Easy Baked Chicken Breast

easy baked chicken breasts

Easy baked chicken breast is perfect for a quick, healthy dinner or for meal prep. Smoked paprika and garlic powder are the secret spice ingredients that takes boring baked chicken up a notch. The key to keeping baked chicken breasts moist is a quick salt water brine.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a sheet pan with non-stick foil.

Brine the chicken for about 15 minutes.

chicken breasts in salt water brine

Why brine the chicken? Chicken breast is a lean meat and has a tendency to dry out when cooking. It’s not forgiving, like chicken thighs for example, which have a higher fat content. So brining will ensure juiciness without adding extra fat. (Some chicken breast is sold in a liquid saline solution. If that’s the case for your chicken, you can skip the brine.)

While the chicken is sitting in the brine, melt the butter and mix the spices together.

After brining, pat the chicken dry, and trim into uniform pieces.

Brush the chicken on both sides with melted butter, then sprinkled both sides with the spice mix. Place the chicken on the sheet pan.

Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken breast reaches 165 degrees.

Serve this easy baked chicken breast for dinner or let cool and use for meal prep lunches for the week.

HINT: For meal prep, weigh your chicken before cutting and then decide on your portion size. I calculate 4 ounces of chicken as a “normal” portion.

Other delicious and easy weeknight chicken breast recipes to try include sheet pan bruschetta chicken, Cuban chicken with black beans, and chicken scallopini.

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Easy Baked Chicken Breast

easy baked chicken breast

Easy baked chicken breast with smoked paprika and garlic flavor.  Chicken is brushed with melted butter before cooking to ensure it stays that stays flavorful and juicy. Perfect for an easy weeknight dinner or meal prep.

  • Author: Kathleen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

For the brine:
1/4 cup Kosher salt
4 cups water, enough to cover to chicken

For the chicken:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Line a sheet pan with non-stick foil.
  3. Cut chicken so that the pieces are of even thickness.
  4. Fill a bowl with enough water to cover the chicken and add 1/4 cup Kosher salt.  Stir to dissolve the salt.
  5. Add the chicken to the bowl and allow to sit for 15 minutes.  
  6. While the chicken is in the brine and the oven is heating up, mix together the Kosher salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and black pepper.
  7. Pat the chicken dry and brush melted butter on both sides.
  8. Sprinkle the spice mixture on both sides and add the chicken to the sheet pan.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes.  Chicken is fully cooked when it reaches an internet temperature of 165 degrees at the thickest part.

Notes

If your chicken breast comes already packed in a salt water solution, you can skip the brine.

Keywords: chicken breast, baked chicken, healthy

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