Basic Baked Chicken Breasts

Basic baked chicken breasts on a plate with mixed greens

The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

Prep: 6 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 31 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
227 Calories
9g Fat
0g Carbs
35g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 227
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 96mg 32%
Sodium 110mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 35g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 17mg 1%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 291mg 6%
*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 olive oil.


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

"This chicken recipe is easy and a great way to make chicken breasts to serve on their own or use in another recipe, like tacos, soup, etc. I'm a big fan of minimal seasoning, and this recipe is perfect in that regard: the chicken is well seasoned but the flavor of the chicken shines through." —Danilo Alfaro

Basic baked chicken breasts sliced into pieces
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 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

  • 1 dash onion powder, optional

  • 1 dash garlic powder, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for basic baked chicken gathered

    ​The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C/Gas Mark 4. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking oil.

    Rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and lightly oiled

    ​The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  3. Pat the chicken with paper towels to dry.

    Chicken on paper towels on a cutting board

    ​The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond 

  4. Arrange chicken breast halves on the foil and brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and onion powder or garlic powder (if using).

    Chicken breasts on foil with olive oil and seasoning

    ​The Spruce Eats / 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 baked chicken has reached the minimum safe temperature for poultry of 165 F/74 C without drying out.

    Checking baked chicken breast temperature

    ​The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  6. Let the chicken breasts rest for about 5 minutes before slicing or dicing.

    Two whole and one sliced cooked chicken breasts on a cutting board

    ​The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  7. Serve and enjoy.

    Chicken breasts served on a plate with mixed greens

    ​The Spruce Eats / 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 two to three 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 taste. Try the following flavors: