Learn how long to bake chicken breasts at 400! Baking chicken breasts at 400 in the oven makes for an easy weeknight meal. 400 degrees Fahrenheit is the best temperature for cooking chicken breasts that are juicy, tender, and full of flavor. Get tips on how long to bake chicken at 400 uncovered, how to bake chicken at 350 (if preferred), and more!
Today we’re talking about how long to cook chicken breasts at 400. This is one of those everyday recipes that works for meal prepping and fast weeknight dinners. Plus, it happens to be keto, low carb, gluten free, Paleo, and dairy free.
Unfortunately, cooking chicken breast in oven at 400 is not quite as easy as just seasoning the chicken and baking. The most important thing I want you to take from this recipe is that the size of your chicken breasts matters.
Skinless, boneless chicken breast is a lean protein that is easy to overcook. Most chicken breasts are shaped in such a way that they are thin on one end and thick in the middle. The thin part of the chicken breasts can dry out while baking the thick part to a safe temp.
Luckily, there’s a simple solution to ensure your chicken breast at 400 turns out perfectly every time. Just use a mallet to pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness, and cut the chicken breasts to a similar weight with a knife.
I know it’s tempting to skip this step, but it’s crucial. I’ve purchased chicken breasts as small as 4 ounces and as large as one pound (!). Obviously, the answer to how long so you bake chicken breast at 400 will vary widely between those sizes.
Follow my directions below for consistent results in baking chicken!
- ⭐ How long to bake a chicken breast at 400?
- 😋 Is it better to bake chicken at 350 or 400?
- 🥘 Baking Chicken at 400 Ingredients
- 🔥 How to Long to Bake Chicken Breast at 400 in Foil
- 🤔 How Long to Bake Chicken Breast at 400 (Bone In)
- ⏲ How Long to Bake Chicken Breast at 400 After Searing
- 🥶 How Long to Bake Chicken Breast at 400 from Frozen
- 🔪 How to Long to Bake Chicken Breast at 400 in Air Fryer
- ❓️ How do I know when my chicken is done?
- 🌡️ How to Store Baked Chicken Breasts
- 📋 Baked Chicken Breasts Nutrition
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👨🏾🍳 Recipes Using Baked Chicken Breasts
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
⭐ How long to bake a chicken breast at 400?
How long to cook chicken at 400? Chicken breasts that are 4 ounces each and ½-inch thick will take 18-20 minutes in an oven preheated to 400F (200C).
Do not overcook it, it will dry out! I have tips on ensuring the chicken is cooked to a safe temp below.
To prepare the chicken for baking, the first thing you need to do is pound it to a uniform ½-inch thickness. Then, using a knife, cut the chicken breasts into 4 ounce (113 grams) pieces. I created four mini chicken breasts out of a 1 lb (454 grams) one!
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and rub on both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle a dry rub on both sides of the chicken. (There are lots of ideas for seasoning chicken in the ingredients section!)
Place the chicken pieces in a single layer in a glass baking dish. Put the dish on a rack about ⅓ down from the top of the preheated oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
After baking, you should check the temperature of the chicken breasts with a meat thermometer. If they are at a safe temp, allow them to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. The rest period allows the juices to reabsorb into the chicken.
😋 Is it better to bake chicken at 350 or 400?
I prefer baking chicken at 400 degrees Fahrenheit instead of 350 for a couple of reasons. Baking at 400 is faster, and the high heat really helps seal in the juices and the flavor of the chicken. I think once you try baking chicken at 400 in the oven, it will become your go-to method.
🥘 Baking Chicken at 400 Ingredients
Here’s your shopping list for this recipe:
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Olive oil
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Dried parsley
- Dried basil
Specific quantities of all ingredients are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
If you don’t like the seasonings I’m using, don’t be afraid to switch things up! BBQ seasoning, Italian seasoning, chili powder, curry, Cajun seasoning, and lemon pepper are all delicious on chicken. If you keep the seasonings simple, you can add some honey mustard or teriyaki sauce after baking.
🔥 How to Long to Bake Chicken Breast at 400 in Foil
Chicken breasts in foil packets take about 30-35 minutes at 400. Make sure to spray the foil with cooking spray and preheat the oven. I recommend putting a layer of lemon slices or veggies down between the chicken and the foil.
Always check your chicken with an instant read thermometer to ensure it was thoroughly cooked. Add additional cooking time if it has not reached 165F (74C).
🤔 How Long to Bake Chicken Breast at 400 (Bone In)
Skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts take 40-45 minutes in an oven preheated to 400F. Add more cooking time if the chicken has not reached 165F (74C).
Don’t forget to let the chicken rest at room temperature for 5-10 minutes after cooking. The rest period allows the chicken to reabsorb juices for the most moist and tender chicken.
⏲ How Long to Bake Chicken Breast at 400 After Searing
Chicken breasts quickly seared on the stove will only take 15-18 minutes in the oven at 400. In other words, searing can reduce the baking time by 1-3 minutes. A longer searing time can reduce baking time further.
But why sear chicken before baking? As you can see in the photos, chicken breast doesn’t brown well when baked at 400. Searing provides some browning on the chicken, and helps to lock in the moisture and flavor.
🥶 How Long to Bake Chicken Breast at 400 from Frozen
Bake frozen chicken breasts for a total of 35-40 minutes in a covered baking dish in an oven preheated to 400F. Uncover and season the chicken about halfway through baking time. Make sure you place the chicken breasts in a single layer in the pan.
As always, you want to check the chicken with a meat thermometer after baking. Once it has reached 165F (74C), let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
🔪 How to Long to Bake Chicken Breast at 400 in Air Fryer
Small boneless chicken breasts take about 12-15 minutes in an air fryer preheated to 400. Make sure to check the temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer to ensure it is done. Allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
You can use a Ninja Foodi, Philips, Nuwave, Pampered Chef, Actifry, Instant Pot Vortex, Cosori, Breville, Kalorik, or another air fryer to cook chicken breasts. However, cooking times may vary between air fryer brands. Always check the food early the first time you try a new air fryer recipe.
❓️ How do I know when my chicken is done?
I don’t recommend trying to determine if chicken is done without a meat thermometer. Color is not an accurate indicator of doneness; chicken can be a little pink and still be safely cooked. According to the USDA, the safe minimum internal temperature for chicken is 165F (74C).
Check the thickest part of the chicken breast to make sure it reached the safe temp. Some sources say you can tell if chicken is done by seeing if the juices run red, pink, or clear. However, the internal temp of the chicken is the only true indicator of doneness.
🌡️ How to Store Baked Chicken Breasts
Store cooked chicken breasts in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Keep them in a covered food-safe container. You can also freeze chicken in freezer bags with the air pressed out.
I prefer to reheat chicken in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes. You can also reheat chicken with a little water in a skillet on the stovetop. Add some sauce to the chicken if it’s getting a little dry.
📋 Baked Chicken Breasts Nutrition
Here are the nutrition facts for one 4-ounce serving of this chicken breast recipe:
- Calories: 178
- Total Fat: 8.3g
- Saturated Fat: 1.3g
- Cholesterol: 80mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 0.7g
- Fiber: 0.2g
- Total Sugars: 0g
- Added Sugars: 0g
- Protein: 25.1g
- Iron: 2.6% DV
- Calcium: 1.3% DV
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). Chicken breasts are a lean protein option that is often less expensive than beef or pork. They are a great choice for meal prepping low calorie meals.
Chicken breast is a common player in fitness and bodybuilding meals (often paired with broccoli and rice). One complaint about skinless chicken breast is that it is very bland on its own. To make the most of your chicken, it’s important to use a seasoning, marinade, or sauce on it.
There are many ways to flavor chicken without adding a lot of calories. Here, I’m using a blend of Italian-inspired herbs and spices. You could also use a citrus-based marinade.
Breaded chicken, fried chicken, and chicken slathered in sugary sauces tend to be the highest calorie chicken options. This is because these types of chicken include lots of energy-dense white flour, added oil, and/or added sugar. Unfortunately, these tend to be some of the most popular ways to enjoy chicken in the U.S.
Baking chicken at 400 is a fairly fast and hands-off process. Roast some veggies while the chicken is cooking, and you’ll have a healthy meal packed with whole foods.
Bake chicken breasts at 350 for 25-30 minutes in the oven. This is for small 4-ounce chicken breasts. Add time as needed until the chicken reaches the safe temp of 165F (74C).
The cooking time for chicken breasts depends on the size and thickness of the breasts. Small chicken breasts should be baked for 16-20 minutes in an oven preheated to 425.
Cooking chicken breasts at a very high temperature, such as 450F (232C), can save time. Bake small chicken breasts in an oven preheated to 450 for 15-20 minutes. Chicken breasts are done when they’ve reached the safe temp of 165F (74C).
Convection ovens cook fast; a convection oven at 400 degrees is about equivalent to a regular oven at 425. Bake small chicken breasts for 16-20 minutes in a convection oven preheated to 425.
Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs should bake for 35-45 minutes in an oven preheated to 400. Check the chicken thighs with a meat thermometer to make sure they reach a safe temperature of 165F (74C).
👨🏾🍳 Recipes Using Baked Chicken Breasts
How do you use cooked chicken breasts? Chicken is great in soups, stews, casseroles, and salads. Use leftover chicken in one of these easy chicken recipes:
- Chicken Salad with Lemon-Ginger Dressing
- Meal Prep Salads for Weight Loss
- Summer Berry Salad
- Turkey Wild Rice Soup (substitute chicken)
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
How Long to Bake Chicken Breasts at 400
- 4 small chicken breasts each 4 ounces (113 grams) and ½-inch thick (1.27 cm)
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Pound the chicken to a uniform ½-inch thickness using a mallet. Then, using a knife, cut the chicken breasts into 4 ounce (113 grams) pieces.
- Mix the garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper together.
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and rub on both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle the seasoning on both sides of the chicken.
- Place the chicken pieces in a single layer in a glass baking dish. Put the dish on a rack about ⅓ down from the top of the preheated oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 400°F (200°C).
- Check the temperature of the chicken breasts with a meat thermometer to ensure they've reached 165°F (74°C). Add additional cooking time if needed.
- Allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. The rest period allows the juices to reabsorb into the chicken. Enjoy!