Knowing how to bake chicken breasts is one of those must-have skills for both chefs and the most casual of cooks. It's one of those pure and simple abilities in the kitchen that enables you to turn out a delicious, restaurant-quality meal with ingredients you might already have around the house. Use our guide to learn the basics of baking chicken, then get some inspiration to start experimenting with a variety of flavors.
There's nothing particularly special to knowing how to bake chicken breasts in the oven, but if there's something you can certainly do to deliver drastically different flavors each time around, it's changing up the seasoning. There's no shortage of variations to try on your chicken.
From simple salt and pepper to spicy chili rubs, your seasoning and topping selection is what's going to determine the tastes you put on your table. If you're looking to add some tasty crunch to your chicken, try our Crispy Baked Chicken that utilizes SHAKE 'N BAKE Chicken Coating Mix, parsley and mayonnaise to get its deliciously rich flavor. You can also enjoy something spicy and sweet with our easy Oven BBQ Chicken Breasts that are ready for the oven in just five minutes. For more tasteful inspiration and ideas, check out some more of our easy chicken recipes.
Once your chicken is seasoned or, better yet, while you're taking care of that, heat your oven to the temperature that your recipe—or your experience—calls for. 400°F is a fairly standard temperature for baking chicken, though plenty of recipes will call for other temperatures and cooking times. Spray your trusty baking dish with cooking spray to ensure that your chicken doesn't stick. Generally speaking, when you're baking your chicken at 400°F, your chicken will take somewhere around 25-30 minutes to cook. However, this can vary depending on the thickness of your chicken. That's why knowing how to bake chicken means knowing the magic number of 165°F. When you think your chicken is almost ready, use an instant read thermometer to check the chicken's internal temperature. As soon as the temperature reaches 165°F, you know that your chicken is ready to be enjoyed!