How Long Does It Take to Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts? A Comprehensive Guide

Are you in a hurry and forgot to thaw your chicken breasts? No need to panic! Cooking frozen chicken breasts is a game-changer for quick and easy weeknight dinners. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore how long it takes to cook frozen chicken breasts, along with tips and tricks to ensure juicy, tender, and delicious results every time.

Understanding the Basics

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details, let’s establish a few key points:

  • Is it safe to cook chicken breasts from frozen? Absolutely! According to the USDA, it is perfectly safe to cook chicken breasts directly from the freezer.

  • Why cook from frozen? Cooking chicken breasts from frozen eliminates the need for thawing, saving valuable time and effort. It’s a convenient option when you’ve forgotten to defrost your chicken or need a quick protein fix.

  • How long does it take? The general rule of thumb is to add 50% more cooking time when cooking chicken breasts from frozen compared to fresh or thawed chicken breasts.

Cooking Times for Frozen Chicken Breasts

The cooking time for frozen chicken breasts can vary depending on several factors, such as the size of the breasts, the cooking method, and the desired level of doneness. Here are some approximate cooking times to keep in mind:

Baking or Roasting

  • Average unfrozen chicken breast (5-7 ounces): 20-30 minutes at 350°F (177°C)
  • Frozen chicken breast (5-7 ounces): 30-45 minutes at 350°F (177°C)

If you prefer crispier or browned chicken breasts, you can bake them at a higher temperature of 425°F (218°C) for 30-40 minutes.

Sautéing or Pan-Frying

  • Average unfrozen chicken breast: 10-12 minutes per side over medium-high heat
  • Frozen chicken breast: 15-18 minutes per side over medium-high heat

Remember to adjust the cooking time based on the thickness of your chicken breasts. Thicker pieces may require additional cooking time.


  • Average unfrozen chicken breast: 12-15 minutes per side over direct medium-high heat
  • Frozen chicken breast: 18-22 minutes per side over direct medium-high heat

It’s essential to use an instant-read thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the chicken breasts reaches 165°F (74°C), which is the safe minimum temperature for poultry according to the USDA.

Tips for Perfectly Cooked Frozen Chicken Breasts

  1. Freeze chicken breasts individually: When freezing fresh chicken breasts, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet or tray, and then transfer them to a resealable plastic bag or airtight container. This prevents the chicken breasts from sticking together and ensures even cooking.

  2. Use a rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan: Place the frozen chicken breasts on a rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan to catch any liquid released during cooking. This prevents steaming and promotes browning.

  3. Season generously: Don’t be shy with seasoning! Frozen chicken breasts can benefit from a generous sprinkling of salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs or spices before cooking.

  4. Add a sauce or glaze towards the end: If you plan to use a sauce or glaze, such as barbecue sauce or teriyaki glaze, brush it onto the chicken breasts during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking to prevent it from burning or drying out.

  5. Allow for resting time: Once the chicken breasts are cooked through, let them rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing or serving. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in juicier and more tender chicken.

  6. Experiment with different cooking methods: While baking and sautéing are popular methods for cooking frozen chicken breasts, don’t be afraid to try other techniques like air frying, slow cooking, or even pressure cooking for added convenience and variety.


Cooking frozen chicken breasts is a game-changer for busy weeknights or whenever you need a quick and easy protein option. By following the approximate cooking times and tips mentioned in this guide, you can enjoy juicy, tender, and delicious chicken breasts without the hassle of thawing. Embrace the convenience of cooking from frozen and elevate your weeknight meals with this versatile and time-saving technique.

How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts Safely | Stove & Oven Methods


How long does frozen chicken breast take at 400?

Average-sized frozen chicken breasts (5-7 oz) may take between 40-45 minutes to bake, depending on your oven temperature. We recommend 400°F, which is hotter than some recipes may call for.

How long to bake frozen chicken breasts at 375?

Oven Temp
Cook Time
small 4-6 oz
350F / 175C
32-45 minutes
traditional 8 oz
375F / 190C
37-45 minutes
traditional 8 oz
400F / 200 C
approx 30 minutes

How long to cook thawed chicken breasts at 350?

Thaw frozen chicken slowly in your refrigerator, or thaw it faster by putting it in a leak-proof package or plastic bag and submerging in cold tap water. Bake a 4-oz. chicken breast at 350°F (177˚C) for 25 to 30 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature is 165˚F (74˚C).

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