Easy, Crispy Oven Baked Popcorn Chicken Recipe


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You are going to love these homemade Oven Baked Popcorn Chicken! They are better than take-out and unbelievably easy to make. Made with only a handful of ingredients, these healthier popcorn chicken bites are perfect for the whole family. 

A pile of popcorn chicken with a bite taken out of one.

Who doesn’t love popcorn chicken?! These little bites of crispy chicken are so tender and juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. They are so good that your kids will be reaching for more! Just like (or dare I say, better) than their fast food counterpart, popcorn chicken is perfect for any meal of the day.

Looking for more tasty chicken bites that your kids will love? Try my Crispy Honey Chicken or Sweet and Spicy Asian Chicken! They are such easy recipes that come together in less than an hour.

Why You’ll Love This Crispy Baked Popcorn Chicken

  • They’re super crispy. There’s no soggy popcorn chicken here! Each bite is crispy and full of flavor.
  • Perfect for kids. Get the parent of the year award by making these baked popcorn chicken bites for the kids. They are a kid-approved recipe that’s adult-friendly as well!
  • They’re easy to make. Once the chicken has been coated, all you need to do is bake them! 

Popcorn Chicken Ingredients

Ingredients needed to make popcorn chicken
  • Chicken breast: cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes.
  • All-purpose flour: coating the chicken in flour helps the egg stick to the chicken.
  • Seasoning: I season the flour with onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasonings, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  • Eggs: you’ll need eggs to help the panko stick to the popcorn chicken.
  • Panko bread crumbs: for crispy bites of chicken, you’ll need some panko bread crumbs. Skip the pre-seasoned ones since the flour is already seasoned.
  • Chopped parsley: to garnish.

How To Make Popcorn Chicken

  • Prepare the equipment: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a parchment paper over a baking sheet. Keep it aside.
  • Prepare the stations: In a medium bowl with flour add in the spices; onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasonings, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt. Mix it until well combined and set aside. In another bowl crack the eggs and whisk with a fork; set aside. And finally, in a third bowl combine the panko bread crumbs, salt, and pepper; set aside.
  • Coat the chicken: Dredge the chicken into the flour mixture first and then dip it into the egg mixture and then to the panko bread crumbs pressing to coat evenly. Repeat the same with the remaining chicken breast cubes and place them on the prepared baking sheet.  
Chicken coated in flour, egg wash, then panko.
  • Bake the popcorn chicken: Coat the chicken top with cooking spray and bake them for 25-30 minutes turning the chicken pieces halfway through until crisp and chicken is cooked through.
Before and after of baked popcorn chicken on a sheet pan.
  • Garnish and serve: Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.
Crispy popcorn chicken on a baking sheet.

Tips to Make the Best Popcorn Chicken

  • Want to add some extra savory notes to these popcorn chicken bites? Grate some parmesan on top or sprinkle after baking. The heat from the chicken will melt the parmesan. 
  • The chicken is done when the internal temperature is 165 F degrees. 
  • Make sure there isn’t some moisture on the chicken pieces before dredging them. This will help the flour stick better.
  • Make sure the oven is fully preheated before baking the chicken. Since these are small pieces of chicken, the short time and high heat will make sure the chicken stays moist. 
  • If you don’t have chicken breasts, you can use chicken thighs or chicken tenders instead.
  • Add more cayenne pepper to give it a little kick of spice if you like spicy food.

Homemade Popcorn Chicken Cooking Variations

Deep Fry Popcorn Chicken: Heat up the oil to 350 F and deep frying the chicken bites in batched for 3-5 minutes or until cooked through, depending on the side of your chicken bites.

Air fryer Popcorn Chicken: Set the temperature to 400 F and preheat. Line the basket or spray with cooking oil to avoid sticking. Arrange the popcorn chicken in a single layer without over crowding, leaving a little bit of space between them. Spray the chicken with cooking spray. Cook the chicken for about 8-10 minutes depending on the size. Shake the basket or flip half way through. Repeat to cook the remainder of the chicken.

A plate of popcorn chicken.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does popcorn chicken recipe last?

In my house? Minutes, as they’re devoured by the kids. But in general, cooked popcorn chicken can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to eat, reheat them in an oven or air fryer at a low temperature until warmed through.

Can you freeze popcorn chicken?

You can freeze popcorn chicken once they’ve been baked. Freeze them in a single layer on a lined sheet pan and then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months and reheat from frozen.

Can I air fry popcorn chicken?

Yes! Just air fry the tenders in a single layer at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked through. Do them in batches if needs be, the subsequent batch may need a minute or two less as the air fryer will be preheated.

Can I change the seasoning?

You sure can! Try swapping the seasoning in the flour for Cajun season, ranch seasoning, Old Bay seasoning, and more. 

A popcorn chicken dunked in dip.

More Family Friendly Chicken Recipes to Try

I hope you enjoy all the recipes I share with you, including this delicious Crispy Baked Popcorn Chicken recipe. I hope you try it, enjoy it, rate it, and share it with your friends and family!

If you try this recipe and liked it, please leave a star rating and comment below. Use my hashtag to share it with me on Instagram so I can see your delicious recreations! Also, follow me at Cookin’ With Mima on FACEBOOK |INSTAGRAM |PINTEREST for all of my latest social posts and recipes.

Crispy popcorn chicken on a baking sheet.

Oven Baked Popcorn Chicken

You are going to love these homemade Oven Baked Popcorn Chicken! They are better than take-out and unbelievably easy to make. Made with only a handful of ingredients, these healthier popcorn chicken bites are perfect for the whole family.

Prep Time 30 mins

Cook Time 30 mins

Total Time 1 hr

Course Main Course, Snack

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a parchment paper over a baking sheet. Keep it side.

  • In a medium bowl with flour add in the spices; onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasonings, black pepper, cayenne pepper and salt. Mix it until well combined and set aside.

  • In another bowl crack the eggs and whisk with a fork; set aside.

  • In a separate bowl combine the panko bread crumbs, salt and pepper; set aside.

  • Dredge the chicken into the flour mixture first and then dip it into the egg mixture and then to the panko bread crumbs pressing to coat evenly.

  • Repeat the same with the remaining chicken breast cubes and place them on the prepared baking sheet.

  • Coat the chicken top with cooking spray and bake them for 25-30 minutes turning the chicken pieces halfway through until crisp and chicken is cooked through.

  • Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Notes

  • Want to add some extra savory notes to these popcorn chicken bites? Grate some parmesan on top or sprinkle after baking. The heat from the chicken will melt the parmesan. 
  • The chicken is done when the internal temperature is 165F degrees. 
  • Make sure there isn’t some moisture on the chicken pieces before dredging them. This will help the flour stick better.
  • Make sure the oven is fully preheated before baking the chicken. Since these are small pieces of chicken, the short time and high heat will make sure the chicken stays moist. 
  • If you don’t have chicken breasts, you can use chicken thighs or chicken tenders instead.
  • Add more cayenne pepper to give it a little kick of spice if you like spicy food.

Nutrition

Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 666mg | Potassium: 475mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 74IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg






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