Crisp and tender, these panko-coated baked buffalo chicken breasts take just 10 minutes to cook in the oven for a quick and easy but totally flavorful dinner.
Germans have their schnitzel, Japanese have their katsu, Russians call it chicken kiev, and in Italy, you’ll find it crispy coated with Parmesan or served Milanese style. Whether it’s made with chicken, pork, or veal, nearly every country can call a version of the breaded cutlet their own. But this chicken cutlet adds a real twist, a twist that marries my favorite finger-lickin’ buffalo chicken legs (they’re meatier than wings!) with my need for a quick and easy dinner made with a bit of flair.
Introducing my baked buffalo chicken breast. All it takes is a quick marinade in classic buffalo hot sauce, then a dip in butter before a panko bread crumb pat-down that sets up these thinly cut chicken breasts for a quick cook in a hot oven.
The chicken literally takes about 10 minutes to cook for a crispy tender chicken cutlet. Top with blue cheese crumbles that get just the right side of melty and this chicken dinner is 100% a winner.
What’s In Buffalo Chicken Breasts
This chicken recipe can easily be scaled up or down depending on how many people you’re serving.
- Skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- Buffalo sauce such as Frank’s RedHot® Hot Sauce
- Panko bread crumbs
- Garlic powder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Blue cheese (always buy a block and crumble your own)
- Ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing for serving
Do Panko or Bread Crumbs Add More Crisp?
Depending on the application, I go back and forth using Japanese-style panko bread crumbs and traditional fine bread crumbs. Panko has a broader surface area that creates more crunch, where regular bread crumbs seep into every crevice, nook, and cranny.
For breaded cutlets like my grandma’s German schnitzel dipped in flour, egg, then bread crumbs, either works well. My Parmesan-crusted chicken cutlets brushed with mayonnaise work just fine with regular bread crumbs.
I found panko bread crumbs worked best for this chicken cutlet recipe. Because they’re baked not fried, the panko bread crumbs crisped and browned more evenly and didn’t become soggy.
How to Make Crispy Buffalo Chicken Breasts
Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise and lightly flatten. A thinner chicken breast absorbs the buffalo sauce marinade better and cooks quicker. I use a long, narrow boning knife to slice the chicken breasts in half from stem to stern. Cover with a layer of plastic wrap, then lightly flatten with a meat tenderizer.
Give the chicken breasts a quick marinade in the buffalo sauce. One of the main ingredients in buffalo sauce is vinegar, a prime source for infusing flavor as a marinade. I found that 30 minutes was enough time to flavor and tenderize the chicken. A longer time didn’t make much of a flavor difference, and overnight could make the chicken turn mealy.
Prepare the Crunch
Lift the chicken breasts from the marinade, dip both sides into the butter, then pat into the panko bread crumbs. Allow a bit of the marinade to drip away before a quick flip in the butter. Too long and the sauce rinses away. Firmly pat the bread crumbs into the chicken breasts so it absorbs a bit of the butter. This helps toast the bread crumbs as the chicken cooks.
Lightly oil the baking sheets, but not too much. A drizzle of oil spread with a paper towel gives just enough slick for the bottom of the chicken to toast.
Bake In a Hot Oven
Cook the chicken in a 450°F oven. Yes, it’s hot! But a hot oven is what’s needed to cook the thinly cut chicken quickly without drying them out. It also creates the crisp toasted crunchy top.
Add a Bit Zingly Bit of Blue
Add crumbled blue cheese to the hot chicken. The blue cheese tang ever so slightly melts into the crispy hot chicken. It’s a difference in texture I totally adore.
Word of cooking advice: Whether it’s blue, feta, or goat, always buy the hunk of cheese and crumble it yourself. You’ll get the best flavor-bomb crumbles that aren’t dry and gritty.
What to Serve With Buffalo Chicken Breasts
- Celery Slaw with Apples and Blue Cheese
- How to Make THE BEST Potato Salad
- Classic Blue Cheese Wedge Salad
- How to Make Classic Macaroni Salad
- Easy 5-Minute Parmesan Zucchini
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a star rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Baked Buffalo Chicken Breasts
- 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 1 cup Frank's RedHot® Original Hot Sauce , or similar buffalo sauce
- ½ cup butter , melted and slightly cooled
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- Ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping
- carrot and celery sticks
- Place the oven rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 450°F. Lightly brush a large baking sheet with vegetable or canola oil and set aside.
- Use a long, thin boning knife to slice each chicken breast in half lengthwise to create two thin fillets. Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap on a cutting board, and gently pound to about ⅜-inch with a meat tenderizer. Place the chicken breasts in a 9 X 13 baking dish. Pour the hot sauce over the chicken and toss to coat. Marinate the chicken in the hot sauce for 30 minutes.
- Pour the cooled melted butter into a shallow bowl and scatter the panko bread crumbs onto a small plate. Remove a chicken breast from the hot sauce and dip both sides allowing the excess to drip off, then into the bread crumbs. Pat the bread crumbs into each side of the chicken breast until its evenly coated, then place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
- Bake the chicken breasts for 10-12 minutes or until the bread crumbs are lightly browned and toasted and the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the oven and garnish with crumbled blue cheese. Serve with Ranch or blue cheese dressing and more hot sauce on the side, plus carrot and celery sticks.
More Chicken Breast Recipe Ideas
- Baked Chicken Parmesan
- Crispy Parmesan Buttermilk Chicken Tenders (Baked or Air Fryer)
- Easy Chicken Piccata
- Potato Chip Crusted Chicken Breasts Recipe
- 30-Minute Creamy Mushroom and Leek Chicken Breasts
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