5 Healthy Baked Chicken Recipes to get you inspired for the week ahead. All are made with minimal ingredients, are really easy to make and are so darn good.
These recipes are made with just a few key ingredients that will hopefully make your meal planning more organized, enjoyable and easier, so you can spend more time doing what you love.
As much as we love to add variety to our weekly dinner menu, somehow chicken tends to be the most popular protein in our household, and I'm okay with that. Not only is chicken versatile, but depending on the recipe, chicken can be cooked in under 45 minutes which is perfect on those busy weeknights.
I want to help you make the best use of your time in the kitchen. Instead of spending countless time searching the internet and racking your brain trying to come up with dinner ideas, check out these 5 delicious healthy baked chicken recipes I'm sure you'll enjoy.
I intentionally included only 5 as I think including a ton of recipes within one post can become overwhelming and can potentially defeat the purpose of making a dinner decision in a reasonable amount of time.
The goal here is to have a handful of great tasting dinner ideas that are versatile, quick, and easy that you can serve you and your family and feel good about. So without further ado, here they are:
What temperature should chicken be cooked in the oven
When it comes to roasting a whole chicken or even chicken breasts, I typically start with a preheated oven of 425 degrees. This is a relatively high temperature, but I like to begin at 425 to start the skin to brown and crisp. Then, I lower the temperature to 400 degrees to continue the cooking process.
How do you keep chicken from drying out in the oven
You can keep chicken from drying out in the oven by simply using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken.
However, chicken breasts require a little bit more attention due to it being the leanest part of the chicken with very little fat. This can be a challenge when it comes to cooking chicken breast in the oven because it cooks fast and can dry out easily. To conquer this and end up with perfectly moist chicken breast, you'll need at a minimum to:
- Brine the chicken (soaking in a bowl of salt and water)
- Use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees
Read below for more detailed information on how to keep chicken breast from drying out when cooked in the oven.
How do you keep chicken breast moist
In case you were wondering, this is an excellent question. To be honest, chicken breast is the only part of the chicken that can be a little worrisome. It's the leanest part of the chicken with very little fat which can result in really dry chicken no matter how it's prepared. Believe it or not, if you overcook chicken breast in an instant pot or slow cooker can result in dry chicken.
The 3 most important steps in keeping chicken breast moist are:
- Brining the chicken which is basically soaking the chicken in salted water whereby the chicken will absorb some of the water resulting in a moist chicken. I've found this to be a key component and a fool-proof method of prepping chicken breast before cooking. I recommend brining chicken breast for at least 15 minutes up to 24 hours before baking or using any other cooking method.
- Marinating the chicken - this can consist of a basic wet marinate of extra virgin olive oil and some form of citrus and of course kosher salt. You can also include other seasoning blends and spices to create a flavor profile that you love. I recommend marinating for at least 15 minutes; however, if your marinate contains citrus, I recommend marinating your chicken for no more than 30 minutes. For example, lemon juice can potentially change the texture of the meat in a negative way if left for more than 30 minutes.
- Meat thermometer - I highly recommend investing in a meat thermometer. It's so important to check the internal temperature of meat to prevent overcooking, especially for meat like chicken breast that doesn't have a high fat contents and dries out easily and for safety reasons. Chicken breast is done when the internal temperatures reaches 165 degrees.
As an additional step, I like to drizzle grape-seed oil or extra virgin olive oil over the top before baking in the oven. This also helps to create pan juices that I can then use to baste over the top for added moisture.
If you follow steps 1 and 3 or steps 2 and 3, you will have perfectly moist and flavorful chicken breast.
I hope these 5 healthy baked chicken recipes have helped in planning your next weeknight dinner.
Take care and stay safe,