How Long to Bake Chicken Breast at 400

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By: Christian Chereau


Baking chicken breasts can be a little daunting for new cooks, but if you know the tips and tricks to getting them perfectly cooked every time, it’s actually surprisingly easy! 

The key is to properly calculate the baking time: too short could mean tough, rubbery chicken; too long could dry out your meal. 

So if you’re looking for an answer to that all-important question – how long do I bake these chicken breasts at 400°F? – look no further. We’ve got your perfect cooking guide right here!


Why Baking Chicken Breast?

How Long to Bake Chicken Breast at 400

Baking chicken breast is a highly recommended cooking method due to its many benefits. 

For one, it locks in the natural flavors and juices of the chicken, resulting in a tender and juicy meat. It’s also a healthier option since it requires little to no oil, making it ideal for those who are mindful of their calorie intake. 

Moreover, baking chicken breast is an effortless and time-saving process. 

What’s even better is that you can easily customize the seasoning and marinade to suit your preference, making it a versatile and delicious protein that can be incorporated into a wide variety of dishes, from salads to stir-fries, sandwiches to pasta. 

Overall, baked chicken breast is an excellent ingredient that can add a flavorful and nutritious touch to any meal.

Getting the Chicken Breast Ready for Baking

How Long to Bake Chicken Breast at 400

Preparing a mouth-watering chicken breast for baking involves several key steps. First, selecting the right cut of chicken breast is essential.

  • Choosing the right chicken breast for baking: Look for chicken breasts that are of a uniform size and thickness to ensure even cooking. 
  • Seasoning options for the chicken breast: Salt and pepper are always a great choice, but get creative with flavorful herbs and spices, or homemade spice rubs for an extra kick of flavor.
  • Preheating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit: This will ensure crispy, golden-brown skin and tender, juicy meat.
  • Using a baking dish or sheet pan: Choose an appropriate baking dish or sheet pan that is the right size to fit the chicken breast comfortably and has a lip to catch any juices that may run off.
  • Adding liquid for moisture: Consider adding a bit of liquid such as chicken broth or white wine to the baking dish to keep the chicken breast moist and flavorful.

Following these simple steps will ensure that your chicken breast is well-prepared for baking and sure to be a hit with your guests.

How Long to Bake Chicken Breast at 400

When it comes to baking chicken breast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, cooking time can vary based on the type of chicken breast you’re working with. 

  • Cooking time with different type of chicken breast: 

The cooking time for chicken breast can vary depending on the thickness and whether it is boneless or bone-in. 

As a general rule, boneless chicken breast will take around 20-25 minutes to bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, while bone-in chicken breast may take closer to 30-35 minutes.

To calculate the baking time for chicken breast in the oven, use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the chicken. When the temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, the chicken is fully cooked and ready to be removed from the oven.

  • Calculation for baking in the air fryer: 

If you prefer a healthier cooking method, you can use an air fryer instead of an oven. Overall, it usually takes 10-15 minutes to cook boneless chicken breast in an air fryer at 400F degrees Fahrenheit and 12-18 minutes for bone-in breasts. 


  • Factors that can affect cooking duration: 

There are several factors that can affect the cooking duration of chicken breast, including the thickness of the meat, the starting temperature of the chicken, and the type of oven or air fryer being used. 

It is important to keep an eye on the chicken while it is cooking and adjust the cooking time as necessary.

  • Signs of doneness: 

To determine if the chicken breast is fully cooked, use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature, which should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The chicken should also be firm to the touch and the juices should run clear when the meat is pierced with a fork. 

Additionally, the chicken should not be pink or have any raw spots. If any of these signs are absent, the chicken needs to be cooked further.

Recommendations for Pairing Chicken Breast with Sides and Sauces

Looking for the perfect sides and sauces to pair with your chicken breast? Look no further! There are so many delicious options to choose from that will really make your chicken sing. Some of our top recommendations include: 

  • Roasted seasonal vegetables such as carrots, brussels sprouts, or sweet potatoes.
  • A light and refreshing salad with mixed greens, sliced avocado, and a tangy vinaigrette.
  • Classic mashed potatoes, perfect for a hearty side.
  • Creamy mushroom sauce or a zesty lemon butter sauce for added flavor.
  • Spicy mango salsa for a tropical twist.
  • Sweet and savory honey mustard glaze for a delightful taste.

With these pairing suggestions, your chicken breast dish will be bursting with flavors and never boring again!

Tips for Storing and Reheating Remaining Chicken Breast

Nobody wants to waste food, especially not when it comes to chicken breast. If you find yourself with leftover chicken, there are a few easy tips to keep it fresh and delicious for the next day

  • Fully cool the chicken breast: Before storing leftover chicken breast, let it cool down completely to prevent bacteria growth and spoilage.
  • Store it in an airtight container: Use an airtight container to keep the chicken moist and prevent it from absorbing other odors in the fridge.
  • Reheating in the microwave: To reheat in the microwave, sprinkle some water over the chicken to add moisture and cover it with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap. Heat it in short intervals, stirring occasionally, to prevent it from drying out.
  • Reheating in the oven: To reheat in the oven, preheat it to 350°F and place the chicken in a baking dish with a little bit of oil to prevent sticking. Cover it with aluminum foil and bake it for about 20-25 minutes or until it’s heated through.
  • Check the internal temperature: To ensure the chicken is safe to eat, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should reach 165°F before consuming.


Is 400 degrees Fahrenheit the best temperature for baking chicken breast?

It is a good temperature for baking chicken breast, but it may vary depending on the size and thickness of your chicken breasts. 

Can I bake frozen chicken breast? 

Yes, you can bake frozen chicken breast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, however the cooking time will be longer than fresh or thawed chicken breasts. It’s best to thaw the chicken breasts in the refrigerator overnight before baking them. 

How do I know if my chicken breast is fully cooked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit?

Check the internal temperature of the chicken breast with an instant-read thermometer. It should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit before it is safe to eat. 

You can also check for doneness by cutting into the chicken breast and ensuring that it is cooked through and no pink is visible in the center. 

How can I adjust the cooking time if my chicken breast is particularly thick or thin?

If your chicken breast is particularly thick, you may need to increase the cooking time by a few minutes. On the other hand, if it is particularly thin, you may need to decrease the cooking time or cover it with foil to prevent burning. 

Can I use a meat thermometer to check for doneness while baking chicken breast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit?

Absolutely. An instant-read thermometer is the best way to ensure that your chicken breast is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit for food safety reasons. It will also help you avoid undercooking or overcooking the chicken breast. 

Should I cover the chicken breast while baking it at 400 degrees Fahrenheit?

It’s a good idea to cover the chicken breast with foil or a lid while baking it at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This will help prevent the chicken from drying out and also reduce cooking time. 

However, you should still check for doneness with an instant-read thermometer before serving. 

Take Home Message

Truly nothing is as satisfying quite like making a perfectly cooked meal with chicken breast. With the aforementioned tips and guidelines, you should now have plentiful knowledge, to confidently make a flavorful dish that will please your taste buds.
So grab those ingredients and maximize your kitchen prowess – How Long to Bake Chicken Breast at 400 | Get the Perfectly Cooked Meal – and let your culinary delights shine through!

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Christian Chereau

Christian Chéreau is a fourth generation French Pastry Chef born in France on December 20th, 1951. Chéreau cultivated his passion for the art of Pastry as a child in his grandfather’s acclaimed pastry shop, “Chéreau” in Sandillon, France

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