These Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Schnitzels are a healthy alternative to your deep-fried schnitzel. Perfect when you are craving fried comfort food but want a healthier option.
Whether you are serving these with a salad, mash or in a bun for a sandwich, these crispy, juicy and extra crunchy schnitzels are perfect!
Learn how to get an oven-baked Schnitzel that’s extra crunchy! A healthy twist on a family favorite!
Chicken schnitzel is always a sure-fire winner!!! Both kids and adults love the crispy golden crumb and the juicy moist chicken inside. But do you know what I don’t love?? Deep Frying! Even with the windows open and nice clean oil in the deep fat frier it always makes the house smell, plus it isn’t the healthiest choice!
Now you know that the unhealthy option doesn’t always bother me! I believe firmly in everything in moderation! But as I often love to turn Chicken schnitzel into the cheesy coated classic chicken parmigiana, and serve it with pasta. I came up with a way to get the wonderful crispy crumb and moist chicken, without deep frying. Save calories by oven baking so I can add them back in with cheese and pasta……It’s all about balance people 😉
I find the powdery dust like breadcrumbs you can buy in shakers to be a bit bland and like sawdust! I prefer a nice breadcrumb with a bit of texture. This helps to make up for the lack of deep frying! For this recipe, you either want homemade breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs.
How to get a really crispy crumb and juicy chicken when oven baking a chicken schnitzel
When oven baking a chicken schnitzel the key to a really crispy crumb and still having juicy chicken inside is to pre-bake the breadcrumbs so they are already golden and crispy. This way the chicken can be cooked quickly in the oven and stay nice and juicy whilst still having a crispy crumb.
To do this spread the breadcrumbs over a baking sheet and then toast in a hot oven for 7-10 minutes. If your oven has a hot side you may need to rotate the tray. I do as the front right of my oven is hotter! I use this time to give the tray a little shake as well.
This pre-baking allows the breadcrumbs to crisp up and start changing color, meaning your chicken breast can be cooked until juicy and moist and still have a golden crispy crumb.
The longer you toast your breadcrumbs for the more golden the color of your final chicken schnitzel.
The other key to a juicy chicken schnitzel is to flatten out the chicken breast so it is a uniform thickness.
This helps the chicken to cook quickly and evenly and also tenderizes the meat, keeping it juicy when you eat it.
How to flatten a chicken breast
To flatten a chicken breast place it smooth side up on a sheet of baking paper or gladwrap/clingfilm. Cover with a second sheet and use a rolling pin or smooth meat hammer to flatten the chicken until it is about 1/2inch/1.25cm thick all over.
I have found the key to getting the breadcrumb to stick isn’t to flour the chicken and then use an egg bath, but to make a paste from the flour and egg and coat the chicken in this before adding it to the breadcrumbs.
This paste allows the breadcrumbs to stick to the chicken and can also add flavor.
To add flavor I like to include mayonnaise and dijon mustard along with salt and pepper.
How long to bake chicken schnitzel for?
If you have flattened the chicken until it is 1/2inch/1.25cm then a crumbed chicken schnitzel will only take 10 minutes to bake.
You want to use wire rack over a baking sheet to ensure the heat can circulate around the schnitzels. This will leave the chicken so juicy and moist and the pre-baked crumbs will be perfectly golden and crispy.
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
What to serve with chicken schnitzel?
Traditionally chicken schnitzel needs just a spritz of lemon juice and a sprinkling of salt. That is still my preferred way (unless I am turning it into a parmi!) When I do this I might add a side of curried slaw and perhaps a few fries.
Wine: A great choice is a well-chilled Gewurztraminer or Riesling. Many people love it with an oaky Chardonnay but I am not a fan. For the red wine drinkers, a fruity Pinot Noir is a great option (especially if serving this with gravy.)
Alternatively, I LOVE this with a dry apple cider or a wheat beer!
p.s Anyone else struggle to spell Schnitzel? I keep wanting to write “chicken snitchels” 😉
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Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Schnitzels Recipe
For the breadcrumbs
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- oil spray
For the batter coating
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp AP flour
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
For the chicken
- 4 chicken breasts
- oil spray
- Pre-heat oven to 390ºF/200ºC.
- Spray a baking sheet with a generous layer of oil then spread the panko over the tray. Mix gently with your hands.
- Bake for 5-7 minutes until golden.
- Remove from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 430ºF/220ºC.
- Break an egg into a shallow bowl and lightly whisk to mix the white and yolk. Add in the flour, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper and mix to form a thick paste.
- Place the chicken smooth side up on a sheet of baking paper or gladwrap/clingfilm. Cover with a second sheet and use a rolling pin or smooth meat hammer to flatten the chicken until it is about 1/2inch/1.25cm thick all over. Repeat with all 4 chicken breasts.
- Set a wire rack over a baking sheet and spray/brush lightly with oil.
- Dip the chicken breast into the batter then transfer to the tray of breadcrumbs. Carefully flip the chicken so both sides are well coated with the crispy crumb. Place onto the oiled rack and repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.
- Bake the chicken for 10 minutes until crispy and golden.