Best Baked Chicken Breast
Perfectly baked chicken breasts that are juicy, tender, easy, and oh so flavorful! This is a recipe everyone should know how to master. All you need is a drizzle of olive oil, a special seasoning mix, and a few insider tips for these super tasty, no-fail chicken breasts.
If you’ve ever struggled with dry, rubbery, and just flat-out boring chicken breasts, you’re in luck, because today’s recipe is about as easy as they come. All you’ve got to do it make my special seasoning mix, rub it all over the chicken breasts, and then bake them the right amount of time. That my friends, is the important part.
Once you read my tips below and master this method you’ll have the most delicious chicken to enjoy for weeknight dinner recipes. Plus, you can slice and dice any leftovers for chicken meal prep. Leftover chicken is perfect on bowls, salads, in tacos, and so much more!
Baked Chicken Breast Ingredients
Chicken is a blank canvas just waiting to be sprinkled, smeared, and infused with flavor. Rule #1 – never under-season chicken. So today I’ve got a simple, yet dazzling seasoning mix (literally the easiest dry rub) that will impress all your dinner guests.
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts: Grab chicken breasts that are all about the same size, for the most even cooking (see tips below!)
- Spices & Herbs: A simple blend of paprika, garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper makes the chicken super delicious. Don’t have thyme? Swap in oregano, basil, rosemary, or another herb.
- Olive Oil: A light drizzle gently coats the chicken to help the seasoning stick, and keeps it nice and moist.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
How Long Should You Bake Chicken Breasts?
The key to juicy chicken breasts is to cook them hot at 425F for the right amount of time. To nail this down, it’ll depend on the size of your chicken breasts and your unique oven (remember, all ovens cook differently). Here’s a general guideline to follow:
- Small Breasts (5oz): cook for 18-20 minutes.
- Medium Breasts (7oz): cook for 20-22 minutes.
- Large Breasts (9oz): cook for 22-25 minutes.
Pro tip: If you have a tendency to overcook your chicken, invest in an instant read thermometer. It’s seriously invaluable in the kitchen. Then read below for the best internal temperature of cooked chicken!
What’s the Best Internal Temperature?
Chicken is fully cooked and safe to eat at 165F. But remember that if you cook chicken breasts to 165F in the oven, they’ll increase in temperature to about 170F once rested. And trust me, that will result in dry, rubbery chicken, devoid of moisture. Dark meat like chicken thighs are much more forgivable when it comes to overcooking, but not white meat chicken breasts.
So this is what you need to do. Take the chicken breasts out of the oven once they reach an internal temperature of 160F. Then, let them rest for a couple of minutes. The chicken will naturally reach the perfect 165F temperature, thanks to carryover cooking. And you will have succulent, juicy chicken breasts to enjoy. You’re welcome!
Tips for the Juiciest Chicken Breasts
Before you get baking remember these three important tips for tender, juicy chicken.
- Bring chicken to room temperature: When you cook cold, straight from the fridge chicken it’s more likely to cook unevenly, with an overcooked outside and undercooked inside. So let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before cooking.
- Grab similarly sized chicken breasts: If you bake a 5-ounce chicken breast alongside an 8-ounce chicken breast, your smaller chicken breast will likely turn rubbery by the time your bigger one is done.
- Pound them to an even thickness: Because chicken breasts naturally have one end that’s thicker than the other, you can gently pound the thicker part of your chicken breast for a more even thickness, which translates to more even cooking.
How to Bake Chicken Breasts in the Oven
This recipe is easy and speedy, which is why I love it. First, preheat your oven to 425F.
Mix the spices. Add the spices and herbs to a bowl and mix them until combined.
Coat the chicken. Lightly coat the chicken with olive oil, and then give each chicken breast a generous rub of the spice blend. Make sure to do this on both sides.
Bake away. Place the seasoned chicken breasts in a baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through. Once they’re done, make sure to let them rest! Resting allows the juices to redistribute within the meat.
Storing And Meal Prepping Leftovers
- Store leftovers: The chicken will keep for about 3-4 days in the fridge in an airtight container. Perfect to enjoy throughout the week!
- Freeze for later: To make the reheating process easier, slice, dice, or shred your chicken before freezing. The chicken will keep for several months in the freezer.
- Reheating tips: Chicken breasts can get a bit dry when you reheat the following days. So here’s a little tip. Add a teaspoon or so of water to the top of your chicken, then cover with a microwave-safe lid or plastic-wrap, before reheating in the microwave. It will steam a little, helping the chicken absorb some of the moisture, and bring it back to life!
Ways To Use Baked Chicken Breasts
Cooked chicken breasts are not only healthy, they’re quite versatile. Here’s a few ideas!
- Round out a plate with sides. Eat the chicken alongside sautéed spinach and rice, or any other side dish you’d like.
- Top onto a salad. Start with leafy greens, add freshly chopped veggies along with your chicken, and toss with a lemon vinaigrette.
- Add into a casserole. Load your casserole up with diced chicken breasts, rice, and extra veggies with a sprinkle of cheese.
- Mix into a stir fry. Add it into a stir fry with broccoli, carrots, bell pepper, and other vegetables.
Delicious Chicken Breast Recipes
I can’t deny my love for boneless skinless chicken breasts! They also take center-stage in these delicious recipes:
- Greek Chicken Kabobs
- Ultimate Chicken Salad
- Zucchini Noodles With Chicken, Spinach, And Parmesan
- Chicken Fajitas
- Coconut Curry Chicken
- Herb Baked Chicken Breast
- Cobb Salad
Best Baked Chicken Breast Recipe Video
Want to see how I make this recipe? Watch the video below!
If you make this recipe, let me know how it turned out! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.
Best Baked Chicken Breast
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil , or avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, or oregano, parsley or other herbs
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 425F/220C. In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper until combined.
- Lightly coat the chicken breasts in olive oil, and then generously rub the spice mix on both sides of the chicken.
- Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish and cook for 20-25 minutes, depending on size (see chart above). Let the chicken rest for a few minutes to allow the juices to redistribute within the meat, then serve.
- I love to use these white baking pans for this recipe, and other baking recipes!
11 March 2023
I have made your, Best Baked Chicken Breast, recipe a few times and it keeps coming out dry, what am I doing wrong.
I make these up on the weekend and use them throughout the week in salads for lunch or with veggies and salad for dinner.
I really love the flavor? Can you help me figure out what I’m doing wrong.
Hi Jane – it sounds like you might be overcooking it a bit. Are you using an instant-read thermometer to double-check the internal temp?
Honestly, these breasts are a life saver : quick, easy ( with a thermometer), and absolutely delicious.
Good for meal prep, and leftovers can be enjoyed warm or cold ( I even prefer them cold….)…..
Isn’t close to perfection ? Thank you Lisa for this recipe !!!!
I’m so glad this recipe works out well for you! :)
I love this recipe! One question I have, however, is what if I don’t want to use the microwave to reheat? Do you have any tips for keeping it from drying out?
This came out moist and tender despite the fact that I overbaked it. 180° at 20 minutes. Probably because I used a dark roasting pan. Will keep a closer watch next time. I used organic breasts which I pounded then brined for a couple hours. Italian herb seasoning and Hungarian paprika. Might try smoked paprika next time and a southwest or cajun seasoning (and perhaps will skip the brine). I deglazed the roasting pan with a few tablespoons of bone broth and added it to the leftover breasts. Meal prep for the week! Great recipe and look forward to making it again soon! Thanks!
Glad your chicken breast turned out great with this recipe Laurie!
Great flavor. The entire family loved it and it’s now in my meal rotation.
I haven’t had much luck finding a baked chicken recipe that was really good until I tried this one.
Thanks so much!
I’m happy to hear this recipe is your new favorite. :)
It was very juicy and tender! I will make it again!
I have been searching for a new way to roast boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, and this recipe is perfect! I pounded and brought the chicken to room temperature. I think these things helped a ton. I only had smoked paprika on hand, but boy was this chicken moist and delicious! Even my pickiest eater asked for more. Thank you so much! we will be using this recipe often, and searching your site for more!
Glad you found what you were looking for Rebecca!
I notice in the video you use smoked paprika, but the list just says paprika, which is better to use ?
You can use either or, but I personally like to use smoked paprika for a deeper flavor!
Is it possible to let the chicken marinate in the spice rub few hours or even one night before baking? Will the marination time affect the juiciness of the chicken?
That should be fine to leave it for a few hours.
Do you cover it?
No need to cover it :)
I’ve made this a few times but used a few more pieces of chicken and then tripled the seasonings to cover all of it. It was so tender but always tasted a little too salty (and I love salt). What do you suggest?
If you found it to be too salty, you can just reduce the salt by a bit.