There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a crispy breaded chicken meal. But why not make it even better? Skip the flour and use one of these five replacement ingredients for a meal that’s just as tasty but even lower in carbs. You won’t miss the floured breading one bit. Breading chicken is one of those kitchen tricks that can save you money if you buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
The breading keeps the meat moist and prevents it from drying out while cooking. You can use any of these five replacement ingredients to bread chicken in place of flour. Some are more effective than others, so experiment to see what works best for you and your taste buds.
Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
If you want a low-carb chicken coating that really works, go with a thin layer of mayonnaise. It’s not something that many people think of when they think of breading chicken, but it does actually work. The proteins in the mayo act as the glue to hold the breading to the chicken, and the oil in the mayo gives the coating a crispy texture.
Just spread about 1/2 cup (120 g) of mayonnaise over each piece of chicken. Make sure to spread it all over evenly, so you don’t end up with a few dry spots. Sprinkle on some seasonings and add any extras like cheese or herbs. Bake as directed on the packaging or elsewhere.
Make sure to press the coating into the chicken with your hands so that it sticks well. And don’t worry if there’s some white showing through; this will taste just fine when it’s cooked through. You’ll just have a slightly lighter crust than you would have had if you’d used flour.
Panko Bread Crumbs
Breading chicken with panko is one of the best alternatives to flour. Panko is a type of breadcrumb that’s made from a type of bread without crusts. It has a large, flaky texture that helps it cling to the chicken while the meat is cooking.
The larger size of panko crumbs also means they have more surface area that can absorb moisture, making them ideal for keeping the chicken moist and flavorful. Panko crumbs are available in the international foods section of most supermarkets. You can also make your own by crumbling regular breadcrumbs in a food processor.
To coat the chicken with panko, put the crumbs in a shallow pan or plate. Dip each piece of chicken in beaten egg and then press into the panko crumbs to coat completely. Fry the coated chicken on both sides until it’s golden brown and cooked through. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
If you like the taste of cornflakes, then you’ll love a meal breaded with them. Unlike the traditional way to eat cornflakes, where you add milk and eat them with a spoon, you don’t want to add any liquid for this recipe. The cornflakes will dissolve too quickly. Instead, just dip the chicken in egg and roll it in the cornflakes before cooking.
The result is a crumbly crust that gives you a nice crunch and just a hint of sweetness from the cornflakes. It doesn’t add too much extra carbs to the meal compared to regular breadcrumbs, but keep an eye on how long you cook the chicken to prevent it from getting too dry.
To make sure you get even coverage on both sides of the chicken breasts, dip one side of each in egg and then press the cereal into the egg. Turn the chicken over and repeat with another layer of egg and cereal. Press firmly so that all of the cereal sticks to the egg. Then just coat the top of each breast with a little more egg and dip into a plate of crushed cereal to coat completely.
Now place your coated chicken breasts on a rack over a baking sheet to let them sit for five minutes or so while your oven heats up to 425 F. Bake for about 12 minutes or until golden brown, depending on how thick your chicken breasts are.
Breading chicken with rice flakes is a great way to cut carbs and calories. This ingredient also creates a light and crispy texture similar to traditional flour-based breading. You can find rice flakes in the cereal aisle of your grocery store.
Start by placing the rice flakes in a bowl or paper bag, shaking to separate any clumps, and pouring them into a plate. Shake the plate to spread the flakes evenly. Dip the chicken in an egg wash made with 1/2 cup of whole eggs mixed with 2 tablespoons of water, then coat each side of the chicken with the rice flakes and press any clumps that form back into the chicken.
Next, melt a tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes on each side or until fully cooked through. Don’t crowd the pan; cook one or two pieces of chicken at a time depending on how large your skillet is. Serve with your choice of sides.
Crushed Saltine Crackers
The crushed saltine crackers are crushed into a fine crumb. The idea is to use the same amount of crackers as you would flour. For example, if you typically use one cup of flour, use one cup of crushed saltines.
The saltine crackers are placed in a large resealable plastic bag and then smashed with a rolling pin or meat pounder until they are about the size of small peas. Shake the bag to distribute the crumbs evenly. Dip your chicken strips in an egg wash first and then coat with the crushed crackers.
Heat your oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the breaded chicken strips. Cook for about three minutes on each side, or until fully cooked through and golden brown. Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels before serving.
This method works best if you are using very thin chicken strips so that all sides cook at once. If you use regular thickness chicken strips, then use a bit more crushed saltine crackers than flour and shake them off before serving to reduce the carb count.
If you love the taste of fried chicken, this one is for you. The egg whites will give you the crispy texture that makes fried food so good.
Mix up an egg white with a bit of salt and pepper and dip your chicken in the mixture just until it’s lightly coated. Then, shake off the excess egg white and place the meat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for about 10 minutes at 400°F or until the chicken is cooked through. You may need to flip the pieces halfway through cooking to ensure even cooking.
The egg whites will form a light, crispy layer on top of the chicken when you bake it. The layer isn’t as thick as flour, so you’ll want to be careful when you flip the pieces so they don’t fall off. But if you like the taste and texture of fried chicken, this is a great option for you.
Breaded Chicken Without Flour: How to Do It
To bread chicken without flour, simply pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and then dip it into the beaten eggs. Then dip the chicken into one of the five replacement ingredients for flour listed above. Shake off any excess and place the chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
You can also fry the chicken in a skillet with oil over medium-high heat until it’s browned on both sides and cooked through, about 8 minutes per side. You can also grill the chicken over indirect heat on a covered grill.
It’s best to coat your hands in nonstick cooking spray before dipping and shaking off the chicken so that the egg doesn’t stick to you. After dipping, let any excess drip off before placing the chicken on the cookie sheet or else it will end up soggy instead of crispy.
If you want to serve with a sauce, use one that doesn’t contain too many carbs, such as barbecue sauce made with ketchup or tomato sauce instead of pizza sauce or alfredo sauce.
While you can use cornstarch as an effective replacement for flour in most breading recipes, it’s not so effective in this case. The flour helps keep the chicken moist while cooking, so it’s best to replace it with another ingredient that can do that job effectively.
Mix and match ingredients to come up with your own custom breading blends that feature no flour at all. Your taste buds may not even miss it because these replacement options are so delicious!
Make sure the chicken breasts are dry, then dip them in the replacement ingredient of choice. Shake off the excess and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with all of them. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken over and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until done.
Many people are nervous about cooking chicken because it can dry out and become tough. This is one of the reasons the coating of flour is so popular. The flour absorbs the moisture from the meat, helping to keep it juicy.
But you don’t have to worry when you use one of these replacement ingredients. They each have their own qualities that prevent the meat from drying out.
Cornmeal or almond meal adds a crisp texture and a ton of flavor. The cornmeal also helps to prevent the meat from drying out because it adds a bit of oil to the mix. Flour is gluten-free, so if you have dietary restrictions, make sure to check your replacement ingredient of choice.
Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb that is made from white bread with little or no crust. The lack of crust in the bread means there is more starch in its place, which gives panko a lighter crunch than regular breadcrumbs. The size of panko crumbs also allow them to form a crispy coating on the chicken rather than absorbing moisture and becoming soggy, as regular breadcrumbs do.
Cornmeal is similar to panko in that it’s made from ground corn kernels, but it has a smaller particle size and much more texture than panko does, which allows for an even crispier coating on your chicken. Cornmeal is also gluten-free like flour, so if you need to avoid gluten, give this replacement ingredient a try instead.
Breading chicken without flour is a great way to enjoy a delicious and crispy meal without the added carbs. By following these easy steps, you can enjoy a healthy and tasty meal that everyone in the family will love. Not only will you be avoiding unhealthy carbs, but you can also experiment with different spices and herbs to add unique flavors to your meals. With a little creativity and some simple ingredients, you can make the perfect breaded chicken meal that is both nutritious and delicious.