Baked Chicken Breast – Juicy and Flavorful!
Baked Chicken Breast couldn’t be easier to make or more delicious! How to make tender, juicy, perfectly seasoned oven baked chicken breasts.
I make this baked chicken breast recipe all the time as part of my Sunday meal prep.
I recently shared my crispy baked chicken thighs recipe, and many of you have told me how much you love the seasoning and crispy crust. Today we’re using a similar spice rub on my favorite lean protein: boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
Baking boneless, skinless chicken breasts can be finicky, and it’s all too easy to end up with tough, dry, rubbery chicken. With this baked chicken breasts recipe you’ll never have to worry about dry chicken. I’ve found the perfect simple method to make tender, juicy baked chicken breasts that are full of flavor.
This is a quick and easy recipe that you’ll find yourself making again and again. Along with my baked pork chops recipe and easy oven baked salmon, I’ve got you covered when it comes to healthy proteins for dinner!
How to Bake Chicken Breasts
There are a few simple steps that you can take to make sure that your baked chicken breasts turn out juicy and flavorful, never dry. You can have this easy baked chicken breast recipe on your table in 30 minutes or less!
1) Pound chicken to an even thickness.
Place your chicken in a zip-top bag or between two sheets of parchment paper. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken to a uniform thickness. This will help the chicken to cook evenly. Pounding the chicken also tenderizes the meat.
2) Rub chicken with olive oil.
Before you season the chicken, you’ll rub the chicken breasts with olive oil. The olive oil adds moisture and helps the seasonings to stick to the chicken.
3) Chicken breast seasoning.
The seasoning that I use on this baked chicken adds so much flavor! The seasoning blend is a simple mix of spices: dried oregano, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. You can add some brown sugar for an extra caramelized crust or some chili powder for a touch of heat. Sometimes I use Italian seasoning in place of the oregano.
4) Cook at high temperature.
I have tested cooking chicken breasts at different temperatures, ranging from 350 to 450 degrees F, and everything in between.
What temperature is best for baked chicken? A higher temperature, either 425 degrees or 450 degrees, is best for making juicy oven baked chicken. The higher temperature helps to sear in the juices and also cooks the chicken more quickly, so it has less time to dry out.
I did not notice much difference between chicken baked at 425 and chicken baked at 450 degrees – both were moist and juicy. What will make a difference if you want the juiciest baked chicken is my next tip: don’t overcook your chicken!
5) Do not overcook chicken breast.
If you overcook your chicken it will dry out and be tough. Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Using an instant-read thermometer is the most accurate way to check if your chicken is cooked through.
When chicken is almost done it will finish cooking quickly. Once it registers 155 degrees, it probably needs just one more minute in the oven. Watch it closely as it can quickly go from perfect to overcooked.
6) Cover and rest baked chicken.
If you slice chicken as soon as it comes out of the oven, all of the juices will run out and you will end up with dry chicken. Cover the baked chicken breasts loosely with a piece of aluminum foil and let them rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing them.
7) Slice chicken against the grain.
Slicing chicken against the grain makes your chicken more tender.
How Long to Bake
The size (weight) and thickness will determine how long you need to cook your chicken breasts. You can use a kitchen scale to measure the weight of your chicken breasts. Be sure to always check that your chicken has reached a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F, as cooking times may vary.
How long to bake boneless, skinless chicken breasts at 450 degrees. (Times are estimates.)
5-6 ounce breasts: 13-16 minutes
8 ounce breasts: 16-19 minutes
11-12 ounce breasts: 22-26 minutes
Do you need to brine chicken breasts?
Many recipes that you will find online claim that you should brine your chicken, or soak it in saltwater, before baking. Brining does help to produce juicy baked chicken. But when you’re trying to get dinner on the table for your hungry kids at 5pm, brining is just not worth the effort.
I promise you that with this baked chicken breast recipe, your chicken will turn out moist and juicy, without the hassle of brining.
Can I make this recipe with chicken tenders?
I have used this same seasoning on chicken tenders and they were so good! You do not need to pound chicken tenders, as they are already small and thin. Bake chicken tenders at 425 degrees F. Start checking on them at 10 minutes, and they may take up to 16 minutes depending on their size.
How to Store/Freeze Baked Chicken Breast
- Store baked chicken breast in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container. I recommend waiting to slice your chicken right before serving it.
- Store baked chicken breast in the freezer for up to 2 months. Wrap chicken well to minimize its exposure to air in the freezer. It is best to cut, slice or shred your chicken before freezing it. This way, you can thaw it and add it directly to your recipe. I recommend using frozen chicken in recipes such as casseroles, rather than eating it on its own.
What Side Dishes to Serve with Baked Chicken
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Carrots, or Roasted Broccoli
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes or Instant Pot Baked Potatoes
- Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Spinach Salad or Avocado Kale Salad
Chicken Breast Recipes to use your Baked Chicken
- Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuits
- Baked Chicken Taquitos
- Chicken Salad Recipe
- BBQ Chicken Sliders
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Baked Chicken Breast
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano or Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil (for easy cleanup).
- If chicken breasts are thicker in some parts than others, pound them to an even thickness using a rolling pin or meat mallet. (Place chicken in a zip-top bag or between two sheets of parchment before pounding.)
- Place chicken breasts on the baking sheet, drizzle with oil and rub over both sides of chicken.
- Combine the spice rub ingredients in a small bowl.
- Rub the spice rub over both sides of the chicken.
- Bake chicken breasts according to their size: bake 5-6 ounce breasts for 13-16 minutes, bake 8 ounce breasts for 16-19 minutes, bake 11-12 ounce breasts for 22-26 minutes. Check that chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Remove the pan from the oven, loosely cover with foil and let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Store baked chicken in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- You may freeze cooked chicken for up to 2 months. Wrap it well before freezing to minimize exposure to air.
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