Skip to Content

Copycat Oven Baked Southern Fried Chicken

This copycat oven fried chicken recipe, has a great flavor from a super mix of spices, but have cut way back on both calories and fat by cooking it in the oven instead of deep frying it. It reminds me of my favorite KFC chicken.

I love all types of copycat recipes.  It is fun to tinker in my kitchen to try and come up with recipes that give me the flavors of my favorite restaurant or take away meals.

Today, I’m trying to get the flavor of KFC while reducing the fat and calories. I love the way the recipe turned out.

breaded chicken and potatoes with words reading Copycat KFC oven fried chicken.

Why oven fried chicken?

Oven fried chicken is coated with spices and herbs and other toppings to give the chicken flavor. But instead of deep frying, as normal fried chicken is, it is baked in the oven with a small amount of oil for crispiness.

For me, it’s a way to infuse my chicken with the spices and give it a lovely texture by using just a little butter and concentrating on what goes on the outside of the chicken.

This chicken could be just baked in the oven without the butter, and it would be okay, but it won’t be the quite the same.  And I don’t like to settle for just okay.

The butter gives the coating a crispy texture and great taste when combined with the spices.   And thus my term – oven fried.

The small amount of butter that I do use is FAR less than normal fried chicken, but it allows the chicken pieces to get a crunchy coating even though it’s not deep fried.

Best of both worlds…. it has plenty of flavor and less calories!Copycat KFCD oven fried chicken pieces on a white plate with potatoes.

There are all kinds of baked chicken recipes out there but I wanted something that will have me thinking I am eating fried chicken, and also something that won’t have my hips complaining at me for the next few weeks.  

And so this copycat recipe was born.

The spice blend is what gives my chicken a super flavor, and unlike KFC, I won’t be stingy on sharing the spice mix with you.

After all, once you see how well this turns out for me, you will want to be making it in your kitchen won’t you?  I have seen this spice mix also with the addition of MSG, but I have omitted it for my recipe.

I don’t like using MSG, since so many people don’t tolerate it well. The spice blend does just fine without it, thank you very much.This wonderful blend of 10 spices and herbs gives this KFC copycat chicken a great taste.

My helper for this meal is a wonderful silicone baking mat.  The mat is a huge help to make clean up super easy, especially for a recipe like this that can be kind of messy in a normal baking pan.

Once the chicken is done, all that is needed is a wash in warm soapy water to clean it and then it’s ready to use for another project.  I have a whole collection of these mats. Each is allocated to a particular cooking project.

Some I use only to make cookies.  Others are for oven baking like this, and one is even used JUST to roll out dough for bread.  Trust me.  You can’t have too many of these mats. 

Be sure to check out my post for ways to use silicone baking mats.

Make a dipping station

The recipe is easy to make.  You start by setting up a dipping station.  I am using four containers.  One holds the skim milk and next to it is the flour and 1/2 of the spice mix.

A third bowl holds the egg wash and near it is the container of Panko bread crumbs and the rest of the spice mix.  Doing a dipping station makes the whole process very streamlined and easy to do.A dipping station makes oven fried chicken a cinch to prepare.

I let my chicken pieces rest on a wire rack after coating for a bit so that the milk and egg wash helps to get the coatings to really stick to the chicken.  

This makes them crispy and also makes sure that the coating does not fall off in the oven. 

Melt your butter in the microwave and add it to the mat which lines a baking pan.  Place your chicken on the mat being careful to leave room around it so that every area will brown.

Flip the chicken half way through the baking time for best results and the crispiest chicken ever.  If they look this good before cooking, imagine how they will look after!copycat chicken pieces ready to cook

Voila!  Just took them out of the oven and can’t WAIT to try a piece.  I love doing this recipe on the silicone mat.  

None of the chicken pieces stuck to it when I flipped them over or when it was done.

The chicken was just perfect when it came out of the oven.Copycat KFC chicken fresh from the oven

You are going to love this crispy “fried” chicken with a tremendously tasty crust.  You won’t be complaining that these were not deep fried.

The flavor is THAT GOOD. There is just enough butter to give the coating a super rich taste but not enough to add a lot of calories or fat to the dish. copycat KFC oven fried chicken pieces on a white plte with potatoes.

And the flavor of this chicken is unreal. As in WHOA…I’ve gotta have a couple more pieces unreal.

The outside was crispy and perfect, yet it was juicy and flavorful on the inside.   This is no mean feat with skinless chicken breasts that will often dry out in the oven.Copycat KFC oven fried chicken

Your kids will love these nuggets of chicken and you’ll love knowing that you have made something healthier for them.

This copycat KFC oven fried chicken has a ton of flavor with all the fat and calories of deep frying.


Yield: 4

Copycat Oven Fried Chicken

Copycat KFC chicken fresh from the oven

This copycat oven baked fried chicken recipe reminds me of KFC but I have reduced the fat and calories considerably.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in strips
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup of skim milk
  • 3 egg whites, whisked with 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion salt
  • 1 tsp ground oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram


  1. Preheat the oven to 425º F.
  2. Spread out a silicone baking mat in a baking sheet.
  3. Combine all of the spice ingredients together in a small bowl.
  4. Whisk the spices well to combine.
  5. Set up a dipping station with two plates and two bowls.
  6. Put skim milk in one bowl, and egg wash in another.
  7. Place the Panko crumbs with half the spices, and flour and remaining spices on two plates.
  8. Dip the chicken pieces into the egg wash and then the flour/spice mix first and then into the skim milk and Panko/spice mix last.
  9. Set them aside on a wire rack to set for a bit.
  10. Place butter in a glass bowl and microwave until it has melted. About 30 seconds. Watch to make sure it does not burn.
  11. Spread the butter on the silicone mat.
  12. Place the coated chicken pieces on the silicone mat, taking care to leave spaces around them.
  13. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip the pieces and bake another 10-12 minutes until lightly browned and the chicken is cooked. (test it to make sure. Cooking time depends on the thickness of the chicken pieces.
  14. Cook a few more minutes if needed.
  15. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel to soak up any excess grease. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 491Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 2033mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 40g

Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.

Share on Social Media


Wednesday 30th of March 2022

Would this work in an air fryer as well?

Carol Speake

Thursday 31st of March 2022

I have not tried it in an air fryer so I don't know how it would work, but I can't see why not.

Clarke Stephens

Tuesday 18th of August 2020

Can you use chicken thighs and/or legs and what additional time for baking due to bone in

Carol Speake

Wednesday 19th of August 2020

You can make any changes you like, but it will change the recipe. I used chicken breasts to keep the calorie content lower. Chicken thighs and legs are dark meat and have more calories. I haven't tried the recipe with this type of chicken, but normally you would add at least 10 extra minutes for bone in.

Renee Fuller

Monday 23rd of November 2015

This sounds delicious!


Wednesday 25th of November 2015

We love it. Nice to have a great tasting recipe that isn't deep fried.

christina moore

Sunday 22nd of November 2015

This sounds like a great recipe, I can not wait to try it. Thank you for sharing


Wednesday 25th of November 2015

My pleasure Christina. Hope you like it.


Friday 20th of November 2015

I love oven cried chicken, and this reminds me that I should make it again soon! Also, those baking mats look brilliant! Great recipe!


Saturday 21st of November 2015

I love cooking with baking mats. Makes clean up so easy!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Skip to Recipe