21 Healthy Chicken Recipes That Use Buttermilk for Extra Flavor and Richness
Make your chicken even more delicious with the addition of buttermilk. Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product that’s often used as a marinade for fried chicken. You can also use buttermilk as a salad dressing to add a tangy flavor. However you incorporate it, recipes like Chopped Salad with Chicken & Avocado-Buttermilk Dressing and Southern-Style Oven-Fried Chicken are flavorful and satisfying.
Fried Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
A blend of whole-wheat panko and fine cornmeal gives this healthy chicken recipe the perfect amount of crunch even though it's not deep fried. Making an easy homemade buttermilk ranch dressing recipe means you can skip bottled, which may have additives and stabilizers.
This healthy buttermilk chicken recipe has all the flavor of buttermilk fried chicken without the frying. Using salt in the brine to draw moisture into the chicken, buttermilk to tenderize and a heap of herbs for fresh flavor, this easy chicken marinade creates unbelievably delicious fried chicken.
Chopped Salad with Chicken & Avocado-Buttermilk Dressing
This herb-loaded green goddess-inspired dressing gets a color boost from creamy avocado. Make a double batch of this healthy salad dressing to keep on hand for salads throughout the week.
Air-Fryer "Fried" Chicken Thighs
Air fryers need a lot less oil to create a deep-fried crispy crust. Here, chicken thighs are marinated in buttermilk and dredged in a simple breadcrumb coating. With the help of a little cooking spray, they cook up nice and crispy with a lot less fat. Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce or slice them up to top a salad.
Buttermilk-Brined Chicken Breast with Basil-Mint Sauce
This healthy buttermilk chicken breast recipe has all the flavor of buttermilk fried chicken without the frying. The herb sauce recipe brings together mint, basil and ground coriander--perfect for serving with the chicken, or make extra and toss with pasta.
Southern-Style Oven-Fried Chicken
A blend of dried spices gives the crispy panko coating on these oven-fried chicken thighs plenty of flavor, and marinating the chicken in buttermilk makes it moist and juicy. If you don't have an oven-safe skillet, you can roast the chicken in a baking dish in Step 5. Serve with your favorite vegetables (bake them alongside the chicken to make it easy) for a healthy comfort food dinner that requires just 20 minutes of active prep time.
Spring Vegetable Salad with Chicken & Buttermilk-Herb Dressing
The buttermilk dressing for this easy and healthy chicken salad recipe calls for using dried herbs, which gives you a more intense flavor blast and cuts down on prep time. But if you prefer the flavor of fresh, use 3 tablespoons fresh for each 1 tablespoon dried. Using leftover cooked chicken further speeds prep in this 20-minute dinner recipe.
Air-Fryer Chicken Nuggets
These crispy air-fried chicken nuggets are a quick kid-friendly dinner that parents will love too. The homemade nuggets are healthier than fast-food versions--and more flavorful, thanks to the cornflake coating. You can also cut the chicken into strips for air-fryer chicken tenders. Be sure to cook those 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until done.
This recipe is the perfect way to add some extra flavor to your dinner. Combine this recipe with your favorite vegetables and a serving of whole-grains to make a balanced meal.
BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich with Coleslaw
This eastern North Carolina-style chicken barbecue recipe is vinegar-based, a far cry from the sweet tomato-heavy sauces from the western part of the state. Double the recipe to make a big batch, perfect for game-day parties and potlucks.
Chicken-Broccoli Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
Packaged broccoli slaw shortcuts the prep for this honey-mustard chicken salad. Dried cherries add a pop of color and tart-sweetness.
Crispy Ranch Drumsticks
This easy kid-friendly dinner pairs healthier oven-fried chicken with crisp, raw vegetables and a homemade ranch dressing for dipping.
Melon & Chicken Pasta Salad
Melon, prosciutto and dried cranberries pair well together in this chicken pasta salad recipe. Fresh grilled chicken breast is best, but you can save time by using roasted or grilled chicken from the supermarket. For the best flavor, combine the pasta salad with the dressing about 1 hour before serving.
Buttermilk-Brined Chicken Breast Salad
This healthy buttermilk chicken salad recipe serves up delicious buttermilk fried chicken, without the frying and on a bed of greens. Using salt in the brine to draw moisture into the chicken, buttermilk to tenderize and a heap of herbs for fresh flavor, this healthy chicken salad is perfect for an easy dinner or for a potluck.
Picnic Oven-Fried Chicken
This oven-fried chicken recipe gives you all the deep-fried flavor and crunch without all the oil. Removing the skin and using our tried-and-true “oven frying” method, where we bread the chicken and then coat it with cooking spray before baking at high heat, eliminates 92 calories and 2 g of saturated fat per serving.
Green Goddess Salad with Chicken
In this cucumber, tomato, Swiss and chicken salad recipe, a healthy green goddess dressing is made from avocado, buttermilk and herbs. Any extra dressing is delicious served over grilled chicken or flaky white fish, such as cod or flounder.
Old-Fashioned Chicken & Dumplings
Our revision of creamy chicken and dumplings uses whole-wheat flour for the dumplings and adds lots of vegetables to the filling. The delicious, satisfying results are packed with beneficial nutrients and dietary fiber, and because we don't use canned soup for the sauce, sodium levels are drastically reduced. To go even lighter, try the recipe with boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
Buffalo Chicken Salad
All the flavor of Buffalo chicken wings is packed into this irresistible, healthy salad. But unlike chicken wings, you can eat a big serving of this healthy Buffalo chicken salad recipe for just 291 calories.
Spicy Pecan Popcorn Chicken
These spicy and crunchy pecan-crusted chicken nuggets are paired with a quick, creamy ranch dip. If you can't find coarse breadcrumbs, substitute Grape-Nuts cereal instead.
Oven-Fried Chicken on a Stick
Here's a fun way to serve oven-fried chicken for a picnic: put it on a stick. It's fabulous served with this homemade Vidalia onion and honey-mustard sauce, but it's also great with barbecue sauce or Frank's hot sauce. This is an easy recipe to double if you're serving a crowd.
This chicken potpie is studded with peas, mushrooms, carrots and onions and topped with tender whole-wheat biscuits. The savory sauce gets a rich taste from reduced-fat sour cream, but with less fat and calories. And it ends up just as delicious and comforting as you expect.