This Gluten Free Panko Chicken recipe features juicy, panko crusted chicken and roasted veggies for a flavor-loaded chicken recipe the whole family will love. Made with simple, nutrient-rich ingredients, it’s quick, easy, and perfect for weeknight dinners, meal prep, and more! Oven and Air Fryer Methods.
What Is Panko?
Panko is a type of breading that originated in Japanese cuisine. When translated directly, the word means bread flour, which is exactly what it is! To elaborate, panko is made out of a type of white, crustless bread loaf that is baked with a special electrical current. The loaf is then dried and turned into small flakes used for panko breading.
What’s the Difference Between Panko and Regular Breadcrumbs?
Most pre-made bread crumbs are nearly identical to the kind you can make at home by drying and crumbling bread. However, nearly impossible to replicate at home, panko is made from a specific type of bread that can be pulverized into a light crispy flake instead of a heavier crumb. As a result, panko recipes, like panko chicken, are lighter, airier, and less oily than other breaded foods. Read more about the specifics of traditional panko!
Note: This panko chicken recipe has been updated using a new grain free panko recipe and adding an air fryer option. We think you’ll love it! But if you’re looking for the original recipe, please feel free to send us an email, and we’ll be happy to help!
Why You’ll Love This Panko Breaded Chicken Recipe
There’s nothing more family-friendly than a good chicken recipe, and this panko crusted chicken is one of our favorites.
Not only is it completely gluten-free (which is difficult to find in restaurants or stores), but it’s also:
- Made in either the oven or air fryer.
- Cooked to crisp, golden perfection on the outside while remaining tender and juicy on the inside.
- Seasoned with warm spices, meaning it’s never bland or boring.
- Ready in under an hour, budget-friendly, and great for feeding a crowd!
Gluten-Free Ingredients You’ll Need
You won’t find any bread in this gluten-free panko chicken recipe, but don’t worry! We replicated the same light, crunchy coating with just a handful of ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Chicken – Boneless, skinless chicken breast works best for this panko crusted chicken recipe. If preferred, thighs could be used instead. Just keep in mind that the taste and texture of the chicken is likely to change.
- Spices – Salt, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, dried oregano, and pepper combine to create a warm, savory flavor with just a hint of spice.
- Almond Flour – This forms the base of the breading.
- Flaxseed Meal – A great source of omega fats, flaxseed adds a bit of extra texture and crunch.
- Grated Parmesan or for a dairy-free option or more crunch, feel free to replace the Parmesan with finely crushed gluten-free potato chips or pork rinds! Both create an excellent savory flavor.
- Eggs – Used to ensure the panko breading sticks to the chicken. We do not recommend using an egg substitute for this recipe.
- Veggies – These are technically optional but make for a tasty one-pan meal!
Ingredient Swap: Want to reduce the prep time even further? Swap out the spices, almond flour, flaxseed meal, and Parmesan cheese with our homemade gluten-free panko breading instead!
How to Make Gluten-Free Panko Crusted Chicken
If you’ve ever been intimidated to make breaded chicken, don’t be! This panko chicken comes together in no time and bakes with ease.
- Prepare the Chicken. Place large, thick chicken breasts in a sealable bag, and use a meat mallet to pound them out into pieces that are roughly ½ – ¾ inches thick. Then, pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, and season both sides of each breast with salt before setting them aside.
- Prepare the Breading. In a bowl, whisk together the panko ingredients. In a second shallow bowl, whisk the eggs
- Coat the Chicken. Dip each chicken piece into the whisked eggs, making sure they’re fully submerged. Next, roll the chicken in the panko breading, pressing it into the poultry to ensure it sticks.
- Bake. Arrange the panko crusted chicken in a single layer on a lined baking sheet, lightly spray each piece with cooking spray, and place the chicken in the oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 165° Fahrenheit. Rest the chicken for 5 minutes before serving.
Note: Feel free to turn this panko chicken into a complete meal with the addition of vegetables! To do so, combine 2-3 cups of fresh veggies such as broccoli or green beans with ½ tablespoon of light olive oil, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, ⅛ teaspoon of salt, and ⅛ teaspoon of black pepper. Then, arrange the mixture on a separate baking sheet, and place it in the oven for the last 15 minutes of cooking.
Air Fryer Option
If preferred, you can prepare panko chicken in the air fryer instead of the oven! To do so:
- Preheat the air fryer to 400° Fahrenheit. Once warm, spray the basket with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place the breaded chicken breasts in a single layer in the basket.
- Cook for 8 minutes. Then, flip them over and continue to cook another 4-6 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165° Fahrenheit. Be careful not to overcook!
- Rest your panko crusted chicken for 5 minutes, and enjoy!
Pro-Tip: Whip up a batch of air fried vegetables while the chicken rests to transform the dish into a complete meal!
How to Store and Reheat
This gluten-free panko chicken is a great option for meal prep! In fact, it’s so popular, we recommend making a double batch to add to salads, bowls, and more.
Refrigerator: Place leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Freezer: Arrange the chicken on a baking sheet, and place it in the freezer for 20-30 minutes or until solid. Then, transfer the pieces to a sealable bag or freezer-safe container, and keep them frozen for up to 1 month.
Reheating: When you’re ready to eat, warm your panko crusted chicken straight from the fridge or freezer using the oven or air fryer to keep it nice and crisp. Or, let it thaw in the fridge overnight, and pop it in the microwave for a minute or two until your desired temperature is reached.
If you pair this panko chicken with vegetables, you’ve got yourself a complete, low-carb meal in under an hour! However, if you want to add an extra side or two, it’s also great when served alongside sides like:
Gluten-Free Panko Chicken Common Questions
Make sure to pat the chicken completely dry with paper towels, and coat the pieces generously with the egg wash. This will help ensure the breading sticks.
Panko chicken is best eaten right away. The longer it is stored, the more likely it is to become soggy. In addition, you’ll want to make sure the oven (or air fryer) is completely heated as the high temperature will keep the breeding crisp.
Sure! Feel free to experiment with any herbs and spices you like best.
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