I know, I know, how hard could it be to just bake chicken breast? In reality, baking chicken can often lead to dry, tough chicken that you won’t want to use in any recipes. With this simple guide to baking perfect chicken breast you’ll make chicken that’s perfectly juicy, not under or overcooked and done in just about 30 minutes.
Are you down? OR ARE YOU DOWN.
Use my go-to method for cooking chicken breast whenever you need a quick protein to pair with your favorite sides, or add to to some delicious recipes! I love topping salads with this simple baked chicken or throwing it in a nourishing soup. The options and flavors are endless! Let’s get to it.
Simple ingredients for baking chicken breasts
Good news: you only need a few simple ingredients to bake perfectly juicy chicken breast every time. Of course there are tons of ways to jazz up your chicken with marinades and sauces, so be sure to check them out at the bottom of the post! To bake simple chicken breast you’ll need:
- Chicken: this guide is for baking one pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast.
- Oil: feel free to use olive oil or avocado oil.
- Seasonings: keep it simple with good old salt and pepper if you’d like! Or feel free to try my famous honey mustard chicken marinade that’s pictured in each photo.
Go organic (if possible)
If it’s accessible, I recommend using organic chicken breasts whenever possible. They tend to be much juicier and less “tough,” than non-organic chicken breasts, so when you’re using the chicken as a blank canvas to add to recipes it makes a big difference.
The #1 tool for cooking perfect chicken breasts
If you don’t yet have a meat thermometer, it’s time to get one! I highly recommend having a meat thermometer so that you can check the doneness of your chicken without having to cut into it and lose the juiciness. Here is a great one that I use all the time.
How to bake perfect chicken breasts in the oven
With these tips & tricks for baking chicken breasts you’ll have perfectly juicy chicken to use in all of your favorite recipes:
- Use the right temperature. Everyone has varying opinions regarding baking temperature for chicken, but my go-to for perfectly juicy, golden brown chicken breasts is 400 degrees F. This temp creates a slightly golden skin on the chicken breast while locking in all of those juices.
- Season a little (or a lot). Be sure to coat your chicken breasts in some olive oil, salt & pepper, or choose your favorite spice rub or marinade.
- Prep your pan. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking and place your prepared chicken breasts on top.
- Timing is key. At 400 degrees F, I find that my chicken breasts are done between 20 and 30 minutes. It really depends on how thick and large your chicken breasts are. Check for doneness with your meat thermometer to be sure the chicken has reached 165 degrees F.
- Let it rest. This is a crucial step that many people miss. Once your chicken is done, transfer it to a clean plate and let it rest for 5-10 minutes in order to seal in all of the juices. This is why your meat thermometer is key — so that you don’t have to cut into the chicken breast to check for doneness.
The key to baking time
As you’ve probably seen while grocery shopping, not all chicken breasts are the same size. The thickness of your chicken breast will determine how long it needs to cook. Be sure to use chicken breasts that are equal in size so that they cook evenly.
Get creative with marinades & seasonings
This tutorial for baking chicken breasts gives you perfectly cooked chicken that’s juicy but neutral in flavor so that you can easily add it to different recipes. I have tons of seasonings and marinades to try, too! Get them in these tutorials & recipes:
And remember to get ALL of my best easy & healthy chicken marinades here.
Freezing & storing baked chicken breast
After you’ve baked the perfect chicken breast, you can either use the chicken right away or store it for later:
- To store: let the chicken breast cool completely and transfer it whole, shredded or cubed to an airtight container. Place the container in the fridge and use the chicken within 4-5 days.
- To freeze: repeat the steps above but instead place your chicken in the freezer. Cooked chicken breast will stay good in the freezer for about 3 months. When you’re ready to use it, simply thaw it in the refrigerator and enjoy it cold with salad recipes or heat it up in the microwave for warm recipes.
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I hope you love this simple tutorial on how to bake the perfect chicken breast! If you try it out be sure to leave a comment and let us know how you used your perfectly cooked chicken. Enjoy, xo!
How to Make Juicy Baked Chicken Breast
Learn exactly how to bake chicken breast in the oven so that it’s perfectly juicy and ready to use in your favorite recipes. In this easy tutorial, you’ll learn how long to bake chicken breast, what temperature is best for baking, and plenty of tips and tricks along the way. Marinades and recipes included!
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add your chicken breast to a large bowl with olive oil, salt & pepper, or marinate it in your favorite marinade for up to 24 hours.
Once you’ve coated the chicken breast with oil, salt & pepper (or the marinade), place it on your prepared baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F.
Let the chicken rest on the pan for 5-10 minutes before cutting into it so that the chicken retains moisture. Serve however you’d like or add chicken to your favorite recipes.
To store: let the chicken breast cool completely and transfer it whole, shredded or cubed to an airtight container. Place the container in the fridge and use the chicken within 4-5 days.
To freeze: repeat the steps above but instead place your chicken in the freezer. Cooked chicken breast will stay good in the freezer for about 3 months. When you’re ready to use it, simply thaw it in the refrigerator and enjoy it cold with salad recipes or heat it up in the microwave for warm recipes.
Method by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats