How Long to Cook Chicken Breast In the Oven
Here's the difference between cooking boneless, skinless chicken breasts and bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts.
By Leah Brickley for Food Network Kitchen
It’s no fun biting into a piece of dry chicken breast (or worse yet, a raw one), so it’s important to know when your chicken breast is done cooking in the oven. Below, we’ve laid out some rules about how long to cook different types of chicken breasts – plus some easy, anything-but-boring chicken breast recipes to inspire you.
What’s the difference between boneless, skinless chicken breasts and bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts?
All chicken breasts aren’t created equal. How long you cook your chicken breast in the oven depends largely on its weight and whether it’s boneless, skinless or bone-in, skin-on. While the two types of chicken breasts are neighbors in the meat case, they couldn’t be further apart in flavor and appearance. Bone-in, skin-on might feel more intimidating to cook, but the fat rendered from the skin and the intact bones generally make for juicier, tastier baked chicken breast. Read on for how long to bake each variety to achieve the best results possible.
What's the best oven temperature for cooking chicken?
Many of Food Network Kitchen's baked chicken breast recipes call for a 375 degrees F oven, and that's because chicken breast cooks through evenly and quickly at this temperature, making for tender, juicy results.
How long should I bake chicken breast?
If you’re following a specific recipe, then don’t deviate! But here’s a general formula…
- 20 to 30 minutes for large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked in a 375 degrees F oven
- 35 to 40 minutes for large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts cooked in a 375 degrees F oven
How do I tell when chicken breast is done cooking?
We’d be remiss not to mention instant read thermometers, probably your best tool to determine whether or not your chicken is done. Insert an instant read thermometer in the thickest part of the breast — you’re looking for a final temperature of 165 F. If you don’t have an instant read thermometer, you can also cut into the thickest part of the chicken with a paring knife to make sure there’s no visible pink meat.
Do I need to rest baked chicken breast?
After you’ve cooked your chicken breasts to doneness, make sure you rest them for at least 10 minutes before slicing to lock in juice and flavor.
What's the best way to store baked chicken breast?
After the chicken is done cooking, cool it completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Or transfer it to a resealable plastic bag, remove all of the air from the bag and freeze it for up to four months.
Baked Chicken Breast Recipes
Now that you’ve mastered how long to cook chicken breast and how to know when it’s done, let’s mix up things so you’re not cooking plain chicken breast. Here are some recipes to get you started.
Roast Chicken Breast with Polenta and Cherry Tomatoes
An herb or spice blend sprinkled on and rubbed into chicken breasts will add a pop of color: these chicken breasts are covered with Italian seasoning and Parmesan and bake along with polenta rounds and tomatoes.
Hasselback Chicken Cordon Bleu
Give chicken breasts the hasselback treatment: Ree makes slits in breadcrumb-topped chicken breasts and slides in pieces of Canadian bacon and Swiss cheese.
Baked Apricot Rosemary Chicken
A quick glaze can brighten up baked chicken breasts: Trisha treats chicken breasts to an apricot jam, mustard and rosemary marinade that browns nicely as it bakes.
Sheet Pan Caprese Chicken
Sometimes you can dress up chicken breasts after they’re done baking: fresh basil and a balsamic reduction are the finishing touches on this baked caprese chicken.
No-Peak Tomato Chicken
Baking chicken breasts on a simple bed of fresh herbs and citrus slices and topping with your favorite spice or herb blend can be enough. Or try this no-peek tomato chicken where chicken breasts get lots of help — on the bottom — from rice and tomatoes.