Awesome Oven Fried Chicken Breasts with Bacon Crumbs!

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This is the ULTIMATE Family dinner that turns an ordinary chicken breast into an AWESOME treat!  Easy to make and amazingly delicious, it’s my  Awesome Oven Fried Chicken Breast with Bacon Crumbs and Honey!  I mean, c’mon it sounds pretty fantastic, right?  It’s healthier because it’s baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness! 

It starts with healthy, lean skinless and boneless chicken, which cooks nice and quick.  That gets coated with sweet honey and then fantastic combination of crispy bacon and garlic seasoned panko breadcrumbs.  Each bite delivers salty and smoky crunch on the outside and sweet moist and tender chicken on the inside.

This recipe is a great way to use a couple pieces of bacon leftover from another meal.  Click here to get 30 More Leftover Protein Dinner Ideas!

IS THIS REALLY HEALTHIER WITH BACON?

Well, let’s start with answering the question: healthier vs. what?  Is it better for you vs. a deep fried chicken on the bone with skin?  Heck, YES!  Let’s compare to one of the popular fast food deep fried chicken breast recipes.  This popular brand’s original chicken breast recipe will deliver you 390 calories and 21g of Fat in 1 breast, which is considered 1 serving.

However, in this recipe, you are getting only 208 calories and 4g of Fat per serving.  First, you are eliminating the skin, which is very high in calories and fat.  Second, we are using a very small amount of oil by spraying it and then baking it.  So, even adding back in some calories and fat with the bacon will not dramatically add back the calories.  In fact, since a small amount of back goes such a long way with infusing flavor, we only need 2 strips in this recipe!  

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

WHAT TO SERVE WITH THE ULTIMATE CHICKEN?

Well, aside from some great Remoulade Dipping Sauce (my absolute favorite!) there are lots of different things that could go great with this chicken!

If you are looking for a healthier and lighter side, try a simple Mesclun Salad with a Honey Dijon Vinaigrette or Roasted Carrots with an Avocado Crema, or try my favorite Super Cheesy Cauliflower Rice!

If you want something a bit heartier – and cheesier – try my Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole, which is great for a large group!

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For the breadcrumbs, the easiest way to blend in the bacon into the panko is with a food processor. I use my go-to mini food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can crush up the bacon in a baggie if it’s super crispy. If its a bit chewy, finely chop with a knife and then stir it into the breadcrumbs.

You will also need 3 medium bowls and a large sheet pan (I use a 17×11) to bake the chicken in the oven.

PREP-AHEAD FOR YOUR OVEN FRIED CHICKEN BREAST

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details)

This is such a simple recipe without having to worry about a messy pot of oil that splatters all over!

You need 3 bowls that have a wide top for easy dipping of the chicken breasts. Each bowl will have it’s own fork.  One is for the flour mixture, the second is for the eggs and honey, and the third is for the bacon breadcrumbs.

Bacon and breadcrumbs in food processor for Oven Fried Chicken Breast.  The chicken is coated with Bacon Crumbs and Honey and it's healthier because it's baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness!  It also gives you sweet and salty crunch with the addition of honey and bacon!

Bacon and breadcrumbs blended in food processor for Oven Fried Chicken Breast.  The chicken is coated with Bacon Crumbs and Honey and it's healthier because it's baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness!  It also gives you sweet and salty crunch with the addition of honey and bacon!

3 bowls on counter for Oven Fried Chicken Breast.  One bowl has flour, another has honey and eggs, and the last has breadcrumbs. The chicken is coated with Bacon Crumbs and Honey and it's healthier because it's baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness!  It also gives you sweet and salty crunch with the addition of honey and bacon!

If your chicken breasts are not already sliced thin, slice them from the side to create 6 thin pieces.

Raw Asparagus on counter for Lemon Dill Sauce Chicken and Asparagus. It has chicken in a light and creamy sauce flavored with garlic, lemon and fresh dill. It's loaded with fresh asparagus. #springrecipes #dinner #easydinner #healthydinner #lemon #asparagus #chicken #glutenfree #easyrecipes

Can I use other Cuts of Chicken?

Well, yes, but this recipe really is for Chicken breasts.  You can use chicken tenders or boneless chicken thighs, but I would not use legs or wings for this one.

Can I leave out the Bacon?

Of course!  The bacon is not necessary, but I would substitute in some parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup).  The bacon brings a nice salty flavor to the breadcrumbs and the parmesan will do the same.  If you leave both out, you might want to add a pinch more salt and 1/4 cup more panko breadcrumbs.

COOK YOUR OVEN FRIED CHICKEN BREAST 

For each chicken breast slice, you will be moving it through the assembly line dredging bowls.  Each bowl should have it’s own fork so that they do not get gooey and clumpy. 

The chicken first gets dredged in the flour mixture, then moves over to the honey-egg mixture to get coated.  Finally, it moves over to the bacon breadcrumbs and then on to the oiled sheet pan.

Raw chicken in bowl with flour and in a bowl with eggs for Oven Fried Chicken Breast. The chicken is coated with Bacon Crumbs and Honey and it's healthier because it's baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness!  It also gives you sweet and salty crunch with the addition of honey and bacon!

Raw chicken in bowl of bacon breadcrumbs for Oven Fried Chicken Breast. The chicken is coated with Bacon Crumbs and Honey and it's healthier because it's baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness!  It also gives you sweet and salty crunch with the addition of honey and bacon!

Raw chicken coated in bacon breadcrumbs on pan for Oven Fried Chicken Breast. The chicken is coated with Bacon Crumbs and Honey and it's healthier because it's baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness!  It also gives you sweet and salty crunch with the addition of honey and bacon!

When all chicken breasts have been coated and transferred to the sheet pan, spray them with the Olive Oil to moisten all of the breadcrumbs that you can. Gently flip the chicken breasts over and do the same to the other side.

Hand spraying oil on raw chicken coated in bacon breadcrumbs on pan for Oven Fried Chicken Breast. The chicken is coated with Bacon Crumbs and Honey and it's healthier because it's baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness!  It also gives you sweet and salty crunch with the addition of honey and bacon!

Place in the oven on the center rack for 15 minutes.

After the first 15 minutes, remove the sheet pan and gently flip the chicken using a large spatula, gently scraping the pan as you flip to lift any crumbs that may be sticking. Once all are flipped, put back in the oven and bake for the final 10 minutes.

Oven Fried Chicken Breast on pan. The chicken is coated with Bacon Crumbs and Honey and it's healthier because it's baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness!  It also gives you sweet and salty crunch with the addition of honey and bacon!

Oven Fried Chicken Breast on pan. The chicken is coated with Bacon Crumbs and Honey and it's healthier because it's baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness!  It also gives you sweet and salty crunch with the addition of honey and bacon!

Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and enjoy!

Oven Fried Chicken Breast cut on plate with fork. The chicken is coated with Bacon Crumbs and Honey and it's healthier because it's baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness!  It also gives you sweet and salty crunch with the addition of honey and bacon!

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Oven Fried Chicken Breast cut on plate with Cauliflower mash and pan in background. The chicken is coated with Bacon Crumbs and Honey and it's healthier because it's baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness!  It also gives you sweet and salty crunch with the addition of honey and bacon!
Oven Fried Chicken Breast cut on pan with bacon in background. The chicken is coated with Bacon Crumbs and Honey and it's healthier because it's baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness!  It also gives you sweet and salty crunch with the addition of honey and bacon!
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Oven Fried Chicken Breast with Bacon Crumbs

This is the ULTIMATE Family dinner that turns an ordinary chicken breast into an AWESOME treat!  Easy to make and amazingly delicious, it's my Awesome Oven Fried Chicken Breast with Bacon Crumbs and Honey! It's healthier because it's baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness!  It starts with healthy, lean skinless and boneless chicken that is coated with sweet honey and then crispy bacon crumbs and garlic seasoned panko breadcrumbs.  Each bite delivers salty and smoky crunch with a sweet honey chicken inside.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Bacon, Baked chicken, chicken, chicken dinner, easy chicken dinner
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 208 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Breadcrumbs

  • 2 strips Cooked bacon
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Other

  • 1 1/2 lb Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless (about 3 breasts or 6 thin cutlets)
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup All Purpose White flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil Spray
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Parsley, chopped

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. **Before you get started, make sure that your bacon strips are cooked and drained on a paper towel**

  2. You will need 3 bowls that have a wide top for easy dipping of the chicken breasts. Each bowl will have it's own fork. Bowl One: Mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Bowl Two: Whisk the eggs and honey together. Bowl Three will be for the breadcrumbs in the next step.

    3 bowls on counter for Oven Fried Chicken Breast. One bowl has flour, another has honey and eggs, and the last has breadcrumbs. The chicken is coated with Bacon Crumbs and Honey and it's healthier because it's baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness!  It also gives you sweet and salty crunch with the addition of honey and bacon!
  3. In a food processor, add the panko breadcrumbs, bacon broken into pieces, garlic powder, paprika, thyme, salt, pepper. Pulse and then blend until crumbs are fine. It's ok to have small chunks of bacon the size of rice. Transfer the crumbs to Bowl three.

    Bacon and breadcrumbs in food processor for Oven Fried Chicken Breast. The chicken is coated with Bacon Crumbs and Honey and it's healthier because it's baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness!  It also gives you sweet and salty crunch with the addition of honey and bacon!
  4. If your chicken breasts are not already sliced thin, slice them from the side to create 6 thin pieces.

Dredge & Cook

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees. Spray a large sheet pan with olive oil to coat the bottom.

  2. For each chicken breast slice, first coat in the flour mixture, then using the "Flour Fork", transfer to the egg/honey mixture. Using the "Egg Fork", dip and flip the chicken until all flour is coated, then transfer to the Breadcrumb bowl. Last, using the "Breadcrumb Fork" coat and flip the chicken until completely coated with the bacon and breadcrumbs. Transfer to the sheet pan.

    Raw chicken coated in bacon breadcrumbs on pan for Oven Fried Chicken Breast. The chicken is coated with Bacon Crumbs and Honey and it's healthier because it's baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness!  It also gives you sweet and salty crunch with the addition of honey and bacon!
  3. When all chicken breasts have been coated and transferred to the sheet pan, spray them with the Olive Oil to moisten all of the breadcrumbs that you can. Gently flip the chicken breasts over and do the same to the other side. Place in the oven on the center rack for 15 minutes.

    Hand spraying oil on raw chicken coated in bacon breadcrumbs on pan for Oven Fried Chicken Breast. The chicken is coated with Bacon Crumbs and Honey and it's healthier because it's baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness!  It also gives you sweet and salty crunch with the addition of honey and bacon!
  4. After the first 15 minutes, remove the sheet pan and gently flip the chicken using a large spatula, gently scraping the pan as you flip to lift any crumbs that may be sticking. Once all are flipped, put back in the oven and bake for the final 10 minutes.

    Oven Fried Chicken Breast on pan. The chicken is coated with Bacon Crumbs and Honey and it's healthier because it's baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness!  It also gives you sweet and salty crunch with the addition of honey and bacon!
  5. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and enjoy!

    Oven Fried Chicken Breast cut on plate with fork. The chicken is coated with Bacon Crumbs and Honey and it's healthier because it's baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness!  It also gives you sweet and salty crunch with the addition of honey and bacon!

Simple Weeknight Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bake

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Spoon scooping Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bake with potato chips on top. It's a comfy cozy casserole that's perfect to make ahead for a simple weeknight side or main dish.

I love casseroles.  And one of my favorite combos is broccoli and cheese.  Usually, it’s made with rice, but today I have a healthier version that’s made with Quinoa!  Get ready for a comfy and cozy Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bake that’s a simple side or main dish any weeknight!

This recipe comes together easily and gives the most amazing flavor.  The quinoa is hearty, creamy, and flavorful, but also super healthy, loaded with fiber and protein! The broccoli brings color, vitamins, and texture. The cheese, well, it’s creamy and delicious! You can make this casserole entirely ahead and reheat any busy night! It’s a balanced meal on it’s own, but you can add chicken, meatballs, or any other easy meat that your family loves.

Quinoa!  

Quinoa is a great side on it’s own or ingredient to bulk up other foods, such as stuffings.  It can replace pasta or rice in most recipes and adds more protein and fiber.

It’s actually a seed, not a grain, but the texture is similar to a grain or even a couscous, but a little more fluffy.  It has a mild, slightly nutty taste, but it’s mild, so it really absorbs any flavors you mix with it. 

But the really magic of quinoa is in the health benefits!  1 cup of cooked quinoa has 8g of complete protein and 5g of fiber.  It also has Iron, Manganese, Lysine, and magnesium!  

Combining quinoa with veggies gives you a complete balanced meal with vitamins, fiber, protein, and other nutrients.

Try these other easy and delicious Quinoa Recipes!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For this recipe, you need a medium pot with fitted lid for the quinoa, a medium pot for the sauce, and a large (5-6 quart) casserole dish.

Oh, and mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR YOUR BROCCOLI CHEESE QUINOA BAKE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details)

This recipe starts with pre-cooking your quinoa.  I do this because it makes the baking part foolproof!  You will never have to worry if the quinoa is cooked fully in the oven because it was pretty much there when you added it.  One of the benefits of quinoa is that it can absorb a lot and maintains it’s integrity. 

Cooked quinoa in pot.

While the quinoa cooks, you can prep the rest of the ingredients…cut off the broccoli florets (if not already done) and mince the garlic.

Ok, and here comes the somewhat strange ingredients.  By the way, this is totally optional, but adds really fun delicious flavor.  

POTATO CHIPS!!  

My Mom used to put crushed potato chips on top of casseroles and I just felt the urge to add it to this one.  So, just toss some chips in a baggie and crush away to get them to small pieces.  Or, leave them out if you want.  They are not needed, so it’s your choice.

COOK YOUR BROCCOLI CHEESE QUINOA BAKE 

Cooking for this recipe starts on the stove and then moves to the oven.  

On the stove, in a medium to large pot, add the vegetable broth and minced garlic. Bring to a simmer on Medium-High heat. While it is heating, make your slurry by mixing the cornstarch into cold milk.  When the broth is simmering, whisk in the milk slurry.  Continue to whisk as it starts to thicken so no clumps form on the bottom.

Garlic and Broth in pot for Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bake It's a comfy cozy casserole that's perfect to make ahead for a simple weeknight side or main dish.  Cornstarch and Milk slurry in measuring cup for Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bake It's a comfy cozy casserole that's perfect to make ahead for a simple weeknight side or main dish.

Pouring milk slurry into pot for Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bake It's a comfy cozy casserole that's perfect to make ahead for a simple weeknight side or main dish.

Once thickened, whisk in the shredded cheese. Stir until melted and smooth. Then turn off the heat. 

To a casserole dish, Add the broccoli florets, cooked quinoa, cheese sauce, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir to completely combine. Place in the preheated oven on center rack and bake for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, add the crushed potato chips to the top of the casserole and place back in the oven for the final 5 minutes. The remove and let rest for at least 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bake in a bowl with potato chips on top. It's a comfy cozy casserole that's perfect to make ahead for a simple weeknight side or main dish.

Simple Weeknight Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bake

This Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bake is a comfy cozy casserole that's perfect to make ahead for a simple weeknight side or main dish. The quinoa is hearty, creamy, and flavorful, but also super healthy, loaded with fiber and protein! The broccoli brings color, vitamins, and texture. The cheese, well, it's creamy and delicious! You can make this casserole entirely ahead and reheat any busy night! It's a balanced meal on it's own, but you can add chicken, meatballs, or any other easy meat that your family loves. #casseroles #broccolirecipes #vegetarian #meatlessmeals #broccolicheesebake

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword broccoli, casserole, cheese, quinoa
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Quinoa, uncooked
  • 4 cups Broccoli florets
  • 2 cups Shredded Cheddar
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 4 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano, dried
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Optional Topping: Crushed potato chips

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. Pre-Cook Quinoa. Start by rinsing the quinoa thoroughly in a strainer, then adding it to 4 cups water in a medium pot with a fitted lid. Bring the water to a simmer, then turn it down to the lowest setting and cover tightly. Cook on lowest heat covered for 15 minutes. While the quinoa cooks, continue to prep.

  2. Cut off the broccoli florets if not already done for you. Mince the garlic. Place potato chips in a baggie and lightly crush to break them up into small pieces.

Cook

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.

  2. To a Medium-Large pot, add the vegetable broth and minced garlic. Bring to a simmer on Medium-High heat. While it is heating, make your slurry by mixing the cornstarch into cold milk.

  3. When the broth is simmering, whisk in the milk slurry. Continue to whisk as it starts to thicken so no clumps form on the bottom.

  4. Once thickened, whisk in the shredded cheese. Stir until melted and smooth. Then turn off the heat.

  5. To a 10" x 10" or similar size casserole dish, Add the broccoli florets, cooked quinoa, cheese sauce, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir to completely combine. Place in the preheated oven on center rack and bake for 15 minutes.

  6. After 15 minutes, add the crushed potato chips to the top of the casserole and place back in the oven for the final 5 minutes. The remove and let rest for at least 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!