Baked Chicken Breasts

This Oven Baked Chicken Breast recipe delivers succulent, flavorful, JUICY, caramelized chicken that the whole family will gobble up! It’s a simple, quick, pantry friendly, weeknight dinner with a foolproof technique that can be served along any side dish, or added to pastas, salads, grain bowls, sandwiches and more (LOTS of ideas included). You will love the paprika, garlic, onion seasoning blend, or use any of your favorite seasonings to mix things up!



 

Watch How to Make oven baked chicken breast 

Baked Boneless Chicken Breast is a household staple  

  • JUICY: A quick, 2-ingredient, 20-minute brine is the key to the juiciest chicken without the need for a marinade! No dry, rubbery chicken ever!
  • SIMPLE: Brine the chicken, coat with seasonings and bake!
  • FLAVORFUL: The baked boneless chicken breast are seasoned with a robust spice blend that will have everyone licking their plates!
  • JUST A TOUCH OF BUTTER: Brushing the pan with butter prevents sticking and seeps into the chicken as it melts – magic.
  • CUSTOMIZABLE: Use any seasoning blend on the chicken to suite your mood or cuisine.
  • PANTRY FRIENDLY:  Stock chicken breasts in your freezer to whip this recipe up at a moment’s notice!
  • HEALTHY: Chicken breasts are high in protein, low in calories, with zero carbohydrates and saturated fats.
baked boneless chicken breast sliced in a baking dish
ingredient icon

What you’ll need for this Baked Chicken Breast Recipe 

This baked chicken breast recipe is made with just a few pantry friendly ingredients. Let’s take a closer look at what you need (full recipe with measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):

  • Chicken: This recipe uses medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Smaller or larger chicken breasts will work, as well as bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts – just keep that meat thermometer handy to adjust the baking time.
  • Kosher salt: This is a coarse salt that is dissolved in warm water to create a brine for the chicken. Do NOT use the same amount of table salt in your brining solution, or your chicken will be too salty. If you only have table salt, use 2 tablespoons.
  • Butter: Softened butter is brushed along the bottom of the 9×13 pan. This not only greases the pan, but seeps into the chicken as it melts.
  • Olive oil: Just a tablespoon coats the outside of the chicken to insulate it from the high heat, keeping the chicken extra juicy.
  • Seasonings: Paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, salt and pepper create stand-alone scrumptious chicken that goes with everything.
oven baked chicken breast sliced on a cutting board showing how juicy it is

Chicken Breast recipe variations

This recipe can taste differently every time simply by mixing up the seasonings such as:

baked chicken breast recipe sliced served with rice

How to make Baked Chicken Breast in Oven 

This oven baked chicken breast recipe is easy to make in just a few steps. Follow along below or watch the How to Make Video in the recipe card (full recipe with measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.)

Pound chicken to an even thickness

This tenderizes the chicken and helps the chicken cook more evenly. Place the chicken on a cutting board or flat surface and top with plastic wrap.  Gently pound the chicken to an even thickness using the smooth side of a mallet, rolling pin, or side of a can.

process shot showing how to make oven baked chicken breast by pounding chicken to an even thickness with a meat mallet

Brine Chicken

Combine warm water and kosher salt together in a freezer size bag or large bowl. Stir until the salt dissolves. Add chicken and let sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes or refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Remove chicken from the brine, rinse in cold water and pat dry.

process shot showing how to make oven baked chicken breast by brining the chicken in salted warm water in a bowl

Grease Pan

Brush the bottom of a 9×13 pan with softened butter. This will prevent the chicken from sticking and infuse the chicken with buttery goodness.

process shot showing how to make oven baked chicken breast by buttering baking dish before adding chicken

How to season baked chicken breast

Place the chicken breasts in a single layer and brush both sides with olive oil. This will help insulate the chicken and keep it extra juicy. Whisk the seasonings together, then evenly sprinkle over the chicken.

Avoid rubbing the seasoning because this causes clumps, and unevenly seasoned areas. Instead, pat the spices so they stick to the chicken. You can use the spice blend in the recipe card, or any spices your heart desires! See the variations section.

process shot showing how to make oven baked chicken breast by rubbing chicken with olive oil, then coating in spices

How to cook baked chicken breast

Bake the chicken uncovered until it registers 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. The total baking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken.

baked chicken breast recipe garnished with parsley

Rest Chicken

Once the chicken is cooked, let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. This will allow the chicken to reabsorb all the juices and ensure it’s extra juicy.

baked chicken breast in oven showing how juicy it is

TIPS For juicy baked chicken breast

  • Use uniform chicken. Try and select evenly sized chicken breasts so they finish cooking at the same time.
  • Don’t skip pounding the chicken. This does wonders at tenderizing the chicken by breaking down the proteins. It also ensures the chicken bakes evenly and you’re not left with an overcooked thin end.
  • Don’t skip the brine. I know it sounds like one unnecessary extra step, but it is SO WORTH IT! You will be shocked and delighted at how melt-in-your-mouth brining makes your oven baked chicken breast.
  • Double check the packaging. Some store-bought chicken breasts are now sold pre-brined. If so, skip the brining in this recipe.
  • Rinse off all of the salt. After brining, give the chicken breasts a good rinse to remove any excess salt, otherwise your baked chicken breasts will be too salty.
  • If you skip the brine…. While not recommended, if you skip the brine, take care your chicken breasts are at room temperature before baking. Room temperature protein is juicier and cooks more evenly because it takes less time to cook, so less moisture is released while cooking. 
  • Use butter – or not. You may spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray instead of brushing with butter (you’ll just be missing that buttery flavor.)
  • Don’t overcook. Overcooked chicken is dry chicken. Always use a meat thermometer to check for doneness so you don’t undercook or overcook your chicken.  A meat thermometer means perfectly cooked, tender, juicy chicken ever time! This one is my fav.
  • Check individual temperatures. If the chicken breasts are different sizes, check the smaller breasts for doneness first. You may need to remove the chicken from the oven at different times.
baked chicken breasts sliced and garnished with parsley

What to serve with Oven Baked Chicken Breast  

We love juicy baked chicken breast with a side of potatoes, veggies and bread! Here are a few ideas:

a fork picking up juicy baked chicken breast

What to do with Baked Chicken Breast 

This baked chicken breast recipe is fabulous with sides like mashed potatoes and broccoli listed above, or use the chicken in all sorts of ways such as:

  • Chicken Grain and Greens Bowls:  Top your favorite grains (rice, couscous, quinoa etc.) with a handful of shredded greens (spinach, kale mix, cabbage etc.) chopped chicken, black beans, roasted veggies (like roasted sweet potatoes, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts), then pile on your favorite toppings like pineapple or mangos (or mango salsa or pineapple salsa) avocados or guacamole, charred corn, pickled red onions, pickled beets, sliced almonds, etc. Marry it all together with cilantro lime dressing.
  • Chicken Salad: Slice the chicken and serve it in a big green salad with spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, etc. and some fun fixings:  mozzarella pears, sliced almonds, garlic croutons, etc. You can add additional oil and a splash of lemon juice to some pesto to make a pesto vinaigrette.
  • Chicken wraps:  Add chicken to a tortilla or flatbread with desired toppings such as tomatoes, avocado, bacon, lettuce/mixed greens, pesto etc.
  • Chicken sandwiches:  Serve simply with tomatoes, lettuce and bacon or go Caprese style by smothering bread with pesto and layering with sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and chicken, then drizzling with some balsamic, or better yet, balsamic reduction.  Add any additional toppings your belly desires such as avocado, bacon, sprouts, etc.
  • Chicken Pasta: Stir chopped chicken into any of your favorite pasta recipes such as cacio e pepefettuccine Alfredo or healthy Alfredo, margherita pasta, roasted red pepper pastamushroom spaghetti or mushroom orzo. 
  • Chicken Soup: Add chicken to any of your favorite soups such as Creamy Italian Soup, Minestrone SoupChicken Tortellini SoupLemon Soup, Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup etc. 
  • Chicken French Bread: Cut a loaf of French Bread in half. Spread with a layer of pesto or pesto combined with Alfredo sauce.  Top with chopped chicken, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and any other desired toppings.  Bake at 350 degrees F until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. 
  • Chicken Pizza: Top store-bought or my homemade pizza dough with Alfredo sauce, mozzarella cheese, chopped up chicken and favorite toppings such as sun-dried tomatoes, olives, bell peppers, tomatoes, roasted butternut squash, etc.  Bake according to pizza directions. 
top view of baked boneless chicken breast served in a bowl with broccoli

 Storing Juicy Baked Chicken Breast

Baked Chicken Breasts FAQs 

Calories in Baked Chicken Breast

A 6-ounce (approximately 170 grams) boneless, skinless chicken breast typically contains around 220-240 calories. If you calculate roughly ¼ tablespoon olive oil and butter per breasts, the total is 275-295 calories per breast. These values are approximate and would likely be less because some of the olive oil and butter used end up in the bottom of the pan, and not soaked up by the chicken.

You may omit the butter and substitute it with cooking spray if looking to save calories.

How many carbs in a baked chicken breast?

There are zero carbohydrates in baked chicken breasts.

Is it better to bake chicken breast at 350°F or 400°F or 450°F?

It’s best to cook chicken breast at 450°F. The higher temperature cooks the exterior quickly, sealing in the juices, so less moisture is evaporated while cooking, keeping the chicken extra juicy.

How long does it take to bake chicken breast?

It takes about 18 minutes to bake chicken breasts in the oven, however, cooking times will vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken. Small chicken breasts can take as little as 13 minutes to cook, whereas, large chicken breasts can take as long as 25 minutes to cook. It’s best to invest in an instant read thermometer (my fav) to check for the doneness of the chicken instead of basing doneness off of baking time.

How to keep baked chicken breast moist

The key to cooking chicken breast without drying it out is:

1. Brine the chicken. This changes the molecular structure of the meat so it retains extra moisture.
2. Don’t overcook. Chicken breasts are a lean cut of meat and therefore dry out easily if overcooked. Bake just to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, then rest to carryover to 165 degrees F. Use an an instant thread thermometer to cook the chicken perfectly every time.
3. Rest before slicing. This allows the juices that have pushed to the outside of the breasts to be evenly absorbed throughout the chicken.

What are other spices to add to oven-baked chicken breast?

You can use any spices you like! Try Cajun seasoning, fajita seasoning, jerk seasoning, Italian seasoning or your favorite spice rub. You can also play with the recipe and scale the spices or add additional herbs like thyme and basil.

Can I use chicken thighs?

Yes, this recipe will work with either boneless, skinless chicken thighs, or bone-in chicken thighs. For boneless, bake at 400 degrees for 17-22 minutes. For bone-in, see this recipe for Baked Chicken Thighs.

Can I bake frozen chicken breasts?

No, chicken breasts should not be baked from frozen. Not only will they be a funny texture, but you cannot season frozen chicken breasts successfully.

showing how to serve baked chicken breast in oven in a bowl with rice and broccoli

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oven baked chicken breast baked in a 9x13 pan

Baked Chicken Breast in Oven

This Oven Baked Chicken Breast recipe delivers succulent, flavorful, JUICY, caramelized chicken that the whole family will gobble up! It's a simple, quick, pantry friendly, weeknight dinner with a foolproof technique that can be served along any side dish, or added to pastas, salads, grain bowls, sandwiches and more. You will love the paprika, garlic, onion seasoning blend, or use any of your favorite seasonings to mix things up!
Servings: 4 breasts
Total Time: 48 minutes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes

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Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz. each)
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 4 cups warm water (not hot)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted softened butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tsp EACH paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, salt
  • 1/2 tsp EACH onion powder, pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional for a kick)

Instructions

  • Pound: Place chicken breasts on a cutting board in a single layer. Top with plastic wrap and gently pound to an even thickness using a meat mallet, rolling pin, or side of a can.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Brine: Combine warm water and kosher salt in a freezer size bag or large bowl. Stir until the salt dissolves. Add chicken (make sure it's submerged) and let sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours (mix spices and prep pan during this time). Remove chicken from the brine, rinse in cold water and pat dry.
  • Mix spice blend: Whisk the spices together (paprika through chili powder) in a small bowl; set aside.
  • Prep pan: Bru℃sh the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan generously with softened butter.
  • Season chicken: Add the chicken to the baking dish in a single layer. Brush or drizzle the top side of the breasts with ½ tablespoon olive oil, then sprinkle half the spice blend over top. Pat the seasonings into the chicken (don’t rub). Flip chicken over and repeat.
  • Bake: Bake, uncovered, until the chicken registers 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer (this is my FAV!), about 15-18 minutes for medium chicken breasts and up to 25 minutes for larger chicken breasts. (The chicken will carryover to 165 degrees after resting.)
  • Rest: Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the chicken to a serving platter or to individual plates. Let chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Video

Notes

  • Meal prep: The baked boneless chicken breast can be prepped up to the point of baking, covered with foil and refrigerated overnight. Before baking, let the chicken come to room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Storage: Store baked chicken breasts in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

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4 Comments

  1. Salesha says

    I made this with roasted broccoli and potatoes. It was so easy and we loved it!! Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Sounds like you put together a delicious meal! I am so glad you enjoyed it!!

  2. Cathy says

    This chicken was delicious. I had invited a few friends over for dinner and decided to try this recipe. They loved it. The chicken was so flavourful, moist and tender. I will be making this again and again. Your recipes never disappoint.

    • Jen says

      Yay! I am so glad that this will be a repeat recipe for you!