Perfect Baked Chicken Breasts

updated Jan 16, 2024
The simplest, easiest way to bake moist and tender chicken breasts in the oven.

Serves1 to 4 adults

Makes1 to 4 breasts

Prep5 minutes

Cook30 minutes to 40 minutes

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Baked chicken breasts don’t have to be dry and boring. They can, in fact, be moist, tender, and full of flavor — something you actually look forward to having for dinner. The secret? The parchment paper method.

By covering the chicken with a piece of parchment paper, the chicken bastes in its own juices so they never dry out. It’s basically a cross between braising and roasting and is sure to become one of your new favorite ways to cook chicken.

For Perfectly Baked Chicken Breasts, Use the Parchment-Paper Method

There is so little fat in a boneless, skinless chicken breast that it’s hard to cook it without the meat ending up dry or just plain tasteless. In this method, just before putting them in to bake, we cover the chicken breasts with a piece of parchment paper.

This method (which I picked up in culinary school) is technically called “dry-poaching,” but that sounds fussy for what is essentially an incredibly simple technique. Super versatile, super dependable. If you’ve struggled with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, this is definitely the method to try.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

How to Season Baked Chicken Breasts

In the recipe below, I season the chicken with just salt and pepper, but you can use any spices or dry rubs you wish or adapt it to your favorite recipes. Here are some seasonings that you can try:

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

Ways to Serve Baked Chicken Breasts

Serve baked chicken breasts with your favorite vegetable side and rice pilaf or mashed potatoes for an easy dinner. Here are other ways to add baked chicken breasts to your meals:

Baked Chicken Breasts Recipe

The simplest, easiest way to bake moist and tender chicken breasts in the oven.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes to 40 minutes

Makes 1 to 4 breasts

Serves 1 to 4 adults

Nutritional Info


  • Butter or olive oil

  • 1 or more

    boneless, skinless chicken breast

  • Salt and pepper

  • Other spices or seasonings


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  1. Heat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the middle position. Rub the pan and one side of the parchment paper with butter or olive oil; this prevents the chicken from sticking.

  2. Pat the chicken dry and rub with a little butter or olive oil, if desired. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and any other favorite seasonings.

  3. Place the chicken breasts in the baking dish, spaced slightly apart. You can also tuck herbs or lemon wedges around the chicken for extra flavor.

  4. Lay the parchment, butter-side down, over the chicken. Tuck the edges into the pan and press the parchment down so that it's snug around the chicken. The chicken breasts should be completely covered with the parchment.

  5. Transfer the chicken to the oven until the chicken is completely opaque all the way through and registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. Start checking after 20 minutes; total cooking time is usually 30 to 40 minutes.

  6. Serve the chicken immediately, or let it cool and refrigerate for up to a week.