Say bye bye to bland and dry chicken breasts by following my preferred cooking temperature and time, plus a few tips to guarantee you’ll love baked chicken again. This Salt and Pepper Chicken is a staple at our house because it’s an easy protein that we use to create different kinds of meals.
I’ve always shied away from cooking chicken breasts in the oven since they always turn out dry and overcooked. Pan fried chicken tenders or thighs were easier for me to cook because I can gauge it’s doneness since by keeping a close eye on it. When Will and I did the Whole 30 in mid-February he wanted an alternative to the Chicken Caesar Salad from Trader Joe’s that he packs for lunch a couple of times a week. I was wary of precooked chicken breasts at the deli aisle due to unnecessary additives so I braved cooking it myself. Yes it seems such a simple task, but if you’ve ever baked chicken breasts and ended up with a dry chunk of under seasoned meat you know that temperature, time, and the amount of seasonings make a big difference!
After some trial and error, as well as a few pieces of dry chicken breasts (sorry hubby!), I’ve finally nailed down the right temperature and time for these perfectly juicy baked chicken breasts. I also have a few tips and tricks to make each morsel of chicken as tasty as it looks.
1.) 375F for 30 minutes
I use the same cooking temperature and time no matter how thick each piece of chicken breast is, and it works perfectly every single time. Here’s a guide for you: If your chicken breast is between 3/4” to 1 1/2”, stick to baking it for 30 minutes. If it’s thinner than 3/4”, bump it down to 25 minutes.
2.) Generously season with salt and pepper
I use half a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of pepper per piece of chicken breast and season both sides. Since they are thick, they need a good amount of seasoning to give them flavor. No one wants bland chicken, so don’t be afraid to be generous with your spices.
3.) Thinly sliced chicken + cooking juices = best chicken ever
Once the chicken is cool enough to handle hold it with one hand and, using a chef’s knife at a 45 degree angle on the chopping board (the blade facing away from you), slice the chicken into thin pieces. Transfer the sliced chicken to a glass container and pour all the cooking juices on top of it. The chicken stays juicy in the fridge and each piece is packed with flavor. Yummy!
These baked chicken breasts are meal prep friendly so you can prepare them on meal prep day. They will easily keep in the fridge for up to five days.
Salt and Pepper Chicken
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (approximately 4 pieces)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- Cooking oil spray of your choice
Preheat the oven at 375F.
Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
Place the chicken breasts on top of the foil and season both sides with salt and pepper.
Spray the top of the chicken with a little cooking oil spray.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Remove and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing thinly.
Transfer the chicken to a glass container and pour the cooking juices on top.
Serve immediately or cover and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.