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: 5 stars 5
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 and by coating the chicken in whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs, with just-as-delicious results. Serve this lemony chicken dinner with whole-wheat pasta or brown rice.
Hilary Meyer
By Hilary Meyer

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.
By Carolyn Casner

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.
Hilary Meyer
By Hilary Meyer

Oven-Fried Chicken on a Stick

Rating: 4.5 stars 4
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.
Virginia Willis
By Virginia Willis

Oven-Fried Chicken Breasts

This recipe crisps chicken in the oven rather than in a skillet or deep-fat fryer, cutting down on calories and fat.
By Diabetic Living Magazine

Oven-Fried Parmesan Chicken Drumsticks

Rating: 5 stars 1
These chicken drumsticks are coated in breadcrumbs with oregano, paprika, and pepper and are oven cooked rather than deep-fried. This recipe is incredibly easy to prepare, making it a perfect party appetizer for any occasion.
By Diabetic Living Magazine

Fried Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Rating: 5 stars 7
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.
By Stacy Fraser

Nashville Hot Chicken

Rating: 5 stars 9
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.
Hilary Meyer
By Hilary Meyer

Almond-Crusted Chicken Strips

Rating: 5 stars 1
Give these oven "fried" chicken strips a try, and you may just find the perfect healthy swap for restaurant chicken fingers.
By Diabetic Living Magazine

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.
By Carolyn Casner

Chicken Francese with Corn & Green Bean Salad

This chicken francese gets its crispy and delicious exterior from a dredge with flour and egg; skip the breadcrumbs. Pair it with fresh vegetables like corn, tomatoes and green beans.
By Jennifer Kushnier

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders with Snap Pea Slaw

Rating: 5 stars 1
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.
A portrait of Breana Killeen, M.P.H., RD
By Breana Lai Killeen, M.P.H., RD

Inspiration and Ideas

Air-Fryer "Fried" Chicken
Rating: Unrated 1
In this healthy air-fried chicken recipe, we dredge the chicken twice in the flour mixture, resulting in a deliciously crisp exterior. Buffalo-style hot sauce adds subtle heat to these juicy drumsticks. Serve alongside mashed potatoes and green beans.
Air-Fryer Breaded Chicken Breast
These air-fryer breaded chicken beasts use a mixture of Dijon mustard and oil to help the breadcrumbs stick to the chicken. Keeping the chicken breasts at least 1/2 inch apart helps keep them crispy. If your air fryer is too small to cook all four chicken breasts at the same time, you can cook them in two batches. Serve these flavorful air-fried chicken breasts over salad or with your favorite dipping sauce.