Garlic Butter Baked Chicken is an easy chicken recipe that is simple yet impressive. Made with a garlic-infused butter sauce, the meat is juicy, tender, and full of flavor. Serve it with your favorite sides and you’ve got a simple dinner ready for the family in under an hour!
I know I don’t have to convince anyone how amazing garlic butter is. I mean, if you’ve ever had it drenched over a juicy steak bites, or used it to dip your lobster or crispy shrimp, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
But did you know garlic butter can turn ordinary chicken breast into the most tender, juicy, and flavorful chicken you’ve ever had?!
This easy garlic butter baked chicken is made without any brine or marinade and can be ready to serve in just 40 minutes.
It’s perfect for busy weeknights and can double as an impressive chicken breast recipe for when company is over.
Serve it with a side of mashed potatoes (garlic mashed potatoes sounds about right) and a side of veggies or leafy greens and you’ve got a simple, buttery, tender chicken dinner the whole family will fall in love with.
Why you’ll love this baked Garlic Butter Chicken recipe
Simple Ingredients – This easy chicken breast recipe is made with just a handful of ingredients. Melted butter and garlic are elevated with the flavors of dried parsley and lemon pepper. Chili flakes for heat are totally optional!
Family-Friendly – Everyone needs a new chicken recipe in their back pocket once in a while. One that the entire family will love with no complaints from the pint-sized food critics!
Flavor Flexible – Play around with the seasonings, use your favorite herbs, or add some parmesan cheese on top. Roast some veggies right in the same pan, or adjust the spice level to your liking. It’s very easy to customize.
Pairs With Any Sides – From potatoes to pasta, to veggies, these juicy chicken breasts are ready to pair with your favorite sides.
Equipment you’ll need
- 9×13 baking dish
- Meat Thermometer – an instant read thermometer is a must for both making sure your chicken is done and not overcooking it so you have juicy meat.
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.
- Chicken Breasts – Boneless skinless chicken breasts. You want them sliced thin, so you may need to butterfly them to flatten them out a bit. You want about 4-6 pieces in total.
- Salt & Pepper – To taste. Just a bit of seasoning to coat the chicken before adding the garlic butter.
- Olive Oil – Used to coat the bottom of the baking dish to create a nonstick surface. It also helps to keep the underside moist.
- Butter – Cut the butter into cubes so that it melts faster than an entire stick would.
- Minced Garlic – Infusing the melted butter with the aromatic garlic is just the best. It’s what makes garlic butter, well…garlic butter! I use fresh garlic but in a pinch, garlic powder will work.
- Dried Parsley – Parsley, garlic, and butter are a common trio. The parsley brightens up the buttery sauce with a herbaceous element – it is bright and pairs nicely with lemon.
- Lemon Pepper – Zesty lemon pepper is made with dried lemon zest making it a great way to add the essence of citrus as an alternative to lemon juice.
- Red Pepper Flakes – An optional way to add a bit of heat.
How to make Garlic Butter Baked Chicken
This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Step One: Coat the bottom of the 9 x 13 glass baking dish with olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place them in the baking dish in a single layer.
- Step Two: Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the minced garlic to cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn’t burn. Burnt garlic will alter the flavor completely and we don’t want that!
- Step Three: Remove the pan from the heat and add in the parsley, lemon pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and evenly distribute.
- Step Four: Pour the garlic butter over the chicken breasts and bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it stand for 5 minutes.
Serve with extra garlic butter mixture drizzled overtop. Enjoy!
What to serve with Garlic Butter Baked Chicken
Serve it with spaghetti, fettuccine, or whatever your favorite pasta noodles are.
White rice is also a wonderful choice.
A basket of one hour dinner rolls to sop up the garlic butter drippings from your plate is a must!
Tips & Suggestions
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towel before adding the salt and pepper. Eliminating the moisture from the surface of the meat will help the coating to stick and will give the outside a better chance of browning.
- For extra flavor, toss in some extra seasoning. Italian seasoning is a great option. So is thyme, rosemary, and/or basil.
- Check for doneness before removing from the oven. Use an meat thermometer to gauge. It will have an internal temperature of 165° when it’s ready.
- Add fresh brussels sprouts, whole or halved, green beans, or baby carrots to the pan to roast as the meat cooks.
- Add some cheese to the dish. I mean garlic butter and cheese, need I say more?! Sprinkle shredded mozzarella, an Italian cheese blend, or Parmesan over the top.
- If you’re a fan of lemon chicken piccata, you may even enjoy adding capers to this dish.
How to reheat and store Garlic Butter Baked Chicken
How to store leftovers
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. Allow them to cool completely before closing the lid so you’re not trapping excess moisture.
How long will baked chicken breast last in the fridge?
It’ll keep for up to 4 days.
Can I freeze garlic butter chicken?
Certainly, you can freeze it for up to 3 months. It’s a great idea to flash-freeze them on a baking sheet first so they’re frozen individually before placing them in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. That way you don’t have to thaw all of it at once if you don’t need to.
How to reheat the garlic butter baked chicken
The microwave will work to reheat it, or you could heat it on the stovetop for better texture. You might want to make some extra garlic butter to pour overtop if needed.
Sure you can. You can use bone-in chicken breasts as well as chicken thighs, drumsticks, or chicken wings if you prefer. You’ll need to increase the amount of garlic butter sauce to make sure it coats the larger pieces and they’ll need to cook for longer.
I recommend the happy medium of 375°F, for this recipe in particular. Butter will burn at a lower temperature than oil, so you’ll need to cook it longer and at a lower temperature than if we were just using oil. The extra bit of time is well worth the juicy flavorful results!
Since we’re not brining the meat or using a marinade, we’re not pounding the chicken to make it tender, and we’re not baking it covered to retain moisture, the secret is in making sure the breasts are covered in butter and avoiding overbaking.
That’s why it’s a great idea to invest in a digital thermometer so you can keep a close eye on it.
Oven Baked Chicken with Garlic Butter Sauce
Need more chicken recipes? Try these:
Click here for my entire collection of chicken recipes.
Originally published May 2, 2012