Juicy Baked Chicken Breast - Healthy Recipes Blog (2024)

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To ensure your baked chicken breast is juicy, cook it for a short time at a high temperature, and it will emerge from the oven perfectly cooked.

Baking the chicken for a short time in a hot 450°F oven helps seal the juices, while prolonged cooking in a moderate 350°F oven can dry it out.

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Chicken breast is easy. I always have it on hand, and there are countless recipes where I can use it, such as pizza chicken, blackened chicken, and pesto chicken.

But I usually simply bake it in the oven. And when I do, I make sure not to dry it out. The secret? I cook it for a short time at a high temperature. Baking the chicken for 30 minutes at 350°F will yield dry meat. Baking it for 20 minutes at 450°F will result in delightfully juicy chicken.

Jump to:
  • Ingredients
  • Variations
  • Baked Chicken Breast Instructions
  • Expert Tips
  • Recipe FAQs
  • Serving Suggestions
  • Storing Leftovers
  • Using the Leftovers
  • More Chicken Breast Recipes
  • Foodie Newsletter
  • Recipe Card

Ingredients

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You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:

  • Chicken breasts: I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in this recipe.
  • Olive oil spray: You can use avocado oil if you prefer an oil with a higher smoke point.
  • To season: Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, and paprika.

Variations

  • Instead of olive oil, you can brush the chicken pieces with melted butter. It's delicious!
  • You can brush olive oil on the chicken with a pastry brush instead of using an olive oil spray.
  • Experiment with the spices you use. Tasty options that I tried and liked include smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, and dried thyme. You can add ¼ teaspoon of each.
  • Sometimes, I sprinkle the chicken with a small amount of dry-grated parmesan before putting it in the oven.
  • For bolder flavor, increase the spices. In the photo below, I doubled the garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika:
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Baked Chicken Breast Instructions

Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps for making this recipe:

Mix the spices in a small bowl.

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Spray or brush the chicken breasts with olive oil.

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Sprinkle them with the seasonings.

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Bake the chicken breasts uncovered until their internal temperature reaches 165°F. This should take about 20 minutes in a 450°F oven.

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Loosely cover them with foil and let them rest, then slice and serve. Look how juicy and perfect the chicken turned out! This is exactly how you want it - fully cooked and white but juicy:

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Expert Tips

Chicken Breast Sizes

Many chicken breasts sold in the supermarket are huge. I've seen ones weighing 12 or even 13 ounces! If yours are this big, you will need to cook them for around 30 minutes.

So check after 20 minutes. If you need to cook them for longer, loosely cover them with foil to prevent the tops from burning in the hot oven.

The photo below shows two chicken breasts I got at the grocery store. One weighs 8 ounces, and the other weighs 13 ounces. Just looking at the picture, you can tell that they would need different cooking times:

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How to Check for Doneness

While you could cut a small slit in the thickest part of the chicken to ensure it's cooked through, the disadvantage is that juices will escape and leave you with drier meat.

That's why the best method to check for doneness is to use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken. Aim for an internal temperature of 165°F.

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Recipe FAQs

How to bake chicken breast without drying it out?

The secret is to cook it in high heat for a relatively short time. Moderate heat and prolonged cooking time will dry it out.

Another tip is to allow the cooked chicken to rest before cutting it. If you slice into it right away, juices will escape.

Should you cover the chicken with foil?

No, you shouldn't. You want it exposed to the dry heat of the oven. If you cover the chicken, it will steam in its own juices rather than bake. So you should leave it uncovered.

The only exception is if you need to cook it for longer than 20 minutes. In that case, if you notice the top is browning too much, you can protect it by loosely covering it in foil.

What's the best temperature to bake chicken?

When it comes to chicken breasts, you should bake them in a 450°F oven. High-heat baking for a relatively short time will help them stay moist and juicy and prevent them from drying out.

You have two choices: bake the chicken for 30 minutes in a 350°F oven or bake it for about 20 minutes in a 450°F oven. I've tried both methods and in my experience, the latter is much better at producing juicy chicken.

How long should I bake chicken?

Medium, 8-ounce pieces will need about 20 minutes in a 450°F oven. Large, 12-ounce pieces will need around 30 minutes.

The best way to ensure the chicken is done is to use an instant-read thermometer. Aim for an internal temperature of 165°F.

Serving Suggestions

Anything goes with baked chicken breast. It's incredibly versatile. But because I cook it in a 450°F oven, I like to serve it with a side dish that I can cook in the same oven, such as:

  • Buffalo cauliflower
  • Carrot chips
  • Roasted peppers
  • Roasted broccoli stalks
  • Eggplant chips
  • Zucchini pizza bites
  • Roasted zucchini
  • Roasted yellow squash
  • Roasted eggplant

Storing Leftovers

The leftovers can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to four days or frozen for up to three months.

I like baking several chicken breasts at a time because the leftovers are incredibly versatile. I keep them in a glass food storage container:

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Using the Leftovers

If you'd like to reheat the leftovers, do so gently, covered, in the microwave at 50% power.

However, the leftovers can easily dry out when reheated, so I typically use them cold. They are perfect as a topping for a salad such as arugula salad, Cobb salad, or the simple salad shown in the photo below of baby spinach, tomatoes, red onions, and shaved parmesan:

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Apart from using the leftovers in salads, I use them in many recipes. Here are a few ideas:

  • Stuffed poblano peppers
  • Enchilada casserole
  • Chinese chicken salad
  • Chicken chili
  • Chicken patties
  • Moo shu chicken
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More Chicken Breast Recipes

  • Broiled Chicken Breast
  • Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breast
  • Blackened Chicken
  • Keto Chicken Cordon Bleu

Recipe Card

Juicy Baked Chicken Breast - Healthy Recipes Blog (18)

4.99 from 1047 votes

Pin Recipe Print Recipe

Juicy Baked Chicken Breast

To ensure yourbaked chicken breastis juicy, cook it for a short time at a high temperature, and it will emerge from the oven perfectly cooked.

Prep Time10 minutes mins

Cook Time20 minutes mins

Rest time5 minutes mins

Total Time35 minutes mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Servings: 2 servings

Calories: 252kcal

Author: Vered DeLeeuw

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts 8 ounces each
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or ¼ teaspoon of any other salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking dish with foil or lightly grease it.

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  • Generously spray or brush both sides of each chicken breast with olive oil.

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  • Sprinkle the chicken with kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, and paprika.

    Juicy Baked Chicken Breast - Healthy Recipes Blog (21)

  • Bake the chicken, uncovered, until the internal temperature reaches 165°F and juices run clear when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. The center of the chicken pieces should be white and opaque.

    Juicy Baked Chicken Breast - Healthy Recipes Blog (22)

  • Transfer the chicken to a platter. Loosely cover it with foil and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

    Juicy Baked Chicken Breast - Healthy Recipes Blog (23)

Video

Notes

  • If your chicken pieces are much larger than 8 ounces, you will need to bake them for around 30 minutes. So check after 20 minutes, and if you do need to bake them for longer, loosely cover them with foil to prevent the tops from burning.
  • The best way to ensure the chicken is done is to use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part. Aim for an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to four days. You can also freeze them for up to three months. If you'd like to reheat the leftovers, do so gently, covered, in the microwave at 50% power. However, the leftovers can easily dry out when reheated, so I typically use them cold. They make a perfect salad topping and can also be used in many recipes.

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Nutrition per Serving

Serving: 1chicken breast | Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.7g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 406mg | Fiber: 0.2g

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Cup measurements refer to the standard American cup, which is 240 milliliters. Most of my recipes are low-carb (or keto) and gluten-free, but some are not. Please verify that a recipe fits your needs before using it. Recommended and linked products are not guaranteed to be gluten-free. Nutrition info is approximate, and the carb count excludes non-nutritive sweeteners. Nutrition info may contain errors, so please verify it independently. Recipes may contain errors, so please use your common sense when following them. Please read these Terms of Use carefully before using any of my recipes.

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About the Author

Juicy Baked Chicken Breast - Healthy Recipes Blog (34) Vered DeLeeuw, LL.M., CNC, has been following a low-carb real-food diet and blogging about it since 2011. She's a Certified Nutrition Coach (NASM-CNC), has taken courses at the Harvard School of Public Health, and has earned a Nutrition and Healthy Living Certificate from Cornell University. Her work has appeared in several major media outlets, including Healthline, HuffPost, Today, Women's Health, Shape, and Country Living. Click to learn more about Vered.

Reader Interactions

Comments

    Leave a Comment

  1. Ms Vicky

    I am trying this recipe for the first time tonight but I tripled the recipe. This way I can vacuum seal all the leftovers and pop them in the freezer for future quick meals. I plan on cooking for the recommended 20 mins (for two breasts), then foiling the pan lightly and checking every ten minutes or so until they reach the safe internal temp of 165 degrees. I can't wait!

    Reply

    • Vered DeLeeuw

      Sounds like a great plan! Thanks for sharing, Ms. Vicky.

      Reply

Juicy Baked Chicken Breast - Healthy Recipes Blog (2024)

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