Home » Chicken Recipes » Baked Chicken Breast (A Complete How-To)

Baked Chicken Breast (A Complete How-To)

Have you tried baked chicken breast only to have it come out dry or overcooked? This post will show you how to make moist baked chicken breasts that juicy and tender with just a few simple steps. You’ll never have to worry about dried out chicken breasts again.

Sliced baked chicken breast on a plate

Oven baked chicken breast is a healthy and simple ingredient that can be used in lots of recipes. It requires little hands-on time and you can bake large amounts at once, and store extras in the fridge or freezer.

Moist Baked Chicken Breast

There are many ways to oven bake chicken, but the most important thing is to not overcook, otherwise, you’ll have tough, dry chicken. Dark meat with bones is typically the moistest part of a chicken, however white meat can still be tender.

Moist chicken breast in the oven is possible once you know how a few basic tips. When looking for oven baked chicken breast dinner recipes, it’s important to know the basics. Read on for how-to and tips for baked chicken breasts.

Two raw chicken breasts seasoned with salt and pepper resting at room temp

Tips for chicken breast in the oven

  • Bone in chicken breasts will be juicer, but baked boneless skinless chicken breasts are just as yummy.
  • Bring chicken to room temp, about 30 minutes, before baking for more even cooking throughout.
  • Cook at a lower heat for longer to keep the chicken breast tender and juicy. Bake just until internal temp reaches about 160º F, then let sit under foil to cook to a safe internal temp.
  • Line pan or baking sheet with foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  • Olive oil keeps chicken moist and adds extra flavor.
  • Salt is critical for enhancing 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.
  • Change baking time according to the thickness of chicken breasts. See the section below for tips on this.
  • Let cooked chicken rest at room after baking 3-5 minutes to hold in more juices.

How to bake chicken breast

Follow these easy steps for moist baked chicken breasts.

  1. Preheat oven to 325º F. Line large baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  2. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper (or other seasonings or your choice). Rotate chicken breasts and repeat for the other sides.
  3. Let chicken sit at room temp 30 minutes.
  4. Bake 30-33 minutes, or to an internal temp of 165 degrees F with a digital instant-read thermometer. Note: This is for 8-ounce chicken breasts, smaller or larger breasts will slightly change the cooking time. 
  5. Remove from oven and let rest under foil 5 minutes before serving. 

If you prefer gas grilling, my Grilled Chicken Breast guide will teach you how long to grill chicken breast and so much more.

Two just baked chicken breasts over parchment paper in a baking dish

Answers to common questions

How to keep baked chicken breast moist

The safe internal temperature for chicken is 165º F, however, it’s best to bake chicken slightly under this as it will continue to cook as it sits. I recommend baking to 160º, removing chicken from the oven, and covering tightly with foil for 5-10 minutes to rest.

This will hold in moisture and continue to build up more heat, cooking to a safe internal temp while staying moist.

Do I need to bring chicken to room temp before baking?

It’s not required but will create more even internal cooking. Otherwise, the outside will cook much faster because the center will take longer to heat up. 20 to 30 minutes at room temp is recommended. Plus this will allow more time for salt and seasonings to soak into the meat.

To save time you can skip this step, but the chicken breast may not be as moist.

How long to bake chicken breast at 325º F

An average 8-ounce chicken breast will take about 30 to 33 minutes to bake at 325 degrees.

How long to bake chicken breast at 350º F

An average 8-ounce chicken breast will take about 25 to 28 minutes to bake at 350 degrees.

How long to bake chicken breast at 375 F 

Many baked chicken breast recipes recommend baking at this temp, but I find it’s much easier to overcook. It will speed up cooking a bit and takes about 20 to 23 minutes.

Should I cover chicken while baking?

It’s not recommended to cover chicken in the oven. This especially true for chicken breast or other cuts with the skin on, as the skin will be soggy and not crisp up. Chicken will bake evenly without being covered.

Why did my chicken breast come out dry?

The most common reason is that it was baked at too high of a temp and/or for too long.

Pro tip: If you bake chicken a bit too long, an easy way to solve this is to top it with some sort of liquid when serving, such as homemade pesto sauce, dressing, hot sauce, salsa, or a marinade. Even some melted cheese on top will make it seem moister. This also a great way to add extra flavor and make it unique.

Do you need to let baked chicken breast rest?

While not required for food safety reasons, it’s best to let all cuts of chicken rest 3-5 minutes at room temp to hold in juices, allowing for more moist chicken.

How long will leftover baked chicken store?

  • Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3–4 days.
  • Freeze shredded or chopped pieces tightly sealed up to 3–4 months. I like to freeze in separate smaller bags for easy leftover portions.

How healthy is baked chicken?

Baked chicken is a great source of lean protein without a lot of calories and almost no saturated fat. Here’s the nutrition breakdown:

A 6-ounce serving of chicken breast has 170 calories, 35 grams of protein, 3.6 grams of fat, and zero carbs. It also doesn’t contain any fiber, so it’s important to eat healthy complex carbs, such as vegetables, with chicken for a complete meal.

Moist baked chicken breast on over foil on a baking sheet

Thickness and size affects cooking time

If the chicken breasts are larger and thicker, they will take longer to cook. Smaller breast tenderloins take much less time to cook. The instructions in this baked chicken breast recipe are for average chicken breasts that are roughly 8 ounces, and about 1-inch thick. 

  • Larger chicken breasts that are still 1-inch thickness should cook the same. Add 5-10 minutes for extra thick chicken breasts, about 40 minutes total.
  • Thinner and smaller chicken breasts cook much faster, about 20-25 minutes total.

Time-saving tips

  • Plan ahead and bring chicken breasts to room temp before you plan to cook, about 30 minutes, or do this while the 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
  • Bake at a higher temp such as 375, as baking time will be less. However, it’s easier to overcook chicken at this temp.
  • Cook chicken breasts in bulk for leftovers, easy meal add-ins, or meal prep.

Checking baked chicken breast internal temp of 165 with a digital thermometer

How to bake chicken breast from frozen

You can bake chicken breast from frozen, but need to add a bit more baking time.

  1. Preheat oven to 325º F.
  2. Place frozen chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet or pan
  3. 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
  4. Place on oven uncovered and bake 40-45 minutes to an internal temp reaches about 160º F, then let sit under foil to cook to a safe internal temp of 165º.

Note: 10-15 minutes cooking time was added for frozen chicken.

Baked chicken breast slices on a plate ready to serve

Ways to flavor baked chicken breast

You can flavor roasted chicken with different herbs. Try sprinkling on some dried herbs such as Italian seasoning, basil or oregano. Fresh herbs such as fresh rosemary, thyme, cilantro, and tarragon also work well.

You can also add spices. Try all-seasoning salt, poultry seasoning, lemon pepper, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes, curry powder and/or cayenne pepper just to name a few.

Another favorite of mine is Keto Baked Chicken Parmesan. My version is low-carb, gluten-free, keto and loaded with flavor. 

Or go a step further and try spinach stuffed chicken breast 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.

To make baked chicken breast even more unique, try my simple Keto Breaded Chicken Breasts.

Sides to serve with chicken 

You could even serve it with my Italian Fish Soup recipe or French Onion Soup

Kitchen items needed 

Learn how to make moist Baked BBQ Chicken Legs for another easy chicken recipe or browse all of my chicken dinner recipes.

Want more chicken breast recipes? 

The following recipes make great use of leftovers:

Leave a comment below and star rating if you made this recipe or want to share your thoughts.


Are you following me on Pinterest, InstagramFacebook, and Twitter? Also, sign up for our newsletter to get all our recipes and cooking tips.

Sliced baked chicken breast on a plate
5 from 21 votes

Baked Chicken Breast

Follow these steps for simple moist oven baked chicken breasts, every time. These perfect baked chicken breasts may become a new family favorite.
Course Entree
Cuisine American
Keyword baked chicken breast, how to bake chicken breast, moist chicken breast
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Calories 171kcal
Servings 6
Author: Matt Ivan
Did you know? Servings and ingredient amounts can be adjusted on all my recipes. Click the green number above to change.


  • 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 8-ounces each
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, light
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Preheat oven to 325º F. Line large baking dish with foil or parchment paper. 
  • Lightly drizzle chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper (or other seasonings or your choice). Rotate chicken breasts and repeat for the other sides. Let chicken sit at room temp for about 30 minutes.
  • Bake 30-33 minutes or until internal temp reaches 160º F with a digital instant-read thermometer and chicken is no longer pink inside. Note: The safe internal temp for chicken is 165º F, but it will continue to cook as it rests.
  • Remove from oven, lightly cover with foil to hold in heat and hold in moisture. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.


  • Bringing chicken to room temp creates more even cooking throughout, but can be skipped in a pinch to save time.
  • Lining baking dish with foil or parchment paper makes cleanup easy.
  • Try adding extra flavor with herbs, seasonings, and spices such as Italian seasoning, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, tarragon, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes, curry powder and/or cayenne pepper.
  • Instructions are for chicken breasts about 1-inch thick. Add or reduce 5-10 minutes of baking time depending on thickness.
  • If cooking frozen chicken breast, add 10-15 minutes baking time.
  • Do not open oven until chicken is close to done as this will let steam out. No need to rotate chicken during baking. 
  • To save leftovers: Allow baked chicken to cool on a plate. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3–4 days. Store whole, shredded, or chopped pieces tightly sealed in freezer up to 3–4 months.
Nutrition Facts
Baked Chicken Breast
Amount Per Serving (6 ounces)
Calories 171 Calories from Fat 32
% Daily Value*
Fat 3.6g6%
Saturated Fat 1.1g7%
Cholesterol 118mg39%
Sodium 197mg9%
Potassium 629mg18%
Carbohydrates 0g0%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 0g0%
Protein 34.7g69%
Vitamin A 50IU1%
Vitamin C 2.1mg3%
Calcium 8mg1%
Iron 0.6mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Like this recipe?Visit @platingpixels on Pinterest to discover more. Pin it with button below to save recipe for later.
Don't forget to leave a comment below and rate this recipe if you like it →
Baked Chicken Breast (A Complete How-To)Baked Chicken Breast (A Complete How-To)
Chicken Recipes | Entrees and Dinner Recipes | Gluten-Free Recipes | Keto Recipes | Popular Recipes | Recipes

Similar Posts


  1. 5 stars
    I can hardly believe I just made JUICY chicken breasts for the very first time in my life!!! And I’m 66 years old and actually a very good cook. THANK YOU for these instructions on making deliciously juicy chicken breasts! I followed the recipe to the letter and they are perfect (and the chkn breasts I had were thick and they were large). I am so thrilled to be able to add this my cooking repertoire!! xxxooo

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing chicken breast recipe! Will surely have this again! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!

  3. 5 stars
    At first glance you might think this recipe was super basic but actually it’s very informative and helpful in getting the perfect baked chicken breast! Thank you for such wonderful instructions and information. Great dish!

  4. 5 stars
    I had just about given up on continuing to buy frozen chicken breasts as I couldn’t figure out how to cook them to doneness without drying out. Now, with this recipe, I will never again have to suffer with dried out chicken, thank you! I defrosted several frozen breast tenderloins, brushed with olive oil and lightly seasoned with steak seasoning. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes as the recipe advises and baked per instructions. Turned out yummy and needed no further tending or sauce!

    1. I really appreciate the feedback Mary and so glad this recipe guide was helpful for you! I’ve never used steak seasoning on chicken but bet it’s amazing!

  5. 5 stars
    What a great post! Overcooked chicken is kind of the worst and yet it’s so, so common. I’m big on letting it come to room temp as well as “undercooking” it to let it finish cooking away from the heat. I think it’s this second thing that’s really the most important!!

  6. 5 stars
    WOW…. you took this to the next LEVEL!! You’re right, it is SO easy to overcook chicken breasts and end up with tough, rubbery chicken. This post is so helpful and detailed, I feel set up to succeed next time I cook chicken breasts for a family dinner!

  7. 5 stars
    Great tips! Also, awesome photography! Now I’m totally wanting to eat chicken breasts so you’ve definitely done your job well!

  8. 5 stars
    This is such a great resource. It’s always great to have precooked chicken on hand for so many other recipes, and these tips for keeping it moist are great!

  9. Turned out great! I put salt, pepper and cumin on it. Left it in the oven for quite a bit longer than what it called for. Turned out good.

    1. Thanks for the feedback Susie! Cumin would be a great addition. The cooking length can change depending on chicken thickness. I’ve added a bunch of extra notes to the post and that’s covered.

  10. I absolutely love the idea of cooking ahead and adding to recipes but when you add them to a recipe and you heat the chicken won’t it then be overcooked?

    1. Hi Trish. Technically any meat you recook will a bit tougher. If you add it to recipes with liquid, sauces, veggies etc. (plus helps if it’s cut into smaller pieces or shredded) you’ll hardly notice the texture.

    1. Hi Taylor, you can but it would add more time. I’d start with an additional 10 minutes if only slightly frozen. Then check internal temp and cook longer as needed.

  11. Did you know there is such things are all purpose seasoning, you need to wash your chicken in lemon juice, marinate your food. For 3-4days at least

    1. I did and have tried it. Sometimes simple salt and pepper is all you need too. Great tips Ebony. If I marinate I prefer at least overnight. If you do 4 days make sure you cook and eat right away. That’s getting pretty long for raw meat storage (unless frozen). Thanks!

  12. I love it this way!!! And so does my (picky) husband!!!! Any tips or have you tried this from a frozen state? I tend to be a little forgetful about taking the chicken out of the freezer soon enough…

    1. Hi Amy! Baking is one of the best ways to handle frozen chicken. Prep and bake it the same way as thawed, but expect another 20-30 minutes cook time. I’ve done it before and it comes out great!

    1. Thanks Carlee. I’ve never tried that for chicken breasts. I assume it keeps more moisture in but affects the cooking time. For this recipe it’s written for no foil on top. Foil in bottom of the dish makes easy cleanup though.

    1. Thanks and glad it was helpful Rachael! I only recently learned that about salt. Even though every savory recipe I’ve ever created or cooked has salt and pepper. It’s kind of a thing for me.

    1. It is Cathy, but it’s also tricky to learn if you’re new to it. For every recipe I write with chicken I still take the time to include proper instructions, instead of “cooked chicken”. You never know what level each of your readers is at.

  13. This is such a great post! I always seem to burn my chicken or make it too dry. I’ll have to use this post for the next time I’m making chicken for my lunches. I’m excited to try it!

    1. I’ll be honest Jamie, I’ve done it too. Especially if I’m multitasking or not paying attention. This method takes the guesswork out as long as you pay attention to the timer.

      1. 5 stars
        This is a great post especially for the beginner cook. I love all the tips and tricks you have included to guarantee moist perfectly cooked chicken breasts. Great info!

    1. Me too Justine! It’s so versatile. I have a grilled parsley and tangerine chicken recipe going up tomorrow you might want to check out.

    1. Hi April. That’s a great way to cook them as well. If I make a sauce based pasta dish or just want to cook 1 or 2 chicken breasts real quickly that’s my preferred method.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating