Perfect Baked Chicken Breasts
Perfect Baked Chicken Breasts are juicy, tasty, and so simple to make. With this easy chicken recipe, your dinners will always be delicious!
Perfect is a big word, but these baked chicken breasts live up their name. They are tender and juicy and ridiculously delicious.
They are a recipe that I've been making for a while now but never wrote it down. It's my go-to easy chicken recipe for when I need to get a healthy dinner on the table stat.
A few weeks ago, when my dad joined us for dinner, I served these baked chicken breasts. He loved them so much that he made me promise I would share the recipe here on the blog. So this recipe is for you, dad. And for all my favorite people who want to learn how to make juicy chicken breasts.
Why you'll love this baked chicken breast recipe
- Truly juicy chicken. That's right, you won't find any dried out chicken breasts here. (I've got a couple of tricks to make sure that doesn't happen.)
- Super flavorful. The simple rub is made from pantry staple spices and is so delicious.
- The ‘sauce' that you'll find at the bottom of the pan when you pull these chicken breasts out of the oven is insane. In the best way possible. Pour it over the chicken and anything else you're serving these with.
- From start to finish they will be ready to eat in about 20 minutes. And I've got some ideas for quick sides that you can pop in your oven and cook alongside the chicken so that everything is ready at the same time.
- Some baked chicken breast recipes call for sugar in the ingredients, which I think is silly. The paprika and butter in this recipe give this chicken the perfect amount of natural sweetness. No unhealthy sugar needed!
How long to bake chicken breasts
Knowing how long to bake your chicken breasts is one of the biggest tricks in making sure they are nice and juicy. Because chicken breasts are lean meat, they can overcook and dry out easily.
You want to cook your chicken breasts for 18 minutes at 425 degrees.
Cooking chicken breasts on high heat for a shorter amount of time will help keep them juicy and delicious.
We are always so scared of undercooking chicken (with good reason) that we tend to overcook it. I've tested the 18 minutes at 425 degrees trick many many times and it's always perfectly cooked.
If you want more reassurance, the best thing to do is pick up an instant-read meat thermometer. I love mine and use it all the time. As soon as the middle of the chicken breast reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit it is safe to eat.
How to bake chicken breast
Other than knowing how long to keep the chicken breasts in the oven, there are a couple of other tricks I have for making sure they live up to their title of being perfect.
- Pan size. Yes, size matters. For the juiciest chicken breasts, choose a baking dish that is just the right size for the number of chicken breasts you're cooking. You don't want too much room around them or the juices will evaporate and the chicken will become dry. (It's the same trick I use for making my Juicy Baked Pork Chops.)
- Use butter. Yes, butter. It creates a sauce that is so flavorful. I brown it first (which is really easy) then pour it over the chicken. While you can opt for oil if dairy isn't your thing, butter adds the most flavor.
- Add a little water. A couple of tablespoons will do. This helps prevent the chicken from drying out and makes sure that you have a little sauce to pour over once it's cooked.
Quick sides to serve with this oven baked chicken breast
To turn this into a truly quick and easy dinner recipe, you'll need a side that can be prepped once you put the chicken in the oven and only takes a few minutes to cook.
My favorites are quickly sauteed green beans (with a little garlic) or this Sauteed Asparagus with Garlic and Parmesan recipe. Here are a few others that I love:
- Sauteed Green Beans with Garlic (these are the green beans you see in some of the pictures)
- Miso Butter Roasted Radishes
- Spicy Honey Roasted Carrots
- Garlic Bacon Mushrooms
- The Best Greek Salad
- Perfect Basmati Rice
- Easy Cauliflower Rice
If you'd like potatoes with your dinner, try these Smoky Roast Potatoes. Pop them in the oven 25 minutes before the chicken so they have time to cook.
When the weather is hot, make sure to check out our Best Grilled Chicken Breast Recipe. It's the summer version of this one and it really is the best BBQ recipe!
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Easy Chicken Recipes
- Peanut Butter Chicken
- Asian Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner
- Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
- Saucy Peanut Chicken with Broccoli and Peppers
- Baked Sesame Ginger Chicken
- Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets (paleo + gluten-free)
- Juicy Baked Chicken Thighs
Perfect Baked Chicken Breasts
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon EACH: onion powder and garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon EACH: chili powder, oregano, salt, and pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter, sub oil if you don't eat dairy – see notes
- 4 boneless chicken breasts
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, oregano, salt, and pepper.
- Heat an ovenproof pan over high heat. Once it's hot, add the butter and let it melt then immediately remove it from the heat. The butter will brown almost instantly over high heat.
- Place the chicken breasts in a bowl and pour the browned butter over the top. Sprinkle the spices evenly over both sides of the chicken. Place the chicken and any butter (it will solidify) into the pan you used to brown the butter. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the pan.
- Bake the chicken uncovered for 18 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. (Use an instant-read meat thermometer to check this.) Let the chicken breasts rest for 5 minutes. Spoon the juices from the bottom of the pan over the chicken and serve.