How to Cook Chicken Breasts! Our four favorite ways to prepare chicken breasts. Awesome on salads, in tacos and sandwiches, or as a meal!
Chicken breasts are extremely versatile and there are thousands of chicken recipes in the world. One of the best things about chicken breast, though, is that you don’t need a set recipe to whip up an amazing meal. Learn our four favorite methods of cooking chicken and you will never be stumped at dinner time again.
Watch How To Cook Chicken Breasts:
How To Bake Chicken Breasts
- Temperature: 450°F
- How long: 20-25 minutes
- How to know it’s done: Internal temperature is 165°F
Place chicken breasts in a baking dish and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil.
Sprinkle spices generously over chicken breasts. You can use your favorite mix of herbs and spices or a store bought chicken seasoning. Add salt if it is not included in the seasoning.
Use your hands to completely coat the chicken breasts with spices.
Bake chicken at 450°F for about 20-30 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken breasts), or until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165°F on an instant read thermometer.
Remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board and cover loosely with foil. Allow chicken to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Baked chicken breasts are extremely versatile and can be seasoned many different ways. Use your favorite spice blends and flavors to make these quick and juicy chicken breasts any night of the week.
How To Saute Chicken Breasts
- Temperature: Medium high stovetop heat/400°F oven
- How long: 15 minutes total
- How to know it’s done: Internal temperature is 165°F
Place chicken breasts on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin or heavy skillet, pound the chicken breasts, focusing on the thicker ends, until chicken is even in thickness throughout.
Sprinkle chicken with seasoning mixture, adding salt if needed. Rub chicken breasts until evenly coated in spices.
Heat oil in an oven proof skillet, such as cast iron, over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add chicken breasts and allow to cook for about 3-4 minutes on the first side, or until edges are starting to look cooked and chicken has a good sear.
Flip the chicken breasts and transfer skillet to a 400°F oven.
Bake chicken for about 8-10 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165°F on an instant read thermometer. Loosely tent with foil and allow to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Sautéed chicken is golden brown on the outside and juicy on the inside. Experiment with different seasoning blends and pair with your favorite side dishes for an easy, but incredible weeknight dinner!
How To Poach Chicken Breasts
- Temperature: Medium low stovetop heat
- How long: 12-18 minutes
- How to know it’s done: Juices run clear
Place chicken breasts into a large sauce pan and cover with cold water by several inches.
Add a few simple aromatics such as carrots, peppercorns, salt, and bay leaves.
Cover the saucepan and bring the pot to a low boil over medium heat. Once water is boiling, reduce to a simmer and allow chicken to cook gently for about 10-12 minutes or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a knife.
Remove chicken and allow to rest for about 5 minutes. Cooking liquid can be reserved and added to soups as a simple stock.
Poached chicken can be sliced, cubed or shredded. It’s the perfect blank slate to add to soups, casseroles, or seasoned for enchiladas or tacos. Make a batch of poached chicken to shred and use throughout the week for lunches and dinners.
How To Make Chicken In Instant Pot
- Setting: Sauté & High Manual Pressure
- How long: 8 minutes
- How to know it’s done: Chicken is tender and cooked through
Cut chicken breasts in half to create smaller, evenly sized pieces. Season chicken generously with preferred spice mix, and stir to evenly coat.
Add oil to the Instant Pot and turn on sauté setting. When oil is hot, add chicken breasts in a single layer.
Brown chicken for about 3-4 minutes, flip and cook on the second side for an additional 3 minutes.
Add liquid to the Instant Pot to almost cover the chicken. This can be chicken stock, coconut milk, salsa, or even water. A simple jarred salsa is easy and provides lots of great flavor to the chicken. Here we used a roasted tomatillo salsa.
Place on the Instant Pot lid, set the valve to sealing, and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. When Instant Pot is done cooking, quick release the pressure. Carefully remove chicken. Chicken can be served immediately with some of the reserved cooking liquid or used for meal prep throughout the week.
How To Shred Chicken
Poached chicken and chicken cooked in the Instant Pot is great for shredded chicken. To shred chicken, use two forks to pull the cooked chicken into shreds. Shredded chicken can be added to casseroles, soups, or used in the filling for enchiladas or tacos.
How To Cook Chicken Thighs
These methods for cooking chicken breasts can also be used for cooking boneless chicken thighs. Chicken thighs have a higher fat content and therefore, can be extremely flavorful. Be sure to cook chicken thighs to an internal temperature of 165°F.
How To Know If Your Chicken Is Done:
The best way to know if chicken is cooked is to use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken and ensure that chicken is 165°F. If cooking bone-in chicken, be sure to avoid touching the bone with the meat thermometer when checking the temperature.
We’d recommend this instant read meat thermometer (affiliate link).