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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3,123 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

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  1. This was the best chicken I’ve made, hands down. I always use a meat mallet on chx breasts to get them tender then put them in a pan but never thought to brine the chicken first and bake them. It absolutely made a world of difference. Thank you! Even my boyfriend who usually won’t eat chicken because of the dryness, gobbled it up, paired with fettuccini and goat cheese. :)

  2. Cooked this for super – very tastey, easy to do and very moist. Very impressed. Will be my norm from now on. THANKS

  3. Absolutely the most tender and moist chicken breasts I’ve ever made.  Thanks do much!

  4. I love this method for baking chicken breast. The brine made a big difference and definitely left my chicken very moist. This was truly the best chicken I’ve ever baked.Thank you.  

    • Thanks Sonya, so do we, brining is such magic! :) We’re so happy you enjoyed the recipe!

  5. wow…. that was some tender juicy chicken….thank you…. i made some quinoa with dice tomatoes and garlic to go with the chicken…. fantastic meal… thank you again.

    cheers,

    Ricco

  6. This is the best baked chicken recipe I’ve found. Love the brining and the spices! Thanks for handling my chicken breast dilemma! Clear instructions and delicious result. ?

  7. This recipe rocked. I like the casual instructions, which suggest how flexible the recipe is. I didn’t really measure anything., used olive oil, not butter — kept it easy. I baked two breasts in a cast-iron skillet, which I had put in the oven as it preheated, which was while the chicken was brining. Then, it took 20 minutes at 350 (can just test firmness rather than use thermometer) and it was delicious, not dry at all, plus colorful. I would have tried 450 but we were baking another dish at the same time. I asked my son if he liked the rub … and he said he liked the inside too…which no one ever says about chicken.

    After 1 try this is now a go-to recipe, worthy even for ‘company’. Less effort to bake the chicken than to buy it. Thanks!

  8. Thanks for the recipe. I’m pretty sure this is the only way I will ever prepare chicken now. :)

  9. Just made this last night and totally agree – chicken came out juicy and delicious! One question – has anyone done the entire prep ahead of time, put the prepared chicken in the fridge, and then just popped it into the oven? 

  10. O … M … G! 60 years old and I have NEVER made chicken this good! Family was STUNNED. NEVER heard of “brining” before, but then, we didn’t have these newfangled internets back in my day (cough, spit!).

    Seriously, you’re an angel sent from Heaven.

    Thanks so much.

  11. I plan on making this tonight, but I don’t have paprika is there anything I can use as a substitute? We love well seasoned food lol

    • Hi Cecile! The closest substitute to paprika that we can think of is chipotle powder or ancho pepper powder. We hope this helps and that you enjoy the recipe!

  12. Will always bake my chicken this way!  Juicy and tasty.  Thank you for sharing!

  13. A word of caution: these days it is very difficult to find unbrined  poultry products since most are pre-brined at the production plants. Companies don’t do this to be helpful: they do it because the saltwater injections add weight, (5-20%) & guess who pays for it? Be sure to check the label or you could end up with a really salty bird!

  14. Why rinse the chicken after brining? I was always told not to wash off chicken because it splashes bacteria all over the place.

    • You need to rinse off the brine, otherwise the chicken will be way too salty. :) It’s safe, just don’t have your water faucet on the spray setting. We hope you enjoy!

  15. What a mouth-watering recipe! 

  16. I did everything exactly as per above and it wasn’t as moist and juicy as I would have liked.

    • We’re sorry to hear that Richard, we’re not sure what could have gone wrong. Every time we’ve made them, they’ve been very tender and juicy. :/

  17. BEST chicken ever!!!! I’ve been complimented on how moist my chicken was,  but I’ve always felt that it was on the drier side.  This was the first chicken Breast I’ve made that I’ve enjoyed thoroughly!!! My husband said,  “wow babe I always thought your chicken was good but this is amazing! keep cooking it like this!!” Thanks for sharing!

  18. This was so delicious! My boyfriend and I couldn’t get over how moist and how much flavour there was!! This will definitely be my standard recipe from now on. 

  19. Just tried this recipe and have to say the chicken was amazing! Never brined chicken before but this definitely made a difference! Thanks for the quick and easy recipe that the entire family loved!

  20. I just have to say thank you for this recipe!! You have no idea how many attempts I’ve made to get a tender juicy chicken breast in the oven unsuccessfully but now I keep looking this over and over again because we absolutely love it!!!

  21. PERFECT. I loooove this recipe. I use it whenever I prepare baked chicken and it comes out perfect everytime. Thank you! Baking with high heat is the secret ingredient:)

  22. So delicious!!  I googled for a healthier way to do chicken breasts and your recipe popped up.  I don’t think I’ll be doing chicken any other way from now on!  Great instructions & visuals.  Love the name of your site too.
    Now Following!!
    Cheers,
    B

  23. I’ve been brining chicken for quite some time. No better way to do it!! 

  24. Chicken was absolutely amazing Thank you so much for the recipe and the brining ideal was excellent thanks again

  25. Hi Ali,

    You’re so right, brining is key. For years I brined turkeys and whole chickens, but boneless breasts never. If anything, it works even better on them than on whole birds. I’ve also found that if I drop the heat to about 300º (so they don’t get crusty) and cook them partially, say to about 150º, it’s incredibly easy to add breading and finish them in a skillet on the stove. It gives me the best of both worlds, chicken that’s juicy and tender, and the breading is crispy and crunchy, not soggy from baking. I can even add some parm and tomato sauce and put them under the broiler to melt the cheese and the breading stays crunchy. It’s making me love lean chicken breasts again!

  26. Tried this last night and OMG!!! The best chicken I’ve made. I’ve never brine my chicken breast before, but you can definitely tell the difference. Was juicy and delicious!! Thank you

  27. Made these a few nights ago and it was moist and delicious.  Didn’t pound chicken as they looked even enough.  Thank you for the recipe.

  28. I LOVE THIS!!!!! Iv never made such yummy and juice chicken before!! I’m trying to be a better cook for my boyfriend and I and these 5 steps were amazing. I love chicken but it always turned out dry and my boyfriend wouldn’t eat it. I thought I would give it another try and this was a HOMERUN!! :) He even had a second plate. :) Thank you so much for sharing this. (I used your spice mix!!) 

    • Thanks for sharing Alyssa, we’re so glad you and your boyfriend enjoyed the recipe! :D

  29. I am having a dinner party and using a recipe that copycats Applebee’s Cedar grilled Chicken garnished with a granny smith apple, celery, zucchini relish. I have been searching for a way to bake the chicken breasts, while trying to keep them moist. I’m confident this recipe is what I’m looking for. I’m super excited to try it out as it seems logic and has such great reviews. Question for you. I would love to have all the mess out of the way & simply reheat the chicken before serving it up on individual plates. Has anyone ever done this or do you have an opinion?

    • Hi Meg! We think reheating the chicken would be fine if you’ve cooked it earlier that same day. Otherwise, we’re not really sure how moist/fresh it will be if you make cook it more in advance and then try reheating. We hope this helps and that you enjoy the chicken and your dinner party! :)

  30. Will this work on frozen chicken breasts? I always buy frozen in bulk. I do brine my turkey and it’s awesome. I also have a yummy recipe for chicken legs that I brine. But I never thought to brine breasts.

    • Hey there! Using the frozen chicken breasts should be just fine (as long as you’ve thawed them properly beforehand). :) We hope you enjoy!

  31. Outcome just as you said.  I usually hit and miss with tenderness.  Finally invested in a thermometer and your time and oven degree were on point! Thanks for the other tips too!

  32. My son told me about this recipe and site. I tried it and it came out perfectly. Really enjoyed them. Thanks

  33. OMG! A-MAZ-ING!!!  Thank you for posting this, I am glad I found it.  By far the best chicken I have ever made  Wish I could post a picture of it.  I have never brined before.  I was afraid things would get too salty, so I seasoned the chicken with salt free spice mixes.  It turned out awesome.  Would it be okay if I posted this to my blog for my  friends and family to see.  They really need to try this.  Thanks again

    • Thanks Jason, we’re so happy you enjoyed the recipe! You can most definitely post the recipe to your blog, just as long as you credit Gimme Some Oven, and link back to this recipe/post. Thanks for asking!

  34. We think that sounds super yummy Tina!

  35. I stocked up on chicken breast at Costco yesterday! I found this right in time. Can’t wait to try it!

  36. This actually turned out great!

  37. HI Hayley,
    It’s a wonderful recipe, congratulations! My girlfriend cooked it for herself and she said she loved it !! I would like to do the same even if I’m a really beginner. Do you know if after resting, I could put the chicken in the fridge in order to make a fresh chicken salad for the day after ? Many many thanks foryour recipe again !!

    • Hey Julien! This is actually Ali’s blog and recipes, I just help out. :) But we’re so happy to hear your girlfriend enjoyed the recipe! And yes, after the chicken has rested and is no longer hot, you can definitely refrigerate it – it would be awesome in chicken salad the next day – we hope you enjoy! :)

  38. Came out great! I substituted lemon pepper for the black pepper. Thanks for sharing the recipe…very tender!!

  39. Wonderful, easy dish!  Thank you for sharing. I’ve made this several times and my husband loves it! The brining is the key and I took your advice about the 450 & shortened cooking time. It comes out so moist and tasty. I drizzle the juices on top.  Appreciate your help. :-)

  40. If I wanted to make a large batch of these to freeze should I pre slice them or freeze them whole? Also, what would be the best way to thaw or reheat them so I don’t lose the juiciness? Excited to try this recipe! :)

    • Hey Suzanne! You can technically can freeze brined chicken, though it’s not ideal. It’s just really hard to retain that moisture and juiciness once you freeze something like that, since freezing typically causes extra moisture loss. It can also change the texture of the chicken, causing it to be sort of spongey and mushy, so we’d avoid freezing it.

  41. This was the best chicken I ever made. Thank you so much for this simple and delicious recipe! 

  42. I tried this last night and it was a success. My oldest is not the biggest fan of my cooking, but with this meal she wanted thirds . It was so simple while it was brining I was preparing my sides. Love love love. Will definetly be a regular meal in my home. 

  43. Just made it…..EXCELLENT!   Tender, juicy 

  44. The comments posted here are all spot on. This chicken is AMAZING!! My boyfriend & I are on a meal plan to watch our weight, and now that winter has truly hit in Ohio after a mild December, we have absolutely dreaded the transition from grilled chicken to baked. This is the first recipe we’ve ever found that procured that same juicy, tender chicken we are accustomed to  from the grill — using our oven. Thank you for sharing, this recipe really is a game changer! I will tell everyone I know about your blog.

    • Thanks for sharing with us Carson, we’re so happy you and your boyfriend loved this recipe! :D

  45. Does this recipe work with frozen chicken or do I have to defrost the chicken first?

    • Hi Donna, you definitely want to defrost the chicken completely first. We hope you enjoy!

  46. Delicious chicken! Thank you so much for the easy to follow directions! My family loved it.

  47. Wow, this really worked! I will definitely use this method going forward. Thank you!

  48. When i put the chicken in the oven to cook do i cover it i.e with foil whilst it bakes or leave it uncovered? This wasnt clear in the recipe. I dont want to try it without knowing and screw up. Thanks

  49. OH. MY. GOSH! This was so delicious! I fixed it for my husband and son the other night and they devoured it! So delicious!

  50. This recipe is great used it last night, cut up the chicken into chunks and added it to pasta! Using this method the chicken stayed moist and it didn’t take forever to cook, I did the higher degrees route and it was sucess, my kids loved it! Thank you for sharing :)