Easy baked thin sliced chicken breasts (boneless)

A complete tutorial (with tips and secrets) on how to easily bake thin-sliced chicken breasts that are skinless and boneless. No more bland, rubbery baked chicken! Say hello to hands-free, no-mess cooking!

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

About the recipe

Finally, baked thin sliced chicken breasts with exciting flavors all over. That’s ACTUALLY tender and juicy and doesn’t require sauce or ketchup to make it taste good.

This recipe tells you everything you need to know about baking thin chicken breasts, how long to marinate, how long to bake, at what temperature, what rub to use and the “why” behind all that.

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! Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are lean and healthy, but when it comes to cooking, they are quite tricky.

NO SKIN + NO BONES + NO FAT = RUBBERY FLESH

Unless you mince the chicken breast, season and drop the meatballs into a creamy simmering curry as in chicken kofta curry or use it as a stuffing for eggs as in chicken keema with eggs.

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 (with the exception of chicken tikka and green chicken kababs which use a yogurt marinade).

Bone-in, skin-on chicken legs (like the sheet pan lemon garlic chicken legs) turn out juicy when baked. The fat from the skin keeps them from drying out. But with chicken breasts, it’s a different story.

I HAD to come up with a healthy 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, babysitting, etc, etc.
  3. minimal clean-up, so no frying and stove-top mess.
  4. less pans to wash (I told you, it’s been a long day).
  5. healthy low calorie chicken recipe. (after all, we’re going healthy-ever-after!)

Watch How To Bake Chicken Breasts

baked thin chicken breast served with garden salad on a white ceramic plate with a piece of chicken on a fork.

How to thinly slice chicken breast

Slicing the chicken breasts into thin halves helps them absorb the marinade better and faster.

  • Slice the breasts horizontally to make them about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.
  • Maintaining this thickness of chicken breasts 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.

Easy keto chicken seasoning

(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this page.)

Labelled ingredients for baking thin sliced chicken breasts.

The key is to TENDERISE the thin chicken breasts with the marinade. Like the yogurt marinade for tandoori chicken. This marinade, or should we call it a wet rub, is the answer. This seasoning is halfway between a dry rub and a marinade.

A quick tip: If you have 20 minutes to spare, use this tenderizing technique I mentioned in the healthy sesame chicken recipe before marinating the chicken. It helps soften the chicken further.

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.

  1. Take the spices in a small bowl.
  2. Add lemon juice.
  3. Add olive oil.
  4. Whisk until you get a homogenous mixture.
  5. Blot the thin sliced chicken breasts dry with kitchen towels. Mix in the marinade.
  6. Pierce the chicken breasts with a fork, so the marinade will be absorbed well.

How to bake thin sliced chicken breasts

How long to marinate chicken for baking?

Marinate thin-sliced chicken breasts 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 thin chicken breasts at 450°F?

Cooking chicken at high heat for a shorter time yields the best results. (This is unlike baking fish as in spicy baked mustard fish and salmon kabobs which are slow-cooked at low temperatures)

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 aluminum foil.

Bake the chicken breasts in the oven for 12 minutes. If the sliced chicken is less than 1/2 an inch thick, you can reduce the cooking time by a couple of 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 the foil and let it rest for 5 minutes. Enjoy!

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.

How do you bake chicken breast so it stays moist?

  • Bring the chicken to room temperature before you start baking. This will ensure even cooking.
  • Before marinating, blot or wipe the chicken slices dry with kitchen towels.
  • Place the chicken slices flat on the pan at least an inch apart from each other.
  • Let the chicken breasts rest for 5 to 10 minutes. This keeps them moist with all those flavorful juices.
  • Let the chicken rest after opening the sealed foil. Or else, the steam from the chicken will condense and make them soggy.

Common questions

Can you bake chicken breasts from frozen?

Frozen chicken breasts can easily be thawed. Rinse the frozen chicken breasts a couple of times and soak in a bowl of tap water mixed with salt (a rough estimate would be 1 teaspoon for every 200 grams/ 7 ounces of chicken breasts and the quantity of water should be roughly just enough to cover the chicken) for 15 to 20 minutes until they reach room temperature. Then proceed as per the recipe.

Do you cover boneless chicken breasts when baking?

This recipe requires you to seal the baking tray with aluminium foil. Covering the chicken helps keep the chicken moist when baking. The chicken sweats and cooks in its own juices which makes it flavorful. You may not get browned chicken slices like when you pan-sear them. They still turn out softer and juicier.

How many calories are there in baked chicken breasts?

There are 223 calories in one serving of this recipe.

Are baked chicken breasts healthy?

Baking is one of the best and healthiest ways to cook chicken breasts in the oven. This recipe helps you cook tender low-calorie chicken breasts with delicious Mediterranean flavors without using any saturated fat like butter or cream for cooking.

There! You’ve learned the secret to cooking the best thin sliced chicken breasts 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 and chicken tikka) – dab a little butter on each of the chicken breasts before baking for that extra “browned” effect.

I didn’t use it here, though 🙂

Did you make red chilli pesto or roasted garlic pesto? Just drizzle some on these chicken breasts to make them even more flavorful.

What to pair with baked thin chicken breasts

Have a little more time and energy? Pair these chicken breasts with the Italian pasta salad or the beet orange salad.

You can also serve these baked chicken breasts with sides like roasted potatoes and broccoli or Italian potato croquettes.

The balsamic quinoa salad tastes amazing with these baked thin chicken breasts.

Craving creamy pasta as a side? Go for guilt-free mushroom zucchini pasta or veggie pasta with garlic sauce.

For spicy pasta by the side, try red chilli pesto pasta or roasted garlic pesto pasta.

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

These thin chicken breasts can also be chopped and used in the creamy veggie chicken salad instead of seared chicken. Quicker and easier salad dinner for summer!

Want to make the easiest chicken curry? Try this low calorie 5-ingredient chicken curry! If you’re in a mood for rice noodles with chicken, make this Singapore fried bee hoon with chicken.

Looking for an easy recipe with chicken thighs? Go for lemon balsamic chicken or lemon coriander chicken.

More healthy chicken recipes

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

Easy baked thin sliced chicken breast recipe (boneless)

A complete tutorial (with tips and secrets) on how to easily bake thin-sliced chicken breasts. No more bland, rubbery baked chicken. Say hello to hands-free, no-mess cooking!
Author: Sheeba
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
resting time 5 mins
Total Time 42 mins
Course dinner, LUNCH, Main Course
Cuisine International, Mediterranean
Servings 4 people
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
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (reduce for less heat)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • tablespoons olive oil

Instructions
 

How to prepare thin sliced chicken breasts

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F230°C.
    Slice the chicken breasts horizontally to roughly about 1/2 to 3/4 inches thickness. (note 1) Pierce each of the chicken pieces with a fork. This will help the flesh absorb the marinade better and faster.
    4 chicken breasts

How to 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.
    1 teaspoon dried rosemary, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, 1½ tablespoons olive oil

How to bake thin chicken breasts

  • Place the marinated chicken breast slices on a baking tray or pan lined with parchment paper. Cover and seal with aluminium foil.
  • Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove the foil and let it sit for 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley.
  • Serve along with a vegetable salad drizzled with the pan juices. (note 2)

Video

Notes

  1. Ensure that the thickness of the sliced chicken breasts does not exceed 3/4 of an inch. Pound the slices 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. If the sliced chicken is less than 1/2 an inch thick, you can reduce the cooking time by a couple of minutes.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. If you love your chicken more browned, dab a little butter on each breast slice just before popping it into the oven.
  6. Ensure that the sliced chicken is dry by blotting with kitchen towels before marinating.
  7. Remove the foil after you take out the pan from the oven. If not, the steam will condense and add to the liquid in the pan.
Easy baked thin sliced chicken breasts (boneless)

★★★★★Did you try this recipe? Please give a star rating in the comments below ★★★★★

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25 thoughts on “Easy baked thin sliced 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!!

  2. 5 stars
    Dead easy to prep and bake, the flavors are lovely, and the chicken stays moist…who knew?? Really great recipe. I quadrupled the marinade recipe for the 16 thin-sliced pieces I had purchased, and instead of four tbsp of ‘regular’ olive oil I used a sage-and-mushroom infused olive oil for two of them. I’m sure other flavors can be incorporated and played with, and this recipe is solid. Thanks for sharing it!

  3. You include onion powder verbally in your video and in your text. It is not listed among the ingredients in your recipe for print. What quantity is desirable. Should quantity of another ingredient be reduced when onion powder is added?

    1. Hi Mary,
      Thank you for pointing it out. Sorry, I forgot to add it in the ingredients list. I’ve updated the post now 🙂
      You will need 1/2 teaspoon onion powder. No change in other ingredients.

    1. Hi John, thanks for visiting! My recipes have been written so that even beginners can make it with ease. For those who are experienced, I’ve provided a table of contents so you can skip to the part you’re interested in. Or you can “jump to recipe card” if you just want the recipe without the helpful tips.

  4. 3 stars
    My result tasted fine but had a white ‘boiled chicken’ look. Juices that came out during cooking collected and the chicken boiled in it. I sautéed them for a two minutes in butter and made them look better. Next time, I’ll bake for 10 mins and fry for 2 mins more. Thanks for posting this recipe.

    1. Hi Raj,
      Thank you for trying the recipe and taking the time to provide feedback.
      There are 3 things that might have gone wrong:
      1. The chicken might not have been dry when you added the marinade. Next time, try blotting the chicken with kitchen towels before marinating.
      2. White patches on the chicken or too much of the juices may be due to overcooking. If the sliced chicken is less than 1/2 an inch thick, you can reduce the cooking time by a couple of minutes.
      3. Don’t let it rest for too long before opening. The steam will condense and add to the liquid in the pan. 5 minutes of resting time is sufficient.

  5. 2 stars
    The chicken was pretty disappointing. Sadly it was dry, despite following all directions and I found the lack of nice color you’d achieve it was pan seared rather than steamed in the foil was offputting.

    1. Hi Amy, thank you for the feedback. Sorry to hear that the recipe did not turn out well for you.
      The chicken becomes dry when overcooked. Please try to bake a couple of minutes less if your chicken slices are very thin.
      As for the color, yes it may not get as browned as when pan-seared, but I can assure you it will look appetizing and turn out tender and juicy.
      I sincerely hope you’ll try the recipe again with the new tips.

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