Make the best Baked Chicken Breasts that are flavorful, tender and juicy using a simple, 3-step method – no more dry chicken! With a five minute prep time and just 20 minutes in the oven, you’ll have this chicken dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner! If your family loves this baked chicken breast recipe as much as we do, you’ll love these other favorite chicken dinners, like Creamy Baked Chicken, Easy Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks and Juicy Baked Lemon Pepper Chicken.
Best Baked Chicken Breast Recipe
Did you know that “chicken breast recipes” are one of the most highly searched things on Google? For years I have been using a method that yields the most tender and juicy baked chicken breast, which is important because let’s face it, white meat is usually bone dry. It’s so easy to dry out oven baked chicken breast because there’s very little fat. But I always get exceptionally juicy chicken by adding a little bit of healthy fat – in the form of extra virgin olive oil or olive oil spray.
This is my go-to method that I’ve been using for years. I use it for a quick and easy chicken dinner, and I will also cook extra and save and add to soups and casseroles. Keep it in a sealed bag in the fridge for a few days, or pop it in the freezer if you’re not using it right away.
Cooking chicken doesn’t have to be complicated. This method is super easy and lends itself quite nicely to experimenting with different flavors, like my DIY Cajun Seasoning. Baked Lemon Chicken is also a great alternative! Or you can stick with my tried and true all-purpose Chicken Seasoning.
How to Bake Chicken Breasts
Pound chicken to an even thickness. Place chicken between two pieces of parchment paper or in a sealed plastic bag and lightly pound. This will tenderize the meat and also help the chicken to cook evenly.
Rub all over with olive oil. You could also use melted butter, or a variety of different types of oil, like avocado or corn oil.
Season the chicken well. Rub salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder and onion powder all over the chicken. I like to add a sprinkling of salt over the top just to make sure it’s properly seasoned. Sometimes I’ll use paprika in place of chili powder.
Place the chicken side by side in a glass baking dish. Arrange each piece of chicken in the opposite direction and you should be able to fit 4 chicken breasts in a 13×9-inch dish. For best results, the chicken pieces can be close together but not on top of each other. They will shrink slightly as they cook.
Roast in the oven at 450℉ for about 15 minutes. It doesn’t sound like a long time, but at the higher temperature the chicken will cook fast.
Cook to 165℉. Once chicken reaches the optimal temperature, remove the pan from the oven and ten with foil to allow the chicken time to rest.
Expert Tips and Tricks
Oven baked chicken breasts can be tough to get just right. It’s all too easy to overcook them and end up with dry, rubbery chicken. I’ve got lots of expert tips to share when it comes to my favorite chicken breast recipes. Here are some of my best tips from keeping your chicken from drying out.
- Add healthy fat with olive oil. Rubbing the chicken with a little olive oil before baking helps add moisture to the chicken and also helps the seasonings stick to the breast.
- Keep the seasoning simple. I use a very simple seasoning of salt and pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and chili powder or paprika. Oregano, thyme, or even taco seasoning are also great to use.
- Chicken breasts do best at a high temperature (roasting) around 425-450℉. This allows the meat to cook quickly and retain a lot of moisture. Lower temps result in a longer cooking time and a higher chance of dry chicken, which is not something anyone wants!
- Make sure to let the chicken rest. This is so important when cooking any meat, but especially with this recipe. When cooked at a high temperature the juices in the chicken quickly rush to the center, so when you cut into it right away, all those juices come pouring out and boom – dry chicken. Resting allows the juices to redistribute through the chicken breast and gives you a tender, juicy piece of meat every time.
- Serve with the juices. Adding a drizzle of the juices from the pan with add extra flavor and moisture to the meat.
- Slice against the grain. This will result in the most tender, easy to chew chicken.
- Use a deep baking dish. I use this baking dish for making my Baked Chicken Breasts. You could also use a foil or parchment lined rimmed baking sheet, but a high sided baking dish seems to do better at keeping the meat juicy.
How Long Does it Take to Bake Chicken Breasts?
Boneless skinless chicken breasts are very lean, so it’s easy to overcook them. I always set my oven to 450℉ for chicken breasts, but maybe you want to cook something else at the same time and need the oven at a lower temperature. You can still get good results using this guide.
Here’s how long to bake chicken breasts at each temperature:
- 350℉: 30-35 minutes
- 375℉: 25-30 minutes
- 400℉: 22-25 minutes
- 425℉: 18-22 minutes
Keep in mind that the exact time needed will depend on the size and thickness of the meat.
The seasoning blend I use for this chicken recipe is simple and easy, using spices that are usually readily available. It is my favorite blend and I use it with a variety of recipes. It works great with boneless or bone-in breasts, chicken thighs and drumsticks, and in the oven, on the stovetop or even on the grill! Just rub the seasoning into the chicken and cook accordingly.
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be cooked at the same temperature as this recipe but may need an extra 5 minutes depending on size. Bone-in chicken will always take much longer; at least an extra 20 minutes. Chicken tenders work wonderfully as well and should just take about 10 minutes.
I have tested boneless skinless chicken breasts at a variety of oven temperatures and have found that the higher temperatures seal in the juices and produce the juiciest baked chicken. I prefer to stick to 450 degrees, but going as low as 425 would work fine.
All chicken, no matter what part of the bird, should be cooked to 165℉. Use a digital meat thermometer and stick the pointy end into the center of the thickest part of the meat, or for bone-in chicken, the thickest part near the bone. Once the internal temperature registers at least 160-165℉ you know it’s time to tent and rest. The time it takes to reach the proper temperature can vary by size. These times are based on 450℉ in my recipe:
– 6 ounce breasts: 13-16 minutes.
– 8 ounce breasts: 16-19 minutes.
– 12 ounce breasts: 22-26 minutes.
What to Serve with Baked Chicken
The beauty of this baked chicken recipe is that it is incredibly versatile. You could serve it with just about anything from pasta to salad and have a delicious meal. But here are some of favorite sides to serve with chicken:
How to Store Leftovers
Store leftover cooked chicken breast up to 4 days in the fridge in an airtight container. Perfect for meal prepping for the week and for using in a variety of recipes from salads to soups.
In the freezer, cool completely and store cooked chicken breasts in an airtight container for up to 6 months. I recommend wrapping each breast in wax paper before freezing for easy portioning.
More Easy Baked Chicken Recipes You’ll Love
- Roasted Lemon Chicken Drumsticks
- Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs
- Mexican Chicken Casserole
- Chicken Thigh Marinade
- Easy Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks
- Crispy Baked Chicken Wings
- Easy Baked Barbecue Chicken
Baked Chicken Breasts
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts about 4 medium size breasts
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika or chili powder
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pound chicken breasts lightly so they are of even thickness.
- Pour olive oil in a 13″ x 9″ baking dish. Lightly coat the chicken with the oil to coat it, then place chicken breasts side by side in the dish.
- In a small bowl, whisk together salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and chili powder (or paprika). Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over both sides of the chicken and rub it in with your hands. Place chicken breasts side by side, making sure there is no overlap.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until juices are clear or a meat thermometer reads 160-170 degrees. *Note – depending on the size of your chicken breasts, it could take longer. Mine were pounded to less than an inch thick.
- Cover with foil and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes while the juices settle before slicing.
- Serve hot.