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This oven Baked Fried Chicken packs all the famous allure of the classic dish, with a healthy, easy, less-mess twist!

Baked fried chicken breasts on a plate

Why This is the Best Oven Fried Chicken

There are certain dishes that can attract everyone to the table with just a whiff of their signature smell, and few dishes do this as effectively as fried chicken.

Rather than fuss with deep frying (which is messy and heavier than what I’m looking for in my typical weeknight dinners), I love making this stellar oven “fried” version (similar to my Spicy Chicken Sandwich).

Here’s why you’ll love it too:


If you don’t feel like turning on your oven, try Pan Fried Chicken Breast.

  • Spicy Buttermilk Marinade. A spicy buttermilk marinade gives the chicken unbelievable moisture, tenderizes the meat, and adds a nice kick.
  • Cornflake Coating. A coating of crushed corn flakes (surprise, no breadcrumbs!) makes the baked fried chicken exterior irresistibly crunchy. Cornflakes aren’t a cereal I think of much, but after one bite of this skinny baked fried chicken, I developed a new level of respect for this humble breakfast cereal. A crispy breading makes almost everything better (like for these Breaded Pork Chops).
  • Perfect Leftover. Even when reheated the next day, the meat was still incredibly sweet and moist, a rarity among chicken breast recipes. (If you fancy breaded baked chicken with a cheesy present in every bite, try Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu.)
  • Healthy. Baked fried chicken is comfort food at its finest, without all the butter, cholesterol, and trans fat, so you can feel good cleaning your plate and licking your fingers.
Three oven baked fried chicken pieces on a plate

5 Star Review

“This was WONDERFUL! They are so full of flavor and moist! I will definitely be using this recipe again, thank you so much!”

— Dawn —

How to Make Baked Fried Chicken

This baked fried recipe uses a dry/wet/dry method for dredging the chicken with flour mixture, then the marinade (this recipe is made without eggs), then the cornflake mixture.

It’s how deep frying chicken is done in most restaurants too, because it gives the chicken the optimum crispy exterior.

Although this crispy baked fried chicken recipe requires advance planning (I found that letting the chicken marinate overnight really amped-up the “juicy” factor), it is absolutely worth it.

Forget making baked fried chicken with Bisquick; mixing up your own coating is a snap (and better tasting!).

As with the reader favorite Baked Chicken Parmesan, you’ll need to dirty a few bowls, but when compared to the mess of a deep fryer, this chicken is squeaky-clean!

The Ingredients

  • Chicken Breasts. Baked fried chicken breast is the best! It’s perfectly tender, juicy, and packed with lean protein.

Market Swap

Prefer a different cut of meat? Try baked fried chicken thighs, baked fried chicken wings, or baked fried chicken legs instead. Adjust time as needed for the cut of chicken, checking internal temperature for doneness (see Baked Chicken Thighs for guidance).

  • Buttermilk + Hot Sauce. Buttermilk helps tenderize the chicken and coats the outside. A little hot sauce adds a tasty touch of heat.

Substitution Tip!

No buttermilk on hand? One cup of milk stirred with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar and left to sit for 5 minutes will have a similar tenderizing effect.

  • All-Purpose Flour. We start by dredging the chicken with flour. The “double dredge” is key to a crispy coating.
  • Cornflake Mixture. A combination of cornflake crumbs, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and poultry seasoning make up the second part of the coating. This is what truly gives the baked fried chicken its addictive flavor and texture.

The Directions

buttermilk for oven baked fried chicken
  1. Marinade chicken in the buttermilk and hot sauce.
coating chicken for friend baked chicken
  1. Place marinated chicken on a clean plate. Reserve the marinade.
coating chicken in flour to oven fry
  1. Dredge with flour.
cornflake crust baked fried chicken on a plate
  1. Coat in reserved marinade, then dip in cornflakes.
corn flake coated baked fried chicken
  1. Cover both sides completely with cornflakes.
baked fried chicken with buttermilk on a baking sheet
  1. Cook baked fried chicken at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes on a wire rack coated with cooking spray.
baked fried chicken with meat thermometer
  1. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking until it is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes more.
baked fried chicken being cut for a bite

The Best Temperature for Oven Frying

They key to a crispy outside and juicy inside is to start the chicken at a high temperature, then reduce to a lower temperature.

  • 400 degrees F is the best temperature to cook baked fried chicken in the oven at the beginning.
  • From there, reduce the temperature and allow the chicken to continue baking at 350 degrees F.

You don’t need to cover chicken when baking it in the oven.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Store leftover baked fried chicken in an airtight container in fridge for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat. Reheat baked fried chicken on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F until hot.
  • To Freeze. I don’t recommend freezing this dish, as the cornflake mixture will become soggy once thawed.

Leftover Ideas

Cut the leftover baked fried chicken into strips or cubes and serve them over a salad, such as this copycat Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad. It would be delicious in place of the chicken in this Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad.

What to Serve with Baked Fried Chicken

Crispy baked fried chicken on a plate

The Best Mixing Bowls

Nine bowls of all sizes that are dishwasher-safe, microwave-safe, and refrigerator-safe.

You can feel good licking your fingers with this healthy baked fried chicken!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it Better to Bake Chicken Covered or Uncovered?

You should not cover the chicken for baked fried chicken. Covering the chicken will trap the steam, making the cornflake coating soggy rather than crispy.

Can Baked Fried Chicken Be Made Dairy Free?

Most of the marinade is shaken off before dredging the chicken, so the dairy content is minimal, but if you need to totally omit the buttermilk, you can try making a dairy-free “buttermilk” by mixing soy milk (or another dairy free milk) mixed with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and letting it sit for 5 minutes.

Is It Better to Bake Chicken at 350 or 400?

There are many methods out there for how to make Baked Chicken Breast. For the baked fried chicken, the secret is to first bake the chicken at 400 degrees F, then reduce the temperature and continue baking at 350 degrees F. This will result in chicken that is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

What Can I Use if I Don’t Have Cornflakes?

Although it will be missing some of the crunchy-crispiness the cornflakes offer, baked friend chicken could also be made with panko bread crumbs; see this Chicken Katsu for a panko version of oven fried chicken.

Baked Fried Chicken

4.67 from 9 votes
A healthy recipe for crispy baked fried chicken that tastes deep fried but is actually made in the oven! Crispy outside, juicy inside.

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 3 hours

Servings: 6 chicken breasts


  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups crushed corn flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning


  • Place the chicken in a large ziptop bag with the buttermilk and hot sauce. Close the bag, turn until the chicken pieces are fully coated, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a wire rack with nonstick spray and place it on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  • Set up your dredging station: Place the flour on a wide, shallow plate. Set a medium bowl beside it (this will be for the buttermilk). In a separate, wide bowl (a pie dish works well), mix the cornflake crumbs, paprika, salt, black pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, and poultry seasoning in a shallow bowl until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  • Remove the chicken breasts from the bag and place them on a clean plate. Pour the marinade into the medium bowl.
  • Dredge each breast with the flour until fully coated, shaking off any excess. Then coat the chicken in the marinade, shaking off any excess. Last, dip it in the cornflake mixture, patting it a bit if needed to help the cornflakes adhere.
  • Arrange the chicken pieces on the prepared wire rack. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking until the chicken is cooked through (it should register 155 degrees to 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer) and crispy, about 15 to 20 minutes more. Let rest 5 minutes, then serve


  • TO STORE: Refrigerate leftover chicken in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Reheat baked fried chicken on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F until hot.
  • TO FREEZE: I don’t recommend freezing this dish, as the cornflake mixture will become soggy once thawed.
*Nutritional information is an estimate and provided as a courtesy. It has been calculated without the buttermilk, as most of the marinade is shaken off.


Serving: 1(of 6)Calories: 474kcalCarbohydrates: 81gProtein: 32gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 72mgPotassium: 575mgFiber: 3gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 1776IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 27mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. I love fried chicken and the best I ever had was at a Cracker Barrel on Sun. nights. We were coming home from a fair in MA and we stopped there to eat. We got 2 huge chicken breasts that were so crisp and juicy I thought I had died and gone to heaven! LOL I’ve made fried chicken at home and your right, it’s a real pain and a mess to make. Its never come out like in a good restaurant. 
    I’ve never made this before  but I am dying to try it. Did you know you can buy corn flake crumbs in a box? Then you don’t have to buy a box and crush them up. Since I don’t like spicy and neither does my nephew and my mom gets a lot of heartburn, we will leave out the spicy, otherwise I will make this just the way you wrote it. With some amazing mashed potatoes, or french fries, I can’t decide which, and some green beans with butter and bread crumbs this will be an amazing meal! Now I’m making myself hungry! LOL

    1. Gail, good fried chicken is truly something special! I’ve never seen cornflake crumbs for sale already crushed, but I promise it’s not hard to do. If you try this recipe, I hope you love it! You are making me hungry too :)

  2. I have a box of already crushed corn flake crumbs. I have to check the date on it and if it’s not expired, I’m making this chicken this week! Will let you know how much I love it but I know I will. 

  3. Hi Erin! I know you said 12 chicken breasts, but do you have an approximate weight worth? I have massive chicken breasts (like 1lb each! They’re insane!) And I usually just cut them into quarters or halves etc for recipes. A rough estimate would be so helpful! Thank you!

    1. Kaity, those are HUGE! An average chicken breast is around 10 or so ounces, so I’d cut them in half.

      1. I know, they’re huge! But really convenient to divvy up for meals lol. I’ll probably try doing them into quarters!

        Thank you so much!

        1. Hi Kaity—just FYI: If you cut them into quarters for this recipe, you’ll need to reduce the cooking time, since it’s currently planned for 1 whole chicken breast (which would be about 1/2 the size of yours). Just wanted to make you aware!

  4. This was WONDERFUL! They are so full of flavor and moist… sometimes chicken breasts can be dry but these were perfectly juicy! I have Celiac Disease so I had to make a few changes. Instead of flour I used corn starch and instead of corn flakes (NOT a gluten free cereal because of the coloring) I used crushed up ruffled potato chips (ruffled because they are thicker). I will definitely be using this recipe again, thank you so much!5 stars

    1. I am soooo happy to hear this Dawn! Thank you for trying the recipe and for leaving this lovely review. Your tips to make the recipe gluten free are great too!

  5. Isn’t it dangerous to reuse marinade that has had raw chicken sitting in it for hours? I have been told it is.

    1. Carole, since the chicken bakes in the oven afterwards, I didn’t have an issue with it, but certainly just do what you are comfortable with!

    1. Hi Lisa, I began adding nutrition estimates in 2016, but unfortunately it’s fairly time consuming so I’m not able to go back to previous recipes to add it. If you’d like, you can calculate it yourself for free at (what I use) or another online calculator. I’m sorry I’m not able to provide it for this recipe, but I hope MyFitnessPal will be a helpful resource for you!

    1. Hi Cheryl! Personally, I think that would throw off the flavor, since Wheaties are sweeter than cornflakes and wheatier in taste and texture. But if that doesn’t bother you, you can experiment.

    1. Hi Christina! I’ve only tested this recipe with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, so it would be a complete experiment (and the cook times will vary). If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  6. Will be making this in the coming week – looks fantastic! My grocery store also has b/s chicken breasts the size of my head – really annoying. Most of the time, I just cut them into equal sized pieces (halves or thirds) and package them in meal portions. It takes less time to thaw out when frozen and easier to see what I’ve got. It appears that the cornflake crumbs are kept in a decent size and not totally crushed – probably makes the coating much crispier. Looking forward to making this. Have a nice and safe weekend.

  7. We love you Erin! This is delicious. Your cookbook is fabulous. We are also giving your Well Plated
    cookbook to a few family members for Christmas. The time and effort you put into creating your recipes, rewards us with a healthy and tasty meal that makes us want to try the next one! And the tips for storing leftovers are a helpful added feature. Have a great Christmas Erin ! Pam and Scott5 stars

  8. Thank you Erin! I had tried oven baked fried chicken before and it came out horrible, but this recipe came out so good and crispy even my picky family members liked it. Thank you again for the great recipe.5 stars

  9. Was trying to stay away from fried foods so I decided to try this recipe. Looks delicious here but was highly disappointed afterwards. Followed the recipe to a T. Took it out of the oven and not only wasn’t it cooked all the way through but it looked nothing like the pic. Ended up putting it in the air fryer to finish it up and that’s how it ended up turning out good. I think the pic on here is fake. Won’t try this again with these steps.

    1. I’m sorry this recipe didn’t turn out as you hoped. Unfortunately, it’s so hard to say what might’ve gone wrong without being in the kitchen with you. The baking method has worked well for me (and other readers), so I truly wish it would’ve been a hit for you too!

  10. This recipe turns out great every time I make it, no matter the protein. I’ve used both chicken and chops. A definite keeper!5 stars

  11. The buttermilk made the chicken moist and tender and I will use the marinade again. Unfortunately, the cornflakes made the coating overly sweet and my family found it to be unpleasant. The finished chicken didn’t taste anything like traditional fried chicken.3 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear the recipe wasn’t to your taste, Carol. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not enjoy it. I (and many other readers) have enjoyed it, so I really wish they would’ve been a hit for you too!

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