Best Ways To Cook Chicken Breasts: 4 Tasty Tips Most Recommended By Experts For A Healthy Meal

Chicken can be both a delicious and nutritious meal.  If you are searching for a low-fat, healthy food option, chicken is a fantastic source of protein.  Eating the leaner parts, or white meat, like chicken breast, can help to nourish our bodies, and strengthen our bones and muscles. There are, of course, a multitude of ways to cook chicken, but we were curious which were considered the best among foodies’ reviews.

Interestingly, chicken wasn’t always considered the delicacy that it is today. In fact, a recent study shows that people in Europe revered chickens and didn’t eat them during the Iron Age.  Their new study finds men were buried with cockerels when they died, while women were laid to rest with hens. The international team may be rewriting the history of the world’s most popular meat, finding the chicken’s legacy is much more complicated than previously believed.

If you are considering plant-based meat alternatives, another study reports that plant-based substitutes actually lack the nutritional quality of real meat. Their study found that meat substitutes contain proteins and nutrients which the human body can’t absorb — leaving customers with an iron deficiency. So you may want to think twice before dropping chicken from your menu.

With that in mind, StudyFinds compiled a list of the four best ways to cook chicken breast, most recommended across ten expert websites, for a healthy, protein-packed meal.  As always, we’d like to see your own recommendations — as well as any great recipes you always prefer — in the comments below!

The List: Best Ways To Cook Chicken Breast According To Food Experts

1. Skillet / Stovetop

Pan-seared chicken breast can be a tender, juicy delight.  

“Grease the chicken breasts with cooking spray or oil, then season with salt, fresh ground pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and dried basil. This dry mix of herbs and spices adds a wonderful zing and flavor to the chicken breasts,” according to Diethood.

Put some oil in your skillet, and heat over a medium flame.

“Add the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook for about 8 minutes without flipping (5 minutes for thin-cut breasts).  Flip the chicken and then cook on the second side until well browned and cooked through (internal temperature of 165ºF),” notes Budget Bytes.  

Cooked chicken breast in a cast iron skillet
(© fahrwasser – stock.adobe.com)

You can add some butter to the pan to keep your chicken moist and flavorful.  One rule of thumb from The Almond Eater– “Don’t fuss with the chicken or move it around once it’s in the hot pan.  If the chicken doesn’t effortlessly turn over, it isn’t ready to be flipped!”

Give your chicken about five minutes to rest before enjoying.

2. Bake / Roast In The Oven

This method takes a bit more time, but it works well with either boneless or bone-in chicken breasts.

Real simple adds, “the skin on the chicken acts as a protective shield, locking in moisture and yielding lots of flavor.  Add even more flavor by mixing ground spices with olive oil before brushing on the chicken, or simply roast with lemon slices and woody herbs, like thyme or rosemary.”

You’ll want to bake your chicken in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

Chicken breasts prepared for cooking in the oven
(Photo by Mateusz Feliksik on Pexels)

“The key to a juicy chicken breast is to not overcook it.  To prevent your chicken breast from turning out dry, use an instant-read thermometer to check when the internal temperature has reached 165°F,” notes Natasha’s Kitchen.

3. Grilled

Who doesn’t love a grilled chicken breast during a cookout?  The key is to make sure the chicken stays succulent over that open flame. 

You can cut or flatten your chicken breasts to an even thickness to aid in the cooking process. “Another perk of flattening the chicken breasts is that any brine or marinade you use will be able to penetrate the chicken more quickly,” notes Cook the Story.

Next brine the chicken to lock in that moisture.  “All it takes is 30 minutes in a simple brine solution of 1/4 cup kosher salt dissolved in 4 cups water.” according to Simply Recipes.

After brining, season your chicken breasts to taste, or use a marinade.  You won’t need any salt. Then, heat up your grill to about 400 degrees.

Fit Foodie Finds points out that’s– “Hot enough to get you gorgeous grill marks, but not too hot to dry out your chicken. Grill your chicken for around 7-8 minutes over direct heat, flip, and grill for 8-10 more minutes.  PS: this is for a 6 oz. chicken breast!”

4. Air Fryer

Surprise! You can cook a frozen chicken breast in the air fryer.  “Preheat the air fryer to 360 degrees F. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and season as desired. Spray the air fryer basket with non-stick spray then air fry the chicken for 18 to 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through,” according to Well Plated by Erin.

If you are using fresh chicken breasts, flatten, brine, and season as you would if you were grilling them.  The cook time will depend on the size and weight of the breasts.

“For cooking multiple breasts at once, use the average weight of the breasts added together.  For example, you want to cook 3 breasts.  One of them weighs 10 oz, one is 9 oz, and one weighs 12 oz.  Add all of the weights together, in this case it adds up to 31 oz.  Then, since you have 3 breasts, divide that by 3, which equals 10.  The average weight is 10 oz, so you will cook the three together for 20 minutes,” points out Simply Happy Foodie.

No matter which method you choose, the end result will be a healthy, nutritious meal.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links. 

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