How to bake chicken breast? Bake for a short time at a high temperature. You will get delightful results, every time.
The secret to baking juicy chicken breast in the oven? Bake for a short time at a high temperature.
Baking the chicken for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F will yield dry meat. But baking it for just 15-20 minutes at 450 degrees will result in delightfully juicy chicken breast, every time.
Isn’t baked chicken breast dry and flavorless?
It can be. Unless you cook it according to the method outlined below. Or unless you marinate and grill chicken breast.
I used to dread having oven baked chicken breast for dinner. It always turned out so dry! But I still made it, because it’s so convenient, healthy, filling and affordable. I tried all kinds of marinades and seasonings. However, nothing helped!
As it turns out, I simply didn’t know how to bake chicken breast. Who would have thought that the secret was simply in how long to bake it, and in the oven’s temperature?
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty chicken recipe:
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Olive oil spray
- Salt and pepper
- Spices: garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, and paprika
So… how long to bake chicken breast?
As a general rule, you should bake medium, 8 oz chicken breasts for about 20 minutes at 450 degrees F. For smaller, 6 oz breasts, 15 minutes should be enough.
Obviously, you should check in your own kitchen and using your own oven to make sure this works for you. The best way to make sure the chicken is done is to use an instant-read thermometer (aim for 165 degrees F).
You can also make a small slit in the middle of one of them and peek, but that could cause some of the yummy juices to seep out, so it’s not the best method.
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps for making this recipe:
- Spray the chicken pieces with olive oil and sprinkle with the seasonings.
- Bake uncovered until the internal temperature reaches 165°F – about 20 minutes at 450°F.
- Let rest before slicing and serving.
How to bake chicken breasts that are larger
Their size does make a difference in how long you should bake them. These days, many chicken breasts sold in the supermarket are HUGE – I’ve seen ones weighing 12 oz or even 13 oz!
If yours are this big, you will need to bake them for longer, probably around 30 minutes. So check after 20 minutes. And if you need to bake for longer, either flip them or loosely cover with foil, to prevent the tops (and especially the spices) from burning.
Allow the chicken to rest before you slice it
It’s really important to allow the baked chicken breasts to rest after they’re done. If you slice into them right away, all the yummy juices will escape.
This is, as you probably know, true for many other types of meats and roasts, including steaks and beef roasts.
The chicken will also not taste as good when very hot, and this is also true for many dishes. Food often doesn’t taste good when very hot or very cold.
Is this a healthy recipe?
It is. According to fitday.com, an 8 oz portion of roasted skinless and boneless chicken breast contains 152% of your daily Niacin requirement, 67% of B6, 51% of phosphorus and 88% of selenium.
It also has respectable amounts (around 15%) of iron, riboflavin, B12, magnesium, and zinc. With 70g protein, 8g fat and no carbs, it is no doubt a nutritional powerhouse.
But since it’s so low in fat, I do recommend spraying it generously with olive oil prior to baking and eating it with a side dish that adds some fat to your meal.
A good example is a salad with a healthy dressing (I love using diluted tahini sauce as a healthy salad dressing). This will ensure a flavorful chicken and a more satiating meal experience.
What side dishes to serve with baked chicken breasts?
Anything, really! They are incredibly versatile.
But because they are relatively mild tasting, I like to serve them with boldly flavored side dishes such as:
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with more ordinary (but tasty) side dishes such as:
What to do with leftovers?
This baked chicken breast is well seasoned and excellent on its own. When I make it fresh, I simply have one for my lunch or dinner, often with a side of a simple salad.
But I do like to bake several of them at a time because leftovers are so incredibly versatile. You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to three days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months.
So what to do with the leftovers? I use them in lots of tasty recipes! Here are a few tasty examples:
The possibilities are truly endless. Enjoy!
How to Bake Chicken Breast
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 8 oz each
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking dish with foil.
- Generously spray both sides of each chicken breast with olive oil, and sprinkle with the seasonings.
- Bake, uncovered, until the internal temperature reaches 160-165 degrees F and juices run clear when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. The center of the chicken breasts should be white and opaque.
- Transfer the baked chicken breasts to a platter. Loosely cover with foil and allow to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.