This crispy panko chicken is easy to make, throw some potato wedges and vegetables in with it to make a one pan dinner. Depending on how thin the chicken breast is, it can cook in 20-25 minutes. A mayonnaise coating seals in the juices so it's not dry.
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How will this chicken dish make your life easier?
Chicken is so versatile, the options are endless. This panko chicken recipe is a great way to enjoy a juicy chicken breast that's really foolproof because of how you cook it.
There are a couple ways to make this easy: one is to quickly prepare the chicken and bake it for 30+ minutes, pound the chicken then add the mayo/mustard coating and dip in panko to cook in about 20 minutes, or cut into nuggets and cook even faster.
So you can spend a few minutes to make the chicken cook faster or save time upfront and bake it longer. Either way, this chicken is so juicy and tender with a crispy crust thanks to baking it on a wire rack.
What makes this panko breaded chicken so good?
- Chicken Breast: Get a nice chicken breast, pound it down so it cooks more quickly, or chop into smaller nuggets for even faster cooking time.
- Mayonnaise: Swap half an egg for mayo here. Not only does it waste less, but I think it does a better job sealing in the juices. This panko chicken has come out super juicy every time I've tested it.
- Dijon Mustard: Add a teaspoon of dijon to the mayo for a pungent, spicy flavor. It's an easy way to add lots of flavor without lots of ingredients.
- Smoked Paprika: Adds a nice smoky, slightly spicy, warm flavor. And it adds nice splotches of red color to your chicken! haha
- Garlic Salt: I originally used garlic powder and salt, but why not combine the two. It adds a sweet, savory flavor that's great with chicken.
- Panko: It's got more texture than breading foods with flour. I like to crush the panko a bit with my hand so it creates a more uniform crust. It's key to the really crunchy crust on your panko chicken. Flour just doesn't give you the same crust.
How do I make panko crusted chicken?
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Start making your panko chicken by pounding the chicken with a meat tenderizer or press down (hard) with a heavy pan like a cast iron skillet. A tenderizer is better, but it's not a common piece of kitchen equipment. Pat chicken dry, if needed.
You don't have to pound the chicken, you can chop it into nuggets too. Either of these methods work to speed up baking time. Or skip both, but your chicken will take 30+ minutes to bake.
Mix together mayonnaise and dijon mustard in shallow bowl or plate.
Next, add panko, smoked paprika, and garlic salt to shallow bowl. Stir together. Crush panko with spoon or your hand, so pieces are a bit smaller. Spread out into even layer.
Press chicken into mayo/dijon mixture. You can spread it around the chicken with your hands too.
Transfer to panko mixture. Press chicken into the mixture, flip and press into other side. Press panko into sides of chicken breast, so all sides are coated.
Place an oven safe cooling rack on a baking sheet. I place a baking mat under the rack. Spray chicken with cooking spray.
Transfer to cooling rack on baking sheet. Spray your chicken with cooking spray. Add potatoes and/or vegetables if desired.
Cook until internal temperature of thickest part of chicken is 165 degrees F, about 20-25 minutes. Let rest for a couple minutes to lock in the juices.
Serve with potatoes and veggies, or other desired sides.
Enjoy your panko chicken immediately. Store leftovers in airtight container for up to a week in the fridge, or until it starts to smell off. You can reheat in the oven, air fryer, or microwave.
Great Side Options
- Roasted Broccoli and Mushrooms
- Kale, Broccoli, Dried Cherry Salad
- Apple Cucumber Salad
- Crusty Bread
- Single Serving Mac & Cheese
- Chop chicken into small pieces to have chicken nuggets. They're fun to eat and cook more quickly. Add ½ more panko, paprika, and garlic salt to panko breading mix.
- You don't have to cook the chicken on a rack, but it will help keep the bottom crust crispy.
- You can cook this over the stove, but I found it more difficult to cook without burning the crust. If you're an expert pan fryer, it might be easier to cook this way.
- Other great add-ins: freshly grated parmesan cheese, squeeze lemon on top, and add parsley to your panko chicken, if desired.
Other good chicken recipes
- Buffalo Chicken Flatbread
- Chicken Noodle Soup for One
- One Pot Chicken Parmesan Pasta
- Chicken Salad with Apples and Pecans
- Chicken Recipes for One Person
You'll need to coat chicken with something to get panko to stick to it. Often times, people use whisked egg or mayonnaise. Mayonnaise is nice because it locks in the moisture so your chicken is very juicy after cooking.
No, you do not need flour for panko crusted chicken recipes. Some recipes call for both flour and panko crumbs, but it can be crispy and crunchy, even without flour.
Lots of side dishes are good with panko crusted chicken. It depends on how you flavor the chicken to know what will go well with it. But a grain and vegetable are traditional. Scroll up for the 'great side options' section.
How can I repurpose?
- Serve as chicken nuggets
- Serve over salad
- Serve in a wrap
What can I make with leftover ingredients?
- Chicken: Chicken Bacon Ranch Flatbread, Watermelon Chicken Salad, or Creamy Mushroom Chicken over Rice.
- Panko: Panko Pork Chop or use to top Chicken Parmesan Pasta. If you can find panko in a bulk foods section, this would be best. If you don't cook with panko often.
- Mayonnaise: Broccoli Greek Yogurt Salad, Chicken Salad with Walnuts and Cranberries, Semi-Homemade BBQ Ranch Dressing.
- Dijon Mustard: Chicken Salad Pita, Vegetarian Harvest Bowl.
Did you make this baked panko chicken for one? Leave me a comment & rating to share how it turned out!
Baked Panko Chicken for One
- Heavy cast iron skillet or meat tenderizer, etc
- Towel or plastic wrap
- Measuring cups, spoons
- 2 Shallow bowls or 1 shallow bowl and 1 plate
- baking sheet with optional baking mat. Choose a baking sheet the same size as your oven safe cooling rack
- oven safe cooling rack
- 1 whole chicken breast about 6 ounces
- 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ cup panko crumbs
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic salt
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Add 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon dijon mustard to a shallow bowl or plate. Mix together. Preparing both before coating chicken will save you from washing your hands an extra time or two.
- Prepare panko coating by adding ¼ cup of panko crumbs, ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika, and ⅛ teaspoon garlic salt to a shallow mixing bowl. Stir together. Press down to crush panko with a spoon or your hand. This will help your coating be more even. Spread into an even layer in bowl.
- If desired, place baking mat on baking sheet. Place oven safe cooling rack on baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray.
- Place chicken on cutting board, with towel or plastic wrap over it. Press down chicken with heavy cast iron skillet-into about 1 inch thick piece. Or use meat tenderizer. Pat chicken dry with a clean towel or paper towel, if needed.
- Place chicken in mayonnaise and dijon mixture. Cover all sides with mixture.
- Transfer to panko mixture. Press chicken into mixture, then flip and press other side. Cover all sides with panko mixture so it's all covered.
- Place on rack on baking sheet. Spray top of chicken with cooking spray. Add frozen potatoes to rack if desired. You can also add large pieces of vegetables too. Watch vegetables as cooking times may be different.
- Bake until internal temperature of thickest part of chicken reaches 165 degrees F. This might take 8-12 time for nuggets, 20-25 time for chicken pounded to be about 1 inch thick, and 30-40 minutes for a regular chicken breast.
- Let rest for about 5 minutes before enjoying. Serve with sides and a dipping sauce, if desired.
- If making chicken nuggets, add ½ more panko, paprika, and garlic salt to panko breading mix.
- You don't have to cook the chicken on a rack, but it does help keep the bottom panko crispy.
- Serve with potatoes and veggies, or with other sides which are listed in Sides section above.
- You can substitute the mayonnaise with ½ scrambled egg, but your chicken might not be as juicy.
- Other additions: Grated parmesan cheese, top with a squeeze of lemon juice and fresh parsley.
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