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13 Healthy "Fried" Chicken Recipes for Weight Loss

Learn a few simple tricks to make delicious chicken that never touches a fryer.
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Crispy, fried chicken is 100% a comfort food. Whether you dredge buttermilk-marinated chicken in seasoned breadcrumbs, enjoy a chicken finger dipped in honey mustard, or indulge in a plate of wings, there's just nothing like it. However, we are all familiar with the fact that deep-frying is one of the worst ways to cook in terms of health.

That doesn't mean you can't enjoy a crispy piece of chicken if you want to lose weight—it just means you need to use healthier means to cook it and to utilize some simple tricks to get the crispiest chicken ever. Here are some easy healthy "fried" chicken recipes that taste like the real thing and can be part of a weight loss diet.

Plus, don't miss our 22 Meals to Melt Belly Fat in 2022.

The Crispiest Oven-Fried Chicken Recipe

Paleo oven fried chicken
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

The trick to getting oven-fried chicken that can stack up to traditional fried chicken is to add a little oil to the seasoned Panko breadcrumbs before coating the chicken. A 12-hour bath in buttermilk and hot sauce helps get flavor into the meat as well.

Get our recipe for The Crispiest Oven-Fried Chicken.

An Easy, Healthy Crispy Chicken Recipe

crispy chicken on pan with tongs and lemon
Jason Donnelly

Another way to get great flavor into oven-fried chicken is to aggressively season the breadcrumbs. In this recipe, Parmesan cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika add fantastic flavor. Plus, a wire rack helps the chicken crisp up all over.

Get our recipe for Easy, Healthy Crispy Chicken.

Gluten-Free Oven-Fried Chicken with Baby Spinach Salad

oven roasted fried chicken
Courtesy of Kristine Kidd

This recipe doesn't use fancy, gluten-free breadcrumbs. The secret is finely ground tortilla chips. Again, season the tortilla chip crumbs well for maximum flavor.

Get our recipe for Gluten-Free Oven-Fried Chicken with Baby Spinach Salad.

Oven-Baked Chicken Fingers With Chipotle-Honey Mustard Recipe

Gluten-free chicken fingers with chipotle honey
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Egg whites take the place of whole eggs for coating purposes, adding lightness and fewer calories to these oven-baked chicken fingers. The spices are light too just in case you are making these for the kiddos. Feel free to amp them up if you, or your children, have adventurous palates.

Get our recipe for Oven-Baked Chicken Fingers With Chipotle-Honey Mustard.

 We Tasted 6 Frozen Chicken Tenders & These Are the Best

The Perfect Buffalo Chicken Recipe

Healthy and crispy buffalo chicken on a plate
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Buffalo chicken wings typically aren't breaded, but a deep fryer gets that uber crispy skin. The oven will get the skin crispy too, you just have to have patience. And, as mentioned above, invest in a wire rack so that your chicken is sitting above the juices for maximum crispiness.

Get our recipe for Buffalo Chicken So Tasty, You Won't Believe It's Healthy.

Air Fryer Sesame Soy Garlic Chicken Wings

sesame soy garlic chicken wings
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

If you have an air fryer, then crispy chicken wings are well within your grasp. Rather than 45 minutes in the oven, these wings will crisp up in 16 minutes. You'll still need a good sauce though and this super quick sweet-and-sour one will do the trick.

Get our recipe for Air Fryer Sesame Soy Garlic Chicken Wings.

 16 Crispiest Comfort Food Recipes to Make in Your Air Fryer Tonight


Crunchy Keto Popcorn Chicken with Spicy Chipotle Aioli

keto popcorn chicken
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

Perfection takes time, and this recipe proves that. For the best popcorn chicken ever, season the chicken, marinate overnight in buttermilk and make this creative breading that guarantees a crispy crunch. A combination of spelt cereal, almond flour, and almonds ground in a food processor makes these little bites memorable.

Get our recipe for ​​Crunchy Keto Popcorn Chicken with Spicy Chipotle Aioli.

The Best-Ever Buffalo Wings

Healthy fiery buffalo wings
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Baked wings take a little more time, but they can get just as crispy as fried, without the mess of all that oil. And, the secret to amazing blue cheese dressing is to use good quality blue cheese but substitute Greek yogurt for the base. The blue cheese flavor takes over and you won't notice the difference.

Get our recipe for The Best-Ever Buffalo Wings.

Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Wings

finished chicken wings with blue cheese dip and celery on a plate
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

If you have an Instant Pot, it can be your secret weapon for crispy on the outside, tender on the inside chicken wings. A brief pressure cook, followed by the broiler can give you bar-quality wings in no time at all.

Get our recipe for Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Wings.

 The Best Chicken Wings in Every State

Crispy Baked Ranch Chicken

baked ranch chicken
Courtesy Lil' Luna

Again, seasoning is what will take your oven-baked chicken to the next level. Lil' Luna uses Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning to make these crispy chicken cutlets memorable.

Get the recipe from Lil' Luna.

Oven-Baked Chicken Nuggets

baked chicken nuggets
Courtesy of Lil' Luna

To make the absolute best chicken nuggets, the trick is to spray the nuggets with oil on both sides before baking. Plus, give the cooked nuggets a few minutes under the broiler to achieve maximum crunch. You'll never go back to mystery meat fast-food chicken nuggets after you try these.

Get the recipe from Lil' Luna.

Spicy Baked Chicken Parmesan

baked chicken parmesan
Courtesy Gimme Some Oven

Chicken parmesan is delicious, of that, there is no doubt, but it can be swimming in grease. Gimme Some Oven's method results in a flavorful dish with a fraction of the oil. The trick for perfect chicken is to pound it to an even thickness, to maximize the crunchy exterior, and to be sure everything cooks evenly in the oven.

Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven.

Hemp-Crusted Baked Chicken Tenders

baked hemp chicken nuggets
Courtesy Gimme Some Oven

Sure you could use a boring crust for chicken, but Gimme Some Oven discovered that healthy hemp seeds make an amazing substitute. High in anti-inflammatory omega-3s and full of fiber, turns out these little seeds make stellar gluten-free chicken coating when mixed with some almond flour or ground almonds. Bonus: These are also super high in protein.

Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven.

Plus, don't miss 9 Best Dinner Recipes for Faster Abdominal Fat Loss

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Meaghan Cameron
Meaghan Cameron is Deputy Editor of Restaurants at Eat This, Not That! Read more about Meaghan