Oven Baked Chicken Breast is juicy, tender and ready with 5 minutes of prep. Simple seasoning blend transforms chicken breasts into a mouth-watering, flavorful and simply the best baked chicken recipe. Perfect for meal prep or easy dinner!
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It’s no secret chicken is America’s most popular meat and chicken breasts are the most sold cut. There is “a rumor in town” that unlike chicken thighs, baked chicken breast comes out dry.
And it is sort of true. And who loves dry chicken, right?! But be sure there is a better way! Just like there is a secret to juicy chicken breast in slow cooker and Instant Pot frozen chicken breasts, there are few tricks for their oven version too.
I will show you how to cook chicken breast that is juicy, tender and flavorful thanks to our optimal tried and tested oven temperature and cooking method.
With simple spices, no pounding or brining, this is the best baked chicken breast recipe on the web! It will become one of many healthy dinner recipes you will make over and over again.
Ingredients You’ll Need
You need only 7 simple ingredients to make this baked chicken breast!
- Chicken: This recipe calls for 2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts. I used three large chicken breasts. If you choose to use bone-in chicken breast, baking time will be different, around 30-35 minutes.
- 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 and stock up.
- Dried oregano, basil, rosemary or Italian seasoning: You can use any of these herbs in any proportion. The recipe lists measurements the way we like it. Or just use your favorite seasonings.
- Garlic powder, salt and pepper: True pantry staples anyone always has on hand.
- Olive oil or avocado oil: It helps to lock in juices inside the baked chicken breast 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.
Instead of smoked paprika, you can try a combination of 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1 teaspoon chili powder. Sweet with heat flavor!
How to Bake Chicken Breast
This is a super easy recipe! No need to bring your boneless chicken breast to room temperature, brine it or pound to even thickness with a rolling pin or a meat mallet.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and grab a large baking dish. You don’t have to line it with parchment paper but you can do so for easy cleanup.
Here is how to cook chicken breast in 4 simple steps:
- Add seasonings: In a medium baking dish, place chicken, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with smoked paprika, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper. There is no need for making the mixture in a separate small bowl.
- Rub: Using tongs or hands, toss chicken around right in the baking dish. Then arrange in a single layer.
- Bake: Bake chicken breasts in the oven at 450 degrees F for 25 minutes (under 2 inch thickness) to 35 minutes (2 inches and over thick), or until instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 150 degrees F.
- Rest: Remove baked chicken breast from the oven, cover with aluminum foil or silicone lid, and let chicken rest for 10 minutes for the juices to settle. After, slice against the grain.
How to Season Chicken Breasts
The seasoning consists of 5 simple spices including salt and pepper. It’s so good, you don’t even need to use a chicken marinade. The easiest oven baked chicken breast recipe you will ever make!
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.
Any oil works, it will not only help chicken not stick to the pan, but ensures every bit of your juicy baked 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 Bake Chicken Breast?
You may be wondering “how long should I bake chicken breast?” and it’s a valid question. Cooking time depends on 2 things:
- Thickness of the chicken breast and
- Oven temperature.
For the best juicy oven-baked chicken breast, I prefer to cook it at 450 F. But you can also use lower oven temperature. Here is a quick time chart for your reference.
- 400 degrees F: Under 2″ thick – 29 minutes, over 2″ – 34-39 minutes.
- 425 degrees F: Under 2″ thick – 27 minutes, over 2″ – 32-37 minutes.
- 450 degrees F: Under 2″ thick – 25 minutes, over 2″ – 30-35 minutes.
Choose similar size breasts. Baking smaller chicken breasts (5 oz) at same time as medium-sized breasts (8-9 oz), will result in rubbery and dry smaller breasts by the time larger ones are ready. You can use different size chicken breasts when you choose to pan fry chicken.
How Do I Know My Chicken Breast Is Done?
How do you know your chicken is ready to eat? Your chicken breast is ready when you insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken breast and it registers 150 degrees F.
The US Government food safety recommends to cook any poultry until its internal temperature reaches 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 under aluminum foil and will reach 165 degrees F.
I suggest to invest into a quality meat thermometer. It will come in handy when you cook any kind of meat.
Tips for Best Results
- Season well: Make sure to spend time rubbing the seasonings all over the chicken evenly. Makes a difference!
- Pat dry: To make olive oil and spices stick better to the meat, pat dry chicken breasts with paper towels before applying dry rub.
- Baking pan: You can use ceramic baking dish or metal baking sheet.
- Do not cover: Covering chicken breasts during baking will result in steamed chicken and not roasted.
- Adjust cook time: Ovens do really vary based on age, manufacturer and type. If one time your baked chicken breast 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 suggest to invest into an instant read thermometer. 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.
How to Store and Make Ahead
Store: Refrigerate leftover chicken for up to 5 days in an airtight container. To keep chicken moist, slice right before serving.
Freeze: Freeze cooked chicken in an airtight container for up to 3 months. I think it is best to cut, slice or shred your chicken before freezing it. It will thaw faster in the fridge and you can add it to your meal right away.
If you opt to freeze chicken breasts whole, lay them flat. This makes for easier thawing as they will not be in one big ‘blob’.
Reheating: To avoid dry chicken, do not reheat breasts 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.
Or here is a quick tutorial how to reheat chicken breast in air fryer.
This baked chicken breast recipe is extremely versatile. You can serve it as a main dish with any cooked grains and a vegetable side dish or salad! Here are a few ideas to use them:
- With whole grains: For a good serving of fiber, pair chicken with cooked quinoa, brown rice or your favorite grains.
- With salads: Choose one of these beautifully wholesome salad recipes. We often make cucumber and tomato salad to go along with it. We are Ukrainian-Russian household, for sure.
- With potatoes: Pair juicy chicken breast with mashed potatoes or Instant Pot baked potatoes.
- Low carb: If you are watching carbs, I recommend to try my cauliflower mashed potatoes that taste so real. Or use your air fryer for air fryer cauliflower or air fryer broccoli.
- Thawed baked chicken breast is great to make chicken salad, chicken tostadas or use as a topping on cauliflower pizza with sliced red onions and a drizzle of BBQ sauce.
Baking chicken at high temperature is the best way to prevent chicken breasts from drying out. Be sure not to overbake them and remove from the oven when internal temperature registers 150 F and not 165F. By then your chicken breast will be dry.
No. You don’t have to flip chicken breasts when baking in the oven.
Because chicken breast is white meat it is better to cook it quickly at high heat of 450 F. But you can also cook it at 400 and 425 F, please see my quick guide for cooking times at different oven temperatures above. I do not recommend to bake chicken at 350 F as it will dry out.
More Easy Chicken Breast Recipes
I hope your whole family will enjoy this easy chicken dinner! Here are a few more chicken recipes we love and want you to try:
- Baked honey garlic chicken breast
- Cilantro lime chicken breast
- Cajun chicken breast
- Chicken breast with tomatoes
- Garlic butter baked chicken breast
Also, browse our collection of 65 chicken recipes!
Juicy Oven Baked Chicken Breast
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a medium baking dish, place chicken breasts, 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 chicken breasts 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.