Easy Breaded Chicken Breasts

September 26, 2018 By Cathy — 18 Comments
Stockpile these juicy, easy breaded chicken breasts for an fast weeknight dinner. They are extra tender and tasty thanks to a buttermilk marinade and a crispy parmesan panko crust.
Six fried breaded chicken breasts cooling on a wire rack.

Whenever I ask my family what they want for dinner, I’m met with a resounding “Max’s Chicken!”. That’s our family code name for my easy breaded chicken breasts, nicknamed in honor of my son Max who is over-the-top obsessed with this dish.

There is a reason why he always requests these breaded chicken breasts. I marinate them in buttermilk which imparts a tangy flavor and makes them super tender, then I dredge them in parmesan breadcrumbs for a crispy coating. They’re never dry thanks to that buttermilk marinade and packed with flavor, not always a slam dunk when it comes to chicken.

Close up of breaded chicken breasts stacked and cooling on a wire rack.

I use thin-cut chicken breasts so they literally cook up in about five minutes which means dinner is on the table in record time. They can be sliced and served on top of your favorite salad, paired with roasted veggies and mashed potatoes, or tucked into a roll with some lettuce and tomato for a tasty sandwich.

I’m in the habit of cooking a whole tray of these whenever I make them and stockpiling them in the frig or freezer for days when there’s no time for dinner prep. The school year is always bonkers in our house…running to this practice or that game…so having a quick and easy dinner is a lifesaver. And everyone likes them…win/win. These are in the regular rotation for us, and I’m sure if you give them a try, they’ll be in yours too!

Let’s make Easy Breaded Chicken Breasts

Step by step procedure demonstrating how to make easy breaded chicken breasts. Four steps include making the buttermilk marinade, dipping the cutlets and frying them in oil.

  1. Combine the buttermilk, garlic, parsley, and spices together in a bowl. Whisk to blend.
  2. Add the chicken to the marinade and chill for at least two hours or overnight.
  3. Combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a shallow baking dish. Remove the chicken from the marinade and dredge in the breadcrumb mixture.
  4. Heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan and cook the chicken (in batches) until golden brown and crispy, about 4 mins per side. Remove to a wire rack to drain. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.

 

Close up of breaded chicken breasts cooling on a wire rack.

Tips for success

  • Why do I recommend thin cut, halved, or pounded chicken breasts in this recipe? Thinner breasts promote even cooking, keep the chicken tender and juicy, and the crust crispy without burning. Also, they cook up in minutes!
  • Why buttermilk? Not only does the buttermilk impart a tangy flavor, the acidity in the buttermilk helps to tenderize the chicken, resulting in a tender chicken breast.
  • Don’t skip the parmesan in the breadcrumbs! It adds an extra dose of flavor and promotes an even crispier crust.
  • Manage your heat, high to medium is best, and don’t overcook. Thin chicken breasts only need 3-4 mins a side.
  • Don’t crowd the pan. Cook in batches, being sure not to overlap the chicken. Too many pieces cooked at once will reduce the temperature of the oil and result in a soggy crust and unevenly cooked chicken.

 

5 from 4 votes
Close up of breaded chicken breasts cooking in a frying pan.
Breaded Chicken Breasts
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
8 mins
Marinating Time
2 hrs
Total Time
26 mins
 

Stockpile these juicy, easy breaded chicken breasts for an fast weeknight dinner. They are extra tender and tasty thanks to a buttermilk marinade and a crispy parmesan panko crust.

Course: Quick Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: breaded chicken, chicken breasts
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 697 kcal
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thin-cut, halved or pounded thin)
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 3-4 cups panko bread crumbs (fresh bread crumbs or regular can be substituted)
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • Oil, for pan frying
  • kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Whisk together buttermilk, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper and paprika and pour into a gallon-size ziplock bag.
  2. Add chicken to bag and turn several times to be sure chicken is covered.
  3. Place bag in the refrigerator and allow chicken to marinate for at least two hours or overnight.
  4. Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a shallow dish.
  5. Removed chicken from bag, shaking off excess buttermilk and dredge in breadcrumbs. Place on a plate until ready to cook.
  6. Pour oil to cover the bottom of large non-stick frying pan and heat over med/high heat. Once oil is hot (but not smoking) add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook until golden brown on one side (about 4 mins) and then turn and cook an additional 4 mins. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Remove cooked chicken breasts to a wire rack placed over a cookie sheet to drain or place on a paper towel-lined plate.

Recipe Notes
  • Why do I recommend thin cut, halved, or pounded chicken breasts in this recipe? Thinner breasts promote even cooking, keep the chicken tender and juicy, and the crust crispy without burning. Also, they cook up in minutes!
  • Why buttermilk? Not only does the buttermilk impart a tangy flavor, the acidity in the buttermilk helps to tenderize the chicken, resulting in a tender chicken breast.
  • Don't skip the parmesan in the breadcrumbs! It adds an extra dose of flavor and promotes an even crispier crust.
  • Manage your heat, high to medium is best, and don't overcook. Thin chicken breasts only need 3-4 mins a side.
  • Don't crowd the pan. Cook in batches, being sure not to overlap the chicken. Too many pieces cooked at once will reduce the temperature of the oil and result in a soggy crust and unevenly cooked chicken.
Nutrition Facts
Breaded Chicken Breasts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 697 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 35%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 193mg 64%
Sodium 2388mg 100%
Potassium 1322mg 38%
Total Carbohydrates 46g 15%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 14g
Protein 71g 142%
Vitamin A 24.7%
Vitamin C 10.5%
Calcium 65.4%
Iron 20.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Update Notes: This post was originally published in March 2016 but was republished with step by step photos and tips in September 2018.

Breaded Chicken Breasts

Related Post

Filed Under: Main Dishes, Recipe

Comments

18 responses to “Easy Breaded Chicken Breasts”

  1. Steve and I have something in common Cathy. Chicken over salad is one of my favorite meals too! So easy and always delicious! Yours look perfectly juicy! Wish I could grab it off the screen!

  2. Seems like chicken over salad is a popular dinner choice because it’s on our regular rotation too! Buttermilk brined and breaded chicken is SO delicious and yours is calling my name, Cathy! Juicy interior, cripsy exterior – sheer perfection! Great idea to stock pile these in the freezer!! Totally going to do that! Cheers, friend!

  3. Jennifer J says:

    Made these last night and WOW! So easy and beyond delicious. Sliced up one of breasts and sent it to school with the girls for lunch today. The gift that keeps on giving!

  4. Jennifer Joyner says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… these are the best breaded chicken cutlets ever! I have been making them practically ever week for my family – and recently made them for a friend who his home sick. Everybody loves these!

  5. Catherine says:

    Prepared this for dinner tonight and received thumbs up from everyone. I’m looking forward to making it again, this time marinating for at least the two hours suggested.

    • Cathy says:

      Thats so great to hear Catherine! We’ve now renamed it Max’s Chicken because my younger son asks for it every night. Glad your family gave it a thumbs up!

  6. Dorean says:

    What if I don’t have buttermilk and really don’t want to spend the money on it because the rest of it spoils? Can I use regular milk and lemon juice or vinegar?

    • Cathy says:

      You can try whole milk with either lemon juice and buttermilk (1 cup: 1 Tbsp) and let it stand for a few minutes before using. Plain yogurt could work as well. That said, I’ve only used a buttermilk substitute in baking, never in a marinade, but definitely worth a try.

  7. Karen says:

    If you freeze them after cooking, what is the best way to heat them up? And, are they still crispy?

    • Cathy says:

      They should be defrosted and can be heated in the microwave (but won’t remain crisp) or heated on a rack in the oven for a crispy coating.

  8. Sandra Tisdale says:

    Delicious indeed! So glad I tried this new recipe.

  9. Tricia says:

    Hi- thanks for the recipe! I’m making them for a second time tonight. Do you prep and freeze extras or freeze them after cooking them? Thanks!

    • Cathy says:

      You can refrigerate or freeze the extras. The breading won’t be as crispy as the first time around, but you can reheat on the stove top to crisp up. Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *