Easy baked chicken breasts (boneless)

The secret recipe for tender juicy oven-baked chicken breasts made with a simple marinade. Quick and easy weeknight dinner with loads of flavor. Say hello to hands-free, no-mess cooking!

closeup view of easy baked chicken breast served with garden salad in a white ceramic plate

Finally, easy baked chicken breasts with exciting flavors all over. No more bland, rubbery chicken that needs sauce or ketchup.

How many times have you tried to cook chicken breasts seasoned or marinated even for hours only to end up with disappointing results? We have all been there!

how to bake chicken breast in oven?

Chicken breasts are lean and healthy, but when it comes to cooking, they are quite tricky.

NO SKIN + NO BONES + NO FAT = RUBBERY FLESH

I have tried and tested different rubs and marinades, set different timings and temperatures but the results were the same. The rubs (with loads of sugar) make the chicken LOOK juicy and caramelized, but are ALWAYS bland on the inside. As for the marinades, it was the same result, even if I marinate overnight.

I HAD to come up with an oven-baked chicken breast recipe that gives soft and juicy chicken and also ticks all the boxes:

  1. quick and easy dinner after a long day.
  2. pop in the oven and relax; no flipping, basting, baby-sitting, etc, etc.
  3. minimal clean-up, so no frying and stove-top mess
  4. lesser pans to wash (I told you, it’s been a long day)
  5. healthy (after all, we’re going healthy-ever-after!)
easy baked chicken breast served with garden salad on a white ceramic plate

easy baked chicken breast marinade

The key is to TENDERISE the chicken breasts. Pounding and brining doesn’t help much either.

This marinade, or should we call it a wet rub, is the answer. This seasoning is half-way between a dry rub and a marinade.

The problem with dry rubs is that they don’t have an acidic component that tenderizes the chicken. So I tried adding lemon juice to a basic seasoning mix with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika and rosemary. Voila! You can see the results in the picture above.

But wait! There are a few more things you have to take care of.

the secret to juicy baked chicken breasts

  1. The chicken breasts should be about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. If it is more than that, slice the breasts horizontally.
  2. This is important because you are going to cook the chicken breasts covered, so there’s no way to check for doneness in the middle of cooking.
  3. Poke a few holes on the chicken breasts with a fork, so the marinade will be absorbed well.

how long to marinate chicken for baking?

Marinate for at least 15 minutes. Or if time permits marinate overnight in the fridge. Wait for the chicken to reach room temperature before cooking. There’s no need to refrigerate if you’re marinating for only 15 minutes.

how long to bake chicken breasts at 450°F?

Cooking chicken at high heat for a shorter time yields the best results.

Preheat the oven to 450°F/ 230°C.

Place the marinated chicken breasts in a baking tray lined with parchment paper (easy clean-up) and seal with aluminium foil.

Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. That’s it, guys! Let the oven do the rest. Meanwhile, you have the luxury of time to check your emails, take a good shower or chop up a salad like how I did 🙂

The delicious rosemary-garlic flavor will be wafting through your kitchen in no time! Once done, remove from the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before opening.

Ah yes, before I forget, this recipe gives you a BONUS as well! The pan juices can be drizzled as a dressing on the salad.

More FAQs

There! You’ve learnt the secret to get the best juicy chicken breasts baked in the oven with very little effort and time.

close-up view of tandoori chicken in oven - whole chicken leg on a white ceramic plat

A tip for more browning (the same tip I gave for baked tandoori chicken) – dab a little butter on each of the chicken breasts before baking for that extra “browned” effect.

I didn’t use it here, though 🙂

Have a little more time and energy? Pair these chicken breasts with the veggie pasta salad or the pineapple avocado salsa.

closeup view of oven baked chicken breast boneless served with garden salad in a white ceramic plate

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Happy cooking!

– Sheeba.

closeup view of easy baked chicken breast served with garden salad in a white ceramic plate

Easy baked chicken breasts

The secret recipe for tender juicy baked chicken breasts made with a simple marinade. Quick and easy weeknight dinner with loads of flavor! No brining, no mess, minimal cleanup and no extra sauce needed.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
resting time 5 mins
Total Time 42 mins
Course dinner, LUNCH, Main Course
Cuisine International
Servings 4
Calories 223 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 chicken breasts 150-180 gms/ 5-6 oz each
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (reduce for less heat)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions
 

prepare the chicken breasts

  • Pound the chicken breasts to even thickness. The thickness should be roughly 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick. If the breast is thicker than that, slice horizontally into 2 thin steaks. (note 1)
    Poke a few holes with a fork on each breast. This will help the flesh absorb the marinade better and faster.

marinate the chicken

  • Mix all ingredients for the marinade. Rub on the chicken and massage to coat completely.
    Leave the chicken on the kitchen counter for 15 minutes to marinate. Refrigerate if you're planning to marinate longer.

easy baked chicken breasts

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F230°C. Place the marinated chicken breasts on a baking tray or pan lined with parchment paper. Cover and seal with aluminium foil.
  • Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before opening.
  • Serve along with a vegetable salad drizzled with the pan juices. (note 2)

Video

Notes

  1. Ensure that the thickness of the chicken breasts does not exceed 3/4 of an inch. Pound or slice horizontally to bring the thickness down. This step is important since you’re going to cook the chicken covered and there is no need to keep checking for doneness.
  2. The chicken breasts sweat while cooking which leaves you with flavorful pan juices that can be drizzled on the chicken just before serving. You won’t need additional sauce, ketchup or any extras.
  3. The pan juices can also be used as dressing for salad, if you’re using one as a side dish to make it a low carb meal.
  4. If you love your chicken more browned, dab a little butter on each breast just before popping into the oven.
 
Easy baked chicken breasts (boneless)
Keyword baked chicken breast marinade, baked chicken breasts boneless, easy baked chicken breasts, juicy baked chicken breasts

If you love this recipe, you should try some of my other chicken recipes too-

5-ingredient chicken curry

lemon mustard chicken

quick and easy soy chicken

Asian stir-fried chicken with red rice

cauliflower rice with masala chicken

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6 thoughts on “Easy baked chicken breasts (boneless)”

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious and tender! Do you have some suggestions for other spice combinations to try? It would be nice to have a variety to choose from. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Jan, thanks for the lovely feedback. You can swap dried rosemary with thyme. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder can be added. Another ingredient you can add to enhance the flavors is 1 teaspoon of brown sugar. You can play around with the flavors as long as you keep that basic lemon garlic flavor intact and follow the instructions!
      I can write a whole new post on all the flavor combinations. Stay tuned for more!!

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