sliced open oven baked chicken breasts on a parchment lined sheet pan

Simple Oven Baked Chicken Breasts

Simple. Easy. Perfect for meal prep. Oven baked chicken breasts are the perfect make ahead protein for wraps, sandwiches, salads, and quick weeknight dinners. All you need are a few basic spices, some oil, and of course the chicken breasts to cook a healthy, and super tasty piece of chicken.

What gets me every time I talk to people that don’t cook on a regular basis, is how uncomfortable they are with cooking chicken. They aren’t sure what temperature to cook it at (or for how long), how to season chicken breasts to make them taste good, and how to tell if it’s actually done.

I get why people are afraid to cook it themselves though. No one wants to get food poisoning from an under cooked piece of meat, and I want to prove to you how easy cooking chicken really is with this simple recipe.

Related:  Crispy Apple Chip, Pecan, Chicken Spinach Salad (with a Sweet Cranberry Balsamic Vinaigrette)

heavily seasoned oven baked chicken breasts on a sheet pan

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A Few Tips Before We Start

Before we dive into the recipe, I just wanted to touch on a few basics about cooking chicken. Yes , you can get sick from eating improperly cooked chicken, but most often people get sick from improperly stored chicken. Whether it was left out to long before cooking, or left on the counter to long after cooking, as long as you follow basic food safety and store/cook/cool chicken properly you’ll be just fine.

This oven baked chicken is perfect for meal prep. That said it will only keep for about 3 days after it has been cooked and cooled properly. Label and date the container to remember when you put the chicken in the fridge, to avoid eating expired chicken accidentally.

Choose bone-in chicken and save the bones once the chicken is cooked to make from scratch Instant Pot Chicken Stock or Old Fashioned Chicken Broth! – Chef Markus Mueller

How Long Do You Cook Chicken Breasts In The Oven?

When it comes to cooking chicken size does matter. Larger chicken breasts will take longer then smaller pieces or chicken fillets strips. Chicken thighs will take even longer. Most often you’ll purchase 6 or 8 ounce breasts at the store.

  • A regular chicken breast ( 6oz- 8oz) will fully cook if baked it at 425F (218C) for 15-20 minutes.
  • If baking chicken breasts at 375F (190C), cook them for 20 – 30 minutes.
  • Chicken thighs will take between 30 – 45 minutes to bake at 375F depending on their size.

If you pre-sear chicken breasts to get one side nice and crispy, you can cut out 5 minutes from the above mentioned times. If you are unsure about how big your chicken breasts are or they just seem abnormally large, cut the chicken in half horizontally to make two thinner ‘chicken breasts’ which will easily cook in the recommended times.

How To Tell If Chicken Is Cooked

To be considered safe to eat chicken needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of 165F for 15 seconds to destroy any bacteria that may make you sick. While this sounds really science-y, it’s not really hard to tell if chicken is cooked enough. You can purchase a food thermometer to get the exact temperature of your chicken, and is what I recommend if you are a first time cook, or very nervous about cooking chicken.

If you are a seasoned at-home cook though, a simple poke with a knife may do the trick. If the juice runs out clear and not cloudy or pink, the chicken is fully cooked.

Seasoning Oven Baked Chicken Breasts

This is my favorite part! Seasoning the chicken. It also seems to be the part people have the most trouble with.

A little to much spice, is better then not enough. – Chef Markus Mueller

I don’t mean ‘heat’ spice here, but spices such as onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, herbs. Spices that will add flavor to the meat. Obviously don’t take this to the extreme and drown your chicken in spice, but if you’re using a pinch of each spice to season 4 chicken breasts, its safe to say you can dramatically increase your seasoning amounts. It’s easy to under season any meat, but most of the time, using just a little bit more won’ t hurt.

What spices should you use? That is entirely up to you of course. I love using a little sugar, garlic, onion, and paprika along with salt and pepper to season my ‘run of the mill’ meal prep chicken. You could easily use Cajun Spice though, or a Curry Spice. Keeping it simple and using only garlic and onion powder is also always better then just cooking a plain piece of chicken. Experiment and see what flavors you like, maybe try something exotic such as cinnamon or allspice!

Related:  Making Your Own Blackened Seasoning (Cajun Seasoning)

To make these oven baked chicken breasts you’ll need:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsps oil
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

You’ll also need a sheet pan (cookie tray) and some parchment paper. O prefer using Paperchef parchment paper because it is a professional quality product, and can be heated to very high temperatures. Perfect for recipes such as this one.

Step-by-step Instructions

  1. Start by lining a 9 x 12 sheet pan with parchment paper, and pre-heating your oven to 425F. Next remove any packaging from the chicken, and place them breasts evenly spaced on the sheet pan, and drizzle the oil over the meat. The oil will help the spices stick to the chicken as it bakes.
  2.  Mix together all the spices in a little dish, and then liberally sprinkle the seasoning mix on the chicken breasts. You can choose to toss the spice mix with the chicken and oil in a bowl, but this means you have one extra dish to wash!uncooked chicken breasts being covered in homemade chicken seasoning.
  3. Place the parchment lined sheet pan with the seasoned chicken breasts in the oven, and bake for fifteen minutes.
  4. After the 15 minutes are up, check the temperature of the baked breasts with a digital food thermometer. If the temperature reads 165F and higher, the chicken is finished.juicy and tender oven baked chicken breasts, vut open to check for doneness
  5. Remove the chicken from the oven and let it cool if using for meal prep, or serve it right away, perhaps with some basmati rice and a salad for a full meal!
Related:  How To Cook Basmati Rice

Have you tried the recipe? Leave a comment and rating below, then take a picture and tag me on Facebook & Instagram: @earthfoodandfire. For more from scratch recipes follow me on Instagram & Pinterest

sliced open oven baked chicken breasts on a parchment lined sheet pan
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5 from 6 votes

Oven Baked Chicken Breasts (Perfect For Meal Prep)

Tender and Juicy, these simple oven baked chicken breasts are ready in just 20 minutes. Perfect for a quick lunch or supper, or prepared ahead of time for meal-prep.
Course Chicken
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword how to season chicken, how to season chicken breast for baking, how to tell if chicken breasts are done, what temp do you bake chicken breasts?
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 oven baked chicken breasts
Author Chef Markus Mueller

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsps oil

Chicken Seasoning

  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Equipment

  • 1 9 x 12 Sheet Pan
  • parchment paper

Instructions

  • Start by lining a 9 x 12 sheet pan with parchment paper, and pre-heating your oven to 425F.
  • Remove any packaging from the chicken, and place the breasts evenly spaced on the sheet pan. Drizzle the oil over the meat.
  • Mix together all the spices in a little dish, and then liberally sprinkle the seasoning mix on the chicken breasts.
  • Place the parchment lined sheet pan with the seasoned chicken breasts in the oven, and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Once the 15 minutes are up, check the temperature of the baked breasts with a digital food thermometer. If the temperature reads 165F and higher, the chicken is finished.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and let it cool if using for meal prep, or serve it right away.

Notes

  • You can choose to toss the spice mix with the chicken and oil in a bowl, but this means you have one extra dish to wash!
  • Serve the chicken right away, perhaps with some basmati rice and a salad for a full meal, or cool it and save it for meal -prep!

© 2018, Markus Mueller | Earth, Food, and Fire. All rights reserved. Please contact Earth, Food, and Fire, if you wish to use any media or other content contained on this site.

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Tender and Juicy, these simple oven baked chicken breasts are ready in just 20 minutes. Perfect for a quick lunch or supper, or prepared ahead of time for meal-prep. #mealprep #bakedchicken #ovenbakedchicken

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10 Comments

  1. Yummy that chicken looks amazing! I love the simplicity of this recipe and all your helpful tips. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. So many great options for this chicken, it looks delicious!

  3. Great tips! I’m in the camp that is afraid of overcooking boneless chicken breasts in the oven. For that reason I usually go for stove top or grilling. You’ve empowered me to give it a try!

  4. Delicious looking Chicken Breasts Marko, I especially enjoyed your cooking tips, like this one: A little to much spice, is better then not enough. – Chef Markus Mueller. I agree with you there mate!

  5. Cindy Gordon

    Loving this amazingly simple recipe! Perfect for busy weeknights!

  6. I love easy sheet-pan style dinner, especially this time of year when things get crazy! Thank you for this!

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