This easy Panko Breaded Chicken recipe is the perfect weeknight dinner! With simple ingredients and straightforward steps, it's a hassle-free, easy recipe that can be prepared in under 30 minutes, allowing you to enjoy a satisfying dinner with minimal effort.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Easy Dinner - With just a few steps and about 5 minutes of time your dinner will be baking in the oven!
Juicy & Flavorful - This recipe uses mayo to lock in the moisture giving you the juiciest chicken, while simple seasonings infuse the meat with delicious flavor.
Crispy Crust - The unique texture of panko bread crumbs creates a light and airy crust that remains wonderfully crisp, even when baked in the oven.
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full list of ingredients, including measurements.
Chicken Cutlets - Chicken cutlets are breasts that have been sliced in half horizontally to make thin pieces of chicken. You can purchase cutlets at the grocery store or cut them yourself. I love cutlets for this recipe because they cook quickly and also have a good ratio of chicken and breadcrumbs.
Panko Breadcrumbs - This style of breadcrumbs becomes light and crunchy when cooked, giving this chicken great texture! Use unseasoned breadcrumbs since we are adding other spices.
Mayonnaise - The mayo acts as a binder to the breadcrumbs and also adds moisture to the chicken. Whether you love or hate mayonnaise you will still love this recipe! There is no mayo flavor or texture in the finished dish. You can use Greek yogurt or sour cream instead, but they don't add quite the same moisture.
Spices - Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and paprika add depth of flavor and enhance the overall seasoning of the chicken cutlets.
How to Make Panko Breaded Chicken in the Oven
1) Mix the Spread
- Place the mayonnaise and spices in a small bowl.
- Stir the mixture until the spices are evenly incorporated into the mayonnaise.
2) Coat the Chicken
- Place the chicken cutlets on a clean work surface or in a shallow dish.
- Using a spoon spread a generous layer of the mayonnaise and spice mixture over both sides of each piece of chicken.
- Ensure that the entire surface of the meat is evenly coated with the spread, as this will help the panko breadcrumbs adhere and seal in the moisture.
3) Bread the Chicken
- Pour the panko breadcrumbs into a separate shallow bowl.
- Working with one cutlet at a time, place the meat into the dish of breadcrumbs.
- Firmly press the breadcrumbs onto the chicken, ensuring an even and thorough coating.
- Flip the cutlet and repeat the process, making sure both sides are completely coated.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper then place a wire rack on top of the paper.
- Place the panko chicken breasts on the wire rack, leaving enough space between the cutlets to allow for even browning.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
Other Ways to Cook Panko Chicken
Preparing crispy panko breaded chicken in the oven is a convenient, hands-off preparation method and does not require oil as frying does. But there are a couple of other ways to prepare this recipe that still deliver tender juicy chicken.
- Heat a few tablespoons of canola oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil has reached 325°F (163°C) carefully place the breaded chicken cutlets in the pan, ensuring not to overcrowd.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy.
- Adjust the heat if needed to prevent burning.
- Use an instant thermometer to check the internal temperature to check for doneness. It should be between 160°F (71°C) and 165°F (74°C).
- Once cooked through, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess oil.
- Preheat your air fryer according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Place the breaded cutlets in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
- Lightly spray the tops with oil.
- Cook at 400°F (200°C) for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Check for doneness by ensuring the center reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
- Once cooked, remove the chicken from the air fryer and let it rest briefly before serving.
For a delicious alternative, you can also try my flavorful Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets recipe.
- Pound chicken to an even thickness: Place the meat in a plastic bag and pound the thickest parts using a rubber mallet, rolling pin, or your fist. This helps it cook evenly.
- Use a wire rack: Place the breaded chicken cutlets on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. This allows hot air to circulate underneath, resulting in a crisper crust on all sides during baking.
- Don't overcrowd the pan: The best way to achieve a crispy texture is to leave enough space between each piece to allow for even browning and airflow.
- Use an instant-read thermometer: To ensure the meat is cooked to perfection, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the cutlet, and it should read 165°F (74°C) for fully cooked chicken. (It's okay to be a few degrees less than this, as the temperature will continue to rise after it is removed from the oven.)
- Serve immediately: Panko-crusted chicken is best enjoyed immediately after cooking to retain its crispiness.
What to Serve with Panko Chicken
Panko breaded chicken is a versatile dish that pairs well with a variety of delicious side dishes and accompaniments. Here are some delightful options to consider:
- Fresh Salad: Slice the chicken and place it on top of a garden or club salad. Or serve Spinach Salad or Kale Salad as a side.
- Roasted Vegetables: Choose seasonal vegetables such as roasted Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, or a medley of colorful bell peppers.
- Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes are a classic and comforting choice. The creamy texture and buttery flavor of the potatoes create a delightful contrast to the crispy chicken coating.
- Steamed Rice: For an Asian-inspired twist, serve panko-crusted chicken with steamed plain or coconut rice. The light and fluffy rice complements the flavors of the chicken.
- Pasta: Garlic butter noodles are another great side that adds flavor to your meal.
- Sauces: This recipe pairs with all kinds of sauces, like ranch dressing, marinara, bbq sauce, and honey mustard!
Panko Chicken Variations
Panko breaded chicken is a versatile dish that lends itself to various flavorful variations. Here are a few ways to switch up the traditional recipe:
- Panko Parmesan Chicken: Add a cheesy twist to your panko chicken by incorporating ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese into the breadcrumb mixture and replacing the onion powder and paprika with a teaspoon of Italian seasoning. Serve the chicken as is, or top it with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese during the last 10 minutes of cooking, and serve with cooked spaghetti noodles.
- Spicy Panko Chicken: If you enjoy a bit of heat, give your panko chicken a spicy kick. Add ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon chili powder, or 1 teaspoon hot sauce to the mayonnaise spread or mix it into the panko breadcrumbs.
- Lemon Herb Panko Chicken: Infuse your panko chicken with bright, zesty flavors by incorporating 1 teaspoon of lemon zest into the breadcrumb mixture. Serve with lemon wedges.
- Coconut Panko Chicken: For a tropical flair, substitute half of the panko breadcrumbs with ½ cup of unsweetened shredded coconut. The coconut adds great flavor and a little different crunch.
- Dijon Chicken: Stir 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard into the mayonnaise mixture for even more flavor!
- Panko Chicken Tenders: Cut the meat into tender-sized strips before breading, or purchase raw chicken tenders. These crispy tenders are perfect with your favorite dipping sauce.
- Panko Chicken Sandwich: Take it to the next level by creating a delicious sandwich. Place your cooked chicken cutlet on a soft bun, and add some lettuce, tomato slices, and your favorite condiments.
Storage and Reheating
Refrigerate the cooked chicken cutlets in an airtight container or wrapped with plastic wrap for up to 5 days.
Freeze completely cooled chicken by wrapping it tightly in a layer of plastic wrap and then aluminum foil, or storing in a freezer bag, for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight and remove the wrapping before reheating.
Reheat in a 350°F (175°C) oven or air fryer until heated through. It usually takes about 10-15 minutes to reheat cutlets in the oven and 5-8 minutes in an air fryer.
Yes, to use eggs instead of mayonnaise, beat 2 eggs in a shallow dish and mix the spices with the breadcrumbs instead of the eggs. When using eggs as a binder, I recommend letting the breaded chicken sit undisturbed for 10 minutes before baking, to help them adhere to the chicken.
Yes, substitute an equal amount of regular bread crumbs for the panko crumbs. Panko breadcrumbs tend to provide a lighter and crispier coating compared to regular breadcrumbs.
Yes, gluten-free panko breadcrumbs are an equal substitution.
More Easy Chicken Dinner Recipes
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Panko Breaded ChickenRecipe by:
- 4 chicken cutlets (or 2 breasts, sliced in half horizontally)
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup panko breadbrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Place the chicken in a Ziploc bag or between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound to an even thickness.
- Mix the mayonaisse and seasonings in a small bowl.¼ cup mayonnaise, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon paprika, ¼ teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Spread about 1 tablespoon of the mayonnaise mixture on each chicken cutlet, coating the meat completely.4 chicken cutlets
- Pour the panko crumbs into a shallow dish, then press the chicken into the crumbs. Turn the chicken over and coat the rest of the chicken.1 cup panko breadbrumbs
- Place a wire rick onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, then set the chicken pieces on top of the rack, with a little bit of space between each one.
- Bake for 15-25 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).