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

Three oven baked fried chicken pieces on a plate

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What makes fried chicken addictive is the juiciness of the meat and the crispiness of the exterior. This baked fried chicken offers both (and Air Fryer Fried Chicken Breast does too!).

A spicy buttermilk marinade gives the chicken unbelievable moisture and a nice kick, and a coating of crushed corn flakes makes the exterior irresistibly crunchy.

Corn flakes aren’t a cereal I think of much, but after one bite of this skinny buttermilk fried chicken, I developed a new level of respect for this humble breakfast cereal.

Although this baked chicken recipe requires advance planning (I found that letting the chicken marinate overnight really amped-up the “juicy” factor), it is absolutely worth it. You’ll need to dirty a few bowls, but when compared to the mess of a deep frier, this chicken is squeaky-clean!

Even when reheated the next day, the meat was still incredibly sweet and moist, a rarity among chicken breast recipes.

Baked fried chicken breasts 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 Oven Baked Fried Chicken

This recipe uses a dry/wet/dry method for dredging the chicken. It’s how fried chicken is made in most restaurants too, because it gives the chicken the optimum crispy exterior.


The Ingredients

  • Chicken Breasts. Oven fried chicken breast is the best! It’s perfectly tender, juicy, and packed with lean protein. Prefer a different cut of meat? Try oven fried chicken thighs or oven baked fried chicken tenders instead.
  • 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 the same effect.

  • All-Purpose Flour. We start by dredging the chicken with flour. The “double dredge” is key.
  • Cornflake Mixture. A combination of cornflake crumbs, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, and poultry seasoning make up the second part of the coating. This is what truly gives the oven fried chicken its addictive flavor and texture. Forget making oven fried chicken with Bisquik; it’s a snap (and better tasting!) to mix up your own coating.

The Directions

  1. Add the chicken to a bag with the buttermilk and hot sauce. Seal and turn to coat, then refrigerate the chicken for at least 2 hours.
  2. Remove the chicken from the bag. Prepare a plate with the flour, a bowl with the cornflakes and spices, and a bowl with the leftover buttermilk marinade. Dredge each chicken piece through the flour, then buttermilk, then cornflake mixture.
  3. Bake the chicken for 15 minutes at 400 degrees F on a wire rack, then reduce the temperature and continue baking at 350 degrees F until it is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes more.

Tip!

400 degrees F is the best temperature to cook fried chicken in the oven at the beginning. From there, reduce the temperature and allow the chicken to continue baking at 350 degrees F. This method allows the outsides to get crispy while keeping the insides moist and tender. You don’t need to cover chicken when baking it in the oven.

Cornflakes on a wooden surface

Baked Fried Chicken Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate leftover chicken in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat. Reheat 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 oven 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

Recommended Tools to Make Baked Fried Chicken

The Best Mixing Bowls

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

Oven Fried Chicken. Baked buttermilk chicken that tastes deep fried, but isn't!

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Oven Fried Chicken. Baked buttermilk chicken that tastes deep fried, but isn't!

Baked Fried Chicken

5 from 6 votes
A healthy recipe for buttermilk chicken that tastes deep fried but is actually baked! A cornflake crust makes the chicken golden and crispy on the outside, and a buttermilk marinade keeps it juicy and sweet on the inside.

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 3 hrs

Servings: 6 chicken breasts

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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, dredge 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 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer) and crispy, about 15 to 20 minutes more.

Notes

*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.

Nutrition

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 wellplated.com 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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90 Comments

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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 MyFitnessPal.com (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!

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