Easy recipe for the best thin sliced chicken breasts. Minimum preparation, simple seasoning, and only 15 minutes in the oven for a juicy chicken you can use for pasta, salads, sandwiches and so much more.
Oven-baked thin chicken breast
Chicken breast is probably the most popular cut of the bird that we cook at least once a week. It is healthy, versatile, and simply perfect for an easy dinner on a busy weekday. Add some steamed rice, salad or veggies to have a nutritious complete meal.
Before I came up with this recipe, I used to avoid buying the larger chicken breasts as they always would come out rubbery and overcooked. Luckily, not anymore...
A few days ago, I had a perfect occasion to make this recipe again, when the chicken breasts I bought were quite thick and large.
I love this method, because thin chicken cutlets cook much faster and evenly, resulting in juicy meat.
This recipe also comes in handy, when sometimes, you grab already sliced chicken breasts by accident at the store. I'm sure it happen to you at least once.
But if you are looking for the best way to cook whole chicken breast, try our popular Cast Iron Chicken Breasts Recipe.
You will need only a few ingredients to make this recipe. Check out my detailed ingredient suggestions and possible substitutions for this recipe below.
See the recipe card at the end of this post for the ingredients' quantities.
Chicken breasts: You will need larger and thicker chicken breasts are perfect for slicing them into cutlets. Most organic chicken breasts will be smaller and thinner and will be harder to slice without practice. Below, I am explaining in detail how you can easily slice them in half without making holes.
Shortcut: you can find already thinly sliced chicken breasts in most grocery stores these days.
Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil is one of the best oils to use for quick chicken marinades when the baking time is under 30 minutes. It tenderizes the meat and helps to absorb all the seasoning deeper into the tissues. The next best oil option is avocado oil. It has a high smoke point and a neutral flavor.
Seasoning: I used my favorite and very simple homemade seasoning mix made with salt, paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder and some black pepper. It's all you will need for a flavorful but at the same time simply seasoned meat to be used in a variety of recipes. But feel free to use any other herbs and spices combinations, such as Mexican, Italian, or Mediterranean.
How to slice the chicken breast into thin cutlets
First, pat dry chicken breast with paper towels to remove access moisture. If present, trim off any loose fat, connective tissue, or tenderloin. (tenderloin is a small strip piece of meat attached to the whole breast).
By the way, if tenderloin has mostly meat and not much fat, you can cook it as well alongside the breasts.
Food safety tip: never wash chicken breast to avoid bacteria spreading in your sink. Disinfect any surface that comes in contact with raw meat.
Lay one chicken breast flat on a cutting board. Place your whole palm over the chicken breast and slice it horizontally using a large sharp knife. Start from the thick side and work your way to the other side until you have two ⅛-1/4 inch thick cutlets.
Now, you got two evenly thin chicken breasts ready for tenderizing and seasoning.
If cut unevenly (it happens from time to time), the meat may have holes. But you still can cook it, the taste will not change.
The next step is pounding. It is optional but recommended to even out the thickness and tenderize the meat. You can use the meat hammer, rolling pin, or even an empty bottle to pound the meat.
If you skip pounding, use a fork to pierce the chicken few times to tenderize it. This way the seasoning will absorb better into the meat tissue.
Now, you got two evenly thin chicken breasts ready for baking.
Ste-by-step baking directions
In a small bowl, add salt, paprika, oregano, garlic, and onion powder. Rub both sides of the chicken with the prepared seasoning first. After that, rub a thin layer of olive oil on both sides. Let the chicken rest on the counter for about 15 minutes. If you plan to cook it later, cover and let it marinate in the fridge.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F and prepare the baking pan by lining it with some parchment paper. Place seasoned chicken cutlets on a prepared baking pan.
Bake in the oven for about 15-17 minutes. The meat is ready when the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Note: if baking at 425 degrees F, reduce the time to 12-15 minutes.
- use thicker and larger chicken breasts for cutting into thinly sliced cutlets.
- you can partially freeze chicken breasts for easier slicing.
- pound or pierce the meat to tenderize it.
- before baking, bring the chicken to room temperature for at least 15 minutes for even cooking.
Other ways to cook thin sliced chicken breasts
These perfectly seasoned cutlets are so easy to bake in the oven, but they are also great when cooked using the following kitchen appliances:
- Air fryer
- Instant Pot
- Toaster oven
- Main dish: this chicken breast is great with any side dish, such as potatoes, salads, or steamed veggies.
- Salads or sandwiches: these simply seasoned chicken breasts can be added to any salad, sandwich, or wrap.
- Pizza: cube and toss some on your favorite pizza for extra protein.
- Pasta: easy dinner idea by making any type of pasta with added sliced chicken and your favorite sauce.
You can refrigerate this cooked chicken for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Make sure to cool them down first.
I like to cube the meat for an easy access in different dishes throughout the week.
You can freeze cooled-down cooked chicken for up to 3 months.
Frequently asked questions
It is recommend to pound the meat for even thickness and to tenderize it. If you decide not to do so, pierce the meat with a fork to make it juicier.
Bake it between 16-19 minutes at 350°F or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F
I always use parchment paper. It is safe, mess-free and creates a beautifully browned meat. You can use only the non-stick or glass baking pan or line it with some foil.
Other healthy chicken recipes
Baked Thin Sliced Chicken Breasts
- 1 cutting board
- 1 sharp knife
- 1 Baking pan
- 1 meat tenderizer mallet
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt by taste
- 1 teaspoon dried paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper optional
- Slice both thicken horizontally into chin cutlets.
- In a small bowl, add ½ teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ onion powder and ½ black pepper.
- Rub both sides of chicken breast with the seasoning and then with some olive oil. Repeat with the rest of cutlets. Let the chicken rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F. Line baking pan with some parchment paper.
- Bake the meat at 400°F for about 15-17 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- use larger chicken breasts for slicing
- experiment with different seasonings
- for best, results use a meat thermometer