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Buttermilk Baked Chicken (Best Recipe)

If you’re a fan of crispy and juicy chicken, then you’re going to love this buttermilk baked chicken!

Not only is it incredibly easy to make, but it’s also much healthier than fried chicken. And best of all, it’s just as crispy and delicious.

Breaded Fried Chicken Leg with Lemon
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This faux fried chicken recipe has just the right balance of savory and spicy.

The buttermilk marinade adds a tangy flavor, while the spices and hot sauce give it a little kick. 

And because it’s baked, not fried, you can enjoy all of that deliciousness without all of the added fat and calories.

So give this buttermilk baked chicken a try. I know you’ll love it!

Buttermilk Oven-Fried Chicken

This recipe takes all the goodness of fried chicken and bakes it to crispy perfection in the oven.

The secret ingredient? Buttermilk! 

Soaking the chicken in a mixture of buttermilk, lemon juice, hot sauce, and spices infuses it with flavor and helps to tenderize the meat.

Simply mix together the buttermilk marinade and soak the chicken for a few hours (or up to 12 hours). 

Coat it in a mixture of crushed cornflakes, grated Parmesan cheese, and chopped thyme.

Then, bake it in the oven until it is golden and crisp. It’s that simple!

Buttermilk Baked Chicken Served on Plate

What Does Soaking Chicken in Buttermilk Do?

Soaking chicken in buttermilk adds a tangy flavor and helps to tenderize the chicken. The acid in the buttermilk breaks down the proteins in the chicken, making it juicier and more tender.

And let’s be real, who doesn’t love tender and juicy chicken? 

Plus, the buttermilk helps the cornflakes stick to the surface of the chicken for a perfectly crispy and crunchy crust.

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And don’t even get me started on the flavor.

The lactic acid in the buttermilk adds a subtle tang that takes the chicken to a new level.


To make this delicious buttermilk-baked chicken, you need a few simple ingredients.

  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk adds a tangy flavor to the chicken and helps to tenderize the meat. 
    • If you’re wondering what is buttermilk or just don’t have any on hand, you can make a quick substitute.
    • Just mix regular milk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. 
  • Lemon juice: This adds a bright and acidic flavor to the chicken, as well as helps to tenderize the meat. Plus, it pairs well with the tangy flavor of the buttermilk.
  • Hot sauce: The hot sauce adds a spicy and flavorful kick to the chicken. It’s a great way to add some heat to the dish and can be adjusted to your personal preference. 
  • Yellow onion: The yellow onion adds a sweet and mild flavor to the chicken, as well as some texture.
  • Thyme: Thyme is a fragrant herb that adds a savory and slightly earthy flavor to the chicken.
  • Garlic: Garlic adds a pungent flavor to the chicken, as well as some depth and complexity.
  • Kosher salt: Kosher salt is great for seasoning chicken, as it is less “salty” compared to table salt. It can be adjusted to taste more easily.
  • Pepper: Pepper is a flavorful spice that adds a slight heat and pungent flavor to the chicken. You can use either ground black pepper or white pepper.
  • Chicken: This recipe calls for a 3-pound chicken, which is enough to feed 4-6 people. The chicken can be cut into any pieces you prefer, such as breasts, thighs, drumsticks, or wings. 
  • Cornflakes: The cornflakes in this recipe add a crispy texture to the chicken. They’re a great alternative to breadcrumbs and help to create a crunchy crust on the chicken.
  • Parmesan cheese: The grated Parmesan cheese adds a salty and nutty flavor to the chicken. It helps to create a delicious and crispy crust on the chicken.
Breaded Fried Chicken Legs with Lemon and Ketchup

How to Make Buttermilk Chicken

This recipe for buttermilk baked chicken is sure to hit the spot.

It’s packed with flavor, easy to make, and much healthier than fried chicken.

Here’s how to make it: 

  1. Make the marinade: In a large bowl, combine buttermilk, lemon juice, hot sauce, sliced onion, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. 
  2. Marinate the chicken: Soak the chicken in the marinade and leave it for at least a few hours, or up to 12 hours. This will help to tenderize and flavor the chicken, as well as keep it moist and juicy.
  3. Make the coating: In a shallow dish, mix together cornflakes, Parmesan cheese, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  4. Coat the chicken: Dip the chicken pieces into the breadcrumb mixture, making sure to coat them evenly. Place the coated chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake the chicken: Bake the chicken in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. It should be golden brown and crispy on the outside and cooked through on the inside. Enjoy!

This recipe is easy to make and much healthier than fried chicken.

So, you can feel good about having it on the menu.

What’s the key to the crispy texture?

The trick is to use a wire rack.

This allows the hot air to circulate around the chicken, ensuring that it cooks evenly and gets that crispy, crunchy crust. 

If you don’t have a wire rack, you can place the chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet and spray it with cooking spray.

Give this recipe a try for yourself and see how it compares to your usual fried chicken.

You’ll be astonished at how crispy and delicious it is!

More Crispy Chicken Recipes You’ll Love

Lemon Pepper Wings
Chicken Milanese
Nashville Hot Chicken
Shake and Bake Chicken

Buttermilk Baked Chicken (Best Recipe)



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Try this buttermilk baked chicken for comfort food the family will devour! Learn how to make this easy recipe, plus, get tips for the very best baked chicken you’ve ever had.


  • 2 cups buttermilk

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce

  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced

  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 chicken cut into 8 pieces, rinsed and patted dry

  • 2 cups crushed corn flakes

  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a wire rack-fitted sheet tray by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the buttermilk, lemon juice, hot sauce, sliced onion, thyme sprigs, smashed garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and coat them with the mixture.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or up to 12 hours.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the crushed cornflakes, grated Parmesan cheese, and chopped thyme. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off, and coat it with the cornflake-Parmesan mixture, pressing to help it adhere.
  • Place the coated chicken pieces on the wire rack-fitted sheet tray and bake for 45 minutes until they are golden and crisp. Enjoy!
Buttermilk Baked Chicken

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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