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Crispy Baked Chicken

This baked “fried chicken” recipe has been a will-power saver for years. When you are craving something deep-fried and crunchy, it’s crispy baked chicken to the rescue.

Healthy "Fried" Chicken (AKA Crispy Baked Chicken) | A Spicy Perspective #chicken #healthy #recipe

So… You’ve only been dieting for eleven days and already you’re craving fried chicken.

You probably haven’t had fried chicken for months, maybe years, but now that it’s officially off limits, it’s all you can think about.

You lay in bed at night with a pinch in your stomach and crispy little drumsticks dancing in your head.

Happens to me All. The. Time.

I can’t remember the first time I made “healthy” fried chicken, but I’m pretty sure it was right after the first time I discovered I needed to shed a few pounds.

That must have been 20+ years ago. Jeeeeeze!

Crispy Baked Chicken Cutlets | A Spicy Perspective #healthy #chicken #recipe

This crispy baked chicken recipe has come in handy on many occasions. It’s an easy meal that comes together in minutes and the potential serving methods are endless.

I often serve crispy baked chicken over salads, yet even there, think of the options: Crispy Buffalo Chicken Salad, Crispy Baked Chicken Taco Salad, Baked “Fried Chicken” over Southern Slaw, Baked Chicken Cutlets over Field Greens with Fresh Berries and Goat Cheese…. I could go on.

I like to prepare baked chicken cutlets instead of whole chicken breasts for two reasons:

1. They cook faster.

2. Cutlets offer automatic portion control.

One cutlet is essentially half a large chicken breast, so they satisfy a craving and keep the calories on the down-low.

Also try using this healthy fried chicken recipe in lettuce wraps!

Crispy Baked Chicken

Yield: 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

A healthy "fried chicken" recipe, baked in the oven.


  • 2 pounds chicken cutlets (usually 8 cutlets)
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, (1 tsp. dried thyme)
  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Move one oven rack to a low position. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line and baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil liberally with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Set out two medium bowls. In one bowl, mix the mayo, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In the other bowl, mix the panko, parmesan cheese and thyme.
  3. Place the chicken cutlets in the mayo mixture and toss to coat. Then one at a time, press each cutlet into the panko mixture on both sides to coat. Lay on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake in the lower part of the oven for 15 minutes. (Cooking low in the oven helps the bottoms to crisp up.)
  5. If the tops haven't browned, move the baking sheet to a higher rack and turn on the broiler on for 1 minute. Watch to make sure they don't burn. Serve warm.


Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!

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53 Responses to “Crispy Baked Chicken”

  1. Belinda @zomppaposted January 11, 2013 at 5:12 am

    Great, now all I can think of is fried chicken!


  2. Julie @ Table for Twoposted January 11, 2013 at 7:17 am

    what a great idea! I love the idea of using chicken cutlets instead of the entire breast because it’s not as filling and it won’t dry out since it’s faster cooking time. Love the panko crust! Great healthy alternative to the greasy stuff!


  3. RavieNomNomsposted January 11, 2013 at 7:19 am

    LOVE IT! Sounds very familiar to how I cook my chicken on a regular basis. I sometimes you have to do it the old fashioned way and pig out, but this is a great way to enjoy it! I always love it


  4. steph@stephsbitebybiteposted January 11, 2013 at 7:49 am

    You are like my fairy god mother! Can’t wait to try this!


  5. Jennifer @ Mother Thymeposted January 11, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Love this! I always love finding new, healthy spins on chicken so this recipe is definitely a keeper!


  6. Angieposted January 11, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Love the crust. I get in a frying rut, especially since I leave the deep fryer on the counter all the time. I need to bake more often!


  7. Mariaposted January 11, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Josh makes a similar recipe and it’s his favorite! Great weeknight meal!


  8. Natalieposted January 11, 2013 at 8:39 am

    This looks incredibly delicious. I like the thyme addition !


  9. shelly (cookies and cups)posted January 11, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Oh these look great!! My kids are chicken cutlet fiends…so I know this will go over big in my house!


  10. Sandy @ REposted January 11, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Oh so yummy. My family would love this! Happy weekend, Sommer!


  11. Heather @ Heather's Dishposted January 11, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Just pinned this for dinner next week. I CANNOT WAIT!


  12. Amandaposted January 11, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Love this healthier option!!


  13. Jenny Flakeposted January 11, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Love this healthier version!! Yum!


  14. Laura (Tutti Dolci)posted January 11, 2013 at 10:01 am

    I love the panko crust, this looks so good!


  15. Anneposted January 11, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Oh, that looks really delicious! I can’t say I’ve seen cutlets here in my neck of the woods, but I’ll try it with halved chicken breasts!


  16. claire @ the realistic nutritionistposted January 11, 2013 at 11:04 am

    I make healthy “oven fried” chicken all the time! Your recipe looks super easy. It’s such a great alternative to fried!


  17. marlaposted January 11, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Oh yes please!! Love the sound of this crispy chicken recipe :)


  18. Paula - bell'alimentoposted January 11, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    I love making chicken this way!


  19. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggiesposted January 11, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I bake everything instead of frying. But mostly because deep-frying is terrifying to me. :)


  20. Aimee @ Simple Bitesposted January 11, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    One of my favorite ways to serve chicken to the kids! Panko rocks.


  21. Shellyposted January 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    You saved dinner. My husband and children thank you!


  22. Melissa Bposted January 11, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    These look great! I love chicken, thanks so much for sharing this recipe. =)


  23. Cassie | Bake Your Dayposted January 11, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    I grew up on fried chicken but rarely eat it because it’s not so great for you. This looks incredible!


  24. Marian (Sweetopia)posted January 11, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Love chicken with a nice, crunchy coating! I’ll be trying your version!


  25. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesposted January 11, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I am trying this, for sure! Love that crunch coating, and that it’s not fried.


  26. Gabyposted January 11, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Hook me up!! Love this!


  27. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchenposted January 11, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Fabulous and I could totally go for some crunchy chicken!


  28. Brian @ A Thought For Foodposted January 12, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Diet? What’s a diet? ;-) Seriously though… this baked chicken looks so good. Something my mom totally would have made for us as a kid (being one for healthier dinners, she never did fried chicken).


  29. Teresaposted January 12, 2013 at 9:52 am

    If you really want to lighten it up… sub plain yogurt for the light mayo. No taste difference and a lot less fat and calories.


  30. katieposted January 12, 2013 at 11:17 am

    oh this recipe looks fab and figure friendly!


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  32. Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmetposted January 12, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Simply delightful, Sommer! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

    Hugs ♥


  33. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.posted January 13, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    looks like dinner to me!! xoxox


  34. Chrisposted January 13, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    I used to not be a fan of oven “frying” but then I tried panko crumbs like you used and they definitely make a difference!


  35. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.posted January 13, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Yum! I love making chicken like this because it’s so versatile. You can pair it with any side or sauce!


  36. Elizabeth@ Food Ramblingsposted January 14, 2013 at 8:46 am

    looks great can’t wait to make!


  37. Tara @ Unsophisticookposted January 14, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Love this, and my kids would actually eat it too!


  38. Whitneyposted January 14, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Made this for dinner last night and it was delicious! My fiancé said “you can make this anytime you want. I will never argue”. We loved it!


  39. Jessica@AKitchenAddictionposted January 14, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Love how you get lots of flavor without frying!


  40. Shainaposted January 15, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    This looks like the perfect weeknight meal.


  41. Heliana O.posted January 17, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Made the Crispy Baked Chicken last night – so good, easy and budget friendly. It was definitely husband approved!

    Many thanks for posting your wonderful (yummy) recipes!


  42. Chung-Ah | Damn Deliciousposted January 17, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Amazing! I’m all for not-frying things – I get too nervous when there’s a hot pot of oil on the stove!


  43. Coletteposted January 18, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Oh, mustard & thyme. YUM


  44. Anita at Hungry Coupleposted January 19, 2013 at 7:29 am

    Love it! I’m definitely an oven “fryer!” :)


  45. Sandraposted January 29, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Cooked it and my family loved it defiantly cooking it again


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  47. Amandaposted May 1, 2013 at 10:15 am

    What a fantastic recipe! You rock. :)


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  53. betsyposted January 12, 2015 at 11:02 am

    beautiful recipe…there’s a paleo, gluten free breading at urban pl8 that’d work great with this dish is you don’t do panko


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