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!
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
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.
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 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:
- quick and easy dinner after a long day.
- pop in the oven and relax; no flipping, basting, baby-sitting, etc, etc.
- minimal clean-up, so no frying and stove-top mess.
- less pans to wash (I told you, it’s been a long day).
- healthy low calorie chicken recipe. (after all, we’re going healthy-ever-after!)
Easy keto chicken seasoning
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 shown 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.
How to bake thin sliced chicken breasts
- 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.
- 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 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?
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. 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.
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. Let it sit for 10 minutes before opening.
How many calories are there in baked chicken breasts?
There are 223 calories in one serving of this recipe.
Are baked chicken breasts healthy?
This 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.
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 🙂
These baked thin chicken breasts can also be chopped and used in the creamy chicken pasta salad instead of seared chicken. Quicker and easier salad dinner for summer!
More healthy chicken recipes
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Thank you and happy cooking!