Baked Buttermilk Chicken - Chef Abbie Gellman MS, RD, CDN

Baked Buttermilk Chicken

Chef Abbie Gellman RD

Take your chicken dinner to the next level with my recipe for Baked Buttermilk Chicken. This chicken is crispy and delicious without deep frying! A great way to use leftover buttermilk and an easy dinner to get on the table with minimal effort.

All About Buttermilk Chicken

First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and spray with olive oil spray.  Mix buttermilk, salt, and pepper together in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan, and Italian seasoning.

Place the chicken in the buttermilk mixture and coat evenly.  Remove one piece at a time and dredge in the breadcrumb mixture, turning to cover well.  Place the chicken on a baking sheet.  Bake your Buttermilk Chicken until golden brown, approximately 35-40 minutes.

What is Buttermilk?

Have you cooked with buttermilk? Maybe you have some leftover buttermilk from last weekend’s pancakes and now you don’t know what to do with it. Well, it’s your lucky day, because it’s time for Baked Buttermilk Chicken!

But what is Buttermilk anyway?  While the name may sound like a thick, buttery, fat-filled beverage, it actually is quite the opposite.  Traditionally, buttermilk was a byproduct of butter-making.   It was the fluid left behind after churning cream into butter.

Modern Buttermilk, however, is made through a process more similar to yogurt making.  We take pasteurized milk, typically a low- or no-fat variety, and culture it with a bacteria like Lactococcus lactis or Lactobacillus bulgaricus.  This results in a fermented product that we call cultured buttermilk.

Buttermilk Nutrition

Low-fat cultured buttermilk is high in calcium, and contains important nutrients such as protein, potassium, and riboflavin.  Due to the culturing process, some buttermilk has a lower lactose content than regular milk.  Lactose-intolerant individuals may tolerate buttermilk better, but it depends on the bacteria used in the fermentation process and how long the product is cultured.  Since buttermilk is fermented, it is great for our gut!  Buttermilk can introduce healthy gut-bacteria into our bodies that aid in digestion.

Baking Versus Frying

Is frying your go-to method to get yummy crispy chicken?  You can achieve the same delicious texture without the added fat or calories by baking instead of deep frying!  The trick is cooking in a hot oven.  My Baked Buttermilk Chicken requires no oil and has a lighter crust than most fried foods.  The crust is made up of Italian seasoning, parmesan, and breadcrumbs, which results in a more flavorful and lighter breading!

Cooking Tips

You can make this buttermilk chicken with thighs, breasts, or drumsticks.  It will also get crispy whether you use skin-on or skinless chicken!

When coating the chicken with the buttermilk and breadcrumb mixtures, use one hand in the wet mixture and your other hand in the dry mixture.  This will help ensure you don’t mix the ingredients and make more of a mess than you need to!

Similar Pages

Looking for some more chicken recipes?  Check out my Apricot Chicken, Chicken Burger with Vegetables, and Chimichurri Chicken!


“Buttermilk: Healthier Than It Sounds.” Berkeley Wellness, 10 Sept. 2018, .

buttermilk chicken

Buttermilk Baked Chicken

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Course: Main Course
Keyword: chicken
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Chef Abbie Gellman RD


  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs and drumsticks


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and spray with olive oil spray.
  • Mix buttermilk, salt, and pepper together in bowl. In separate bowl, mix breadcrumbs, parmesan, and Italian seasoning.
  • Place chicken in buttermilk mixture and coat evenly. Remove chicken one piece at a time and dredge in breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat evenly. Place coated chicken on baking sheet.
  • Bake until golden brown, approximately 35-40 minutes.


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