How to Bake Chicken Breast that are Moist and Tender

Learn how to bake chicken breast that are moist and tender. Healthy oven baked boneless skinless chicken breast the easy way.

Recipes and posts on Plating Pixels like this How to Bake Chicken Breast aim to teach you about cooking through detailed instructions and extra cooking tips within recipe posts.

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 (store extras in fridge or freezer). There are many ways to oven bake chicken, but I’ll detail what I’ve found works best. The most important thing is to not overcook, otherwise you’ll have tough, dry chicken.

A few key tips when baking chicken:

  • Cook at a lower heat for longer to keep the chicken breast moist
  • 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 to Bake Chicken Breast that are moist and tender. Healthy oven baked boneless skinless chicken breast the easy way - platingpixels.com

Follow the steps below to learn how to bake chicken breast that are moist…every time. You can use a similar method 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 how.

How to Bake Chicken Breast:

Follow these easy steps for moist baked chicken breasts.

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line large baking dish with foil (this will make clean up easy).
  2. 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.
  3. Bake 25–35 minutes (do not open oven until close do done as it will let steam out, no need to rotate chicken), until it reads an internal temp of 165º 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.
  4. 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.

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How to Bake Chicken Breast - www.platingpixels.com

For even 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 in this How to Bake Chicken Breast post:

Pyrex Clear Baking Dish
Quick-Read Digital Thermometer

How to Bake Chicken Breasts - www.platingpixels.com
5 from 2 votes
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How to Bake Chicken Breast that are Moist and Tender

Follow these steps for simple moist oven baked chicken breasts, every time.

Course Entree
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 230 kcal
Author Plating Pixels

Ingredients

  • 4 (6-ounce) chicken breasts boneless skinless
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil light
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line large baking dish with foil (this will make clean up easy).
  2. 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.
  3. 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 (that's for 4 to 6-ounce chicken breasts, large or thicker breasts may take longer). Be sure to not overcook or you'll have dry chicken.
  4. Remove from oven and let set a few minutes before serving. To save leftovers: Allow to cool on plate. Refrigerate in airtight container up to 3–4 days. Or store shredded or chopped pieces tightly sealed in freezer up to 3–4 months.

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Check out more chicken recipes from Plating Pixels:

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Click here for more chicken recipes from Plating Pixels

41 Responses

  1. Great tips — we eat a lot of chicken breasts during the week and I usually pound them out and toss them on the grill pan, although this method makes for a smoky kitchen sometimes.

    • Matthew says:

      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.

  2. Great tutorial for tender, flavorful chicken Matthew. And good idea to cook ahead and freeze. So many recipes include baked chicken breasts!

  3. Love great chicken recipes…great for BBQing.

  4. Margaret says:

    Thanks for the tips. I’ve been in a bit of a chicken rut…I forgot how much I love baked chicken.

  5. Great tip! We eat a lot of chicken but it’s so easy to overcook leaving the chicken tough.

  6. LydiaF says:

    This is a great method. I think people tend to cook chicken breasts too quickly and they always dry them out.

  7. I’ll have to try this! My mom always makes the most amazing chicken, but mine usually turns out a bit chewy… and I bet it’s because I’m usually trying to hurry the process!

    • Matthew says:

      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.

  8. Meagan says:

    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!

  9. This is a great how-to recipe!

  10. Thanks for highlighting these great tips! Some people just don’t get it right and nothing worst than dry chicken!

  11. Britney says:

    These are such great tips! I am going to have to try these next time!

  12. So many great tips here! I love cooking once and eating several times so this is absolutely perfect for that!

  13. Once you get the hang of it, cooking chicken breasts is such a breeze! You have a great resource–thanks for sharing!

    • Matthew says:

      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.

  14. I love how educational this is. And the chicken is so versatile. I did not realize that about salt!

    • Matthew says:

      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.

  15. Great tips! I am not a fan of chicken breasts because they always taste so dry. I will definitely try these tips next time!

  16. Carlee says:

    Do you cover the chicken breasts with foil while they are cooking? Looks great!

  17. Amy says:

    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…

    • Matthew says:

      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!

  18. Ebony says:

    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

    • Matthew says:

      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!

  19. Taylor says:

    Does the chicken need to be thawed or can this work for chicken that is still a little frozen

    • Matthew says:

      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.

  20. Trish from Monroe says:

    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?

    • Matthew says:

      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.

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