How to Bake Chicken Breasts

Raw chicken breasts

Every cook should know how to bake chicken breasts since they're used in so many recipes. The following instructions can be used regardless of whether you leave the skin on or take it off, but the meat will be slightly moister with the skin left on.

Baking Instructions for Chicken Breasts

The timing is slightly different for bone-in and boneless chicken breasts, but the important thing to remember is that the internal temperature should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The internal temperature will rise a few more degrees once you remove it from the oven before it begins to cool down.

Instructions

  1. Set your oven shelf to the center, and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash the chicken breasts with cold water and pat them dry.
  3. Coat a baking dish with non-stick spray.
  4. Brush the breasts lightly with olive oil, and season as you like. You can season on the skin, under the skin, or both if you like.
  5. Place the breasts in the baking dish, and place the dish in the oven.
  6. Approximate baking times for 2 breasts:
  • Boneless chicken breast - 20 to 30 minutes, uncovered; add 5 minutes per each extra pair
  • Bone-in chicken breast - 30 to 40 minutes, uncovered; add 5 minutes per each additional pair

Baking Time and Temperature Tip

Baking times vary according to the size/weight of the breasts, so check internal temperatures at the lowest baking times and remove them from the oven when they reach the desired 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The internal temperature is always more important than the recommended baking time.

Baked Chicken Breast Recipes

These recipes are fairly easy and will help you make delicious chicken dinners. Each recipe calls for two chicken breasts, but you can double the recipe as needed to serve more people. You can use skinless or skin-on breasts, whichever you prefer.

Honey Dijon Chicken Breasts

Honey Dijon chicken breast

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless or bone-in, washed and patted dry
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey (Adjust the amount for more or less sweetness.)
  • Salt, if desired

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Coat a baking dish with non-stick spray.
  3. In a small bowl, stir the mustard and honey together until combined.
  4. Using a pastry brush, brush the mustard mix on the top and bottom of each breast. Just brush it right over the skin if you're using skin-on breasts.
  5. Sprinkle a little salt on both sides of each breast right on top of the mustard if you like, but they'll have plenty of flavor even if you don't.
  6. Place each breast in the baking dish, and bake uncovered in the oven for the time listed above, depending on whether you use boneless or bone-in chicken breasts. If you're cooking more than two breasts because you doubled or tripled the recipe, add an extra five minutes cooking time per pair before you begin checking the internal temperature of each breast.
  7. Remove the chicken from the oven when the breasts reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and let them rest for about eight minutes before serving.

Lemon Herb Chicken Breasts

Lemon herb chicken breast

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless or bone-in
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon dried, crushed rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried, crushed basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried, crushed thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a glass baking dish, pour the lemon juice over the chicken breasts, cover the dish with plastic wrap, and allow to marinate for about two hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the herbs and give them a gentle stir to mix them.
  4. Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Lay the breasts in the baking dish top-side down, and brush the bottoms with the melted butter, brushing right over the skin if you're using skin-on breasts. Sprinkle each piece with salt, pepper, and then the herb mix. Turn the breasts over so they're top-side up, and repeat the process.
  6. Bake two breasts uncovered for the recommended time listed above, depending on whether your chicken is bone-in or boneless. If you're cooking more than two breasts because you doubled or tripled the recipe, add an extra five minutes cooking time per pair before you begin checking the internal temperature of each breast.
  7. Remove the breasts from the oven when they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and let them rest for eight minutes before serving.

Create Your Own Chicken Breast Recipes

Once you know how to bake a chicken breast so it's safe to eat, you can experiment using different seasonings. Lemon pepper seasoning is a good choice, but you could also use standard poultry seasoning, seasoning salt, or just about any other seasoning combination or marinade you like. Keep track of what you're doing so when you create something delicious, you'll know how to prepare it again.

How to Bake Chicken Breasts