Baked chicken breasts turn out perfectly tender & juicy, with the easiest homemade seasoning. Prepare them as part of your meal prep routine, or as an easy weeknight dinner. They are ready to eat in just 30 minutes!
Why You’ll Love Them
They are easy to cook. There’s no marinade required for this recipe, so you can cook the chicken breasts right away. Just rub them with olive oil and a few seasonings, then they are ready to bake.
They taste amazing. Just 4 simple spices bring out big flavor in these juicy chicken breasts.
They are a good source of protein. A 4-ounce serving of chicken contains 24 grams of protein! You can add this baked chicken to practically any meal for the next several days, so it’s an easy option to make ahead of time.
They’re flexible. If you don’t have all the spices called for, this recipe will still turn out well. Even just using salt & black pepper will create a flavorful dish! And if you don’t feel like flipping over the chicken, it will still turn out wonderful, either way.
They are low in carbohydrates. There’s no added sugar in this recipe, so it’s suitable for those following a low-carb or keto plan.
Ingredients You’ll Need
What do you need for baked chicken breasts?
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt & Black pepper
- Garlic powder
That’s it! This simple combination of spices is easy, but also super-flavorful. You can also add any extra herbs you like, such as oregano, thyme, or sage.
As an alternative, you can use store-bought or homemade poultry seasoning, for more of a Thanksgiving flavor. (Don’t forget to season with salt in this case, too, as most poultry seasoning does not contain it.)
How to Bake Chicken Breasts
1. Prepare the pan.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Pour a tablespoon of olive oil onto a small rimmed baking sheet, or into a glass baking dish. Place the chicken breasts on the pan, and rub both sides of the chicken with the oil, so they are well coated. (If you use a large pan, you may want to use a little more olive oil, so it’s evenly distributed.)
In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Stir well, so the seasonings are evenly mixed.
Sprinkle half of the seasoning over the chicken breasts on the pan. Rub the seasoning into the top of the chicken, then flip them over and season the other side with the remaining seasoning. Rub well, so the seasoning evenly coats the chicken.
Place the pan in the oven to cook for 15 minutes, then remove the chicken and test it for doneness with a meat thermometer. It won’t be done yet, unless you’re using very thin or small chicken breasts, but it’s always best to check! No one wants overcooked chicken.
Flip the chicken breasts over, so both sides will get coated in the juices, and return to the oven to bake for another 5 minutes. If your chicken breasts are 1-inch thick, they will most likely be done after that! (About 20 minutes in total.)
If your chicken breasts are thicker, closer to 1 1/2 inches thick, they will most likely need 4 to 5 more minutes, for a total of 24 to 25 minutes of cook time.
Tip: When cooking chicken, be sure to use an instant read thermometer. The USDA recommends chicken be cooked to an internal temperature of 165ºF, but the chicken will continue to cook as it rests on the pan once you pull it out of the oven. So, you can take it out of the oven when the temperature is 160ºF (test in the thickest part of the chicken breast) and the chicken will continue to cook for the next 5 to 10 minutes as it rests. You can cover the chicken with foil during this time, but I don’t usually do that, and it’s still cooked to perfection.
Leftover cooked chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. The leftovers can be used to make a delicious chicken salad later!
Extra Tips for Cooking Chicken
What other seasonings work well for chicken? For a little more flavor, try adding a 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder, onion powder, or smoked paprika. These can easily be customized to what you plan on serving them with.
How can I ensure the chicken cooks evenly? Pounding the chicken into an even thickness will make it cook faster and more evenly. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken around the thickest part, until it flattens out into an even thickness. (Cover the thicken with plastic wrap or parchment paper to avoid splatter.) I usually skip this step, and they still turn out well, so this is totally optional.
Will this method work for bone-in chicken breasts? Yes, you can cook bone-in chicken breasts using the same method, but they will take longer to cook. Plan on adding 5-10 minutes to the cooking time, and be sure to check the internal temperature before serving.
More Chicken Recipes
Baked Chicken Breasts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 to 1.5 inches thick)
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF and pour the olive oil into a rimmed baking sheet. Spread the oil out on the pan, and then add the chicken breasts. Flip them over on the pan, so both sides of the chicken are coated in the olive oil.
- In a small bowl, combine the salt, garlic powder, paprika, and pepper. Stir well to mix, then sprinkle half of the mixture over the top of the breasts. Rub the spices into the chicken, then flip them over and sprinkle the remaining half of the spices evenly over the other side of the chicken and rub them into each breast.
- Place the pan in the oven to bake for 15 minutes at 400ºF. When the timer goes off, test the chicken for doneness using a meat thermometer. Small chicken breasts could be done cooking in as little as 15 minutes, but most chicken breasts will need to cook for 20 to 25 minutes in total, depending on their thickness. (1-inch breasts will be done in roughly 20 minutes, 1.5-inch breasts will be done in closer to 25 minutes total.) The internal temperature should reach at least 160ºF before removing the chicken from the oven. Flip the breasts over and continue to cook in 5 minute intervals until they are done.
- Let the chicken breasts rest on the pan for 5 to 10 minutes after removing them from the oven. They will continue to cook and reach the safe internal temperature of 165ºF. Then they are ready to slice and serve. Leftover chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
If you try this baked chicken breast recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like it!