You can get all the crispiness and flavour of KFC chicken by making it at home - plus it's healthier and cheaper too. Seasoned and breaded chicken breasts that are baked to crispy perfection for the Healthy KFC alternative. Put it into a burger bun for a homemade Zinger Tower Burger.
Making your own healthier alternatives to takeaway and fast food is a great place to start if you want to improve your diet. This healthy KFC recipe is our take on a fast food classic. Load is up with all the sides for a homemade KFC feast.
Why you will love it
- Cheaper - The cost of fast food has risen a lot, so making it at home is a great way to save money.
- Lower in calories and fat - This is a healthy KFC alternative, so it is lower in calories and fat.
- Adjustable - You can adjust the seasoning to your own tastes, making it spicier if you want.
- Kids will love it - If your kids love fast food, then give this a try.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Chicken - We used boneless and skinless chicken breasts to keep it nice and lean. But if you wanted a more authentic KFC flavour, then use boneless and skinless chicken thighs, which are juicier.
- Flour - This is important as it goes on the chicken first and gives the egg something to cling to. We just used plain flour.
- Egg - This gives the breadcrumbs something to stick to, otherwise they would just come right off.
- Breadcrumbs - We used slices of bread to make our own breadcrumbs. This is the coating of the chicken and what makes it nice and crispy. You can use panko breadcrumbs, which we find gets the crispiest, but you could make your own breadcrumbs. Panko is made from a crustless white bread that is processed into flakes and then dried. Because panko has a dryer and flakier consistency than regular breadcrumbs, they absorb less oil.
- Homemade KFC spice mix - This is our homemade spice mix to get it tasting as close to KFC as possible.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make Homemade KFC - Step by step
Prep: Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.
One: Put the breadcrumbs, herbs and spices into a bowl (a). Mix well to combine (b).
Two: Season the flour with salt and pepper. Coat the chicken in the flour (a). Dip into the whisked egg (b), then into the seasoned breadcrumbs (c).
Three: Put the coated chicken on a baking tray and put into the oven for 40 minutes. It may need longer, depending on the size of your chicken pieces.
Is it healthy?
It's not called Healthy KFC for nothing! But seriously, it is healthier.
One thing a lot of us would like to cut back on in a bid to be healthier, and have more disposable income, is fast food and convenience food. Sure, it's easy to just rock up to a drive-thru and put in your order, but who has the money to do that all the time?
Not only is making it yourself healthier, as you can control exactly what goes into it and portion control, but you have the satisfaction of having made the delicious alternative yourself. With minimal effort too!
If you want to get that exact KFC flavour, then you are doing to need to deep fry the chicken to get it super crispy. But baking it gets it crispy enough, without a load of extra calories from the oil.
We have coated ours in breadcrumbs and baked it, rather than dipping it in flour and frying it, so there is going to be a taste difference there. But this is a healthier version after all. Also, KFC use MSG in their recipe and we gave that a miss too.
The exact spice seasoning mixture in KFC is a closely guarded secret. However, after a lot of taste testing, we have come up with something that comes very close. You can adjust the spices to suit your own tastes.
Zinger burger recipe
One of the best things to order at KFC is the Zinger Tower Burger. You can recreate that at home too by taking a piece of this breaded chicken and putting it in a bun with some cheese, lettuce, some Restaurant Style Salsa and one of our Homemade Healthy Hash Browns.
What to serve with Healthy KFC
Here are some suggestions of things to serve with this Healthy KFC:
- Air Fryer Fries
- Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Grilled Corn
- Mexican Coleslaw
- No Mayo Coleslaw
- Baked Tortilla Chips
This homemade KFC is really easy to make gluten free, as most of the ingredients are gluten free already. Just use some gluten free breadcrumbs and flour for the coating and you are good to go.
You can get this chicken even crispier than the oven by using an air fryer. Simply follow the recipe as below and then put it in your air fryer for 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through
If you have leftovers, then they can be stored in an air tight container and kept in the fridge for 2 days. You can then slice them up and add to salads and sandwiches.
This dish cooks in the oven for around 40 minutes, but the exact cooking time will depend on your oven. The best way to ensure that it is cooked through is to use a meat thermometer. Chicken is cooked when it has an internal temperature of 75°C/167°F at the thickest part of the chicken breast.
More takeout recipes
- 300 g (10.5 oz) Chicken breast
- 1 Egg - whisked
- 1 slice Whole wheat bread - blended into breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoon Plain flour
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
- 0.5 teaspoon Smoked paprika
- 0.5 teaspoon Dried thyme
- 0.5 teaspoon Dried oregano
- 0.5 teaspoon Ground ginger
- 0.5 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C(fan)/400°F/Gas 6.
- Put the breadcrumbs (made from 1 slice Whole wheat bread), 1 teaspoon Garlic powder, 0.5 teaspoon Smoked paprika, 0.5 teaspoon Dried thyme, 0.5 teaspoon Dried oregano, 0.5 teaspoon Ground ginger and 0.5 teaspoon Cayenne pepper into a bowl. Mix well to combine.
- Season 2 tablespoon Plain flour with 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper. Coat 300 g Chicken breast in the flour. Dip into the 1 Egg (whisked), then into the seasoned breadcrumbs.
- Put the coated chicken on a baking tray and put into the oven for 40 minutes. It may need longer, depending on the size of your chicken pieces.
- You can use store bought breadcrumbs, or you can make your own. Panko will give the crispiest results.
- When breading the chicken, use one hand for putting the chicken in the flour and then putting it in and out of the egg mixture and then another hand for tossing it in breadcrumbs. This is to make sure the breadcrumb hand doesn't get covered in egg and clumps of breadcrumbs. You can also use tongs to prevent messy fingers.
- To make the chicken extra tender, soak it in buttermilk overnight. Then when you are ready to make it, discard the buttermilk and follow the rest of the recipe.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.