Irresistibly crunchy and golden brown panko chicken recipe, a delightful combination of tender chicken breast and crispy coating that will leave you craving more.
Discover the ultimate comfort food with our crispy panko chicken, prepared perfectly for a truly satisfying meal for the whole family. Learn how to bake, fry or air fry it.
Panko-crusted chicken is the perfect meal for a family, kids, and adults; we all love these crispy pieces of perfectly tender, juicy chicken breast. You can serve them with almost any side dish and use the sliced leftovers to make salads, wraps, sandwiches, or pasta dishes.
Why should you make chicken with panko breading?
- Three cooking methods: Learn how to bake, fry or air fry the panko breaded chicken.
- Delicious crunch: Panko crumbs have a light and airy texture, creating a super crispy coating on the chicken.
- Easy to make and economical: The recipe is simple and requires just a few simple ingredients. The coating process is straightforward.
- Family-friendly: The mild flavor and tender and crispy texture make it a crowd-pleaser.
- Customizable: Add your favorite spices, herbs, or seasonings.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts. Slice them horizontally to obtain two thinner slices out of each breast. Chicken tenderloin (tenders) or already-cut chicken cutlets are great as well.
- Panko breadcrumbs: Japanese panko breadcrumbs are made from crustless white bread. When fried or baked, the larger, lighter flakes create a crispy and airy coating.
- Wet ingredients: A mixture of full-fat Greek yogurt, mustard (yellow or Dijon mustard), and egg will add flavor and keep the meat moist.
- All-purpose flour for the coating.
- Spices: Sweet or smoked paprika for mixing with the breadcrumbs. Garlic powder, onion powder, fine sea salt, and black pepper for mixing with the flour.
- Vegetable oil for pan-frying or cooking spray for baking or air-frying.
- Addition: Add some Parmesan cheese to the crumbs for extra flavor. If toasting the breadcrumbs (for frying or air frying), only add Parmesan after they are completely cooled.
How to make panko chicken?
The preliminary steps are all the same, regardless of the chosen cooking method.
Optional step for air-frying or baking the cutlets: Toast the breadcrumbs in a little olive oil until golden (1).
Prepare the chicken breasts:
- Slice them horizontally to obtain two thinner slices (cutlets) from each breast (2).
Prepare the breading station (3):
- First bowl: Mix flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
- Second bowl: Whisk yogurt, mustard, egg, salt, and pepper with a fork.
- Third bowl or baking dish: Mix crumbs and paprika.
Bread the chicken:
- Flour: Turn the pieces into the flour using tongs until coated all over. Shake gently to remove the excess flour (4).
- Dip: Place them into the egg mixture and turn them around to coat. Shake gently so that the excess can drip off (5).
- Bread: Turn each piece into the panko mixture and press them down with your palms to help them adhere (6).
Fried panko chicken
- Heat the oil in a large, slightly deeper frying pan or cast-iron skillet (about 375°F/ 190°C).
- Fry the panko chicken breasts in two batches on medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Place them on paper towels to absorb the excess fat (7,8).
Air-fried panko chicken
- Toast the panko if desired. Bread the breasts as instructed above.
- Preheat the air fryer and place the chicken in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Spray it with cooking oil.
- Air fry for 5 minutes, flip, spray and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until golden and cooked through (9).
Baked panko chicken
- Preheat the oven and place a wire rack on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Toast the panko if desired. Bread the breasts as instructed above and spray the pieces with oil.
- Bake for 10 minutes, flip, spray, and bake for another 8 minutes or until cooked through (10,11).
- Toasting the panko breadcrumbs for baking or air frying is not mandatory but recommendable. Air-fried or baked pieces tend to remain rather pale compared to fried chicken. Toasting the bread crumbs before breading the chicken ensures they are as golden and crispy as possible.
- Fry or air fry in batches: Avoid overcrowding the pan or the air fryer basket when frying the chicken. Cook in batches, allowing enough space for the chicken to cook evenly and maintain its crispy texture.
- Cooking time depends on the chosen cooking method and the thickness of the cutlets. Always check that the meat is cooked through and safe for consumption.
Most grocery stores sell it nowadays, and you can always purchase it online. In the store, you will probably find them with the Japanese products in the Asian section or the section storing other types of breadcrumbs.
Yes, but panko makes the chicken crunchier and crispier.
With a meat thermometer (the Amazon affiliate link opens in a new tab), the internal temperature should be 165°F (74°C).
Cut one piece in the middle; the meat should be white; no pink allowed.
How to store?
- Refrigerate leftovers for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
- Reheat in the air fryer, oven, or skillet.
- Air fryer for about 3 minutes.
- Oven at 375°F (190°C) for 10-12 minutes or until heated through.
- Stovetop: Heat a little oil in the pan and reheat the pieces on both sides for 5-7 minutes or until heated through and crispy again.
- Microwave: Covered for 1-2 minutes. Check and continue reheating in 30 seconds intervals until heated through. Remember that reheating in the microwave may result in a loss of crispiness. If maintaining the crispy texture is a priority, the oven or stovetop methods yield better results.
- You can use the leftovers for making sandwiches, burgers, wraps, salads, or pasta dishes.
How to serve?
- Serve it immediately with lemon wedges, fries, baked potatoes, sweet potato slices, etc. Rice or pasta also make great side dishes for panko-crumbed chicken breast.
- Serve them with marinara sauce, honey mustard sauce, sweet chili sauce, BBQ sauce, or any other favorite dipping sauce.
- Make chicken burgers.
Check out the webstory for this recipe: Panko Chicken Recipe
More Chicken Recipes
Give my quick recipes a try for your next family meal! Feel free to reach out if you need any assistance!
Crispy Panko Chicken
- Large bowls
- Skillet OR Air Fryer OR Baking sheet
- 4 chicken breasts about 130-150 g, each/ 4.5-5.5 oz
- ½ cup vegetable oil 100 ml for fried chicken, Note 1
- cooking oil spray for air-fried or baked chicken
- 100 g panko about 1 ¾ cup/ 3.5 oz
- 1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt or Kosher
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt or mayonnaise
- 1 ½ tablespoons yellow mustard or Dijon mustard
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt or Kosher
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- The preliminary steps all are the same, regardless of the chosen cooking method. Optional step for air-frying or baking the cutlets: Toast the breadcrumbs in a little olive oil until golden.
Prepare the chicken breasts:
- Cut the chicken breasts horizontally to obtain two thinner slices (cutlets) from each breast. Set them aside. 4 chicken breasts
- Flour mix: Mix flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Set aside. 3 tablespoon flour + ½ teaspoon garlic powder + ½ teaspoon onion powder + ¼ teaspoon salt + ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Dipping mix: Whisk yogurt, mustard, egg, salt, and pepper with a fork in another large bowl. Set aside. 1 tablespoon yogurt + 1 ½ tablespoon mustard + 1 egg + ½ teaspoon salt + ½ teaspoon pepper
- Panko mix: Mix panko and paprika in a baking dish or another large shallow container. 1 ¾ cup/ 100 g panko + 1 teaspoon paprika
Bread the chicken:
- Flour: Place the chicken breasts into the flour bowl. Turn the pieces around using tongs until coated all over.
- Dip: Lift them with tongs, shake them briefly to remove the excess flour, and place them into the yogurt-egg bowl. Turn them around to coat them all over.
- Breadcrumbs: Pick up each piece with tongs, shake it gently to remove the excess, and turn it into the panko mixture. Press the breadcrumbs down with your palms to help them adhere.
Fried panko chicken:
- Heat the oil in a large, slightly deeper frying pan or cast-iron skillet. The oil should be hot but not smoking (about 375°F/ 190°C). ½ cup/ 100 ml oil
- Fry the breaded chicken breast pieces in two batches for 3 to 5 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through (the internal temperature should be 165°F (74°C).
Air-fried panko chicken:
- Toast the panko (optional - Note 2): Heat the oil in a large frying panko. Fry the breadcrumbs for 2 minutes, stirring almost constantly, until golden. Immediately transfer it to a large baking dish or another large container. Let it cool while you prepare the rest. 1 tablespoon oil + 1 ¾ cup/ 100 g panko
- Preheat the air fryer if its instruction manual requires it; for 3 minutes to 375°F (190°C).
- Bread the chicken as instructed above and place the pieces into the basket in a single layer. Spray them with cooking oil.
- Air fry for 5 minutes. Flip, and spray with oil again. Cook for another 5-7 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Check the internal temperature; it should be 165°F (74°).
Baked panko chicken:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Place a wire rack on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Panko: If desired, toast the breadcrumbs as instructed above.
- Bread the chicken as instructed above and spray it with cooking oil.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Flip, spray with oil again, and bake for another 8 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C) (Note 4).
- How much oil you need depends on the size of the pan. The pan should be large enough to cook at least 4 pieces of chicken in one batch, and its bottom should be covered with about ½ cm/ ¼ inch of oil. In my case, I needed about 100 ml/ ½ cup.
- The best way to check is with a meat thermometer (the Amazon link opens in a new tab); the internal temperature should be 165°F/ 74°C. Otherwise, cut one piece in the middle; the meat should be white; no pink allowed.
- Toast panko: This is an optional step. Air-fried or baked panko chicken remains rather pale compared to fried chicken. Toasting the breadcrumbs before breading the chicken ensures they are as golden and crispy as possible.
- Adjust the cooking time if the breaded cutlets are thicker or thinner.