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Making perfect, juicy baked chicken breast is super easy. This is the same method the restaurants use and it creates baked chicken with a nice sear on the outside and a juicy, tender inside. Eat it as is, or meal prep to make dinner easy by storing it in the fridge for using in salads, pasta, pot pie, stirfry, or whatever else you like.
Have you ever eaten baked chicken breast that’s tough and rubbery rather than tender and juicy? I have and I would almost rather eat dirt. Serious!
Before I knew the trick, I NEVER ate baked chicken breast. I used to chop it up first and fry it in a frying pan and it would get some color, but it would still be dry and not very appetizing. I tried baking it in the oven, but it pretty much turned out the same way except for without the color. Sometimes it ended up tasting all rubbery too.
Then one day, I watched a show on the Food Network, and the host of the show let the viewers in on the secret of how restaurants cook chicken breast to make it juicy and flavorful. I have not had a dry and rubbery baked chicken breast since. Now whenever I make it, it has nice color and it is always juicy and tender inside.
Here is the secret to perfect baked chicken breast:
The secret is to brown the chicken in a hot pan on both sides and then slide the pan into a pre-heated oven for a few minutes. That’s it!
Of course you can spruce it up a bit if you sprinkle your baked chicken with herbs and spices before you throw it in the pan or make a quick sauce in the pan once the chicken is done. I often use a Cajun spice or a Greek mixture.
Once you have a bunch of baked chicken breast ready to go, the possibilities are endless. I always have a few baked chicken breasts in my fridge so that it’s ready and easy for me to make dinner with. Having that part of the dinner done and ready to go makes my life so much easier!
How to cook chicken breast in a pan:
- thaw your chicken fully if it has previously been frozen. Cut off all the extra fat and any bits of bone or tendon.
- preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Get your oven proof frying pan nice and hot over medium or medium-high heat.
- rub a little olive oil on the chicken and then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper or your favorite spice blend
- when the pan is ready, add the chicken. Let it cook for at least 3 mins on that side or until the chicken gets a nice golden brown. Flip and cook for 2 – 3 mins on the other side as well. (see photos above)
- slide the frying pan in the oven and cook for 6 – 8 mins. (see photos below)
- when the time is up, take the chicken out and let it rest for at least 10 mins before slicing.
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How long does it take to bake chicken breast:
Everyone’s oven and stove is a little different and it may take a little time to figure out exactly what temperature on the stove produces a nice sear on your chicken, and how long it needs to stay in your oven. For my gas stove, I get a great sear at medium heat on the stove, but I had a stove where I had to have it turned to high or medium high.
I think if you have a gas stove, start with medium heat and if you have an electric stove, start with medium-high.
My current oven is quite big and I think that makes a difference. My chicken needs 8 – 10 mins in the oven, when in previous regular sized ovens, it only needed 5 or 6. It also depends on how long you have cooked the chicken on the stove too.
Play around with it a little and you will find what works best for you and your kitchen!
Recommended tools for making perfect baked chicken breast:
- a stainless steel frying pan – these are the ones that both Debbie and I have. We absolutely love them and they are perfect for so many things, but especially for getting a nice sear on meat.
- a good set of tongs – essential for all kinds of cooking, but you need them for flipping meat both in a pan or on a bbq.
If you’ve tried this baked chicken breast recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let us know how it turned out in the comments below. We love hearing from you!
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- 4 chicken breast
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil , or coconut or avocado oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp other spices optional
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Heat an oven proof skillet to med-high heat.
Cut off all the fat and any other bits you don't like. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. If you like, sprinkle the chicken with any other herbs or spices you want.
When the pan is hot, add the oil and allow it to heat up for a min. Add the chicken carefully so that the oil doesn't splash you. Let it cook for about 3 mins or until it gets nice and brown underneath. Then flip the chicken to the other side. Cook for 2 mins on the second side and then slide your pan into the oven.
If your chicken is boneless, cook it for 6-8 mins in the oven and then pull it out and let it rest for 10 mins before slicing it.
If your chicken has the bone on it still, increase the time in the oven to about 12 – 15 mins depending on how big the chicken pieces are.
When the chicken is done, remove from the oven and let it rest for 8-10 mins before slicing.
One word about temperature. Everyone's oven and stove is a little different and it may take a little time to figure out exactly what temperature on the stove produces a nice sear on your chicken, and how long it needs to stay in your oven. For my gas stove, I get a great sear at medium heat on the stove, but I had a stove where i had to have it turned to high or medium high. My current oven is quite big and I think that makes a difference. My chicken needs 8 – 10 mins in the oven, when in previous regular sized ovens, it only needed 5 or 6. It also depends on how long you have cooked the chicken on the stove too.
Play around with it a little and you will find what works best for you and your kitchen!
The Secret to Perfect Baked Chicken Breast Amount Per Serving (1 breast) Calories 203 Calories from Fat 63* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
How To Cook Perfect Baked Chicken Thighs
Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels
Extra liquid and moisture on the chicken will keep the thighs from crisping.
Don’t trim the fat too much.
While you might want to trim off excessive fat, some fat is good on chicken thighs, even if you don’t usually like chicken fat. We’re cooking these chicken thighs long enough for the fat to render out and help make a crispy, crunchy outer crust – so don’t over-trim your chicken thighs.
Let chicken thigh skin crisp.
If you’re looking for additional crunchy chicken (especially important since we’re using skinless, boneless chicken thighs), you can pop the chicken thighs under the broiler for 2-4 minutes – be careful and watch the chicken closely to make sure it doesn’t burn.
Unroll your chicken thighs.
If you’re often not a fan of chicken thigh texture, unroll the chicken thighs so they lay flat. This will cook the chicken thighs more evenly, and ensure a crunchy surface on the entire thigh – which makes it completely irresistible, and a bit easier for people who usually shy away from dark meat chicken.
Baked Chicken Parmesan
This is an easy chicken dinner the whole family will love! Made with homemade marinara sauce and melted mozzarella cheese. Serve it over pasta, zucchini noodles, roasted veggies or with a large salad to keep it on the lighter side.
We all love this dish in my home, it’s perfect for a weeknight yet good enough to serve to company. This is also how I bake my chicken cutlets if you want it without the cheese and sauce. Kid friendly and delicious, make this tonight!! Also, see my air fryer chicken parmesan recipe here!
The pros to baking the cutlets are you’re using less oil, and also making less mess than if you fry them.
How to make perfect boneless baked chicken breast in the oven:
- Heat the oven to 425°F for crisp crumbs and a juicy center.
- Cutting the chicken in half lengthwise speeds up the cook time and tastes better than if you leave it whole. This thinner breast takes about 25 minutes to cook.
- Rather than using an egg wash in my breading station, I brush some melted butter (or olive oil) onto the chicken before the bread crumbs. This helps the bread crumbs get extra crisp without frying for a healthier baked chicken parmesan that is so good, no one will know it’s lighter.
More Chicken Recipes You May Like:
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- 4 (about 8 oz each) chicken breast, fat trimmed, sliced in half lengthwise to make 8
- 3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat, you can also use GF crumbs)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp butter, melted (or olive oil)
- 3/4 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese (I used Polly-o)
- 1 cup marinara or Filetto di Pomodoro
- cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray a large baking sheet lightly with spray.
- Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a bowl. Melt the butter in another bowl. Lightly brush the butter onto the chicken, then dip into breadcrumb mixture. Place on baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken.
- Lightly spray a little more oil on top and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven, spoon 1 tbsp sauce over each piece of chicken and top each with 1 1/2 tbsp of shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.
Yield: 8 Servings, Serving Size: 1 piece
- Amount Per Serving:
- Freestyle Points: 4
- Points +: 6
- Calories: 251 calories
- Total Fat: 9.5g
- Saturated Fat: g
- Cholesterol: 14mg
- Sodium: mg
- Carbohydrates: 14g
- Fiber: 1.5g
- Sugar: 0g
- Protein: 31.5g
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