Easy baked thin sliced chicken breasts (boneless)

A complete tutorial (with tips and secrets) on the best way to easily bake thin-sliced chicken breasts that are skinless and boneless. No more bland, rubbery baked chicken breasts! 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

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5 stars

Fabulous! I marinated 4 thin chicken breasts in a Pyrex baking dish for a few hours in the fridge. The marinade is incredibly delicious. Moist, tasty, succulent. Will definitely make this again (and again…).

RENEE W

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Why you’ll love this thin chicken breast recipe

Finally, an easy way to 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 breast recipes, marinated for hours only to end up with tough, chewy chicken? 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 = DRY CHICKEN BREASTS

Unless you:

I tried and tested different rubs and marinades, set different timings and temperatures. Yet the chicken was not quite juicy.

The rubs (with loads of sugar) made the chicken LOOK juicy and caramelized, but were ALWAYS bland on the inside.

As for the marinades, it was the same result even when I marinated overnight. (Unlike recipes like chicken tikka and green chicken kababs which use a yogurt marinade that tenderizes the chicken breasts.)

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 tender chicken and also ticks all the boxes:

  1. Quick and easy dinner for busy weeknights.
  2. Pop-in-the-oven-and-relax kind of recipe. That means 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. This results in flavorful juicy chicken breasts.

  • Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board.
  • Using a sharp knife, slice the breasts horizontally to make them about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. If the thickness of chicken breast is not uniform, lightly pound the thicker part of the chicken using a meat mallet.
  • Maintaining this thickness of chicken breasts is important because you are going to cook the chicken breasts covered. There’s no way to check for doneness in the middle of cooking.

Easy seasoning for thin chicken breasts

(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 the thin slices of chicken breasts for at least 15 minutes. Marinating overnight in the fridge gives the best results.

Take the chicken out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking so that it reaches room temperature. 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 higher temperatures 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. This is the best temperature to cook thin chicken cutlets so they stay juicy.

Place the marinated chicken breasts in a deep baking tray or pan lined with parchment paper (for easy clean-up). Seal the pan 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 quick 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 thin-sliced chicken breasts 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 on a cooling rack after opening the sealed foil. Or else, the steam from the chicken will condense and make them soggy.

Common questions about baked thin chicken breast recipes

Can you bake chicken breasts from frozen?

Frozen chicken breasts can easily be thawed. Rinse the frozen chicken breasts a couple of times. 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.)
Let the chicken soak 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 thin chicken breast recipe requires you to seal the baking pan 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 oven-baked chicken breasts 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.

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 🙂

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

What to pair with baked thin sliced chicken breasts

Have a little more time and energy? Pair these chicken breasts with the Italian pasta salad with balsamic dressing, beetroot walnut feta salad with roasted garlic dressing, or beet orange salad.

You can also serve these baked chicken breasts with your favorite side dishes like roasted potatoes and broccoli or easy cheesy Italian potato croquettes.

Want to make your dinner as healthy as possible? Try the superfood salads like quinoa pumpkin salad and balsamic quinoa salad. They taste amazing with these baked thin chicken breasts.

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

For spicy pasta by the side, try red chilli pesto pasta, 6-ingredient spaghetti arrabiata, or the easy roasted garlic pesto pasta.

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!

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

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 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
resting time 5 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Course dinner, LUNCH, Main Course
Cuisine International, Mediterranean
Servings 4 people
Calories 218.5 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.
 
Nutrition Facts
Easy baked thin sliced chicken breast recipe (boneless)
Amount per Serving
Calories
218.5
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
11.3
g
17
%
Saturated Fat
 
2
g
13
%
Trans Fat
 
0.03
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1.5
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
5.6
g
Cholesterol
 
144.6
mg
48
%
Sodium
 
562.2
mg
24
%
Potassium
 
873
mg
25
%
Carbohydrates
 
1.5
g
1
%
Fiber
 
0.5
g
2
%
Sugar
 
0.2
g
0
%
Protein
 
48.3
g
97
%
Vitamin A
 
463.3
IU
9
%
Vitamin C
 
4.3
mg
5
%
Calcium
 
16.4
mg
2
%
Iron
 
1.1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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

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Author profile photo

Hi! I’m Sheeba, welcome to Go Healthy ever after!

I have a passion for cooking delicious nourishing food that’s easy to cook with fresh natural ingredients free from additives or preservatives. The easy healthy recipes you find here will inspire you to cook with creativity.

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38 thoughts on “Easy baked thin sliced chicken breasts (boneless)”

    1. Hey Cindy, thanks for stopping by 🙂 Leave the chicken out of the fridge for about 10 to 15 minutes and reheat in the oven or microwave in a covered dish. Heating at a high temperature for short period yields the best results.

  1. 5 stars
    Chicken turned out beautiful both times I’ve made it! Tender, juicy, full of flavor!
    The 2nd time, I used smoked paprika, added 1/2 teaspoon Chipotle powder, and used lime juice instead of lemon.
    Oh! Also, I marinated in my Food Saver container! Infuses the meat with soooooo much flavor!

  2. 5 stars
    Fabulous! I marinated 4 thin chicken breasts in a Pyrex baking dish for a few hours in the fridge. The marinade is incredibly delicious. I baked them (in the marinade) at 450 for not quite 10 min. Moist, tasty, succulent. Served it with rice cooked in chicken stock and lima beans tossed with olive oil and lemon juice. Will definitely make this again (and again…).

    1. Hi Delilah,
      Thanks for stopping by! It’s unfortunate that the recipe didn’t turn out right for you.
      I make these chicken breasts almost every week and it has always been cooked perfectly. Are you sure your oven settings are according to the recipe?

  3. 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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