to my brine. Excellent recipe, thanks so much.

  48. Just did this recipe for the FIRST TIME (4/8/2021) today! Perfection…absolutely no worries. My breasts were on the thinner side, so 16 minutes at 450 was perfect. Also let them rest, covered. My nest question would be how to change this up to on the bone with skin. It’s been a while since I’ve done it, but I recall on the bone as a more succulent, tender chicken. Thank you so much for helping me… Vicki

  49. Thank you. This chicken was delicious.

  50. WHOA. I have been burned out on boneless skinless chicken breasts lately, but this recipe has changed my mind! Not only was the flavor amazing, but the texture was so remarkably better than any non-brined, non-rested, non-gimmesomeoven chicken I’ve ever made before! Thank you for this, oh wise one! The entire family loved it.