Gimme Some Oven

Baked Chicken Breasts

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

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

Perfect Oven Baked Chicken Breast

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

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

…chicken.

Specifically, boneless skinless chicken breasts.

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

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

Baked Chicken Breasts Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Baked Chicken Breast Ingredients:

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

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

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

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

My original photo for this recipe (2015).

How To Bake Chicken Breasts:

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

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

Step 1: Brine

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

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

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

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

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

Step 2: Brush

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

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

Step 3: Rub

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

Step 4: Roast

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

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

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

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

Step 5: Rest

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

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

And enjoy every last bite. 

How To Brine Chicken to make Baked Chicken Breasts

Baked Chicken Seasoning Recipe

Oven Baked Chicken Breast Recipe

How To Season Baked Chicken Breasts:

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

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!

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
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

Share this Post

Leave a Reply

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

Recipe rating

2,991 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

  1. This is probably a stupid question but do you have to flip the chicken halfway through when you bake them at the high temp or do you just leave them in there for the 15-20 minutes so that you don’t let any of the heat out?

  2. Oops! Saw the comment about the glass Pyrex dish too late. Chicken is resting now. Hope I didn’t ruin it. Why not glass, out of curiosity?

  3. Ok. I’ll say it: I can’t make chicken. It’s either dry as dust and tasteless, or terribly undercooked … then becomes dry and tasteless as I cook the be-jeezus out of it!

    I finally — FINALLY — made a perfect chicken dinner! Yay me! I followed the recipe here to the letter except for an additional dry rub BBQ spice. I cooked it high at 425 and for the 17-20minutes. The chicken I had was thick, so I halved it before brining.

    It’s a great recipe – which I will be using again!

    • My biggest savior with cooking has been a meat thermometer. I got a pretty inexpensive one the stays in the meat while cooking and has an alarm once you hit the set temperature. No more dry meat, and no worry that it’s under cooked!!!!! I use to over cook everything for fear I would get someone sick…

  4. This is the best baked chicken recipe I’ve made. Mine wasn’t crispy so I’ll cook longer next time but it was very moist and flavorful. Thank you

  5. great directions.. never used water/kosher salt.. turned out perfect.. i did use butter AND olive oil… had thick breast, cut in half.. Super moist.. always cooked chicken lower… this needs to be done EXACTLY as recipe states.. great flavor.. will try different seasonings in future.. thanks a bunch..

    • Excellent! I’m not a fan of chicken breasts because they are too fat.,this recipe was very little work and tastes awesome. My dad loves it and he is very critical. Will be making this from now on. Thank you for sharing.

    • I only have glass baking dishes , no Pyrex ? What else would you suggest? Also only regular salt , hope this doesn’t mess it up !!

  6. This is amazing! My 10yo daughter is a picky easter, but will eat a whole breast on hey own when I cook this. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  7. You guys. The author was NOT lying about that smoked paprika. Game. Changer. How did I not know!?!

  8. Super moist chicken breasts as promised, i will always cook them like this from now on – thank you!

  9. Excellent!

  10. The smoke point of olive oil is 405 degrees… this recipe is going to turn your kitchen into cloud of smoke if you cook this at 450 like suggested… pretty bad oversight.

    • Maybe that happens if you cook on the top of the stove. This recipe is for the oven.

    • For more than 50 years I have always used this method (without brining) and olive oil and a 450°F oven. The smoking point, as mentioned in another reply, relates to frying temperature, not the oven.
      I like fresh thyme sprigs and/or thinly sliced lemon on top but the spice combinations sound wonderful and I will be experimenting soon!!

  11. Can you use a cast iron skillet to bake it in?

  12. I have had to ? wash down dry, cooked chicken breasts so not to choke! I LOVE this prep and recipe, THANK YOU for working on it for so long then sharing it online!
    The chicken is moist and flavorful and low fat and calories. I use no-salt on mine because of high blood pressure with the same results. ?

  13. Can chicken tenders be used? What would the baking time be?

  14. Tasted good but definitely way longer than 15 minutes to cook. I did 25 at 450 and then 3 in high broil to crisp up.

  15. Followed this recipe (except cooked 8 chicken breast at 425F for 17 minutes on a baking sheet) and it turned out perfectly, the whole family loved it. Very moist and flavorful. Thanks! Made for a great weeknight dinner.

  16. I made this for dinner last night I must say was absolutely delicious. However I think I put too much salt in the brine water and along with the salt that I added to the seasonings to put on top of the chicken it was way too salty. Nothing that lemon juice couldn’t help but I will know better next time. I definitely Will make my chicken breast this way every single time I used corningware casserole dish oversized and they turned out perfectly they were huge chicken breasts so I am thinking I left them in I for about 35 minutes let them rest in they were perfect eating the rest of one of them on my salad today for lunch and it’s juicy and flavourful!!

  17. I’m almost crying I’m so thankful for this recipe :D My kids like chicken again! Thanks for the help to do basic dishes well!

  18. Easy to make! And Delish!

  19. This recipe did not turn out. Dried out. I cooked in oven at 450 on convection roast. Maybe too high. It was not very brown so broiled for 3 mins. I didn’t flatten chick breasts before hand. My chick breasts were frozen before cookin.

  20. We usually do well with your recipes & frequently have successes on the first try – but need to say that this was way too salty for us.

    Followed the instructions to a ‘T’. Next time, we’ll omit the salt in the rub, post-brine.

  21. Great recipe for finally moist chicken breast! But someone else asked… and I’d love to know.. why not glass?

  22. Made this and although the chicken was super tasty, it made a terrible mess in my oven. The butter/oil splatters all over the oven. Any suggestions to help keep the oven reasonably clean?

  23. i would like to use this receipe for a large scale production of chicken wraps.
    if the chicken is baked- sliced -freezed, what is the defrosting procedure?
    or reheating procedure before puttingchicken in wraps?

    can we freezed the breasts at the stage before baking? (brime and seasoned- freeze- defrost- then bake?

  24. Absolutely Fantastic. Very, Very Juicy. WOW

  25. Entire family of 6 loved it! It’s rare when all 4 of my boys love something. This will now be part of our regular household meals. Thank you!

  26. Good

  27. Mine turned out rubbery:( it was swimming in either water or the butter. I tried to drain it. I did everything you said. No clue where i went wrong

  28. Awesome recipe thank you! My second time making it of many more times . Made meal prepping so much easier thank you

  29. I never used breasts before this recipe because they were always dry and tasteless. This is winner!

  30. Can this recipe be used for chicken quarters?

  31. This sounds so good I am making it tonight. I just want to let you know the baking dish you have linked as recommended to buy for this recipe is rated as oven-safe to only 400°, but your recipe calls for 450° temperature.

  32. I made this chicken recipe tonight. It was delicious! Very easy to make. I only used 2 thick chicken cutlets since it is only me. I have one for tomorrow. I don’t think I used enough melted butter or seasoning but still tasted great. I used a thermometer to check if they were done. Perfect. Will make them again.

  33. just tried it. Not as juicy as I thought, but great tasting.

  34. I was looking for a simple baked chicken recipe and found this deliciousness! Quick, easy and amazing!

  35. Best chicken breast recipe I’ve ever attempted. We loved it. Season the way you like. Get yourself a meat thermometer if you don’t have one.

  36. Made mine in an air fryer. It was delicious! I added onion powder to the mix and used olive oil Thanks for the recipe especially the suggestion to cook on high heat.

  37. More like 20-23 minutes

  38. I have been cooking for almost 50 years and value myself as a VG cook. Although I have brined whole chickens, I never brined parts. Usually, for parts, it’s season them and fry or bake. First time doing this, I did thighs and they were amazing?
    Done in 25’ and very juicy and flavorful. Will NEVER cook chicken parts any other way again.

  39. Is it necessary to pound the chicken in this recipe or may I just use chicken breasts of similar size?

  40. I’m 65 years old from south Louisiana, and love to cook.
    I have to say that I tried this recipe, and it’s absolutely the best baked chicken I’ve ever had!!!
    Thanks!

  41. Five stars!!! These came out perfectly moist!

  42. This is the best baked chicken breast I’ve ever tasted. The recipe is simple, the finished product is SO juicy, and the seasoning variations are infinite!
    Learning a how and why to brine meat is fascinating kitchen science. I am grateful to have this dependable method under my belt. Thank You!

  43. I wonder if this would work without doing the brine first? I have to significantly cut down my salt intake.

    • I cook them without the brine just due to lack of time after working and forgetting to brine the night before. Mine always turn out well. I do want to try the brine though and see if it takes it to the next level.

  44. Thank you for you incredible recipe! Baked chicken seems like a simple one, but it never turns out juicy and tender for me. Love your brining step and resting. Genius!! A recipe I will definitely keep. :)

  45. Absolutely excellent for such a basic recipe. I added Italian seasoning and garlic & herbs to my rub. I recently retired and my wife is still working so I am doing the cooking. Get pretty exotic at times with my recipes but this basic chicken recipe was great.

  46. These came out perfectly! They were so juicy and tender. I searched for this recipe specifically for the time and temp because my meat thermometer broke. I pounded out my breast a little because it was really fat, brined, brushed with butter, seasoned with Montreal Steak Seasoning (my favorite go-to), and baked at 450 in a convection toaster oven for 18 minutes. Thanks for the tips on how to cook a mouthwatering chicken breast!

  47. This recipe was fantastic! I will definitely being making it again. The chicken was so moist and tender.

  48. Fast, easy and amazingly good!! I put olive oil, chicken and seasoning in a zip lock bag and made sure chicken was evenly coated. Refrigerated for about two hours and then dumped it in a dish and baked per recipe. It was SO GOOD. Kid’s loved it!! This is a keeper!!

  49. The search is over. PERFECT!!

  50. I used to hate baking chicken breasts because I could never get them just right, but since finding your recipe I make them all the time. Thanks so much for sharing this!