Baked Popcorn Chicken! These are so crispy, flavorful, and tender inside…and so much healthier than the fried version. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce!
I love fun food ideas like these baked popcorn chicken bites! These are oven baked, and so much better than the fried stuff. What I love about this easy baked popcorn chicken recipe is that it uses crushed corn flakes to give it that extra delicious crunch. Plus, the breading is perfectly seasoned with garlic powder, paprika, and grated parmesan. So so good!
Popcorn chicken is super easy to make and it’s a great option for throwing an awesome party…not to mention a kid-friendly choice. So let’s get started!
Baked Popcorn Chicken Ingredients
You only need a few ingredients to make this recipe:
- Chicken breasts: cut into 1 inch pieces
- Panko bread crumbs and crushed corn flakes: this combination results in an ultra crunchy bite
- Garlic powder, paprika: seasoning and flavor
- Grated parmesan: extra flavor
- Salt and pepper: always!
- Beaten eggs: this is the key binding ingredient, it holds the breading together and makes it stick to the chicken
- Cooking oil spray: to spray the baking sheet and the prepared chicken bites before cooking
- Dipping sauce: what’s popcorn chicken without dipping sauce anyways?!
You can even play with the seasoning by adding your favorite spices. Here are some ideas: cayenne pepper, Italian herbs seasoning, onion powder, oregano…you name it!
How to Make Popcorn Chicken
You can make this easy baked popcorn chicken recipe in a few steps! Here’s an overview:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and spray two baking sheets with cooking oil spray.
- Make the breading mixture: in a large bowl, combine panko bread crumbs, crushed corn flakes, grated parmesan, paprika, garlic powder.
- Prepare the chicken bites: Dip each piece of chicken into the beaten eggs, letting any excess drip off. Then coat with the breading mixture, shaking off any excess breading. Line them up on the prepared baking sheets.
- Spray the prepared chicken with cooking oil spray: spraying the chicken before baking will help you get a beautiful golden brown color.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes: flip halfway through to cook evenly and to get a nice color on both sides.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. I am a big fan of honey mustard sauce!
Seriously, friends, this recipe is so easy, simple, and ultra delicious! And as usual, you can find specific measurements and instructions in the recipe card below.
Make Ahead Instructions
There are 2 things that can be prepped ahead of time:
- The breading mixture: combine the dry breading ingredients, except for the grated parmesan. Store in an airtight container. The ingredients would be the panko bread crumbs, crushed corn flakes, seasoning and spices, salt and pepper. The grated parmesan needs to stay refrigerated, so add that when you’re ready to cook.
- Chicken: cut up the chicken up to 1 day in advance and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Pat dry the chicken.
Everything else should be prepared when you are ready to cook.
These baked popcorn chicken bites are seriously addicting! Perfect for game day, parties, after school snacks, kids’ meal…or anything really!
If you’re looking for more finger food ideas:
- Fingerling Potato Bruschetta
- Baked Garlic Parm Chicken Wings
- Loaded Baked Chicken Taquitos
- Goat Cheese Stuffed Jalapenos by Girl with the Iron Cast
Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to pin this recipe. Happy cooking, friends!
Tips for Making Popcorn Chicken
- Crushing the corn flakes: here’s a trick – place the corn flakes in a Ziploc bag, squeeze out the extra air, and seal it. Then pound it using a rolling pin or something similar until the corn flakes are coarsely crushed.
- Make sure the chicken pieces are cut to the same size so that they cook evenly in the oven.
- Spray the prepared chicken pieces with cooking spray before cooking for a beautiful golden brown color.
Baked Popcorn Chicken
- 2 pounds skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces (patted dry)
- 2 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 2 1/2 cups crushed corn flakes (see note below)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 large eggs
- Cooking oil spray
- Your favorite BBQ sauce or honey mustard sauce (or any dipping sauce you like)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 1 large sheet pan with cooking spray (or 2 medium sheet pans).
- Make the breading mixture: In a bowl, evenly combine the panko bread crumbs, crushed corn flakes, grated parmesan, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Set aside. Note: to crush the corn flakes, place them in a ziploc bag, remove excess air, and seal bag. Then, pound it with a rolling pin until coarsely ground.
- Whisk eggs in a bowl.
- Dip each piece of chicken in beaten eggs, letting the excess drip off. Then, coat with the breading mixture generously, shaking off any excess. Place each prepared piece of chicken on the greased sheet pan about 1 inch apart to avoid overcrowding. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
- Spray the prepared chicken with cooking spray, as this will give it a better golden brown color. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until cooked through and golden brown.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. I like honey mustard and sweet BBQ sauce. Enjoy!
- Equipment: sheet pans.
- Crushing corn flakes: to crush corn flakes easily, place them in a ziploc bag, remove excess air, and seal bag. Then, pound it with a rolling pin until coarsely ground.
- Make ahead & prep: Two things can be prepped ahead of time 1) Combine the breading mixture ahead of time, but leave the grated parmesan out. The grated parmesan should be added when ready to cook since it needs to stay refrigerated. 2) Cut up the chicken 1 day in advance and store in the fridge.
- Don't overcrowd the chicken on the sheet pan. Keep them about 1 inch apart to ensure proper browning. Use 2 sheet pans if needed.