Take chicken from bland to grand with this easy baked chicken breast recipe! You'll get perfectly seasoned, juicy, and tender chicken every single time with just 5 minutes of prep.
Why you'll love it
This oven baked chicken breast recipe is ideal to put into your weekly rotation since it's great for quick dinners and meal prep or even throwing onto a salad. It's simple, inexpensive, and requires nothing fancy to taste amazing. It's actually one of my favorite back-to-the-basics, low key recipes, and I'm thrilled to finally bring it to my readers. No brining or tenting is necessary. Just a baking dish!
Take the guesswork out of cooking chicken in the oven with my reliable method and irresistible homemade seasoning rub that's savory, really flavorful, and herbaceous. There's nothing worse than dry chicken and wasted ingredients, and we're not having any of that here. You'll feel confident making these baked chicken breasts so that dinner will be a runaway hit.
What you'll need
- Chicken - we're using four boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Olive oil - to coat them for added moisture
- Spice rub - my signature mixture has smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, Italian seasoning (a blend of fragrant dried herbs that comes all in one jar), and salt & pepper. You'll be able to find all of these in the spice aisle at any major grocery store no problem.
How to bake chicken breasts
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Take the chicken out of the fridge, and let it warm up a bit. Preheat the oven. In a small bowl, combine the spice rub ingredients. Add the chicken to a 9x13 baking dish or a foil-lined baking sheet. Using your hands, coat all over with olive oil.
Spread the spice rub over the chicken evenly. Bake, uncovered, in the oven until an instant read thermometer registers 160F. Take out of the oven, and let it rest for five or so minutes to let the juices redistribute and the final internal temperature reaches 165F. Enjoy!
- Since sizes vary so much, it's impossible to give an exact time that works in every instance for how long to bake chicken breast. That's why an instant read meat thermometer is so important for this recipe. It's very easy to overcook them and they turn out dry, so the only sure way to know that they're ready is with this inexpensive tool.
- Our kitchen has tested extensively at different temperatures, and we found that 450F is the best temperature to bake chicken breasts at for approximately 18 to 20 minutes.
- Resting is such an important step! It only takes an extra 5 minutes, but it has two functions: it allows the chicken to come up to a safe temperature (165F) and it redistributes the juices so the chicken stays tender.
Substitutions and variations
- The seasoning variations are virtually endless. You can definitely play around with what you've got in your pantry. If you want to add a touch of sweetness to this rub, add in a tablespoon or two of brown sugar.
- This recipe would work with chicken thighs. Just cook them for a bit longer until they reach 175F. Thighs don't become tender until they reach a higher temperature than chicken breasts.
Leftovers and storage
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. I recommend storing in individual containers.
- Reheat them up in the oven at 350F in a baking dish until warmed through. You could also add a splash of chicken broth and cover with foil to restore a little of the moisture.
What to serve with it
- This is such a versatile main course. It goes great with many side dishes like my Garlic Mashed Potatoes, these Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes, or Creamy Garlic Sautéed Mushrooms. Check out all my side dish recipes to be inspired.
- If you're looking to serve it with (or on top of) a salad, a quick homemade dressing is the way to go. Try a classic like my popular Easy Caesar Dressing, or discover a new favorite like my Homemade Olive Garden Dressing!
- I garnished it with a little fresh parsley for a pop of color, but that's totally optional.
If the post didn't answer all your questions, please ask me in the comments below. I'd love if you left me a review, and hopefully you'll agree that this is the best baked chicken breast recipe! You can also find me on Instagram.
Easy Baked Chicken Breast
- 4 chicken breasts boneless skinless
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or as needed)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper or to taste
- Take the chicken breasts out of the fridge (it's good to let them warm up a bit first before baking). Preheat your oven to 450F and move the rack to the top third of the oven.
- Combine the spice rub ingredients in a small bowl.
- Add the chicken breasts to a baking dish or foil-lined baking sheet and coat all over with olive oil, followed by the rub (use your hands).
- Bake, uncovered, for 18-20 minutes for medium-sized chicken breasts (try 15 minutes for small ones, and you may need longer for very large ones) or until an instant read thermometer registers 160F. Let rest for 5 minutes until juices redistribute and it comes to 165F (safe chicken temperature). Slice or serve as-is, and spoon the pan juices over top if desired.
- I highly recommend using an instant read meat thermometer for this recipe. Chicken breasts can go from tender and perfectly cooked to rubbery and overcooked quickly.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.