This recipe for crispy baked chicken cutlets is a favorite around here for many reasons, the top two being it’s much healthier than fried chicken and it creates way less of a mess. The baked chicken cutlets come out of the oven with a crisp golden brown crust and juicy, moist white meat.
Table of contents
Ingredients Needed for Crispy Baked Chicken Breast
You only need 4 ingredients for this recipe! And if you’re curious, oil, salt, pepper and nonstick cooking spray are rarely counted towards number of ingredients as they are staples in most kitchens.
- Whole-wheat Panko breadcrumbs (or regular Panko breadcrumbs)
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Large egg
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Nonstick spray
How to Make Crispy Baked Chicken Cutlets
- Preheat the oven with a sheet pan set inside.
- Prep the breading station. Combine Panko, Parmesan, olive oil, salt and pepper in one bowl for the breading. Beat the egg in a separate bowl.
- Prep the chicken. Cut the chicken breasts into two equal, thinner halves and pound out into an even ¼-inch thickness.
- Coat the chicken with breading. Dip the chicken pieces in egg, followed by the Panko mixture to coat.
- Bake the chicken. Coat the hot sheet pan with nonstick spray, place breaded chicken pieces on the sheet and bake until golden brown. Flip the chicken pieces and continue to bake until nearly cooked through.
- Broil until crispy. Turn the oven to boil and move sheet to top rack. Broil chicken until golden brown and crispy.
This recipe was specifically developed using boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I do not recommend using chicken thighs in place of the breasts as the chicken will likely not be as crispy.
No need! The nonstick spray keeps the chicken from sticking, and it helps to create a crisp golden crust on the chicken.
Panko breadcrumbs are more coarse and larger in size, which results in a crispier crust on the chicken. The recipe will still work with regular breadcrumbs, but the results won’t be as tasty, so I don’t recommend it.
How to Serve Crispy Baked Chicken
- Serve it like fried chicken (or slice for chicken strips) and serve with your favorite dipping sauce such as green goddess, ranch, honey mustard, or blue cheese dressing.
- Dip in buffalo sauce to make crispy buffalo chicken.
- Slice and serve over a caesar salad, cobb salad, or my go-to green goddess salad for a delicious weeknight entrée salad.
- Serve over spaghetti and marinara.
- Make a crispy chicken sandwich with lettuce, tomato, avocado and mayo.
- Serve with your favorite slaw and baked beans for the ultimate summer meal!
- Slice and serve over a taco salad.
- Cut into cubes or slices and serve in tacos.
Test Kitchen Tips
- Reheating tip: stored as leftovers in the refrigerator, the breaded chicken won’t retain its crispiness. To re-crisp the breading, I recommend reheating the chicken in hot oil in a nonstick skillet until warmed through and crispy on both sides.
- Storage tip: store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Variations on this chicken recipe:
- Add dried rosemary, thyme or oregano to breading mixture.
- Top cutlets with shredded mozzarella right before broiling for cheesy baked cutlets (then serve as chicken Parm!)
- Add a pinch of garlic powder or onion powder to the breading mixture.
- Add a teaspoon or two of Dijon to the egg mixture for added flavor.
4-Ingredient Crispy Baked Chicken Cutlets
- 1 cup whole-wheat Panko or regular Panko
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 large egg
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (8-ounces each)
- Nonstick spray
- Preheat oven to 450ºF (232ºC) with racks set in top and bottom thirds. Place a baking sheet on bottom rack while oven preheats.
- Combine Panko, Parmesan, oil, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Lightly beat egg in a second shallow dish.
- Halve chicken breasts horizontally into two thinner halves. Cover breast halves with plastic wrap and pound to an even ¼-inch thickness with a meat pounder; pat chicken dry.
- Dip chicken pieces in egg, then dip in Panko mixture, pressing to coat thoroughly.
- Working quickly, remove baking sheet from oven and coat with nonstick spray. Transfer breaded chicken to baking sheet and bake, on bottom rack, 6 minutes.
- Remove sheet from oven, flip chicken pieces,and continue to roast chicken on bottom rack until a thermometer inserted into the thickest parts of chicken registers 160°F, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer sheet to top rack, turn oven to broil and broil chicken until golden brown and crispy, 1–2 minutes.
- Serve immediately as desired.