How to make healthy buttermilk fried chicken

How to make healthy buttermilk fried chicken

My recipe for healthy buttermilk fried chicken was born way back when before I started to blog about Sri Lankan food.

We went on our first holiday with our adopted children to Dorset. We spent a wet, cold, glorious week huddled on cold beaches clutching cups of hot tea to keep warm, watching our kids bash the rocks with hammers as they hunted for dinosaur fossils.

On our way home, stopped off at a service station and tucked into a family-sized bucket of fried chicken. My son declared this was the best part of the holiday. To help keep that memory alive I created what we call Mummy Fried chicken which is baked not fried.

I’ve dabbled with many variations of this buttermilk fried chicken recipe, different marinade combinations, different coatings with different combinations of spices.  I’ve fried it and I’ve oven-baked it. Baking it makes it so much healthier than your average fried chicken, and you still have all the taste and less mess in the kitchen.

After many trials, this is it, the recipe for buttermilk fried chicken, albeit baked,

The secret to great tasting buttermilk fried chicken

The secret to great-tasting buttermilk fried chicken is the marinade. Mine is simple. A tub of buttermilk, with a generous helping of Sriracha sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper, That’s it.

The buttermilk not only absorbs the chilli heat from the Sriracha sauce leaving a mild tingling sensation and it helps to make the chicken extra juicy. If you can, let the chicken marinate overnight because the buttermilk will magically do its stuff and you will have mouthwateringly succulent chicken.

The secret to your chicken’s crispy coating

I use Panko bread crumbs. They are the best. When you fry the chicken the breadcrumb turns a beautiful golden colour. When it’s baked your panko crumbs stay pale. to help them along I add smoked paprika and a little turmeric to the mix. The result, beautiful golden baked panko breadcrumbs.

Because this chicken isn’t fried it’s a healthier option for kids and grown-ups.

This recipe is simple, it’s delicious, and my two children, can’t get enough of my healthy oven-baked buttermilk fried chicken.



If you can’t get hold of buttermilk to make this fried chicken recipe then you can use yoghurt (I prefer Greek yoghurt) with lemon juice, and the spices and seasoning. All quantities stay the same.

Panko breadcrumbs

If you don’t have Panko breadcrumbs, normal breadcrumbs are perfectly fine. This recipe works well with crushed cornflakes, once again keeping the quantities the same.

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Butter Milk Fried Chicken

How to make healthy buttermilk fried chicken

  • Author: Tooting Mama
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35- 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 people 1x


How to make healthy buttermilk fried chicken with a buttermilk and Sriracha marinade.


  • 200 ml buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha chilli sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 1.5 kg chicken thighs and drumsticks with skin on
  • 120 g Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp ground smoked paprika
  • 0.25 tsp turmeric


  1. Pour the buttermilk into a large mixing bowl. Add the Sriracha chilli sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix well.
  2. Add the chicken thighs and drumsticks coating well with the buttermilk marinade.
  3. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and place in the fridge to marinade.
  4. Let the chicken soak in the buttermilk marinade for six hours to overnight.
  5. When you are ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  6. Before taking the chicken out of the fridge. Start making the crispy breadcrumb coating. You’ll probably need to coat the chicken in batches.
  7. On a plate sprinkle, a layer of Panko breadcrumbs, add the smoked paprika and turmeric.
  8. Take each chicken piece, place it on the Panko breadcrumbs. Press firmly down, before turning and pressing again. Make sure each chicken piece is coated all over with the paprika-turmeric Panko breadcrumb mix. This coating step may need to be done in two or three batches.
  9. Place the chicken on a baking tray and place the tray on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for between 35 – 40 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, turn the tray around to allow the chicken to brown evenly.
  10. Take the chicken out of the oven, and serve. This chicken won’t last long! Enjoy!


Ahh you noticed, this isn’t actually fried chicken.

I oven-bake the chicken as a healthier alternative option to fried chicken.

So far there have been no complaints!


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