Gimme Some Oven

Baked Chicken Breasts

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My 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. Your answer? A resounding yes, please. Many 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 purchase fresh chicken breasts (my preference) or frozen chicken breasts (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 that butter adds, but olive oil will also work well.
  • Kosher Salt: An essential ingredient in our brine, and we will also use salt to season the chicken before baking.
  • 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 bake chicken (or any other kind of baked proteins) regularly in the oven, I strongly having a cooking thermometer on hand too. It is 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.

How To Brine Chicken to make Baked Chicken Breasts

Baked Chicken Seasoning Recipe

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 acronym: B.B.R.R.R.

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

Brine (Step 1): 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. :)

Brush (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.

Rub (Step 3): 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.

Roast (Step 4): 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 that I bought on Amazon for $10, and it will accurately measure your internal chicken temperature in seconds.

Rest (Step 5): 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. 

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 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

Instructions

  1. Brine the chicken. (Check the label of your chicken breasts. If they have already been pre-brined in a sodium solution, please skip this step.) 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 paper towels.
  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. Sprinkle the seasoning 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 the chicken is fully cooked. The thickest part of the breast should measure 165°F. (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 of the cooking time and broil the chicken until it is cooked through and golden on top. Keep a close eye on the chicken, however, 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 and enjoy!


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 cook this recipe on a thick metal baking sheet.

Storage instructions: Cooked chicken can be stored in a sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

How To Bake Chicken Breasts

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Recipe rating

3,218 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

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  1. This recipe came out awesome. The best baked chicken I ever made, thank you.

  2. can I season chicken breasts with just Montreal chickening in lieu of pepper, salt, etc.

    • Yes. Any of ur fav seasonings work. This is the only way I make boneless chicken breasts unless I can grill. I made it with dry Italian dressing as the seasonings and now did lemon pepper. So yummy!

  3. Made a spicy rub similar to the Cajun description but with Slap ya mama and this was SO great! I’ve never baked non-dry chicken before today. Thanks!

  4. Chicken is mainly the only meat I eat. But i can never seem to get it right. I love thighs, but they just leave me feeling “ugh.” But i can’t ever seem to cook breasts that end up tender and juicy. I tried this recipe tonight, and OMGosh! I won’t ever do it another way! Thank you, so much! I’m thinking the BRINE step is the secret!!

    • Quick thigh tip, bring temp to 185. Thigh meat is a different type of meat and requires the high temp to break down the muscle

  5. This is my go-to recipe for almost anything and everything “chicken”. It always comes out juicy, tender and tasty, and it couldn’t be any easier! I mostly use it when I make the Pioneer Woman classic pot pie recipe. Soooooo good we eat the whole thing!

  6. Good quick dinner item. I used butter and baked 15 min. at 425 in a countertop air-fryer oven. Didn’t have time to brine but still turned out perfectly.

  7. I only cook one chicken breast at a time so I do it in an 8×8 glass pan and I cooked it for 11-12 minutes and broiled for 3 minutes! Came out very juicy.

  8. Maybe it was the brand of Kosher salt I used? Maybe I pounded too much? These came out too salty, and I like salty food. I’ll try it again, with 1/2 the salt. They are moist and juicy. I’ve rinsed off the external seasoning, because that included a bit of salt. I’m using it to top a pizza, so the saltiness will be diluted by other more bland ingredients.

  9. I made this recipe for the second time tonight. I sprinkled on a few additional spices, but kept the brine, temperature and time as per the recipe. I love, love, love this method. I had never liked cooking or eating chicken breast and now I feel like an expert. Thank you so much for posting this. Oh, I use sea salt for the brine and rinse, and it is perfect.

  10. By far the most outstanding chicken I’ve ever had! I practically live off chicken. It was so simple ,completely juicy, scrumptious, wonderful! I will be back to get more recipes from your site! Thank you so much for the post!!

  11. I am 52 and this is the best chicken recipe ever!!! I can’t believe how moist the chicken came out!! Thanks!!

  12. Just made it exactly to recipe for an early lunch before the Giants game!! Served with rice! Amazing. I’m dipping mine in some Buffalo sauce for a little more kick, but it stands fine just as is! Thx for posting

  13. So good even my husband was impressed!

  14. This was fantastic. I’ve how moist it was.

  15. Thanks for the great recipe. I tried it tonight and it was a semi-success. LOL I think my breasts were too large for the suggested time BUT…I will get it next time. Thanks again!

  16. Without question best chicken breast recipe ever!!!

  17. I have always had a problem making chicken. This recipe came out delicious! Thank you!

  18. I’m not big on chicken breasts (too dry) and prefer thighs. I followed this to the letter, and it was outstanding. This will be my favorite from now on!

  19. This is the first review I have ever left in my life. My seven year old son is picky, I mean PICKY. Bash your head against the wall kind of picky about food. He ate this!!! My entire family ate and enjoyed this! It is moist and delicious. I didn’t have to make three different things or yell, “JUST EAT CEREAL THEN”!!! Thank you so much for this recipe!

  20. Brined the chicken for 30 minutes. Turned out so salty we couldn’t even eat it. I used sea salt so maybe that was the difference but won’t make it again.

  21. Absolutely awesome! So juicy and tender. I am not cooking chicken breast any other way now.

  22. I followed this recipe, only difference being that I used Taco seasoning. Probably the best chicken I’ve ever baked. Hats off to you.

  23. Will be trying this tonight, but a question …. in the video, once the breasts are baked, there is liquid in the roasting dish. Where does this liquid come from? Should I be adding liquid when it goes into the oven?
    Thanks

  24. Brined the chichen for 24 hours in a brine with equal parts of suger and salt. Then I followed the baking directions of this recipe! It was excellent! Perfectly cooked, tasty, and juicy!

  25. I followed this recipe exactly as is except I used the option of olive oil & regular paprika. Chicken turned out absolutely delicious! Very moist and juicy, it is now going to be my “go to” for baked chicken. My first time buying kosher salt and brining, think that was a big part of how good it turned out! Thank you!

  26. I made this recipe as written and the chicken breasts came out wonderful. My husband loved them! So tender and juicy! Thank you!

  27. Delicious! Only did 2 breast and a sweet potato wedges in between

  28. The most tender chicken breasts I’ve ever made in the oven! Just delicious! And I used your seasoning mix, just cutting back a smudge on the pepper. Total winner! My husband raved about this!

  29. Ok so I’ve never figured out how to master the art of baking a chicken breast before. It usually ends up dry and just meh. I stumbled upon this recipe and tried it out and — WOW. It was amazing. I’m convinced the brine stage made the biggest difference. I followed the recipe but I added Italian seasoning to the mix of spices/seasonings and I used olive oil instead of butter (because I’m trying to watch my diet lately). Had the chicken with rice and broccoli and I am very very pleased. Saving this for future use for sure.

  30. This really does make a juicy and flavorful chicken breast. All of my picky eaters enjoyed this chicken, events 4 year-old.

  31. the best baked chicken breast i have ever eaten and I really love chicken

  32. This is by far the easiest and most reliable recipe I have ever made for boneless chicken breast.

  33. Tried a lot of recipes from different sources but this is the juiciest baked chicken breast I made so far! Thank you so much!

  34. The BEST my chicken has ever turned out! I am notorious for dry chicken breasts LOL and this is INCREDIBLE! I followed your instructions to a T and it came out so juicy, flavorful and perfect!

  35. This chicken was fantastic. I can’t believe 15 minutes of brining made such a big difference. So glad I found this recipe!

  36. I just want to know if or how to follow you. I found this recipe and, finally, it is a recipe I can really follow (step by step). I love to cook and rarely follow anyone else’s recipe that closely. I’m a little more of a “throw in a little of this and that” cook.