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. Do You have to rinse the chicken breast after brining?

    • Yes, you need to rinse the chicken after brining, and then pat it dry. We hope you enjoy!

  2. I have a question… to be clear.. is the chicken covered or uncovered while baking? does it make a difference? I cant wait to try this recipe.

    thanks

    j

  3. This was wonderful. Thank you for a simple and tasty recipe!

  4. I bought Chicken Breast with rib meat (bone/skin) because they were on sale. Will this work?

  5. Thank you!! Have made this at least 3 times now. Super easy and my husband will actually eat it.  I am to lazy to mix the spices so I use McCormick perfect pinch rotisserie chicken spice and comes out great! I use left overs on salad and in quesadillas. Super simple!!! Stumbled on your site on Pinterest and excited to try more recipes. We seem to like the same types of foods. Yeah!!

    • We’re so happy you and your husband enjoy this Jody! Thanks for sharing with us! :D

  6. Made this for dinner tonight and it was a big hit everybody here loved it (: will be writing this down for next time. couldn’t believe how juicy it was for baked chicken.

  7. I found this on Pinterest and had my doubts about cooking at high temp, but I followed your steps exactly, and it was amazing!!  I’m so excited to have a new way of cooking chicken that gives me some room to be versatile.  Turned out perfectly! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Thank you for this awesome tip! My chicken came out perfect and moist….I’m very happy with the outcome. 

  9. Easy, tasty, wonderful!!  One question though: Is it necessary to rinse the chicken in cold water after removing it from the brine (step one, last paragraph)? This step is missing from the directions and just curious if it makes much of a difference.

    • Hi Sheila! Oh goodness, thanks for catching the fact that that rinsing step wasn’t in the recipe instructions! We just edited to reflect that. So yes, you do need to rinse the brine off and pat dry. We hope you enjoy the recipe! :)

  10. Made this tonight and my wife and I loved it — but a question — cooked at 450 degrees, but had to cook it for 45 minutes.  I’m in Park City, Utah — would the altitude affect the time allotted that much?

    • Hi Paul! We’re happy to hear you and your wife enjoyed this! Hmmm, we think the altitude could have affected the time, since Park City has an elevation of 7,000 and KC’s isn’t even 1,000. We think this guide might be helpful to you next time you make this!

  11. I made this tonite I brined the chicken for one hour and I used sea salt it was very moist I wonder if I Coyle bribe and bake a while chicken and how long would I cook it and at what temp.

    • Hi John, are you asking if you can try this same method with a whole chicken? If so, we think you could, but you’ll need to make more brine and more seasoning – maybe double the brine solution and the seasoning? Then roast at 450 for 45-60 minutes (just make sure the thermometer reads 165). We hope this helps!

  12. GREAT Recipe! Very tasty, love the crispness of the outside of the chicken and the tenderness inside! 

  13. ***WAY TOO SALTY.*** I followed the directions exactly. The chicken tasted overwhelmingly salty.. I had a stomach ache after and I couldn’t stop drinking water for the rest of the day. Avoid this recipe. I threw half the chicken away

    • Hi Shawn. We must say we’re perplexed that this came out too salty. We’re wondering if maybe you brined the chicken too long, or maybe you didn’t rinse the brine off completely? We haven’t heard any complaints of this being this salty, so we’re surprised and concerned. Anyhow, we’re very sorry to hear this!

  14. I’m so glad you stressed on the brine process. It truly is a must during any process for any chicken recipe. ..:)

  15. This is hands down the best chicken I have ever made!! Any recommendations on how to store and reheat when making in bulk for the week?

    • Thank you so much Danielle! We’re so happy you enjoyed it! For reheating, we think it’s best to 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).

  16. Thanks for the great, simple recipe for baked chicken breasts. If I were planning on doing one at a time, would I adjust the cooking time?

    Rick

    • You’re welcome Rick! We think it will still be about the same amount of cooking time. We would set your timer to 15 minutes to start, and then check the chicken after that. We hope you enjoy!

  17. I just made this recipe tonight! I’ve tried making chicken so many ways and its always dry and pretty much the worst part of whatever meal I’ve prepared. This is so simple, and its the best chicken I’ve ever made! Thanks so much for an awesome recipe. 

  18. What happens is I pound the chicken after brining? Does it undo the effects? 
    I forgot to pound the chicken

    • Hi Loren! You pound the chicken before brining. But that’s okay, you should be fine (they just might take longer to bake). We hope you enjoyed it!

  19. Hi. What kind of baking pan should i use? Will glass (pyrex) work? That is the only baking pan i have. I am still learning to make dishes using the oven.

  20. Loved the chicken!  I was looking for a simple way to make sure the baked chicken breast was moist.  Your five steps do work.  The chicken was perfect.  I did add additional spices to make the dish similar to blackened chicken.  I will definitely make this again.  

  21. I am NOT a fan of chicken fillets as they usually dry out and are tough.  This recipe has totally rescued them for me though – thank you, it was DELICIOUSLY succulent and juicy :)

  22. I followed the directions exactly as written.  The chicken took 45 minutes to cook (at sea level).  The chicken was moist as expected, but it was too salty.  Was it due to the seasoning that contained salt, or not rinsing the brine off the chicken after 15 minutes?  If I can resolve the salt, I will definitely make this recipe again.  I look forward to your response. Thank you.

    • Hi Liz! We wonder if the saltiness was due to the brine not being rinsed off all the way? You can always cut back on the salt in the seasoning next time if you like, just to be sure. Thanks for giving this a try! :)

  23. WOW! Thank you so much. Best chicken I ever cooked!

  24. I made this tonight. I used Garlic Expressions instead of butter.
    So good…

  25. Love this recipe made it today and it was moist and good thank u

  26. I used the brine instructions to make chicken breasts tonight and it came out fantastic! I tweaked the recipe a little by slicing the chicken horizontally about 70% through and seasoned it as your recipe suggests. Then I stuffed each slice with spinach that I seasoned and sautéed with fresh garlic, onion, and parmesean cheese. I topped the chicken breast with a small amount of bread crumbs more onion and more parmesean cheese. Yum! 

    • Thanks for sharing with us Rekea! We’re so happy you enjoyed this, and we think the fresh garlic, onion, breadcrumbs and parmesan are all wonderful additions! :D

  27. Wow, wow, wow!!!  These were easily the best baked chicken breasts I’ve ever put in my mouth.  This recipe was easy, cheap, not messy and DELICIOUS!  Thank you! 

  28. I eat chicken often and have never been able to find the perfect “formula” for juicy, baked chicken. But now I have! You are 100% correct about the brine before the bake. I will never go back. Cheers! 

  29. I love cooking, but I hate baking chicken breasts because I feel like they always come out dry and tasteless.  This recipe was amazing.  Perfect chicken, as promised.  Thank you!

  30. Three words: BEST CHICKEN EVER!!!

  31. It came out perfect. Really enjoyed it.

  32. One reason some people may be experiencing too salty chicken resulting from this recipe is that a lot of the chicken available in stores these days is preserved with a sodium solution; effectively “pre-brined.” Adding ANY more salt will seem like too much.

    • That makes a lot of sense — thank you for sharing! So I guess it’s helpful to read the label on pre-packaged chicken, and/or consult with your butcher first.

  33. So I work in a group home with vulnerable adults, they are quite picky eaters. This was a hit! It was soo juicy! Best chicken I have had ever, hands down!

  34. This was very good!

  35. Can confirm is delicious when prepared as described!! DONT SKIP THE BRINE!!! My husband gobbled this up and looked at me directly in the eye saying “that was really good honey”. I nodded and smiled and then he repeated himself a little louder “that was REALLY GOOD honey”. This is husband speak for make this again. Make this all the time. Honey.

    A+ for easy to follow directions and delicious!

    • We’re so glad you and your husband enjoyed this — thanks for giving the recipe a try! :)

  36. Oh my gosh!  This is now my go-to baked chicken recipe!  The flavor is AMAZING!  Thanks so much!

  37. I tried this recipe about 6 months ago and it has since become my go-to method for preparing chicken breast.  Tender, juicy and full of flavor every time.  I’ve prepared it and shared it with friends and family, with great feedback!  Love the high temp cooking method. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!  

  38. I want to give you a big shout-out with this recipe.  This was the best chicken I’ve had.  I’m a millennial 20s something gal who loves to cook versus eating out (crazy right?)  I share my recipes I find and make with my coworkers who are all married with kids.  One of my coworkers tried the recipes and loved it.  Her daughter is a picky eater and asked for seconds.  That is a huge win for her.  She shared your recipe and link on her Facebook wall and her mom friends tried it and are raving about it.   She gave me a huge shout out for finding your blog but I need to give you all the credit. You know it’s a good recipe when the Moms are happy!!   Thank you again.  I can’t wait to make this again.  I might make with a lemon pepper seasoning next. 

  39. Do you turn the chicken breast while they are cooking?

    • Hi Ginger! You don’t need to turn the chicken while it’s baking. Only once, before you get ready to bake (in this step): 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.

  40. Low on cash and had the materials to make this, tasted great! :D

    Not the best chef, but still made this turn out beautifully.

  41. Am I reading 4 quarts of water correctly? Other recipes I’ve seen call for 1/4 cup salt and 4-6 cups of water. 4 quarts seems an awful lot for just 4 boneless breasts.

    • Hi Dawn! Oh my gosh, that is definitely a typo. Thank you for bringing this to our attention — it should definitely just be 1 quart, not 4 quarts!

  42. This chicken was FABULOUS! Thank you sooo much for sharing! We stuffed ourselves! ?

  43. Can this be done in a convection oven, I’m only cooking for me so I’m only doing one or two? And do I cove or leave uncovered?

    • Hi YaShica! We think you should be able to do this in a convection oven. You’ll just need to either lower the oven’s temperature by about 25 degrees, or shorten the cooking time by about a quarter. Make sure you keep a good eye on it! We hope this helps and that you enjoy!

  44. Tried and TRUE, this was wonderful.  moist and tender.  . I recommend trying it. 

  45. This chicken is perfect! I’m not a very skilled cook with chicken, but this is so simple. I usually make the chicken, slice and then serve on top of broccoli Alfredo! Sometimes I add a little Cajun or red pepper flakes for a added kick. Love this, thank you for the receipe. 

    • Thank you! We’re so happy you enjoyed it (and we think the Cajun seasoning sounds like an excellent idea)! :)

  46. I literally got home and googled “baked chicken recipes”. This one came up first so I made it. Chicken was perfect and the whole process was like an hour. But now I’ll never make chicken another way!  Thank you 

  47. I can’t believe what a difference this made! Will definitely be doing this every time I make chicken!

  48. I am using this recipe to cater a meal for 35 people at wedding rehearsal dinner. I have to cook them at home, then bring them into the venue. Ay suggestions on how to keep them because I can’t serve immediately?

    • Hi Emily! Wow, very cool — that’s a lot of people! If they’re going to be kept out for more than an hour, we think you’ll need to refrigerate them. If you don’t need to refrigerate, we think if you cover them with foil and reheat them in the oven at a low temp (like 200-250 degrees) for 15 minutes or so (possibly longer – just check them). Just make sure it’s a low temp so you don’t cook them further and dry them out. If you have to refrigerate, then you’ll need to reheat the chicken in the oven for a longer amount of time, probably at 300 degrees). We hope this is helpful!

  49. Will this method work if Ibrine the chicken brests before I stuff thwm with goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes?If I am going to stuff the chuicken breastss, should I still pound them first? Do I still use the same baking time recommended in your recipe?
    Thanks.

    • Hi Rhoda! We think you should still be able to brine these and then stuff them with the goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes (yummy!). Depending on how thick your chicken breasts are, you may want to pound them a bit first. We would suggest starting with the 15-18 min baking time, then checking the temp of the chicken with a thermometer (you may need to leave them in a bit longer). We hope you enjoy!

  50. Absolutely amazing, would love some ideas on pork steaks and potato wedges :)