Learn how to make the perfect baked chicken breast that’s juicy, flavorful, crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside. Just a few common pantry staples and about 20 minutes are all you’ll need to bring this recipe to life!
When it comes to making the ultimate weeknight dinner, I’ll always go for easy chicken recipes. Chicken breasts are great because they’re cheap, easy to cook, customize, and can be prepared in every way you can imagine.
Growing up, chicken breasts were a staple in our household. They were one of the few types of meat our family could afford, and mom would do her best to change things up.
We often cook our chicken in the air fryer or instant pot, usually with this 4-ingredient chicken marinade. That said, this baked chicken breast recipe is every bit as easy, and the seasoning blend we use is out-of-this-world good.
Table of Contents
The best baked chicken breast recipe
When I first moved out of home, this oven-baked chicken breast was one of the staples that I’d make weekly as part of my meal prep. I also ventured into baking chicken thighs and chicken legs too, but I always fall back on the breast meat.
- It’s easy. Just a quick spice rub and let the oven do the heavy lifting. You should only need to be in the kitchen for 10 minutes.
- It’s customizable. Whether it’s adding or swapping ingredients in the spice rub or sticking with salt and pepper, this recipe can turn out exactly how you want it.
- Pairs well with everything. Baked chicken breasts pair perfectly with everything from steamed vegetables to mashed potatoes to mac ‘n cheese, making it a versatile choice every night of the week.
As you can imagine, the ingredient list for this baked chicken breast is about as simple as it gets. Most of the ingredients are kitchen staples, so you may find you already have everything you’ll need on hand already.
Here’s exactly what you’ll need:
- Chicken. Boneless and skinless breasts are best, and I recommend getting 4 equal-sized chicken breasts, around 6-8 ounces each.
- Oil. Olive oil is preferred, but any neutral cooking oil will work.
- Spices. We’ll be using smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder in this recipe, though you can feel free to adjust the spices to suit your taste buds.
- Brown sugar. Just a little bit of sugar goes a long way to add tons of flavor. It also gives the chicken those gorgeous caramelized edges.
- Salt and black pepper. Can be adjusted to taste.
How to bake chicken breast
This recipe couldn’t be more simple! The oven does the hard work, so you barely have to be in the kitchen. Here’s how it’s done:
Step 1- Prep work
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Then, grease a non-stick skillet with a little oil or butter and set aside.
Step 2- Prepare the chicken
Remove the chicken from its packaging and gently pound the chicken breast fillets to around an inch in thickness. Then, rub the oil over the chicken breast.
In a small bowl, mix together all of the spices and rub them over both sides of the chicken breasts.
Step 3- Bake the chicken
Place the chicken in the skillet and bake for 8-9 minutes, then flip each chicken breast and return them to the oven for another 8-9 minutes. Continue cooking the chicken breasts until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Wrap the chicken in plastic wrap. Before pounding the chicken, set out a layer of plastic wrap on your cutting board, then the chicken, then another layer of plastic wrap. This will help prevent a mess, making clean-up a breeze!
- Let the chicken rest before slicing. This will help lock in the juices, so the chicken remains moist after slicing.
- Swap the spice rub. We often do this with chicken wings too. Blackened seasoning drumstick or chicken marinade work.
- Don’t overcrowd the skillet. If you don’t have a skillet big enough for all of the chicken breasts, then either work in batches or swap the skillet for a large baking dish. Crowding the pan will make it hard for all the chicken breasts to cook evenly (we learned the hard way when developing our cast iron chicken breasts).
What to serve with baked chicken
There are really no wrong answers when it comes to what to serve with your baked chicken breast. We have a ton of keto side dishes, or if you’re looking for a vegetable side dish, try this air fryer broccoli or roasted potatoes and carrots.
To store: Store leftover baked chicken breast in an airtight container in the fridge. When stored this way, it should last up to 3-4 days.
To reheat: Transfer the chicken breast to a baking dish or skillet and heat at 350°F for 10-12 minutes, or until it reaches your desired temperature. Or, microwave the chicken in 30-second intervals until fully reheated.
To freeze: Allow leftover chicken to cool completely before transferring it over to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag, and freeze for up to 6 months.
The time it takes to bake a chicken breast will depend on how thick it is. For a chicken breast that’s 1 inch thick, it should take about 20 minutes. Of course, the thinner the chicken breast, the faster it will cook.
Flattening the chicken breasts, so they’re all the same level of thickness will help guarantee they all cook at the same time. Also, adding oil to the chicken and flipping the breasts halfway through is helpful to keep the chicken juicy.
You can absolutely bake frozen chicken without needing to thaw it first. Just remember that it will take about one and a half times longer to bake a frozen chicken breast. Continue cooking until the chicken breasts reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
Oven Baked Chicken Breast
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Grease a non-stick skillet and set aside.
- Gently pound the chicken breast fillets to around an inch in thickness. Rub olive oil over them.
- In a small bowl, mix together the spices them rub them over both sides of the chicken breasts.
- Place the chicken in the skillet and bake for 8-9 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the oven once they reach an internal temperature of 165F.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.