Basic Baked Chicken Breasts

Basic baked chicken breasts

The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  • Total: 31 mins
  • Prep: 6 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
923 Calories
56g Fat
0g Carbs
98g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 923
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 56g 72%
Saturated Fat 15g 76%
Cholesterol 314mg 105%
Sodium 317mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 98g
Calcium 51mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Chicken breasts are often baked and served as an entrée. These basic chicken breasts offer a change from fried chicken and are an excellent choice for sandwiches, chicken salads, casseroles, and other recipes that call for a cooked chicken, or simply served as a main dish. While rotisserie chickens and packaged cooked chicken breast strips are convenient options, making your own cooked chicken is much easier on the budget.

Make sure to time the chicken breasts based on their thickness so they'll cook thoroughly but won't dry out. Avoiding overcooking is the key to juicy and moist chicken breasts. If possible, use an instant-read food thermometer to check for doneness—the minimum safe temperature for chicken is 165 F. 

These chicken breasts get their flavor from some simple ingredients: olive oil, salt, and pepper. Feel free to sprinkle them with the optional dash of onion powder or garlic powder, or top them with some sprigs of fresh herbs or a sprinkling of smoked paprika. Melted butter or bacon drippings are excellent alternatives to the olive oil.


Click Play to See This Simple Baked Chicken Breasts Recipe Come Together


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts (or as many as you need for a recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 dash kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • Optional: 1 dash onion powder (and/or garlic powder)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for basic baked chicken
    ​The Spruce / Ali Redmond
  2. Heat the oven to 350 F (180 C/Gas Mark 4). Line a rimmed baking pan with foil and lightly oil.

    Line baking sheet
    ​The Spruce / Ali Redmond
  3. Pat the chicken with paper towels to dry.

    Pat chicken
    ​The Spruce / Ali Redmond 
  4. Arrange chicken breast halves on the foil and brush lightly with the remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and onion powder or garlic powder (if using).

    Chicken breasts
    ​The Spruce / Ali Redmond
  5. Bake, uncovered, for about 22 to 28 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts (thick breasts will take longer, while thin breasts will take less time). Check with an instant-read thermometer to ensure the chicken has reached the minimum safe temperature for poultry of 165 F (74 C) without drying out.

    Chicken breast temperature
    ​The Spruce / Ali Redmond
  6. Let the chicken breasts rest for about 5 minutes before slicing or dicing.

    Cut up chicken
    ​The Spruce / Ali Redmond
  7. Serve and enjoy.

    Chicken breasts
    ​The Spruce / Ali Redmond


  • Four small chicken breast halves (like the ones pictured) will yield about 2 cups of diced cooked chicken.
  • Thaw chicken breasts before baking. To thaw frozen chicken breasts, place them in the refrigerator overnight. For faster thawing, leave the chicken in its packaging and submerge it in cold tap water. Change the water about every 30 minutes until defrosted. Individually wrapped chicken breasts will thaw in 30 minutes to an hour while a large package might take 2 to 3 hours.
  • A serving size of cooked chicken is considered to be 3 ounces for adults, 1 ounce for children under 4, and about 1 1/2 to 2 ounces for children from 4 to 12. If you are feeding guests and don't know their eating habits, err on the side of more. A raw 5-ounce boneless chicken breast will yield approximately 3 1/4 ounces of cooked chicken.

Recipe Variations

You can change up the spices to suit your tastes. Try the following flavors: