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

Did you make this recipe?   Leave a review »

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.


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54 comments on “Crispy Baked Chicken

  1. Pingback: Lemon Chicken Recipe (Paleo) - A Spicy Perspective

  2. betsyposted January 12, 2015 at 11:02 am Reply

    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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  7. free chicken tractor plansposted December 9, 2013 at 11:01 pm Reply

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  8. Amandaposted May 1, 2013 at 10:15 am Reply

    What a fantastic recipe! You rock. :)

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  10. Sandraposted January 29, 2013 at 11:12 pm Reply

    Cooked it and my family loved it defiantly cooking it again

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

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

  12. Coletteposted January 18, 2013 at 1:29 pm Reply

    Oh, mustard & thyme. YUM

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

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

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

    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!

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

    This looks like the perfect weeknight meal.

  16. [email protected]posted January 14, 2013 at 1:09 pm Reply

    Love how you get lots of flavor without frying!

  17. Whitneyposted January 14, 2013 at 10:15 am Reply

    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!

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

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

  19. [email protected] Food Ramblingsposted January 14, 2013 at 8:46 am Reply

    looks great can’t wait to make!

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

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

  21. Chrisposted January 13, 2013 at 6:45 pm Reply

    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!

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

    looks like dinner to me!! xoxox

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

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

    Hugs ♥

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  25. katieposted January 12, 2013 at 11:17 am Reply

    oh this recipe looks fab and figure friendly!

  26. Teresaposted January 12, 2013 at 9:52 am Reply

    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.

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

    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).

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

    Fabulous and I could totally go for some crunchy chicken!

  29. Gabyposted January 11, 2013 at 7:13 pm Reply

    Hook me up!! Love this!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  34. Shellyposted January 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm Reply

    You saved dinner. My husband and children thank you!

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

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

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

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

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

    I love making chicken this way!

  38. marlaposted January 11, 2013 at 11:58 am Reply

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

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

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

  40. Anneposted January 11, 2013 at 10:35 am Reply

    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!

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

    I love the panko crust, this looks so good!

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

    Love this healthier version!! Yum!

  43. Amandaposted January 11, 2013 at 9:28 am Reply

    Love this healthier option!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    This looks incredibly delicious. I like the thyme addition !

  48. Mariaposted January 11, 2013 at 8:35 am Reply

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

  49. Angieposted January 11, 2013 at 8:25 am Reply

    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!

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

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

  51. [email protected]posted January 11, 2013 at 7:49 am Reply

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

  52. RavieNomNomsposted January 11, 2013 at 7:19 am Reply

    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

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

    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!

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

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