Favorite Recipes

Crispy Popcorn Chicken

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These easy popcorn chicken bites come together in less than 30 minutes, and make the perfect quick dinner or hearty snack!

Crispy little chicken bites are the best. Crunchy on the outside, tender white pieces of meat on the inside….mmmmm….I’m not a total meat lover, but I could eat popcorn chicken every single day!

The signature deep frying process used to get that crispy coating is what totally makes popcorn chicken, but let’s face it — fried food is not so good for your health. So over the past few weeks, I set out to create a popcorn chicken recipe that tasted exactly like their crispy counterparts, but instead of being drenched and fried in oil, these babies are baked right in the oven!

It actually took me multiple tries to get this recipe just right before sharing it here on the blog, but third times a charm, and I was super happy with the end result. The best part is it takes less than 29 minutes from start to finish, which means this recipe lands right on my Simple School-Night Suppers list!

The Process

Step 1: Thaw chicken the night before in the fridge, then right before dinner, cut each chicken breast into bite sized pieces using kitchen scissors. I like to estimate one thinly sliced chicken breast per person, but if you have boys, you might want to make more!

Baked Popcorn Chicken

Step 2: Whisk eggs, mustard, salt, and garlic powder in bowl until smooth, then place all chicken pieces into the egg mixture and stir to coat.

Baked Popcorn Chicken

Step 3: Place bread crumbs in a separate bowl and line a baking sheet with foil. This makes clean-up so much easier!

Baked Popcorn Chicken

Step 4: Use cooking spray to grease the foil, unless you’ve ditched the cooking spray like me, which in that case, you would drizzle with butter and spread it around with a spatula.

Baked Popcorn Chicken

I tried baking these chicken bites without the butter, but honestly, this makes all the difference. Butter not only keeps the chicken from sticking to the pan {which rips off that delicious coating}, it actually makes the breadcrumbs even crispier.

Step 5: Using tongs, take a few pieces of chicken at a time and coat with bread crumbs on all sides. I hate touching raw chicken and getting my fingers all messy, so tongs are awesome!

Baked Popcorn Chicken

Step 6: Place on the baking sheet close together, but not so close that they are touching. Then bake at 415 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping chicken pieces over about halfway through.

Baked Popcorn Chicken

Step 7: Remove from the oven when done and serve with desired dressing or dip!

Baked Popcorn Chicken
Baked Popcorn Chicken
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Crispy Popcorn Chicken


  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x

Description

These easy popcorn chicken bites come together in less than 30 minutes, and make a fantastic quick dinner or hearty snack. The outside coating crisps up perfectly in the oven and eliminates the need for a deep fryer!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 thinly sliced chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp honey mustard
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups homemade bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. Cut up chicken into bite sized pieces using kitchen scissors.
  2. Whisk egg, mustard, salt, and garlic powder in bowl until smooth.
  3. Place bread crumbs in a separate bowl.
  4. Line baking sheet with foil and spray or drizzle with butter and spread it around.
  5. Place all chicken pieces in egg mixture and stir well to coat.
  6. Using tongs take a few pieces of chicken at a time and coat with bread crumbs on all sides.
  7. Place on baking sheet close together but not touching.
  8. Bake at 415 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping chicken pieces over about halfway through.
  9. Serve with desired dressing or dip.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: popcorn chicken, chicken poppers

Total Cost: $5.02 or $1.26/serving

You could definitely round out this meal with a quick veggie or fruit on the side, but it’s not required. I’m sure your kids would be happy to just eat chicken!

What is your favorite quick and simple meal?

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Grab this recipe, plus 5 more quick and frugal meals, all in one convenient printable pack. Includes a shopping list, 15 side dish ideas, and a weekly meal planner! More details HERE.

Does the school year have you panicking about what to make for dinner? It shouldn't! These simple school night suppers are perfect for busy weeknights, and won't leave you stranded in the kitchen all afternoon. They're kid-friendly and parent-approved, and go from grocery bag to dinner table in 29 minutes or less!


Disclosure: 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 an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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5 Comments

  1. Hello! I currently buy my son chicken nuggets but really want to reduce processed food out of his life to see if he has any attitude changes. Will these freeze well? If not, how long do you think they’d last in the fridge if I made a giant batch on Sunday?

    1. That is a really good question, Jessica. I don’t think we have tried freezing them yet. I think they would freeze well but I might “flash freeze” them first (all separated out on a baking sheet) before putting them in a freezer bag. That way they don’t freeze together into one giant blob. I usually keep them in the refrigerator for no more than 4 days. The FDA recommends 3-4 days for cooked chicken.

  2. Great recipe. Works with thighs just as well, which stay nice and juicy (plus they cost less than breasts). I used panko breadcrumbs and replaced about a third with unsweetened coconut. Huge hit!

    1. That’s great! I’ll have to try switching to the thighs. I’m always looking for a way to save money on meat at the grocery store.

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