Are you wondering, How to Bake Chicken Breasts in the Oven the Simplest Easiest Method? Look no further for a straightforward approach to deliciously cooked chicken.
My favorite oven baked chicken breasts recipe! It never fails me, thanks to this simple 5-step method that is easy to make and customize with your favorite seasonings.
A few weeks ago on Insta, I asked if you all might be interested in a back-to-basics series about the best ways to bake proteins (i.e. chicken, pork, steak, seafood, tofu, etc.) in the oven. Your answer? A resounding yes, please. Many of you had requests and questions about methods for cooking various proteins, plus more than a few tales to tell about proteins gone not-so-right over the years. And oh boy, I hear ya. My little kitchen has seen more than its share of overcooked steaks, completely dried out pork chops, salmon skin glued to pans, and not-so-crispy tofu over the years too. Which are never fun, especially since proteins can be pricey and intended for special occasions. But hey, it’s all part of the adventure of learning how to cook. And eventually, I’ve trial-and-errored my way to some basic methods for baking proteins that have become super-reliable, super-delicious staples in my kitchen.
So over the next two weeks, I thought we could work our way through each of them, beginning today with the #1 most requested protein here on Gimme Some Oven…
Table of Contents
- The Versatile Challenge of Chicken Breasts
- Baked Chicken Breasts Recipe | 1-Minute Video
- Frequently Asked Questions
The Versatile Challenge of Chicken Breasts
Specifically, boneless skinless chicken breasts.
Over the years, I’ve received countless requests for new chicken breast recipes, and many more for tips on how to bake chicken breasts in the oven. Because anyone who worked with chicken breasts before know that they can be incredibly versatile, yet also incredibly finicky to work with, especially when baked in the oven.
Cook them the wrong way and you’ll end up with a dry, rubbery, tough, and flavorless disaster. But cooked the right way?! We’re talkin’ juicy, tender, flavorful, perfectly baked chicken breasts that you will love.
The good news is that they’re also totally easy to customize with your favorite seasonings or sauces. And also, incredibly easy to make with my 5-step baked chicken breasts method.
Thousands of our readers have tried it over the years and reported back that this method was a game-changer with cooking chicken. So if you have yet to give it a try, let’s bake some chicken together!
Baked Chicken Breasts Recipe | 1-Minute Video
Baked Chicken Breast Ingredients:
To make this baked chicken breasts recipe, you will need:
1. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts: You can either purchase fresh chicken breasts (my preference) or frozen chicken breasts (which you will need to completely thaw before using). Some chicken also comes pre-brined nowadays, in which case you can skip step one below.
2. Butter or olive oil: Your pick! I like the extra flavor that butter adds, but olive oil will also work well.
3. Kosher Salt: An essential ingredient in our brine, and we will also use salt to season the chicken before baking.
4. Seasonings: I included an all-purpose blend of smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper in the recipe below, which is super-simple and goes with just about anything. But feel free to sub in any dry seasoning blend that you prefer.
Also, if you bake chicken (or any other kind of baked proteins) regularly in the oven, I strongly recommend having a cooking thermometer on hand too. It is the most foolproof way to ensure that your chicken is not over- or under-cooked, and works like a charm. I recommend either this:
- Instant-read cooking thermometer (pictured below): which I have owned and used for years when cooking chicken, which retails for about $9.99 on Amazon.
- Dual-probe wireless meat thermometer: which I also own and love because it can be used inside of a hot oven (especially helpful for baking steak, salmon, and pork), which retails for about $24.99 on Amazon.
How To Bake Chicken Breasts:
Alright, so here’s the secret! To make perfectly baked chicken breasts, you simply need to follow this 5-step acronym: B.B.R.R.R.
I’m telling you — this step is an absolute must for anytime you want to bake chicken breasts in the oven. Brining chicken is super-easy, it makes your chicken extra juicy, and best of all, it can be effectively done in just 15 minutes. Plus, if you brine chicken in lukewarm water, it also helps bring the chicken to room temperature, which makes for more even cooking. Win-win!
To brine chicken, simply fill a big bowl with lukewarm (not hot) water. Stir in a handful of salt until it mostly dissolves. Then add your chicken breasts and let them sit in the saltwater to brine for at least 15 minutes. If you are doing this in advance, you can cover and refrigerate the bowl of chicken and saltwater for up to 6 hours. But you don’t want to let the chicken brine for much longer than that.
When you’re ready to go, remove the chicken from the brine. Give it a good rinse it with cold water to wash off the salt, and then pat it dry with some paper towels. And voila — your chicken is officially brined.
Really, don’t skip over this step! It makes a world of difference.
Note: That said, some store-bought chicken breasts are now sold pre-brined. So double-check your packaging beforehand. And if your chicken has already been pre-brined in a sodium solution, just move onto step two. 🙂
Brush your chicken breasts with melted butter. Or at least, I highly recommend using butter. It adds great flavor and helps give a nice golden crust on the outside. But if you’d rather use olive oil (or another favorite cooking oil), feel free.
Brush the breasts liberally on both sides to prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan, and also to help the seasonings stick. Then place the chicken breasts in a large baking dish or roasting pan.
If you’re really wanting to keep things simple, you can simply sprinkle some salt and pepper onto the chicken breasts. But again, chicken will pick up the flavor of whatever seasonings you add. So even if you’re making a simple dish that calls for “plain” chicken breasts, I highly recommend the simple chicken seasoning recipe I have included below that includes salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
So this is the step that causes some squabbles amongst chicken lovers — how long to bake chicken breasts? And what is the correct temperature to bake chicken? Do you bake it low and slow (as in, 30 minutes at 350°F)? Or do you roast chicken high and quick (as in, 15 minutes at 450)? I have tested out both — and just about every interval in between — dozens upon dozens upon dozens of times. And in the end, I fall firmly in the latter camp when it comes to baked chicken.
I like to roast my chicken breasts on high heat.
Depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts, roasting chicken at 450°F should require a cooking time of about 15-18 minutes (depending on the thickness/size of your chicken breasts). It’s speedy and it’s easy. But mostly I love it because cooking at high heat quickly develops a nice crispier “crust” on the outside of the breasts, which also helps to lock in those juices and keep the oven roasted chicken perfectly tender on the inside. It’s the best of both worlds.
I highly recommend investing in a small cooking thermometer to measure the cooked chicken temp in order to tell if it is ready to go (the FDA says that the safe cooked chicken temp is 165°F), versus cutting into it with a fork, which lets those good juices seep out. I use this instant-read thermometer that I bought on Amazon for $10, and it will accurately measure your internal chicken temperature in seconds.
This one is a non-negotiable. You must, must let your beautifully baked chicken breasts rest before cutting into them — a tip which applies to cooking any meat, really. If you cut in right away, you will lose all of the amazing juices and some of the tenderness that we’re going for. But if you give your freshly baked chicken breasts a brief rest, it will finish cooking and lock in all of those delicious juices, resulting in the most tender and juicy and delicious baked chicken.
I recommend loosely tenting a sheet of aluminum foil over the pan to keep the heat in while the chicken rests. And then after 5-10 minutes, you can finally serve and enjoy your perfectly-cooked chicken breasts.
And enjoy every last bite. ♡
How To Season Baked Chicken Breasts:
Again, I’m a big fan of the classic paprika-garlic-pepper mix in the recipe below. But if you’d like to mix things up, feel free to sub in any of your favorite dry seasoning mixes, such as:
- Italian Seasoning
- Cajun Seasoning
- Za’atar Seasoning
- Taco Seasoning
- Everything Bagel Seasoning
How To Use/Serve Baked Chicken Breasts:
The easiest way, of course, is just to serve these roasted chicken breasts fresh outta the oven. But feel free to also slice, shred, or dice these oven baked chicken breasts for use in another recipe, such as these faves:
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Chicken Souvlaki
- Chicken Parmesan Baked Ziti
- Healthy Curry Chicken Salad
- Asian Chicken Chopped Salad
- Herb-Loaded Chicken Noodle Soup
- 5-Ingredient White Chicken Chili
- Creamy Chicken Marsala Soup
- Easy Chicken Posole Verde
How To Store Baked Chicken Breasts:
Once the chicken has been baked, it can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or you can freeze it for up to 3 months. (<– I recommend shredding, dicing, or slicing the chicken before freezing for easier use.)
Side Dish Recipe Ideas:
Looking for some side dishes to serve with this baked chicken recipe? Here are a few of my faves:
- Everyday Salad or Our Family’s Favorite Salad
- Scalloped Potatoes or Mashed Potatoes or Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Perfect Roasted Brussels Sprouts or Roasted Asparagus
- Berry Fruit Salad or Winter Fruit Salad
More Baked Protein Tutorials:
Be sure to check out our tutorials for how to bake other meats, seafood, and tofu too!
- Baked Pork Chops
- Baked Salmon
- Baked Tofu
- Baked Whole Fish
- Baked Steak (How To Cook Steak In The Oven)
- Baked Shrimp (The Easiest Way To Cook Shrimp!)
In conclusion, baking the perfect chicken breasts is not only achievable but also quite simple. Follow the B.B.R.R.R. method, and you’ll be rewarded with juicy, tender, and flavorful chicken that can elevate any meal. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or just starting your culinary journey, mastering this technique is a valuable addition to your kitchen skills. So why wait? Give it a try and savor the delicious results.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I use frozen chicken breasts for this recipe?
Yes, you can use frozen chicken breasts, but make sure to completely thaw them before following the recipe. Frozen chicken may require additional cooking time, so use a meat thermometer to ensure they reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
2. What seasonings can I use to flavor my baked chicken breasts?
While the recipe includes a simple seasoning blend of smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper, you can get creative with your seasonings. Try Italian seasoning, Cajun seasoning, or any of your favorite dry seasoning blends to customize the flavor.
3. How do I store leftover baked chicken breasts?
Store leftover chicken breasts in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. For longer storage, freeze them for up to 3 months. It’s a great way to have cooked chicken on hand for quick meals.
4. Can I use this method to bake bone-in chicken breasts?
This method is specifically designed for boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Bone-in chicken breasts will have different cooking requirements, so it’s best to follow a recipe tailored to bone-in chicken if that’s what you have.
5. Is it necessary to brine the chicken?
Brining is recommended as it helps make the chicken extra juicy and flavorful. However, some store-bought chicken may already be pre-brined, so check the label before brining. If your chicken is pre-brined, you can skip this step.
In conclusion, following How to Bake Chicken Breasts in the Oven the Simplest Easiest Method ensures your chicken is tender, flavorful, and cooked to perfection. Enjoy your homemade culinary masterpiece!TheAnswers respects copyrights. All content is either created by us, properly licensed, or used with permission. If you have concerns, please contact us.