Easy Baked Chicken Breasts (Juicy, Flavorful!)

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Plate with sliced baked chicken breast and cucumber salad

A fail-proof recipe for juicy, tender, flavorful chicken breasts? This is it! We tinkered with a few variations before landing on this perfected version. It’s easy, reliable, umami-filled, and pairs well with just about anything!

Try it with bowls, salads, pasta, and beyond! Bonus points? It requires just 5 ingredients and they’re all pantry staples you probably have around. Let us show you how it’s done!

Chicken breasts, olive oil, coconut aminos, maple syrup, and lemons

How to Bake Chicken Breasts

If you’re looking to bake chicken breasts that are juicy and flavorful, we have a few secrets to share with you:

  • Marinate – to infuse flavor
  • Sear on the stovetop – to lock in moisture
  • Bake to an internal temperature of 165 Fahrenheit – to ensure food safety and avoid under/overcooking
  • Rest – this minimizes the amount of juices that spill out when cutting

We start this quick and easy recipe with a 4-ingredient marinade made with oil, coconut aminos, lemon juice, and maple syrup. It’s umami-forward with a little sweetness and brightness to balance it out.

Whisking olive oil, coconut aminos, lemon juice, and maple syrup in a glass dish

Whisk the marinade ingredients, then add in the boneless skinless chicken breasts and let them marinate. After just 15 minutes (a.k.a. just the right amount of time to prep sides like salad, rice, or roasted asparagus), it’s time to start cooking.

Marinating chicken breasts in a glass dish

We start the chicken breasts on the stovetop because the higher heat helps lock in moisture and creates a golden brown crust.

We then transfer to the oven, helping them cook fully through the center. An oven thermometer is your best friend for making sure it’s cooked enough to ensure food safety without overcooking (which will make it dry). The leftover marinade cooks with the chicken, creating a sauce that would make even dry chicken taste good!

Slicing into a pan seared baked chicken breast

We hope you LOVE these seared baked chicken breasts. They’re:

Tender
Juicy
Umami-filled
Subtly sweet
Quick & easy
Made with pantry staples
& Seriously amazing!

These chicken breasts are a super versatile protein-boost for Garlic & Herb Sweet Potato Nourish Bowls, Easy Penne Arrabbiata, and beyond! They also go well with simple sides like mashed potatoes, rice, roasted vegetables, and salad. The possibilities are endless!

More Flavorful Entrée Ideas

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Plate with sliced baked chicken breast and cucumber salad

Easy Baked Chicken Breasts (Juicy, Flavorful!)

Easy, juicy, FLAVORFUL seared then baked chicken breasts! Perfect for pairing with bowls, salads, and beyond. Just 5 ingredients required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Holding a pan seared baked chicken breasts over a skillet
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 (~3-oz. cooked servings)
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil (plus more for oiling pan)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos (we like Big Tree brand)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 (~8 oz. each) boneless skinless chicken breasts (pasture raised, organic when possible)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 F (218 C).
  • In a wide and shallow bowl or dish, combine the oil, coconut aminos, lemon juice, and maple syrup. Whisk until cohesive and smooth. Place the chicken breasts in the marinade and flip them a few times to coat. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes, flipping at the halfway point to marinate evenly.
  • Heat a large oven-safe skillet (we like cast iron or stainless steel) over medium-high heat. Add ~1 tsp oil (just enough to coat the skillet). Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the chicken breasts to the pan. The pan should be hot enough that they sizzle nicely! Let them sear for 2-3 minutes, then flip and sear for another 2 minutes on the second side. Flip once more, turn off the heat, then pour the remaining marinade over the chicken breasts.
  • Carefully transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for 10-18 minutes (flipping at the halfway point for even caramelization), or until the internal temperature of the chicken breasts reaches 165 F and they are slightly smaller in size. An oven thermometer is highly recommended as the bake time will vary based on the size of the chicken breasts (~10-12 minutes for 5-6 ounce breasts, ~12-14 minutes for 7-8 ounce breasts, and ~14-18 minutes for 8-10 ounce breasts).
  • Remove from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes, then slice and serve drizzled with any extra sauce from the pan.
  • Leftover chicken breasts will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat in a 350 F (176 C) oven for 10 minutes or until warmed through.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with 8-ounce chicken breasts.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 (three-ounce serving) Calories: 110 Carbohydrates: 2.9 g Protein: 12.8 g Fat: 4.9 g Saturated Fat: 0.8 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.6 g Monounsaturated Fat: 2.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 41 mg Sodium: 161 mg Potassium: 221 mg Fiber: 0 g Sugar: 2.6 g Vitamin A: 17 IU Vitamin C: 1.7 mg Calcium: 4.7 mg Iron: 0.2 mg

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  1. Sara says

    I don’t own a skillet that is oven safe to that temperature. Can I transfer the chicken breasts and marinade to a cookie sheet for the oven part of it?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sara! We’d suggest a baking dish (8×8 or casserole size) over a baking sheet, but if a baking sheet is all that you have, it should work. Let us know how it goes!

    • Elle says

      I also did not have a cast iron skillet, and found that the best way to make the situation work was to pan sear the chicken breasts and then transfer to a baking sheet that had pre-heated with the oven (lined with foil for easier clean up). That way there is no reduction in heat and the chicken breasts cook nice and evenly!

  2. Erika says

    This is the best chicken recipe hands down, and I’ve tried a lot of them. It’s super flavorful, quick, easy and consistent. I make 3-4 chicken breasts at a time and we have some for dinner and then have the leftovers for lunches. I’ve been making this every two weeks at my kids’ request. Love it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you and your family are enjoying it, Erika! Thank you for the lovely review! xo

  3. Hillary says

    So simple and so delicious. Made this for a potluck at my son’s school and people loved it. Stayed moist and flavorful for leftovers for a few days too. Big win, will be in the rotation going forward!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad everyone enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing, Hillary! xo

  4. joey says

    Making as I am writing. Concerned about using the marinade that I used to prepare the chicken breast. Assuming because it is cooked it is safe.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Joey, because it goes in the pan and oven with the chicken, it gets fully cooked to destroy any harmful bacteria.

  5. Jenniffer says

    I started following your blog because of your minimal ingredients and amazing vegan recipes. My boyfriend is not vegan and I always struggle to make something for him. I always try to buy pasture raise and organic for him but still struggle to find simple recipes like yours. Thank you for creating recipes that make YOU happy. I love all your vegan recipes and respect your job for being honest about the meat recipes. We are all doing the best we can for the animals.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for your kind words and support! We’re so glad you enjoy our recipes! xoxo

      • curt says

        Yes, I am a vegetarian who eats mostly vegan, but my husband eats meat. He does NOT cook! I love that I can come to this blog to learn how to make occasional meaty treats for him. I honestly think one could market this blog in terms of helping mixed-diet households eat healthy, simple food together. Thank you again!

          • Curt says

            Oh, I forgot! PLEASE keep including the meat thermometer instructions — they are so useful and make me confident I’m not going to give him food poisoning even though i don’t know what i’m doing! Lots of sites say to compare it to different points on your palm (maybe not for chicken, but definitely for steak, idk). I really appreciate the objectivity of the thermometer instructions, which come with the added bonus of me not having to attempt touching the meat as much.

            I made this for a salad that I had chickpeas on and he had this; it lasted 2 lunches for us both.

  6. Nance says

    Made it! Loved it! Thanks for the perfect marinade recipe and preparation tips for a quick and delicious dinner. This really did produce the tastiest chicken. I am so excited to see the upcoming cucumber salad recipe!

  7. Bob-O says

    This is a must-try recipe for me. However, I’m not sure that I would consider coconut amino’s a pantry staple. I’ve never heard of this stuff before and I suspect most of my foodie friends haven’t either. I had to Google it to find out what it is. The rest of the ingredients we usually have on hand, though.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for the feedback! It’s a favorite ingredient at MB =) Another option would be a lesser amount of tamari or soy sauce + more maple syrup. But we’d definitely recommend it as written for best results.

  8. rodrigo says

    Why you started to do animal cruelty !!! yore were vegans !!!

    no to animal abuse, no need ! for a health and for the planet !

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rodrigo, While Minimalist Baker has never been a blog for exclusively vegan recipes, we have at times experimented with a fully plant-based approach to eating. Over time, we’ve found a plant-forward, but not exclusively plant-based diet to be a more sustainable approach for us and many of our readers. It is important to us to be authentic and share with you the food that makes us feel nourished and excited.

  9. Rebecca says

    Hi, hi love the vegan recipes. Is there any possible way to only receive the “nonmeat” recipes without unsubscribing?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rebecca, you can subscribe to our vegan-only email list (sign up for the email list and click the subscriber preferences at the bottom of the email). Hope that helps!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Dorothy, we haven’t experimented much with an air fryer, but perhaps 375 F for 8-12 minutes, flipping halfway. You’ll likely need to cook the reserved marinade on the stovetop, thickening with a little slurry of arrowroot or cornstarch + water, then drizzling on the cooked chicken. Let us know if you do some experimenting!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Alexandra, While Minimalist Baker has never been a blog for exclusively vegan recipes, we have at times experimented with a fully plant-based approach to eating. Over time, we’ve found a plant-forward, but not exclusively plant-based diet to be a more sustainable approach for us and many of our readers. It is important to us to be authentic and share with you the food that makes us feel nourished and excited.

  10. Heather says

    Do you have a recipe for the cucumber salad served alongside the chicken in the recipe photos? It looks delicious!