Oven Baked Chicken Breast is easy, juicy and ready with 5 minutes of prep. Simple seasonings transform lean, healthy chicken into an incredibly full flavored dish. Perfect for meal prep or easy dinner!
It’s no secret chicken is America’s most popular meat and chicken breast is the most sold cut. There is “a rumor in town” that unlike baked chicken thighs, baked chicken breast comes out dry.
And it is sort of true, but there is a better way!
So, I will show you how to bake chicken breast that is healthy, juicy and flavorful thanks to our optimal tried and tested oven temperature and cooking method.
With simple spices, no pounding or brining, its tenderness will amaze you and it will become one of many healthy dinner ideas you will make over and over again. I love leftovers in healthy Ceasar salad!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Chicken: This recipe calls for 2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I used three large ones. If you choose to use any other cut, the baking time will be different.
- Smoked paprika: It is my favorite to use in this recipe. You can use regular paprika but I highly recommend to find smoked paprika in a supermarket near you, stock up and use for air fryer chicken drumsticks, too.
- Dried oregano, basil, rosemary or Italian seasoning: You can use any of these herbs in any proportion. The recipe lists the way we like it.
- Garlic powder, salt and pepper: True pantry staples anyone always has on hand.
- Olive or avocado oil: It helps to lock in juices inside the meat and seasonings to stick. You can skip this ingredient if you really want to avoid any fat. I will say that chicken comes out less juicy and seasoning isn’t quite the same.
The Chicken Breast Seasoning
The seasoning consists of 5 simple spices including salt and pepper. The easiest oven baked chicken breast recipe you will ever make!
Smoked paprika adds deep flavor without extra calories. There is a big difference between regular and smoked paprika – the smoky flavor. You can use regular paprika but the chicken breast wouldn’t come out the same.
Then add dried herbs like oregano, basil, rosemary each on its own or combined. I used dried oregano. Or just use Italian seasoning. You may also love pesto chicken!
We mix them with garlic powder, salt and pepper. You can use grated clove of fresh garlic instead of garlic powder, if you love garlic like me and have time.
Onion powder in addition, Everything Bagel seasoning or even taco seasoning could be substituted depending on how you plan to use your roasted chicken breast.
Drizzle meat with oil, sprinkle with spices and toss around right in the baking dish. There is no need for mixing seasoning in a separate small bowl.
Any oil works, it will not only help chicken not stick to the pan, but ensures every bit of your juicy chicken breast is flavorful! Try sesame oil for an asian flair, chili olive oil or any infused oil to really ramp the flavor profile.
How Long to Cook Chicken Breasts
Under 2 inches thick chicken breasts will take to bake around 25 minutes at 450 degrees F and uncovered. Over 2 inches thick breasts – bake for 30-35 minutes.
Covering chicken breast during baking will result in “boiled” like chicken.
Make sure to choose similar size breasts. If you bake 5 oz chicken breast at same time as 9 oz, I can guarantee you the smaller piece will come out rubbery and dry by the time larger one is ready.
Once a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 150 degrees F, your baked chicken breast is ready. Make sure to let it rest covered for 10 mins to let meat become juicy and finish cooking with residual heat.
And slice against the grain. Watch video below for help!
- Make sure to really spend time to rub the seasonings all over the chicken evenly. Makes a difference!
- Ovens do really vary based on age, manufacturer and type. If one time your chicken comes out dry, cook for less time next time. Also convection oven method will cook chicken about 3-5 minutes faster, so adjust time accordingly.
- Do not overbake the chicken. I highly recommend to invest into a meat thermometer and check for 165 degrees F internal temperature before consuming the meat.
Recommended internal temperature for chicken: How do you know your chicken is safe to eat? I highly recommend to invest into a quality meat thermometer. It will come in handy when you cook any kind of meat. We check everything with it.
The US Government food safety recommends to cook any poultry to internal temperature of 165 degrees F (74 C). Please note this recipe tells you to bake until 150 degrees F. Chicken keeps cooking with residual heat while resting and will reach 165 degrees F.
Meal Prep and Leftover Tips
Storing: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days in an airtight container. To keep chicken moist, slice right before serving. Use it in teriyaki chicken meal prep for lunch ideas.
Freezing: Freeze cooked chicken for up to 3 months, again in an airtight container. I think it is best to cut, slice or shred your chicken before freezing it. It will thaw faster and you can add it to your meal right away.
Thawed cooked chicken is great to make chicken salad, tostadas or use as a topping on cauliflower pizza with sliced red onions and a drizzle of BBQ sauce. If you opt to freeze chicken breast ‘whole’ – lay them flat. This makes for easier thawing as they will not be in one big ‘blob’.
Reheating: Breast will dry out if reheated in the oven. Instead place it in a small pot or skillet that has tight fitting lid and simmer covered on low with a splash of water or broth, until heated through. Basically, steam it.
This recipe is extremely versatile. You can serve it with many vegetable and starch combinations or use it to meal prep healthy cobb salad. You can even pair it with healthy sweet chili sauce! Here are a few ideas to use them:
- Whole grains: Our default is how to cook quinoa on the stove.
- Salads and veggies: Choose one of these beautifully wholesome healthy salad recipes. We often make cucumber and tomato salad to go along with it. We are Ukrainian-Russian household, for sure.
- Low carb: If you are watching carbs, I highly recommend to try my cauliflower mashed potatoes that taste so real. Or use your air fryer for air fryer brussels, air fryer cauliflower or air fryer broccoli.
More Easy Healthy Chicken Breast Recipes We Love
- Baked honey garlic chicken breast
- Baked chicken and peppers
- Cilantro lime chicken
- Cajun chicken
- One pan chicken and potatoes
- Chicken with tomatoes
- Also, browse our collection of 65 clean eating chicken recipes!
Juicy Healthy Oven Baked Chicken Breast
- 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 (under 2") to 35 minutes (2"+) or until instant meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 150 degrees F.
- Remove from the oven, cover with foil or lid, and let rest for 10 minutes for the juices 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.
- Choose similar size chicken breasts: I used 3 huge organic breasts that were the same in size. If you bake 5 oz chicken breast at same time as 9 oz chicken breast, I can guarantee you the smaller piece will come out rubbery and dry by the time larger one is ready.
- Seasonings: You can use regular paprika, however the best chicken is with smoked one. Just buy it.:)
- Coat evenly on all sides: This will not only help chicken not stick to the pan, but ensures every bit of your juicy chicken breast is flavorful!
- Don't skip letting your meat rest - this ensures the chicken juices settle back into the chicken which results in the tender, juicy chicken you want.