Melt In Your Mouth Chicken – This FAST and EASY baked chicken recipe transforms chicken breasts into a new dinner time FAVORITE! Tender, juicy, saucy chicken with a Parmesan topping that is incredibly flavorful and made with just FIVE main ingredients! This chicken is sure to literally melt in your mouth!
Easy Melt In Your Mouth Chicken Recipe
This is one of those easy chicken dinner recipes to turn to when you need a fast and easy dinner that the whole family will love.
It takes just a few minutes of prep time and then bakes in the oven until golden brown and juicy. I promise when I tell you that this chicken melts in your mouth, it really does!
One of the secrets to this dreamy chicken is that there is creamy mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese to coat the chicken as it bakes. This is what gives it that deep orange, almost red, hue.
The coating also acts as a tenderizer resulting in such a soft texture, you can cut it with a fork. It may be cliche but ‘winner, winner, chicken dinner!
Whether you need an easy recipe with simple ingredients, or something that is picky eater approved, or a simple but flavorful dinner for busy weeknights, this baked chicken recipe has you covered.
As a bonus, this is a 5-ingredient recipe (I don’t count salt and pepper). And who doesn’t love that!
Ingredients in Melt In Your Mouth Baked Chicken
To make this classic recipe for melt in your mouth chicken all you need are literally 6 simple ingredients from the fridge and pantry:
- Chicken breasts
- Parmesan cheese
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Ground black pepper
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
How to Make Melt in Your Mouth Chicken
MIYM chicken is so easy to make in a few simple instructions!
Here is what you need to do:
Step 1: In a single layer, place chicken breasts in an oven-safe baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Step 2: In a medium bowl add the 2/3 cup mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese (or Asiago cheese), teaspoon garlic powder, and other seasonings to a small bowl and then stir to combine.
Step 3: Spoon the mayonnaise mixture generously over the top of the chicken breasts in the pan.
Step 4: Bake chicken at 375°F for 25 minutes until it is cooked through and the top is golden brown. If you like your topping even browner, place it under the broiler for a couple of minutes.
Step 5: Allow the chicken to rest and cool momentarily before slicing and serving!
What Kind of Chicken Makes the Best Melt in Your Mouth Chicken?
I use fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts. However, you can use chicken breasts that have previously been frozen and then thawed.
You can use:
- 4 average sized chicken breasts (about 1/2 pound each)
- Or slice 2 large breasts (about 1 pound each) in half horizontally to create 4 smaller portions. This is what I did and used for this recipe.
I have never made this with boneless skinless chicken thighs, although I am sure they would be fine. Thighs generally take a few minutes longer to bake, so just keep an eye on them.
What to Serve with Easy Melt in Your Mouth Chicken Bake
This easy chicken recipe can be paired with a variety of side dishes to make it a complete meal, just another reason why it’s so good!
To balance out the rich and creamy flavor profile of the chicken, I suggest pairing it with a side of veggies such:
For a true comfort meal, serve it with:
How to Store Leftover Melt In Your Mouth Chicken
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave until warmed through.
I have never frozen extra chicken because the mayo-based sauce may not make it through the freezing and thawing process in a visually appealing manner.
Tips for the Best Melt in Your Mouth Chicken Breast
- Pound It: I always recommend using a meat tenderizer to pound chicken breasts to an even thickness to ensure even cooking.
- Size of pan: I prefer a baking dish, casserole dish, or baking to prevent the juices from the chicken dripping over the sides and into the oven. Something in the range of about 2 to 3-quarts, 8×11, or 9×13 is great. This isn’t a recipes where a sheet pan is my recommendation. However, if that is all you have, make sure it has raised edges.
- Don’t overcook your chicken: For extra juicy white meat, I like to remove the chicken from the oven at 160°F. As your chicken rests, the juices will settle back into the meat and the temperature will rise to 165F which is the safe temperature for poultry. Want more info about this? My Sheet Pan Whole Roasted Chicken recipe is full of baking science and tips.
- Broiling: An optional step but if you want you chicken more golden browned, you can certainly broil if for just a few minutes. Review the recipe card for detailed info.
- Additional seasonings: This recipe yields flavorful results only using a few simple spices, but feel free to customize it with a sprinkle of Italian seasoning, seasoning salt, paprika, thyme, rosemary, or even a few simple lemon slices.
- Make ahead: This dish is great for meal prep. Assemble, cover, and refrigerate up to 24 hours before you bake it.
Melt-in-Your-Mouth Chicken FAQs
Mayonnaise plays a crucial role in this juicy chicken breast recipe. It not only adds flavor but acts as a marinade to keep the chicken from drying out while it bakes in the oven. It’s the best way to keep it moist and tender so you don’t end up with dry and tough meat. It’s simply what creates the best result.
I like Duke’s Real Mayonnaise as the higher ratio of eggs in it makes it less likely to separate when heated, plus it is tangier in taste, although any full-fat mayo such as Hellman’s (or Best Foods) Mayonnaise will work.
Do not use fat-free, lite, or reduced fat mayo. Do not use Miracle Whip.
If you have diet restrictions, I suggest finding a vegan “mayo” or something that works for you. I am not sure if plain Greek yogurt or sour cream would work in this recipe or not because I have not tested them.
As I mentioned above, I highly recommend using a meat tenderizer to pound chicken to an even thickness. Chicken breasts are sold in different shapes and sizes and pounding them to the same size not only tenderizes them but will help them cook evenly. This is slightly less necessary if you are using fatter chicken breasts that you slice in half.
As with any chicken recipe, when it is done depends on the thickness of the boneless chicken breast. A thick chicken breast will have a longer baking time and vice versa a thin breast will cook faster.
While you can eyeball your chicken to determine if the juices are running clear, the best way to ensure doneness is to check it with a meat thermometer. When inserted into the thickest part of the chicken breast, the internal temperature should read 160°F and then it’s mandatory to let it rest 5-10 minutes so that the temp comes up to 165F.
You can but honestly it’s not necessary. Chicken breast recipes are often covered with foil to prevent the oven heat from drying them out. The coating in this recipe acts as a barrier to prevent that from happening, plus covering your chicken will prevent it from getting golden brown on top.
If you baked the chicken as directed, it will naturally brown up very nicely in the oven, thanks to the Parmesan cheese which will naturally help that process. If for some reason you want it even more golden, you can broil it for a couple of minutes. The risk here is that you burn it and it’s ruined.
If you’re not familiar with broiling food, you may want to just forget about this step.
If you do want to broil it, turn your broiler to high and just keep the baking pan where it is in the middle of the oven, you don’t need to move it up higher, the broiler heat is intense enough that it’ll reach the chicken. Watch it like a hawk – a couple minutes is all it will take!
As chicken bakes it releases natural juices and since this recipe uses a baking dish, those juices have nowhere to go except to pool at the bottom of the dish. You can try these tips to prevent this from happening:
Searing the chicken first will help lock in the juices. While this is not a necessary step for this recipe, if the pan juices bother you, you may want to try it.
Prevent overcrowding your baking dish by spreading the chicken pieces out. This will help create a thinner layer of liquid which will evaporate more quickly while the chicken bakes.
If the dish is still runny after those tips, just simply drain the juices. However for me, the juicier and saucier, the better when it comes to chicken.
I prefer oven baking for MIYM chicken but it can be done. Assemble boneless skinless chicken breasts halves as directed then place in your preheated air fryer at 375°. Air fry for 16-18 minutes or until done.
- 2 large chicken breasts about 1 pound each, halved*
- 2/3 cup real mayonnaise**
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375F and spray a baking dish with cooking spray and place the chicken in the baking dish. Tips – I recommend a baking dish in the range of 2 to 3 quarts, or an 8×11 or 9×13-inch baking pan. I do not recommend baking this recipe on a sheet pan unless it has a noticeably high raised lip because the juices will likely run off an make a mess of your oven.
- To a medium bowl, add all the remaining ingredients, and whisk well to combine.
- Using a spoon or rubber spatula, evenly spread the mayonnaise mixture over the chicken.
- Bake for about 25 minutes on the center oven rack, or until a digital thermometer reads 160F. Then remove the baking pan from the oven, and allow the chicken to rest in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes during which time the internal temp will raise to 165F, which is the safe temperature needed for poultry.
- Optionally – If you want your chicken to have an extra golden browned top, you can turn your broiler to high in the last few minutes of baking, and just keep the baking dish on the center oven rack. The heat intensity from the broiler will still be able to penetrate the chicken, and broil for 2-3 minutes, or as desired. Tips – Remember, this is optional, and if you are not familiar with broiling, you may wish to just skip this step. Always remember to never turn your back on anything while it’s broiling because it can go from underdone looking to charred and burnt in one minute flat!
- After the chicken has rested, slice and serve. Extra chicken will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days. I have never frozen this recipe so I cannot speak to how it will do in the freezing/thawing/reheating process.
*I use two large chicken breasts about 1 pound each that I sliced horizontally to halve. Alternatively, you can use 4 more average-sized chicken breasts of about 1/2 pound each to start with. If you’re not halving your chicken, I highly recommend pounding it with a meat tenderizer to even thickness to ensure even cooking.
**Use real mayonnaise. I like Duke’s Real Mayonnaise for this recipe. Hellman’s (or Best Foods) Mayonnaise is another great option. Do not use lite or reduced fat, do not sub with Greek yogurt nor sour cream. The success of this recipe is based on the mayo and cannot be omitted or substituted. If you don’t care for mayo, this may not be the recipe for you.
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 397Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 978mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 23g
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