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How Long to Cook a Thin Chicken Breast in the Oven

Many people consider oven recipes a bother, especially when it comes to chicken. The idea of bringing, marinating, or wrapping chicken breasts can be overwhelming, particularly if you only want something quick yet tasty. But baking chicken breasts in the oven can be as rewarding as you hope. And it comes with fewer demands but promises the full flavor.

Top view of thin cooked chicken breast on plate.

Still, many recipes offer different suggestions, and sometimes, it’s hard to find a common guideline for all chicken breast procedures. So, why not pick it according to the thickness? Here, you’ll find out the proper way to plan cooking time for thin chicken breasts. And you’ll even discover how to convert thick cuts, so you won’t have to adjust cooking time or ingredients.

Chicken Breast Nutrition Facts

How Long to Cook a Thin Chicken Breast in the Oven

What We Call a Thin Chicken Breast

The thickness of chicken breast is relative, and what one calls thin, another may see as thick. But by our parameter, chicken breasts are considered thin when they’re around one inch or less. As it’s most unlikely to find chicken breast below one inch at the grocery store, we have techniques for achieving such.

The commonest option is to cut a thick-sized chicken breast (around seven ounces) into thinner fillets. You can also pound the chicken breast flat with a rolling pin or meat mallet. This technique will significantly reduce the breast’s density, and you’ll also notice it spread out more.

Baking Thin Chicken Breasts in the Oven

Now that we see thin chicken breasts, we can proceed to the recipe summary.

Prep the Oven

We prefer to cook thin chicken breasts in a 425F oven, so preheat yours to that temperature. This level offers enough heat to cook the breast without charring the surface. And if you’re using a convection oven, set it to 390F.

Flatten the Chicken Breasts

If the breasts come at a thickness of one inch or below, you won’t need to follow this step. But, if you have an average-sized option (around five ounces), flatten it with a meat mallet till it’s conveniently at the one-inch thickness mark. You can also employ a rolling pin for this purpose. Or divide large chicken breasts into equal fillets and flatten those instead. But remember that the cooking time will be done as required for normally thick average-sized chicken breast.

Season the Chicken Breasts

Any blend of seasoning work with baked chicken breasts, including garlic powder, oregano, thyme, onion powder, and black pepper. You can also consider brown sugar for a sweet tone or swap with its keto substitute if you’re concerned about calories. Smoked paprika or guajillo pepper can also be added for a hint of spiciness. Or you can consider brushing it with liquid seasoning if that’s what you have. In the end, it’s up to you to influence the flavor.

Oven Cooking Time for Thin Chicken Breasts

It takes around 18 to 20 minutes for average chicken breasts to reach doneness in the oven, regardless of being flattened. And this time also applies to large chicken breast sliced into two equal sheets. Still, the best cooking time is whenever the internal temperature of the breasts reaches 165F. So, monitor this doneness with a meat thermometer when you cook.

Once the chicken breasts are done, it’s recommended that you let them rest for at least five minutes before eating. When baked, the juices in chicken breasts rise to the surface. So, if they’re cut right away, the juice will be lost, along with a rich flavor. Letting the breasts sit for that time allows the juice to be reabsorbed in the flesh. And when you cut, the moisture and tastiness it contributes are maintained.

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Top view of thin cooked chicken breast on plate.

Baked Chicken Breasts (4 Servings)

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  • Four chicken breasts, skinless; five ounces each
  • One tablespoon brown sugar
  • One teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • Black pepper, a pinch
  • Salt


  1. Prep the oven by letting it heat to 425F. And while waiting, pound the chicken breasts to softness. Let them flatten and spread, so they look thinner than before.
  2. Layer a sheet of foil in the baking pan, then mix the spices and seasonings in a small bowl. Then, move the chicken breasts to the pan, sprinkle the seasoning, and toss so they mix. Then, drizzle the olive oil and rub so each breast is evenly coated.
  3. Cook the chicken breasts in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature hits 165F on a meat thermometer. Then, remove the foil and broil the breasts for one to two minutes.
  4. When the chicken breasts are ready, take the pan out and sit them at room temperature for five minutes before serving. You can also drain the pan juice and drizzle it over the breasts for an extra burst of flavor.
  • Author: Bobby