My Baked Chicken Breast Recipe
It’s no secret chicken is America’s most popular meat and chicken breast is the most sold cut of chicken. There is “a rumor in town” that chicken breasts are dry. And it is sort of true. So I will show you the best way how to bake healthy, juicy and flavorful chicken breast in the oven.
This easy chicken breast recipe will become your go-to!
What Type of Meat Can I Use?
Boneless Skinless Fresh Chicken Breast
This route is the easiest because you literally open the package and chicken is ready to bake.
Chicken Breast with Bone In and Skin On
To save a few bucks you can buy chicken breast with bone in and skin on. Then remove and discard the skin. Using paring knife, remove the bone and make my grandma’s slow cooker chicken noodle soup, for example. Or freeze or refrigerate bones for later.
Frozen Chicken Breast
You can bake frozen chicken breast from frozen. Please see details below.
How to Season Chicken Breast for Baking
Now. Chicken breast seasoning. I’m from Ukraine where 30 traditional dishes are made with same 15 ingredients. I’m a strong believer in simple cooking. My recipe needs only a few simple spices. It’s the cooking method that makes this chicken breast the best in the world!
- Smoked paprika
- Dried oregano
- Garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
Can I Use Regular Paprika?
There is a big difference between regular and smoked paprika. The smoky flavor. Right! Just like if you were to make my healthy BBQ sauce without the liquid smoke. It would be just a glorified ketchup. Same goes for oven baked chicken breasts. Smoked paprika adds unbelievable flavor.
You can use regular paprika but the breast wouldn’t be the same. Find smoked paprika in a supermarket near you, stock up and use up.
Baked Chicken Breast Substitutions
- Use extra virgin olive oil instead of avocado oil. There is plenty of information on the web that olive oil doesn’t withstand high temperature. But if that’s all you have, it’s OK.
- Please do not skip. Can use regular instead of smoked but I highly recommend to buy smoked.
- Use dried basil or Italian seasoning instead of oregano.
What Temperature to Bake Chicken Breast At?
The secret to tender and juicy chicken is to bake it quickly at high temperature. Baking chicken breast at 350 or even 400 will steam it rather than bake. And produce dry meat.
How Long to Bake Chicken Breast at 450?
Cooking time varies depending on thickness of meat. It’s very easy.
- Thin under 2 inches thick: Bake for 25 minutes.
- Thick over 2 inches thick: Bake for 35 minutes.
OR in BOTH cases until internal temperature of 150 degrees F. Make sure to check with instant read thermometer before removing chicken breast from the oven.
Why Not Bake Until 165 Degrees F Internal Temperature?
Be sure I don’t want you to eat half cooked chicken breast. But after baking it’s important to let chicken breast rest. We will talk about “why?” below. That’s when chicken breast will reach internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Should I Cover Chicken During Baking?
The answer is “no”. Covering chicken breast during baking will result in poached or steamed like meat. Been there, done that. Please bake uncovered.
Let Chicken Breast Rest After Baking
- What It Means: Letting meat rest literally means to remove meat from the oven and leave it alone for a few minutes.
- Why: Letting meat rest and cool down a bit allows the muscle fibers to better hold onto the juice. Another secret to juicy perfectly baked chicken breasts.
- How: Remove baking dish from the oven and I usually place it on turned off stove.
- Cover it: This is the time to cover the chicken breast. I use silicone lid but aluminum foil works too.
- How Long: The rule of thumb is 5 minutes. It should be enough. While you are getting plates and other dinner items ready.
Do not skip.
Should I Cover Meat During Resting?
YES! Very important. Just in case you missed it.
How to Slice Chicken Breast?
After resting, it’s time to cut your juicy tender chicken. Slice against the grain. Not lengthwise but crosswise. The way that makes short slices. Just watch the video. Or this is a great demo.:)
How Many Calories in a Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast?
I used 2 lbs or 3 large chicken breasts. There are 8 servings. 1 serving is 1/2 cup and it contains 151 calories. Please note nutritional information is estimated to serve as a guideline only.
How to Bake Chicken Breast
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a medium baking dish, place chicken breast, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with smoked paprika, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper.
- Using tongs or hands, move chicken breast around to coat on all sides evenly. I place bottom of one breast on top of a seasoned one and then swoosh around.
- Bake for 25 minutes (thinner) to 35 minutes (2 inches + in the thickest part) or until 150 degrees F internal temperature.
- Remove from the oven, cover with foil or lid, and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Slice juicy baked chicken breast against the grain and serve along any side with a salad. Meal prep for the week, use in salads and casseroles.
How to Bake Frozen Chicken Breast
You can bake frozen chicken breast.
- Follow instructions above.
- Add 10 minutes extra baking time depending on thickness.
- Make sure to check with meat thermometer for 150 degrees F.
What to Serve With Chicken Breast:
- Cauliflower mashed potatoes – mock mashed potatoes that taste REAL!
- Cucumber and tomato salad – try with mashed potatoes and chicken breast!
- Grilled vegetables – in summer for a low carb meal
- Cauliflower risotto – you will be blown away by this low carb version!
- Quinoa or brown rice – healthy classic that can never go wrong with
How to Use Chicken Breast for Meal Prep
I have many ideas for you. You can add cooked chicken breast to these dishes and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
- Chicken burrito bowl meal prep – assemble bowls using this chicken
- Pad Thai sweet potato meal prep – add chicken to this vegetarian meal prep
- Healthy cobb salad – make this lighter classic
- Grilled chicken salad – it is OK to use baked chicken because salad is the bomb dot com
- Healthy chicken salad – the best work week lunch!
More Healthy Chicken Breast Recipes
In case you are looking for more healthy easy chicken recipes, I got you covered!
- Baked coconut crusted chicken tenders – healthy crispy chicken fingers
- Instant Pot chicken breast – cook whole even from frozen, shred after or meal prep
- Grilled chicken breast – simple breast recipe when kitchen is too hot
- One pan chicken and veggies – 30 minute easy weeknight dinner
- Cajun chicken recipe – can be grilled or baked with homemade seasoning
- Tex Mex chicken and zucchini – one pan veggie loaded dinner
- Chicken zucchini and corn – 20 minute summer dinner to die for!!!
Baked Chicken Breast Recipe
The BEST guide how to bake chicken breast in the oven that is healthy, juicy and EASY. It will become your go-to! Use in meal prep, salads or for a super easy weeknight dinner.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings
- 2 lbs boneless & skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tbsp avocado or olive oil
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- In a medium baking dish, place chicken, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with smoked paprika, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Using tongs or hands, move chicken around to coat on all sides evenly (I place bottom of breast on top of seasoned one and then swoosh around).
- Bake for 25 minutes (thinner) to 35 minutes (2″+) or until 150 degrees F internal temperature. Remove from the oven, cover with foil or lid, and let rest for 10 minutes for the juicies to settle (don’t skip!).
- Slice against the grain and serve along any side with a salad. Meal prep for the week, use in salads and casseroles.
Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Freeze: Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
I used 3 huge organic breasts.
You can use regular paprika, however the best chicken is with smoked one. Just buy it.:)
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