Chicken Breasts in Parchment Paper

Chicken breasts in parchment paper

The Spruce 

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 25 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
204 Calories
4g Fat
2g Carbs
37g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 204
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 102mg 34%
Sodium 671mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 37g
Vitamin C 7mg 37%
Calcium 25mg 2%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 335mg 7%
*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.)

Baking boneless, skinless chicken breasts can be tricky business since the white meat can easily dry out in the oven. But when wrapped inside parchment paper (called en papillote) along with herbs and slices of citrus, the chicken becomes moist, tender, and juicy; the parchment paper seals in the moisture, so the chicken steams in its own juices and retains a lot of flavor. This chicken is perfect to use in sandwiches, salads, casseroles, and soups, and is also a simple and foolproof way to cook a lot of chicken at one time.


  • 1 medium boneless, skinless chicken breast

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • 1 tablespoon mixed herbs and spices of choice, optional

  • 2 slices lemon, lime, or orange

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Heat the oven to 425 F.

    Ingredients for making chicken breasts in parchment paper
    The Spruce 
  2. Place a 12 x 12-inch sheet of parchment paper on a large cookie sheet. Fold it in half and cut it into a half-heart shape.

    Put parchment paper on cookie sheet
    The Spruce
  3. Unfold the paper and place the chicken breast in the center of one side.

    Place chicken breast in center of heart-shaped parchment paper
    The Spruce
  4. Sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper, and herbs and spices, and top with lemon, orange, or lime slices.

    Sprinkle chicken with herbs and add lemon slices
    The Spruce
  5. Bring the edges of the paper together and fold together to crimp closed. Be sure to leave some room inside the bundle for heat expansion, which will happen as the chicken bakes. 

    Bring the edges of the paper together over the chicken
    The Spruce 
  6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken registers 165 F on an instant-read meat thermometer

    Bake chicken in parchment paper
    The Spruce
  7. Remove the bundle from the oven and slit open the parchment paper; be careful that the steam doesn't burn you.

    Remove chicken from oven
    The Spruce 
  8. Place on a plate and peel the parchment paper back a bit.

    Peel parchments paper back and serve
    The Spruce
  9. Pair with your favorite sides or slice and use in sandwiches or soups. Enjoy.


  • All ovens are different, and chicken breasts can vary in size, so the baking time might be longer or shorter. Make a note of how long the chicken takes so it will be cooked perfectly every time.
  • You can make as many bundles as you like and bake them at the same time. Make sure they are in a single layer and there is 1 inch of space surrounding each bundle.
  • If making extra chicken to use later on, let it cool completely and chop, shred, or leave it whole. Pack in airtight containers or wrap well and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

Recipe Variations

If you plan to eat this chicken as a main course, you may want to add a few ingredients to the parchment packets. When including vegetables, you should add a fat (oil or butter) or liquid (white wine or vinaigrette) to the packet.

  • Place vegetables, such as sliced zucchini, green beans, or asparagus, underneath the chicken.
  • Top the chicken with chopped cherry tomatoes or mushrooms along with some fresh herbs.
  • Give the chicken a Mediterranean twist by including Kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta cheese.
  • Create a bit of French flair with fresh tarragon and butter along with thinly sliced potatoes.