Oven Baked Chicken Breasts

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Learn how to cook perfect, tender, great-tasting baked chicken breasts using my simple seasoning and easy 3-step method. A five minute prep time and just 20 minutes in the oven is all you need for the most juicy baked chicken breasts you’ve ever tasted!

A glass dish with 4 baked chicken breasts

With this recipe, you can have an easy baked chicken breast dinner in less than 30 minutes! Simple and full of flavor, just serve with some Garlic Bread and vegetables or salad for a fast dinner your family will absolutely love.

If your family loves this baked chicken breast recipe as much as mine does, try some of our other favorite chicken dinners, like Creamy Baked Chicken, Easy Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks and Juicy Baked Lemon Pepper Chicken.

The BEST Juicy Baked Chicken Breast

White meat often gets a bad rap for being dry and flavorless. I am usually quick to agree that dark meat just tastes better. But this baked chicken recipe is so tender, juicy and has so much flavor you can hardly tell the difference. Plus it’s a much healthier protein than dark meat.

Today I’m sharing the go-to method that I’ve been using for years for this quick and easy chicken dinner. I always cook a couple of extra for adding soup, casseroles and chicken salads. 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.

Ingredients for Baked Chicken

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – I prefer to buy these fresh and then freeze them, but a bag a frozen is fine too. Keep in mind that in the frozen bags, they often include rib meat and have added salt and moisture.
  • Olive oil – Rub this on the meat for to lock in moisture and help the seasoning to stick.
  • Chicken Seasoning This is my tried and true all-purpose seasoning blend of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika or chili powder, salt and pepper. It’s simple, and in the right blend it’s a powerful flavor enhancer.
  • Garnish – This is of course totally optional, but a garnish of fresh parsley for a little vibrant color makes everything look and taste just a little better.
4 baked chicken breasts with seasoning and parsley in a clear baking dish

How to Bake Chicken Breasts

Pound chicken to an even thickness. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place chicken between two pieces of parchment paper or in a sealed plastic bag and lightly pound with a meat mallet. This will tenderize the meat and also help the chicken to cook faster and more 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, paprika 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 chili powder instead of paprika.

chicken breasts in a glass dish with seasoning

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 pieces in a 13×9-inch dish. For best results, they 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 15-20 minutes. It doesn’t sound like a long time, but at the higher temperature the chicken will cook fast.

Cook chicken to 165℉. Once the chicken reaches the optimal temperature, remove the pan from the oven and tent with foil to allow the chicken time to rest.

baked chicken breasts and tongs

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℉, 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
  • 450℉: 15-18 minutes

Keep in mind that the exact time needed will depend on the size and thickness of the meat. It’s super handy to keep a digital instant-read thermometer in your kitchen to get the temp just right.

chicken breasts on a white platter

FAQs

Does this recipe work with other types of chicken?

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.

What is the Best Temperature to Bake Chicken at?

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.

What Internal Temperature Should Chicken Be Cooked to?

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.

sliced chicken on a white plate with green beans and potatoes

Side Dishes

The beauty of this recipe is that it is incredibly versatile. You could serve it with just about anything from pasta to salad and have a delicious meal. I often just go with roasted red potatoes and salad. But here are some of favorite sides to serve with chicken:

How to Store Leftovers

Refrigerator: Store leftover cooked chicken 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.

Freezer: Cool completely and store cooked chicken in a freezer safe container for up to 6 months. I recommend wrapping each breast in parchment paper before freezing for easy portioning.

A piece of chicken breast sliced on a plate, cheesy potatoes, green beans, a fork with a piece of chicken

Expert Tips

White meat can be tough to get just right. It’s all too easy to overcook 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.

  • 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, Italian seasoning or even taco seasoning are also great to use. Pick the spices, herbs and flavors you enjoy.
  • 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 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.
chicken breast, spoon with juices
  • Slice against the grain. This will result in the most tender, easy to chew chicken.
chicken breast with the end sliced away
  • Use a deep baking dish. I use this baking dish (or one similar) for making my baking chicken. 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.
  • Add a topping. Try topping with some Homemade Garlic Butter to mix with the juices for extra flavor.

More Chicken Recipes You’ll Love


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Baked Chicken Breasts

4.72 from 225 votes
Learn how to cook tender, juicy baked chicken breasts with this easy 3-step method. Just 5 minutes of prep time and 18 minutes in the oven.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 18 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 215kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

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.

Nutrition

Calories: 215kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 32gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 563mgPotassium: 559mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 45IUVitamin C: 1.8mgCalcium: 8mgIron: 0.6mg

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. Awesome flavor! I made one small change to mine. I halved the kosher salt and added a teaspoon of smoked paprika and it was perfect! Thank you for the great idea!

    1. I put it in a ziploc bag and use the smooth side of a meat mallet. Although I’ve been known to use the backside of a small skillet in a pinch! 😉

  2. Because its such a high heat, does it splatter much? Can I bake it with the foil on?
    Thank you..I’m actually making it later! My chicken is always dry LOL

    1. Yes you could use tenderloins, but it would take less time. They can touch – you just don’t want them on top of each other.

  3. I was looking for a way to cook chicken before making my chicken and biscuits. I usually boiled it, but this sounds much better. Thanks.

  4. Oh my goodness! I am 57 years old and have made a lot of chicken breast recipes and this one nailed it!!!
    No matter how I have tried they generally come out on the dry side but these were heavenly!! This will be my go to chicken breast recipe from now til eternity!! Thanks Kristin!!

  5. Is there any worry that the chicken will not be cooked enough in that short time? …I always worry about poultry.

    1. As long as pound the chicken breasts out you should be fine. However, you always want to check that the juices are clear and the chicken is no longer pink. You’ll have to find what works for your oven, as they can vary from kitchen to kitchen.

  6. I am wanting to make this for company who are coming tomorrow but we just had a baby recently so am looking for low maintenance. Is there a way to do this in the crockpot? Maybe with potatoes and carrots?

    1. You could make it in the crockpot, but the veggies might take longer than the chicken. Chicken can dry out in the crock pot if you’re not careful.

  7. Finally. An easy chicken breast recipe that isn’t dry. Thank you!
    I’ve tried them all. I think the key is high temp, fast cook, let sit and use your thermometer. Liked the spice mix too. My husband doesn’t like baked chicken breasts but he loved these.??????

  8. Thank you. I made this and it was delicious, fast and easy and a healthy alternative to the breaded and fried I usually make.

  9. This was fantastic! I had chicken tenders and needed to cook them quick. This was perfect!! I doubled the seasoning mix b/c I had 2 pkgs of tenders, and it had a little kick. My boys loved ita! Yaaay!

  10. I make a big batch of baked chicken breast following your recipe. After it has cooled I slice each breast and place in ziplock bags and into the freezer. My husband and I use them for our salad lunches throughout the week. We simply bring them out of the freezer the night before. Thank you, juicy and tender indeed.
    http://www.sewfannyhandmade.bigcartel.com

  11. Just made this tonight for dinner. It’s very simple and quick! The chicken was tasty, tender and juicy! Thanks!

  12. I want to try this recipe, but I have a question. I live in china and only have a small oven. It only goes up to 220 C, which is approx. 425 F. How long do you think I should bake the chicken if it is cooked at 25 degrees lower?

  13. Hi!
    I’ve made this and although it is very moist, i feel that my chicken always produces A LOT of water. Is this normal? My chicken almost seem to have been boiled lol. I just used used a glass baking dish, could that be the problem?

    1. I use a glass baking dish too. Since you’re not searing the chicken, the outside doesn’t get a “crisp” texture so I can see where you might compare it to “boiled.” There is definitely liquid that is left behind…are you using frozen chicken that’s been defrosted? That could be the issue.

    2. Hi Mallory – it may be the kind of chicken you’re using. Many brands inject their chicken with up to 13% saline (salt water – perfectly harmless) to keep it fresh, moist and juicy. My Granny used to soak her chicken before cooking – same concept.