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:

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

How To Make Baked Chicken Breasts Recipe

How To Use/Serve Baked Chicken Breasts:

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

How To Store/Freeze Baked Chicken Breasts:

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

Perfectly Juicy Oven Baked Chicken Breast Recipe

Side Dish Recipe Ideas:

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

Baked Chicken Breast with Roasted Asparagus

More Baked Protein Tutorials:

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

Enjoy, everyone!

This post contains affiliate links.

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Baked Chicken Breast Recipe

Baked Chicken Breasts

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

Description

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


Scale

Ingredients

Baked Chicken Breast Ingredients:

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

Instructions

  1. 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 note that I do not recommend using a glass baking dish for this recipe (such as Pyrex).  Instead, I recommend using a metal or ceramic (porcelain) heat-safe baking dish.  Or if you do not have a 9×13-inch dish, you can also use a rimmed metal baking sheet instead.

How To Bake Chicken Breasts

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2,564 comments on “Baked Chicken Breasts”

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  1. Amazing recipe! It really took a simple chicken breast to a new level! Thanks so much for sharing, my husband and I really enjoyed it!

  2. I saved the juices from the baking dish and drizzled them on top of the sliced chicken breast, it turned out great!

  3.  I have to start by saying I have never been moved to leave a comment before- but I made this tonight and it was honestly some of the best chicken breast I have ever had! Baked or otherwise- I followed the recipe exactly and it was amazing.  Another true testament is that my 14 year old son loved it and cleaned his plate! So easy and delicious – thank you, I will be making this one many more times!

    • Thanks for sharing with us Kim, we’re so happy you and your son loved the recipe! :D

  4. I followed the recipe exactly (which I hardly ever do). The roasted boneless chicken breast, was the best I have ever made.
    Great recipe, will use this method from now on.

  5. Thank you for your recipe.  So do you put oven on bake or on Roast?  Thank you

  6. Thank you for the wonderful tip on making tender, moist chicken breasts. That’s just how they turned out, making the whole casserole I used them in a great hit.

  7. I’m trying this tonight….can’t wait for the juicy result! 

  8. This is the best recipe! First time I made chicken breast in the oven that wasn’t dry! Thank you!

  9. Forgot to pat dry the chicken. Will it still be ok? 

  10. Me encanta. 

  11. Thank you for making chicken taste again! I also tried this with my Christmas turkey crowns – it saved the day!

  12. Recommend pounding chicken prior to brining. Mine turned to mush.

    • Hmmm, that’s really strange Jimna! We’ve made this recipe a zillion times, and had so many comments on it, and have never had (or heard about) this happening before now. How long did you brine yours for? The only thing we can think of is if you brined it beyond the suggested 6 hour max, as that certainly could have caused mushiness. Or if you used chicken that was previously frozen? Anyhow, we’re sorry to hear it came out mushy!

  13. I’m making this tonight and I don’t have to worry about whether or not this recipe will turn out well,because every thing I make from this site is amazing!!!! Simple and delicious!  Can’t be beat!!! Thanks Ali!

  14. Just made this and it turned out Great! Had all the ingredients on hand. Is there a page I can follow for your awesome recipes?

    • Awesome Shantell, we’re so happy you enjoyed the recipe! :) You can “like” Gimme Some Oven on Facebook (so you can find out about new recipes as they’re posted), and/or follow Gimme Some Oven on Twitter. You can also tag us and hashtag #gimmesomeoven on any recipe you make, if you’re on Instagram! :) Lastly, if you have a Feedly or Bloglovin account, you can follow Gimme Some Oven on there! Thanks for being a fan! :)

  15. Just made this tonight and it was great. Not sure if this was asked before, but would this recipe work with pork chops? Thanks! :)

    • Thanks John, we’re so glad you enjoyed it! We know you can brine pork chops, we just haven’t tried this with pork chops ourselves, so we honestly can’t vouch for how it would turn out. However, we think it would probably work and is worth a try!

  16. Thank you, this worked perfectly. We filled the spaces between the chicken with sliced sweet peppers and fresh mushrooms. Those veggies we had coated in olive oil and seasoning before pouring into the pan.

  17. I made this tonight. I was worried because I didn’t pound my chicken breasts and there were two that were much bigger than the others. I had my fingers crossed because my chicken is usually always dry when I bake it. Well let me tell you. Me and my mom high five each other because this chicken was perfect.  It was so moist! This will be my go to way to cook chicken from now on. I’m so glad I found this recipe.

  18. So happy to find a baked chicken breast recipe! If I wanted to reheat this, should I just pop the chicken breast back in the oven? If so, what temperature and how long- just in case, wouldn’t want the chicken to get rubbery. Thanks!

    • Thanks Samantha! And yes, we think if you wrap the chicken in foil and heat it in a 350 degree oven until its internal temp is 165 degrees (maybe 10 min or so). We hope that helps!

  19. Made it tonight found it wat too salty I pounded it brined it rinsed it dried it  and baked it 

    • Hi Roger! We’re sorry you found this too salty, we’ve never encountered that problem before. :( Did you use kosher salt? How long idd you do your brine for?

  20. Hi there! I loved this recipe so much that it’s the only one I use when I bake chicken! I was wondering if it would work if I breaded the chicken as well? 

    • Thanks for sharing Val, we’re so happy you love the recipe! And ooooh we haven’t tried that ourselves, but it should work (we’ve seen recipes out there that do it) – we bet it would be super yummy. If you try it, let us know how it turns out! :)

  21. Delicious!  Followed every step.  Definitely worth making again and again.

  22. Best chicken I have made to date…I

  23. So damn good! I used to HATE chicken breast. Every time I made it, it would come out so dry and flavorless. I made chicken breast tonight using this recipe and I am in love! It was so moist and flavorful – not even the tiniest bit dry. I am in love. I also made your skinny fettuccine and tossed this chicken breast in. I can’t thank you enough for both recipes!

  24. Back to the answer you gave about the chicken turning to mush. Are you saying that it should be fresh chicken? Cannot be chicken that was thawed out?

    • You can definitely use previously frozen chicken, you will just likely have better results (with the chicken not getting mushy) if you use fresh.

  25. I sent my hubby to the grocery store and asked for regular skinless, boneless chicken breasts and he ended up getting the thin-sliced ones (I guess I need to be super duper specific next time!!).  I want to still use your recipe for dinner I’m making for the in laws tomorrow.  Would you recommend shortening the time for everything (brine, bake)?  I’m trying not to be upset about the chicken we have, but am hoping there’s a solution!!  Thanks!

    • Hi Kat! We think that chicken should probably still work, you just won’t need to bake it as long!

  26. Should the Chicken be covered?

  27. Made this tonight.  Best chicken EVER.  Will definitely make it again

  28. This chicken was delicious.  I used chicken tenders, baked for 14 minutes and took it out of the oven.  I put on a little bit of pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella and mini pepperonis and baked again for 2 minutes.  It was perfect!

  29. This chicken is delicious! I hate dry baked chicken, but this turned out perfectly! Thanks so much!!

  30. I wrote out this recipe, but being in a hurry, forgot to write “pound breasts til even” and the temperature!

    It took about 25 – 30 minutes to cook at 350, but still turned out succulent and wonderful!  My family and our guests all enjoyed it immensely.  My husband said, “Whatever you did with that chicken, do it again!!”

    This recipe will be kept and reused regularly.  Thank you, Hayley.  

    • We’re so glad this was a hit with folks Marcella, thanks for sharing with us! This is actually Ali’s blog (and all of her recipes), I just help out with certain things on the blog. :)

  31. I’ve just started cooking on my own since I moved to college. I had no idea how to make good baked chicken but this recipe is amazing. This recipe makes the best baked chicken I’ve ever had by far. Thanks so much for helping a college kid make a tasty and simple meal!

  32. I am a new cooker and never know what type/kind of chicken to get. The last time I got chicken it had a lot of fat. Also do you prefer frozen or fresh ? 

    • Hi Lauren, we prefer fresh chicken but definitely buy frozen as well (or buy fresh and freeze it for later). Just make sure you thaw it safely if you use frozen! We hope that helps!

  33. I prepared this recipe this evening.   Best chicken breasts ever- so moist and tender!   I had skin on chicken breasts with ribs. I removed the breast meat and, while the meat was in the brine and then baking, I stewed the bones and skin to make broth.  The drippings along with some of the broth made excellent gravey too. This will be my go to chicken recipe from here on.  

  34. I have 4oz frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts to serve 60 people. Do you recommend brining? If so, for how long & should I thaw first?

    • Hi Kris! Yes, you should most definitely thaw your chicken before brining. We would recommend following the recipe (and just brine for 15 min). We hope you and your guests enjoy!

  35. I was about to give up on baking boneless, skinless chicken that actually tasted good.  I made this tonight and it was so moist and flavorful. This will definitely be my “go to” chicken recipe!

  36. Can you do any of these steps prior to freezing?

    • Hi Kristi! You could brine and bake the chicken, let it cool completely, then freeze. We hope you enjoy!

  37. Should the chicken ne covered?

  38. Finally!!!  I can cook perfect chicken.
    What a fantastic easy recipe.
    I used coconut oil. Salt pepper paprika thyme
    The best ever!!!!!
    Thanks

  39. When I cook chicken breast it’s like a combat boot, tough and dry. Decided to take your advice. Followed all the steps. Took it out of the oven let it sit for 5min. The moment of truth, kept my fingers crossed and tried a piece. Wow! Delicious, thanks.

  40. Wow! This recipe was a hit! Made it for my boyfriend and his niece and nephew. The kids who are 5 and 2 kept asking for more chicken! I love easy and tasty chicken recipes.
    Thanks for sharing! 

  41. This was the best recipe for baked chicken breasts I have ever tried!!!! Thank you ! Thank you!

    • What a wonderful compliment, thank you Lynne! We appreciate you giving the recipe a try!

  42. Now that is some juicy chicken! Love it…quick and easy. 

  43. Sooooo good! Tender & delicious. 30 minutes in the brine. Loved the smoky paprika with the seasoning. Mine took 26 minutes to get to 163 – must have been bigger breasts. Definitely the only way to bake chicken!

  44. I’ve never been able to master baking or sautéing chicken without it being on the dry side, so I made this recipe last night and it was hands down the best chicken breast I’ve ever made (and incredily easy) – thank you for this recipe! Looks like my family will be eating a LOT of chicken over the next couple weeks. :o)

    Since stumbling across your blog I have made multiple recipes I’ve found and never been disappointed (the 12-minute chicken & boccoli is a regular entree at our house). You truly have a gift for helping busy mommies make quick, easy, and most importantly, delicious dinners. I look forward to cooking my way through your blog!

    • You’re very welcome Becky! We’re glad to hear you enjoyed this recipe, and that you like the 12-minute chicken and broccoli — thanks for sharing with us! :D

  45. I must tell you I tried these tonight!  After cooking chicken @ 350 x 30 minutes for 30 years, my husband and I were skeptical.  I followed your directions exactly (using Olive Oil instead of butter).  The results were just as you described!  No more rubbery chicken for my family, thank you!!!

  46. I made this last night and my husband kept telling me how good it was. His usual response to my cooking is,”it was good” but this recipe had him going on and on about how delicious it was. He even said it was the best chicken I’ve ever made. Thank you for the recipe and all of the tips and tricks to go along with it. I’ve never brined before but it definitely works!

    • Thanks for sharing Chloe! We’re so happy you and your husband were impressed! :)

  47. I’ve been struggling with cooking chicken in an oven for years – YEARS I TELL YOU – and it’s always either best for playing hockey with or still pink. I’m always terrified it will be undercooked and since chicken is about the only protein I eat, I don’t ever want to eat it if it’s undercooked! Well, my new BFF, my life is changed because of this blog post. I used the method today and used lemon pepper seasoning and it was the absolute best, most tender, well-cooked chicken I’ve ever had, if I do say so myself, and I do. Thank you for solving this mystery for me! I am already dreaming up a million ways to season it and have baked chicken for every meal!! 

    • Oh my goodness, we’re SO happy to hear that Skye! Thanks for sharing with us! We are thrilled that you loved this chicken. :D

  48. Unreal. For the first time in my adult life I baked chicken that was moist and delicious. Who knew. I actually believe you nailed it with this one. Thank you for sharing. I didn’t have paprika so I used montreal seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper and it was absolutely out of this world !!! Following these steps to the letter is key, fool proof ! Yeah

  49. Just used your recipe tonight.
    I’m no chef, just enjoy cooking.
    Followed directions,  but baked at 400 degrees for 18 minutes, finished moisture was perfect.
    Next time will cut salt in brine by half  ( being “seniors” ) have to watch the salt !
    Used one split, boneless breast, and have enough left overs for two sandwiches for the two of us.
    Might suggest garnishing dish with a sprig of  parsley, or anything green, for added class.
    Thanks for a simple, delicious, easy recipe. Next time will send picture.
    D. Wood

  50. I’ve made this twice now with frozen chicken. I put the frozen chicken into warm salty brine water for 30 minutes. It ends up totally defrosted and cooks up perfectly.