Oven baked chicken breasts

The secret recipe for tender juicy oven baked chicken breasts made with a simple marinade. Quick and easy weeknight dinner with loads of flavor!

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

Finally, a baked chicken breast recipe that yields soft juicy chicken 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 soft moist chicken breasts

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

NO SKIN + NO BONES= 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 brown 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 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!)
oven baked chicken breast served with garden salad on a white ceramic plate

chicken marinade for baking

The key is to TENDERISE the chicken breasts. Pounding and brining doesn’t help 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 oven 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. Pound the chicken breasts for even thickness.
  4. Poke a few holes on the chicken breasts with a fork, so the marinade will be absorbed well.

how long to marinate chicken?

Marinate for at least 30 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 30 minutes.

how long to bake chicken breasts?

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 15 minutes. That’s it, guys! Let the oven do the rest. Meanwhile, you have the luxury of checking your emails, taking a good shower or chopping 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.

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

Oven baked chicken breasts

The secret recipe for tender juicy oven 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.
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
resting time 5 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course dinner, LUNCH, Main Course
Cuisine International
Servings 4 people

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 30 minutes to marinate. Refrigerate if you're planning to marinate longer.

bake the marinated 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 15 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.
Keyword baked chicken breast marinade, baked chicken breast recipe, chicken marinade fo baking, easy chicken breast recipe, how long to bake 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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