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Healthy Fried Chicken Recipes

Find healthy, delicious fried chicken recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Creamy Lemon Chicken Parmesan

Rating: 4.8 stars
4
This riff on classic chicken Parmesan replaces the usual marinara with a luscious lemony cream sauce. We've lightened it up by using half-and-half instead of cream, with just-as-delicious results. Serve this lemony chicken dinner with whole-wheat pasta or brown rice.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders with Snap Pea Slaw

The buttermilk marinade lets these fried chicken tenders get crispy on the outside and stay deliciously juicy on the inside. The fresh crunchy slaw helps balance the richness of the chicken. Don’t have buttermilk on hand? Make a substitute by mixing the equivalent amount of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar.
By Breana Lai Killeen, M.P.H., RD

Air-Fryer "Fried" Chicken Thighs

Rating: 4 stars
1
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.

Bruschetta-Topped Crispy Baked Chicken

Rating: 5 stars
1
A fresh tomato-and-basil topping on panko-crusted chicken cutlets makes an easy meal for family or casual entertaining.

Fried Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Rating: 5 stars
5
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.

Oven-Fried Chicken on a Stick

Rating: 4 stars
2
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.

Nashville Hot Chicken

Rating: 4.88 stars
8
Fried chicken gets a hearty kick of heat and a slash in calories and sodium with this healthy baked chicken recipe. Serve the crispy chicken as they do in Nashville--with soft bread and dill pickle slices--or alongside a green salad with blue cheese dressing to help cool down the spiciness.

Picnic Oven-Fried Chicken

Rating: 3.76 stars
10
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.

Crispy Ranch Drumsticks

Rating: 2 stars
1
This easy kid-friendly dinner pairs healthier oven-fried chicken with crisp, raw vegetables and a homemade ranch dressing for dipping.

Chicken-Fried Turkey Cutlets with Redeye Gravy

Rating: 3.67 stars
3
Redeye gravy is a Southerner's trick of using coffee to make a quick pan gravy from the drippings that remain in the pan after frying ham steaks. In this lightened version we use lean turkey breast cutlets breaded and “fried” in a little canola oil, with just a bit of bacon for flavor in the gravy. Recipe by Joyce Hendley for EatingWell.

Oven-Fried Chicken

If fried chicken is traditional in your picnic basket, try this method, which trims about 8 grams of fat from each 5-ounce serving.
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