How to Cook Tender and Moist Thin Chicken Breast in the Oven

When it comes to cooking thin chicken breast in the oven, achieving tenderness and moistness is key. There’s nothing worse than biting into a dry piece of poultry. No sauce can fix that. The trick is to cook it to a fork-tender internal temperature of 165 degrees. At Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ, we have mastered the art of cooking thin chicken breasts to perfection, and we’re here to share our tips and tricks with you.

How Long to Cook Thin Chicken Breast in Oven

The Ideal Cooking Time for Sliced Chicken Breast in the Oven

In the past, we’ve shared a recipe for cooking chicken breast in the oven at 350 degrees. However, that method is best suited for bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. When it comes to cooking thin chicken breast in the oven, the process is different. By pounding the chicken breasts flat, you can achieve the ideal outcome – meat that melts in your mouth.

Thin Chicken Breast Recipe

Pounding Out Chicken Breasts: A Technique for Tender and Evenly Cooked Meat

Pounding out chicken breasts is a technique used to make the meat thinner and more even in thickness. This helps the chicken cook faster and more evenly, resulting in a tender and juicy dish. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a clean, flat surface like a cutting board to prevent sticking.
  2. Place one piece of chicken on the parchment paper, leaving enough space around it.
  3. Cover with another layer of plastic wrap or parchment paper.
  4. Using a meat mallet or a rolling pin, gently pound the meat from the center outward, aiming for a consistent thickness of about 1/4 to 1/2 inch.
  5. Flip the chicken breast and pound the other side to ensure even thickness.
  6. Repeat the process with the remaining chicken pieces.
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Pounding the chicken breasts flat makes a significant difference in the outcome of your dishes. The thinner and more even they become, the quicker and more evenly they will bake, resulting in a delicious and tender meal.

How to Cook Thin Chicken Breasts

Cooking Thin Chicken Breasts to Perfection

The most important thing to remember when cooking thin chicken breasts is to avoid overcooking them. Since they are delicate, inserting a meat thermometer won’t give an accurate reading. Instead, cut into the center of the chicken breast to check for doneness. If the meat is white and no longer translucent, it’s good to go. The juices should also run clear once it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Here’s a simple recipe to cook thin chicken breasts in the oven:

  • Preheat the oven to 360°F.
  • Cut the chicken fillet into two thin slices. For even more tenderness, place each piece between two pieces of parchment paper and pound with a meat mallet to flatten.
  • Mix your desired spices and salt. Brush each slice with olive oil and sprinkle with spices on both sides.
  • Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil and place the chicken fillets on top.
  • Bake the thin sliced chicken pieces for 10 minutes.
  • Flip each piece over to the other side and bake for another 3-5 minutes, depending on their thickness. The chicken is done when it is white inside at an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

If you want to add a sauce, brush it on after flipping the chicken. BBQ sauce or teriyaki sauce can add a delicious touch to your dish.

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Thin Chicken Breast Recipe

Seasoning Ideas for Thin Chicken Breasts

When it comes to seasoning thin chicken breasts, the possibilities are endless. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Garlic Powder or Minced Garlic: Sprinkle garlic powder or use minced fresh garlic on the chicken breasts.
  • Onion Powder: Imparts a subtle onion flavor without the texture of fresh onions.
  • Paprika: Adds color and a mild smoky flavor to the chicken.
  • Italian Seasoning: A blend of dried herbs like oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary can add a Mediterranean touch.
  • Chili Powder: For a bit of heat and smokiness, try using chili powder or a mix of cayenne pepper and cumin.
  • Citrus Zest: Grate lemon or lime zest over the chicken for a refreshing citrus taste.
  • Dried Herbs: Experiment with thyme, rosemary, parsley, or sage to add depth to the chicken’s flavor.
  • Cajun or Creole Seasoning: If you like spicier flavors, Cajun or Creole seasoning blends offer a mix of herbs, spices, and heat.

To season the chicken:

  1. Lay the pieces on a plate or a clean work surface.
  2. Sprinkle the desired amount of salt and pepper on both sides.
  3. Add any additional seasoning or herbs you prefer, adjusting the amount based on your taste preferences.
  4. Drizzle olive oil or cooking oil over the top to help the seasonings adhere and keep the chicken moist during cooking.
  5. Rub the seasoning and oil into the chicken breasts, ensuring even coverage on all sides.
  6. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before cooking to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

Once your thin chicken breasts are perfectly seasoned, you can cook them using your preferred method – grilling, baking, using a cast-iron skillet, or roasting.

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Thin Chicken Breast in Oven


Q: Can I cook thin chicken cutlets on the stovetop?

Absolutely! To cook thin chicken cutlets on the stovetop, follow the same steps for seasoning and oil coating. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, sear the chicken quickly on the outside, then lower the heat, cover, and cook, turning only once, until the juices run clear and the meat is white inside.

Q: How do I store leftover thin chicken breasts?

If you have leftovers, allow them to cool off completely before transferring them into a freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible and store them in the fridge for up to three days. Leftover thin chicken breasts can be used in various recipes the next day.


When it comes to cooking thin chicken breasts in the oven, achieving tenderness and moistness is possible with the right techniques. By pounding the chicken breasts flat and cooking them to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, you’ll end up with a dish that’s tender, juicy, and full of flavor. Experiment with different seasonings and herbs to add your unique touch. So go ahead, cook up some delicious thin chicken breasts and enjoy a mouthwatering meal!

For more mouthwatering BBQ recipes and tips, visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ!