This Baked Chicken Breast comes out juicy and flavorful every time! With a simple spice rub and quick cook time, it’s perfect for any night of the week!
See the step by step recipe video down in the recipe card.
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It’s a new month which means a new 6 Ingredient Staple — an easy, must-have recipe that we can then use to make many different things!
This month, we’re talking Baked Chicken Breast.
I didn’t plan to go back to chicken so soon, but I find that chicken breast is a popular protein (it’s definitely loved around here!), but it can be somewhat difficult to get it just right.
And even though we’ve perfected this Air Fryer Chicken Breast, Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breasts, Slow Cooker Chicken Breast, and these Pan Fried Chicken Breasts, we’ve never done a baked chicken breast recipe.
It is time!
So here are my top tips and tricks for juicy, flavorful chicken breasts from the oven — perfect when you just need something you can toss in the oven and forget about for a while!
You can find more easy Baked Chicken Recipes here.
How to make juicy Baked Chicken Breasts:
Everyone has their own way of baking chicken breasts, and they all have their merits! I like to keep things as simple as possible, while still getting juicy and flavorful chicken.
Here are my tips and tricks!
- Choose chicken that is an even size: because your chicken needs to be cooked to 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the chicken, if you have one end that is super thick, the other end is going to end up overcooked. For this reason, it’s important to level the playing field a little and even out the size. Cover in plastic wrap and pound gently with a rolling pin or even a frying pan until they are roughly the same thickness.
- Give them space: You don’t want your chicken breasts to be smushed together in the pan when they are baking. If they are too close, the heat won’t be able to get around the chicken and it will take longer to cook, meaning drier chicken.
- Dry your chicken breasts on paper towel: if you are using previously frozen chicken breasts, they can be a little on the wet side. Dry them on paper towel before rubbing with oil and seasoning so that they roast and don’t steam in all of the liquid.
- Season well: seasoning is flavor! While we are keeping the seasoning simple, we do want good coverage. Feel free to experiment with the types of herbs and spices you use.
- Bake at high heat: in all of my experimenting with cooking chicken and even other types of meat, I’ve discovered that baking at a high heat for a shorter amount of time almost always produces juicier meat. It’s also quicker and more convenient, so it’s win-win if you ask me!
- Rest: all meat needs to rest for at least 10 minutes after cooking before slicing. It ensures that the juices are redistributed through the meat and not lost onto the cutting board!
How long to bake chicken breasts?
Until they’re done!
I know you’ll hate that answer, but it’s true.
Different ovens, different pans, different thicknesses of chicken, and different elevations, can all lead to different cooking times.
The most important trick to getting perfectly cooked chicken breasts is to use a meat thermometer. Cook until the chicken is just 165 degrees, then let it rest. That is the best tip I can give you today!
Although you can bake chicken breasts at anywhere from 350 degrees F to 450 degrees F, for a little longer, or a little shorter, I prefer high heat for a shorter time.
You can bake chicken breasts at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, or 450 for 15-20 minutes.
I have found that a higher heat yields juicier results!
Variations and Substitutions:
- Swap the seasoning: you can absolutely experiment with how you season this chicken! Swap for your favorite spice blend (taco seasoning, Italian seasoning, Cajun seasoning, and more)
- Can I bake more than 4? Definitely! You can bake as many chicken breasts as you have room for on your pan without them being crowded, although you may want to make extra seasoning. If necessary, use a rimmed sheet pan so that you can bake a few extra.
- Can I use boneless chicken thighs instead of breasts? Yes! Boneless, skinless chicken thighs should cook in the same amount of time, and you’ll be able to get twice as many on the pan. Always make sure to check doneness with your meat thermometer.
How to thaw frozen chicken breasts quickly:
You can easily thaw chicken breasts before cooking!
Simply place the number of frozen chicken breasts in a zip top bag and submerge in a bowl or sink full of cool to lukewarm (never hot!) water.
Let sit for 30 minutes or until thawed.
Can I bake chicken breasts from frozen?
This is such a lifesaver on those days you don’t have a plan for dinner.
You can bake chicken breasts from frozen as long as they are not frozen together. If they are stuck together or frozen in a lump, you absolutely must thaw before cooking.
If you are baking from frozen, you will need to add 10-20 minutes to the bake time. Always, always remember to check doneness with a meat thermometer.
How to store leftover chicken breast:
These Baked Chicken Breasts are perfect for meal prepping!
You can store cooked chicken breasts in an air tight container in the refrigerator for 4 days, or in an air tight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months.
It’s perfect for adding to pizzas, pastas, salads and more!
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Juicy Baked Chicken Breast
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (breast halves)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, stir together parsley, salt, garlic powder, paprika, pepper and onion powder.
- Place chicken breasts on a cutting board and cover with a layer of plastic wrap. Pound the thick ends of the chicken breasts with a rolling pin, smooth meat mallet, or small frying pan until the chicken breasts are roughly the same thickness throughout.
- Place chicken breasts in a 9×13" baking dish (or one that is large enough that they're not shoved together). Drizzle with oil and divide seasoning between front and back of all chicken breasts.
- Bake at 425 degrees F for 15-22 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken reads 165 degrees F.
- Remove from the oven, cover and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
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