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Healthy Recipes For Fried Chicken: Light Oven Fried Chicken Recipe Made With Buttermilk

Updated on March 24, 2011

Healthier Way To Make Fried Chicken

Eating a nutritionally sound diet doesn't mean giving up everything! You can still eat a nutritional diet and have comfort foods. It is about learning to cook old favorites but in a healthier way.

This recipe is from Cooking Light magazine and it has appeared in many different variations. I believe this is the latest version of it and I like to tweak the ingredients according to what I have on hand at the moment.

The most important thing is to note the stats for the original version of the recipe and the slimmed down, healthier version of it. This recipe is not only palatable - it is flat out delicious!



  • 1 cup low-fat or non-fat buttermilk
  • 4 bone-in chicken breast halves, skinned (substitute thighs or legs boneless, skinless)
  • 1/3 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/3 cup cracker meal (or bread crumbs - I use panko)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter - or use olive oil or vegetable oil spray

courtesy (kici)
courtesy (kici)

Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 cooking pan with vegetable spray
  2. Place chicken and buttermilk in shallow pie plate or dish and turn to coat with buttermilk.
  3. Combine flour and panko (or cracker meal/bread crumbs) with salt and pepper in another pie plate or shallow dish.
  4. Drip chicken out of buttermilk and next dredge through the flour/crumb mixture to coat one at a time - shake off excess. Repeat with all chicken pieces.
  5. Melt butter or use cooking spray in large non-stick skillet - heat to medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan, meatiest side down and cook 4 minutes - until golden brown.
  6. Turn the chicken and place the chicken pieces in prepared pan (uncooked side up). Cook for 30-35 minutes or until thermometer registers 165 degrees.

Serves 4

Coleslaw Recipe

The other component of a great fried chicken meal is the coleslaw - but this is a lightened up version, too!


  • 4 cups packed cabbage and carrot coleslaw - or make up 4 cups of cabbage and carrot
  • 3 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise - or substitute non-fat sour cream or half of mayonnaise and half of non-fat sour cream
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt if desired


  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Toss to coat all evenly.
  3. Cover and chill.

Regular Recipe Vs. Slimmed Down Version

Fried Chicken with Coleslaw 
Fast Food Version (KFC) 
Lighter Version (Cooking Light)
Portion Size 
1 breast half plus 1 side order of slaw 
1 breast half plus 1 side order of slaw 
31 grams 
8.8 grams 
1290 mg
672 mg

Summing It Up

The above recipe illustrates how you can still eat well and have foods that are delicious - just revamped a bit to lower calories, lower fat and lower sodium intake.

This is but one recipe that you can assimilate into a more nutritionally balanced meal plan - and it is relatively pain free. Try some of the different variations as well with the breading and the cooking. The original recipe calls for the chicken to be cooked in butter on one side, and then the entire skillet is put in the oven to finish baking after turning the chicken.

Cooking Light has some of the best sources available for revamping traditional recipes and still retaining the taste. also is a great source for lighter or healthier versions of old standards.


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    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      11 years ago from Washington

      Thanks, Darlene - it's healthier I guess! As always, thanks for commenting.

      Sandyspiker - thanks too for commenting - it is making me hungry as well!

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      11 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Look like chicken for dinner!

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      11 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Great Hub and I love this recipe. Thanks for showing us how to eat fried chicken in a healthy way. Thumbs up

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      11 years ago from Washington

      You bet - I agree!

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 

      11 years ago from USA

      Hi Audrey - Anything that has buttermilk in its cooking has to be good.

      Gus :-)))

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      11 years ago from Washington

      This one does bake in the oven - just you brown it on one side for 4 minutes - but I know there are other great recipes.....thanks for commenting as always!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      11 years ago from Georgia

      I made a very similar recipe Saturday - only I baked the chicken in the oven, as oven-fried chicken. Yum!

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      11 years ago from Washington

      Thanks Laurel for commenting - thanks for stopping by.

      Alekhouse, thank you for commenting too - I know what you mean about fried; I just like some things breaded occasionally and this recipe fits the bill.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      11 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      I don't eat anything fried, but after reading your recipe, I sure am tempted. Good hub.

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 

      11 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      What a fabulous recipe! Coleslaw, too? You have my total attention...and I'm bookmarking this right now!


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