Best Baked Chicken Breast

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Perfectly baked chicken breasts that are juicy, tender, easy, and super 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.

Baked chicken breasts in a pan.

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 a variety of 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!

Ingredients for oven baked chicken breasts.

Baked Chicken Breast Ingredients

Chicken is a blank canvas just waiting to be sprinkled, smeared, and infused with flavor. There’s simply one rule – never under-season chicken. So today, I’ve got a simple seasoning mix (literally the easiest dry rub) that will impress all your dinner guests.

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts: Always remember to grab chicken breasts that are 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 of oil coats the chicken to help the seasonings stick.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

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 425°F (220°C).

Mix the spices. Add the spices and herbs to a bowl and mix them until combined.

Mixing the seasonings in a bowl.

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.

Seasoning the chicken breasts.

Bake away. Place the seasoned chicken breasts in a baking dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Chicken breasts in a baking dish.

Let them rest. Once the chicken is done, make sure to let them rest! Resting allows the juices to redistribute within the meat. Then enjoy!

Four chicken breasts in a baking dish.

How Long To Bake Chicken Breasts

The key to juicy chicken breasts is to cook them hot at 425°F (220°C) for the right amount of time. To nail this down, it depends 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 to 20 minutes.
  • Medium Breasts (7oz): cook for 20 to 22 minutes.
  • Large Breasts (9oz): cook for 22 to 25 minutes.

Pro tip: If you have a tendency to overcook your chicken, invest in an instant read thermometer. It’s an invaluable tool in the kitchen. Then keep reading below for the best internal temperature of cooked chicken.

the Best Internal Temperature

Chicken is fully cooked and safe to eat at 165°F (75°C). But remember that if you cook chicken breasts to 165°F (75°) in the oven, they’ll increase in temperature to about 170°F (77°C) 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 160°F (71°C). Then, let them rest for a couple of minutes. The chicken will naturally reach the perfect 165°F (75°C) temperature, thanks to carryover cooking. And you will have succulent, juicy chicken breasts to enjoy. You’re welcome!

Baked chicken breast with spinach and rice on a plate.

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.

STorage Tips

  • To store: The chicken will keep for 3 to 4 days in the fridge in an airtight container. Perfect to enjoy throughout the week!
  • Freeze for later: I recommend slicing, dicing, or shredding your chicken before freezing, to make the reheating process easier. The chicken will keep for up to 3 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 before reheating in the microwave. It will steam a little, helping the chicken absorb some of the moisture, and bring it back to life!

Delicious Chicken Breast Recipes

I can’t deny my love for boneless skinless chicken breasts! They also take center-stage in these delicious recipes:

I hope you and your family love this baked chicken breast recipe. If you make it, let me know how it turned out! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Oven baked chicken breasts in a casserole pan.

Best Baked Chicken Breast

4.98 from 136 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

You'll love these perfectly baked chicken breasts that are juicy, tender, easy, and flavorful! 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. Watch the video below to see how I make them in my kitchen!

Video

Ingredients 
 

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil , or avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme, or oregano, parsley or other herbs
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper.
  • 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 to 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.

Lisa’s Tips

Nutrition

Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 713mg | Potassium: 430mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 280IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked chicken, baked chicken breasts, baked chicken recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally published January 2021, but updated to include new information for you benefit!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




296 Comments

  1. I have this easy and delicious recipe saved on my phone. It is absolutely the best ever! I’ve tried a million recipes. Okay, not a million, but a lot. I could never find one that was tender and yummy. Until this recipe, that is. Thanks again. I’m making this tonight.5 stars

  2. Do the baking directions change (time or temp) if the cutlets are butterflied or beaten much thinner?

    1. Hi there – I would keep the temperature the same, but keep an eye on timing incase they cook a bit faster.

  3. Best chicken breast recipe ever! I make it once a week with some salad in a wrap. The rub just makes it so delicious. Five stars!5 stars

  4. Hi Lisa, What are the side dishes pictured above? The greens and the grain dish? Looks yummy and lovely! Thank you💗

    1. Hi Sarah – that’s my garlic sautéed spinach recipe and a mixed wild rice blend. Hope you enjoy it!

  5. This baked chicken always comes out perfect – juicy (never dry!) and tender with lots of flavor. Sometimes, I play around with the spices and I have even added a little fresh lemon juice. Great when I’m short on time!5 stars

      1. Came out really well, the seasoning was subtle but tasty. Tenderised the chicken with a rolling pin 1st, followed the advice about soaking up the juices and it was very succulent.5 stars

  6. I make this very often with slight variations. It’s one of our favorites!
    I brine the breasts for 2-3 hours first.
    For seasoning, I go with Italian seasoning and a very light salt & pepper. Otherwise, by this recipe.
    Turning the breasts halfway into the bake is a MUST! It really works. And I check the internal temp and take them out at 160F. Great recipe. THANKS!!5 stars

  7. Omg, this was deeelish! I made this tonight. I am so pleased how it turned out. My partner loved it, too! I will never make chicken any other way!!!! Thank-you for sharing your recipe. I’m going to tell my sons about this recipe as well.5 stars

  8. I tried it last night for a quick dinner and Lisa was right on. I pounded them down to even out the thickness and they were the juiciest and most tender I had ever made. We could cut them with a fork. And they were delish!! I’ll be doing this a lot.

  9. This recipe has become a “go to” in our home. Comes out great every time! The chicken is juicy, and the combination of spices gives it a great taste! Works well for lunch meal prep as well!5 stars

      1. Hi Catherine – You can always find the nutritional information in the recipe card towards the bottom.

  10. Hi! This was delicious! I’m always scared to take out the chicken too early but I trusted you and it was perfect lol I have a question – does the calorie info change depending on the size of the breast ? I am counting calories for the first time.

    1. Hi Dana – Most meats will continue to cook a bit after taking it out of the oven! As for the calorie info, it will probably change a smidge depending on how big your chicken breasts are.

      1. Do you use a kitchen scale to weigh the breasts? I’m never really sure unless they’re really massive looking…5 stars

      2. I don’t, I just eyeball them. Though the kitchen packaging usually has the weight listed as well.

  11. I tried out this recipe and it worked really well- the chicken was not dry at all. This was much easier to make for a nice holiday meal for a smaller group versus a full chicken, too.5 stars

  12. I made this 2 days ago and we are now enjoying plentiful leftover options. The chicken was delicious and moist. Hubby approved! Can’t wait to make this again.5 stars

  13. One of my favorite batch cooking recipes! Great to keep in the frig for the week or slice and freeze. It stays so moist and brilliant steps to avoid overcooking! Easy to change up the seasoning if needed but I usually follow the recipe as written. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Happy you loved it, Kristi! It’s definitely my number one most made recipe for weekly meal prep as well. Enjoy!

  14. Excellent notes to provide guidance on this recipe. The chicken breasts turned out so moist and not overcooked. The seasoning was also perfect!5 stars

  15. Just made these baked chicken breasts as apart of my meal prep for next week. Well, I couldn’t wait until then to try them! They are so flavorful! Wow! I only took a few bites and my husband came in because he must of heard me saying, ‘oh, wow’ a few times. He had to try it as well. He loved it and didn’t want to stop!! Thank you again for another great recipe that I’ll be making again and again Lisa!!!5 stars

  16. This is the only way to make chicken and then have it ready for the weeks menu. Every beginner and advance cook should try this. I’ve been making this for months now. I give it to the new young cooks in the family.
    It’s a keeper
    Thanks5 stars

    1. Thanks for leaving a review, Candy! I’m glad this baked chicken breast recipe has worked wonders for you.

  17. My favorite easiest to make meat recipe. Had it just last week. My sister, who knows how to cook, even commented on how moist and flavorful it was on a past visit. I’ve made this one more than any other meat recipe. Usually pair it with some microwaved veggies.5 stars

  18. Yet another delicious recipe of yours that I’ve tried and loved Lisa! Think I will make a batch of this seasoning to have on hand just like your fajita mix. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes.5 stars

    1. It’s always a good idea to keep pre-mixed seasonings on hand! Happy to hear you loved this baked chicken breast recipe though, Laura.

  19. Out of every recipe I’ve ever printed this is the most used and shared. I always sautéed my chicken breasts but this recipe makes perfect, juicy chicken every single time. My husband requests these often for me to make for his lunches for the week. The chicken never dries out and the seasoning is just perfect for every use. I have it permanently taped to the inside of my cabinet.5 stars

    1. I’m happy you both love the recipe, Chelsea! And what a smart idea to tape it to the inside of your cabinet. ;)

  20. The best I have ever made! I have always struggled to get good tender, moist chicken in the oven so I tried this recipe. I love it. I am going to try the other chicken recipes you have posted. I have an autoimmune disease and digestive issues so i find that most of your recipes suite me better than any others I have found on the web.5 stars

    1. I’m glad you love several of my recipes, including this baked chicken recipe, Sharon! A happy tummy is always a good thing. :)

  21. Looking for recipes to learn my new air fryer. Instructions would say lower the temperature by 25 degrees. Would this recipe be a good one to try in the air fryer?

  22. Best chicken I ever baked! I am 71 years old. So easy and delicious! I have shared the recipe already with my, brother my daughter and daughter-in-law, and my friend’s husband, who has to cook now 4 nights a week. My husband and I love it and I’ll never bake chicken any other way. Thank you, Lisa!

  23. First recipe I’ve made from this website, and DANG! Best chicken dinner I’ve ever made. And it was so simple! Thank you Lisa Bryan! Took very little time and all the pointers were spot on. Will definitely be trying other recipes from Downshiftology.com.5 stars

    1. Wonderful! I’m so happy you loved this recipe, John. I hope you continue to enjoy more of my recipes. :)

  24. These smell amazing as they were cooking. They are moist and so good! Typically, I cook them too long. Not this time. I highly recommend them.5 stars

  25. As you promised this recipe resulted in the tastiest, moist chicken breasts I have ever baked. It will be my ‘go to’ from now on. Thank you for sharing!!5 stars

  26. on the third step, above it says this: 3 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 looked for the mentioned chart, but could not find it.5 stars

    1. Hi Raul – you can see that in the section under “How long should you bake chicken breasts”.

  27. 11 March 2023
    Hi Lisa,
    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.
    Thanks,
    Jane Jamieson

    1. 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?

  28. 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 !!!!5 stars

  29. 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?
    Thanks!

  30. 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!5 stars

  31. 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!5 stars

  32. 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!5 stars

    1. Hello,
      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?
      Thank you.

  33. 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?