Buttermilk Oven “Fried” Chicken

Buttermilk Oven "Fried" Chicken Recipe! This is the best, crispiest faux fried chicken - from the Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka! Use chicken drumsticks and coat them in a homemade panko breadcrumb mixture, then bake them for the most tender "fried" chicken ever!

This buttermilk oven fried chicken is the healthiest way to get your fix of crispy, tender faux fried chicken. Marinate it in buttermilk and bake with homemade panko breadcrumbs!

Unless you’re my Grandma who doesn’t have a computer because, as she puts it, “It’s too late for me,” you know who Gina Homolka is. She’s a superstar.

Her blog, Skinnytaste.com, is a phenomenon, and I don’t say that casually. It’s everywhere, and it’s headed even more places. Not only are the recipes delicious, but they’re light in calories, healthy, and just generally wholesome. I’ve admired the meals, the desserts for years, and with every one I’ve tried, I’ve been met with perfect results.

But this year, I came to love the blogger behind Skinnytaste.

Buttermilk Oven "Fried" Chicken Recipe! This is the best, crispiest faux fried chicken - from the Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka! Use chicken drumsticks and coat them in a homemade panko breadcrumb mixture, then bake them for the most tender "fried" chicken ever!

Now, I’m lucky in that Gina and I share the same editor and team at Clarkson Potter. We have the greatest ladies group going (we’ve even got Joy the Baker!). And we’re all pretty fierce about one another. We’re the types who make special dinner dates that are unrelated to our work together, go out for drinks just because, who comment on every last thing the others do on Facebook. I text with my friend and publicist, Erica, during The Mindy Project and I’ve even asked her why I’m not the godmother to her son. It’s all taken beyond the borders of normal. If I really got into the nitty gritty about how deep this weird kind of love runs, you’d really start to question where you are right now.

This year, especially over the past few months, I’ve gotten to know Gina better. And beyond the star blogger that she is, she’s also shown me what an incredibly kind and generous person she is. Through our interactions, I feel this genuine warmth from her. She wrote an amazing blurb for my memoir, for heaven’s sake! She’s the sort who would definitely make you a meal and bring it to your house if you were sick. (Note to self: get sick).

the skinnytaste cookbook

Last Tuesday, her cookbook came out. And, I think you can imagine where I’m going with this: it’s wonderful. I mean, just wonderful. Even just as a book to thumb through, it’s gorgeous. But then, there are these 125 fabulous recipes — ones that are both creative and comforting. They’ve all got Gina’s signature healthy spin — everything from fettucine alfredo and chicken marsala to “Pumpkin-Obsessed Scones”. If that woman is good at one thing, it’s making you feel satisfied with a healthy recipe — which is always what I’m after. Flavor is never sacrificed to cut calories, that’s for sure.

oven fried chicken

Gina often says that her food weakness is fried chicken, so naturally, the first recipe I had to make from the book is her “Buttermilk Oven “Fried” Chicken.” Drumsticks are given a nice long soak in buttermilk to tenderize them, then coated in a seasoned panko crust, and baked to a crisp. The resulting drumstick was crunchy, perfectly seasoned, and tender on the inside. A huge hit.

Buttermilk Oven "Fried" Chicken Recipe! This is the best, crispiest faux fried chicken - from the Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka! Use chicken drumsticks and coat them in a homemade panko breadcrumb mixture, then bake them for the most tender "fried" chicken ever!

I can’t recommend the chicken or the cookbook enough. Both will be everything you could want: delicious and wholesome enough to leave you feeling good.

Order The Skinnytaste Cookbook on Barnes & Noble here, or Amazon here, or Indiebound here!  

Buttermilk Oven "Fried" Chicken

Recipe from the The Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
refrigerate6 hrs
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buttermilk baked chicken, buttermilk chicken recipe, crispy chicken recipe
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 294kcal



  • 8 chicken drumsticks about 3 1/2 ounces each, skinned
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Cooking spray or oil mister


  • 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup crushed cornflake crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder


  • For the chicken: In a medium bowl, season the chicken with the salt, paprika, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, and black pepper. Pour the buttermilk and lemon juice over the chicken and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours, preferably overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a rack on a baking sheet and lightly spray with oil.
  • For the coating: In a shallow bowl, combine the panko, cornflake crumbs, Parmesan, salt, parsley, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder.
  • Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, dredge each piece in the crumb mixture, and put the pieces onto the prepared baking sheet. Spray the tops of the chicken with oil.
  • Bake until golden brown and cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes.


Nutrition Information for 2 drumsticks


Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 8.5g | Saturated Fat: 2.5g | Sodium: 709mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g



21 thoughts on “Buttermilk Oven “Fried” Chicken

  1. Morgan

    Gina’s recipes are incredible. I saw her book on my target app and I flipped out! So exciting! I get giddy over blogger’s books coming out. Patiently awaiting yours. I have literally never successfully made fried chicken but this seems like the perfect recipe to try. And does the Mindy Project make you want to eat street food and donuts? Because it does me. It also makes me want to quit my life and go to med school. Sigh.

  2. Gina@Skinnytaste

    Aww Andie, such a sweet review! How lucky we are to be in such good hands with the Potter team, which brought me to your memoir and now a lasting friendship. You’re such an amazing writer, speaker, and inspiration. And heck yeah, you get sick you let me know… I make a mean chicken soup!! : )

  3. Deborah Burger

    Gina is the best! Her blog is my go-to when I don’t know what to make for dinner. My mostly meat and potatoes-loving husband even likes her recipes. Our most recent favorite of hers is the turkey stuffed peppers, they are awesome!

  4. Barbara Solotoff

    This recipe sounds delicious and since the colder weather is coming..nice to have a soul satisfying dish. I am curious to know the nutritional values of this recipe so I can plan it for my cleaner eating plan.

    1. Andie Mitchell Post author

      Hi Barbara! I just added the nutrition info above: Nutrition Information for 2 drumsticks: Calories: 294, Fat: 8.5g, Sat. Fat: 2.5g, Carb: 12g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 41g, Sugars: 2g, Sodium: 709mg

    1. Andie Mitchell Post author

      Hey Fallon! I just added it to the recipe above: Nutrition Information for 2 drumsticks: Calories: 294, Fat: 8.5g, Sat. Fat: 2.5g, Carb: 12g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 41g, Sugars: 2g, Sodium: 709mg

  5. Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life

    Oh that circle of supportive and fun lady blogger/authors sounds beautiful! This oven fried chicken is sure to be a hit with my darling man :) So many of Gina’s recipes fit his need for classic foods and my need to make them as healthy as possible so that I can keep him around for as long as possible :)
    Thanks for sharing Andie :)

  6. fran

    You know what’s nice about this recipe, I can eat 2 drumsticks because of the low carb count. This is great when your trying to keep your sugar levels under control as well as being able to enjoy food without statarving. YUM thanks!

  7. Jenn from Wa

    OMG, I love Gina and her website and now the cookbook. The day it arrived, I didn’t even make it in the house with it. I opened the package on my front door stoop and sat and thumbed through it.

    Thankfully, we who are trying to lose a few pounds and love food, have two wildly successful websites to work with…your’s and Gina’s.

  8. Anne F.

    Hey Andie, thanks so much for the heads up on “Skinnytaste.” WOW! What a beautiful book with wonderful recipes for those of us trying so hard to make healthy food taste good and not weird. LOVE the nutritional information listed for the reader. I have gone through much of the book to figure the plus point values for Weight Watchers. It is great that Gina gives a decent and generous portion for each recipe. Trying the granola recipe today….I look forward to your wonderfully inspiring book coming soon. You are truly an inspiration to me and many others. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and recipes through TED Talk, blog and forthcoming book. You are a fabulous writer and beautiful outside and in. You are special. Keep that in mind when you get overwhelmed and blue.

  9. Anne F.

    FYI !!!!!! “Skinnytaste” cookbook…..p.26……Good for You Granola………YUM YUM YUM !!!!! First thing I have made from the cookbook. Thanks Andie for the heads up!!!!!!!! Not overly sweet and pure, wonderful ingredients. WOW!!!!!

  10. Eric Daniells

    This is amazing, that you two know each other like this. We just had a giant cookout with the yoga group I run, we made things from Skinnytaste and also some from here that we’d been compiling for a while, with the intent to make them into a scrap book of recipes for health for new members to take from a lending library of sorts. We’re crediting the appropriate chefs ;) The cookout went great, everyone had so much fun and ooh’d and ahh’d over the flavor of the foods that are good for us but don’t taste that way! Thank both of you wonderful ladies for making a place dedicated to good health and happy tastebuds!

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  12. Ashley

    I’m kind of new to the cooking scene…but really into healthy eating these days. Are the recipes complicated? Would love to try some new recipes and am considering buying the book…but I need easy recipes for now. Thoughts? Thanks in advance!

  13. Carol Hansen

    Thank you for posting this recipe! Fried Chicken is one of my favorite comfort foods…with a side of mac and cheese of course:) I had a hankering for fried chicken last night so made this instead of what I had planned…it was delicious and I didn’t even have time to marinate…can only be better next time! Thanks for sharing this recipe..it was delicious…made your cornmeal pancakes for breakfast today instead;)

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