Have you tried baking chicken breast only to have them come out dry or overcooked? This post will show you to bake chicken breast that are moist and tender with just a few simple steps. You’ll even learn how to cook frozen chicken breasts.
Oven baked boneless skinless chicken breasts are a healthy and simple ingredient that can be used in almost any meal. It requires little hands-on time and you can bake large amounts at once, and store extras in fridge or freezer.
There are many ways to oven bake chicken, but the most important thing is to not overcook, otherwise you’ll have tough, dry chicken.
Key tips when baking chicken:
- Cook at a lower heat for longer to keep the chicken breast moist
- Line pan or baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup
- Olive oil keeps chicken moist, and helps salt and pepper stick
- Salt is critical to giving subtle flavor. Salt does not actually have a flavor; it brings out and enhances the flavor in meats. However, too much salt will overpower the food with a sodium sensation.
How does size and thickness of chicken breasts affect cooking time?
The instruction in this recipe are for average chicken breasts that are roughly 4-6 ounces, and about 1-inch thick.
- Larger chicken breast that are still 1-inch thickness should cook the same. Add 5-10 minutes for extra thick chicken breasts, about 45 minutes total.
- Thinner and smaller chicken breasts cook much faster, about 20-25 minutes total.
Time saving tips for baking chicken breast
- Plan ahead and bring chicken to room temp before you plan to cook, about 15-30 minutes, or do this while oven is pre-heating.
- If not defrosted, you can cook from frozen. See below for tips on how to bake frozen chicken.
- Cut larger chicken breast in half to reduce thickness and cooking time
How to Bake Chicken Breasts
Follow these easy steps for moist baked chicken breasts.
- Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line large baking dish with foil (this will make clean up easy).
- Pat boneless skinless chicken breast dry with paper towel, and place in baking dish. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper (or other seasonings or your choice). Rotate chicken breasts and repeat for other side. Let chicken sit at room temp 15-20 minutes.
- Bake 25–35 minutes (do not open oven until close do done as it will let steam out, no need to rotate chicken). It should reach and internal temp of 165º F. with a digital instant read thermometer and is no longer pink inside (that’s for 4–6 ounce chicken breasts, smaller or large will slightly change cooking time). Be sure to not overcook or you’ll have dry chicken.
- Remove from oven and let sit a few minutes before serving. To save leftovers: Allow to cool slightly on plate. Refrigerate in airtight container up to 3–4 days. You can also freeze shredded or chopped pieces tightly sealed up to 3–4 months.
How to Bake Chicken Breast from Frozen
You can bake chicken breast from frozen, but need to add a bit more time.
- Preheat oven to 325ºF
- Place frozen chicken on a foil lined baking sheet or pan
- Drizzle both sides with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pro tip: oil is critical in this step to add moisture, flavor and help salt and pepper stick to frozen chicken
- Place on oven uncovered and bake 35-45 minutes to an internal temp of 165º F. Note: 10-15 minutes cooking time was added f,or frozen chicken.
How to Add Flavor to Chicken
You can flavor chicken in many different ways with different herbs and spices. Try rubbing it in dried herbs such as Italian seasoning or fresh rosemary, thyme and tarragon.
You can also add spices to add different flavours. Why not try cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes, curry powder, cayenne pepper just to name a few or go a step further and stuff the chicken by butterflying it (cut down one side of the chicken to create a pocket without cutting all the way through) and stuffing with mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes and fresh basil.
Sides to Serve with Chicken Breasts
You can also learn how to make moist Oven Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks.
If you prefer grilling, this How to Grill Chicken Breast that are moist and tender guide will teach you.
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How to Bake Chicken Breast that are Moist and Tender
- 24 oz chicken breasts, boneless skinless
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, light
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line large baking dish with foil. Let chicken sit at room temp 15-20 minutes.
- Pat boneless skinless chicken breast dry with paper towel, and place in baking dish. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper (or other seasonings or your choice). Rotate chicken breasts and repeat for other side.
- Bake 25–35 minutes (do not open oven until close to done as this will let steam out, no need to rotate chicken), until it reads an internal temp of 165º F. with a digital instant read thermometer and is no longer pink inside.
- Remove from oven and let set a few minutes before serving.
- Instructions are for 4 to 6-ounce chicken breasts about 1-inch thick. Add or reduce 5-10 minutes baking time depending on thickness
- Bring chicken to room temp creates more even cooking throughout, but can be skipped to save time.
- If cooking frozen chicken breast add 10-15 minutes baking time.
- To save leftovers: Allow to cool on plate. Refrigerate in airtight container up to 3–4 days. Store whole, shredded or chopped pieces tightly sealed in freezer up to 3–4 months.
Most Popular Chicken Recipes on Plating Pixels
- Lightened Up Lemon Broccoli Chicken Pasta
- Easy Oven Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
- How to Grill Chicken Breast that are Moist and Tender
For more cooking tips, my guide on how to make The Best Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger teaches you tips on picking the best meat and ingredients for the most flavorful burger. You’ll also learn how to prep and cook it for perfect juicy burgers.
Products used for baking chicken breasts: