Melt In Your Mouth Chicken will be your new favorite easy baked chicken recipe! With only a handful of ingredients, this quick recipe will delight everyone.
Melt In Your Mouth Chicken
This is one of those classic recipes that I think we all enjoyed at one time or another while we were growing up. It’s easy, quick, and a total classic.
I’ve put my own spin on this vintage recipe, and I’m so happy with the results! It’s really shocking (in the most awesome way) how filling this recipe is. I love recipes like this where the protein stretches so far (hello happy food budget).
This recipe is truly one of the most versatile easy chicken recipes you’ll ever try!
Love Italian flavor? Try adding Italian seasoning, some dried basil, and some more dried parsley. You could also substitute half of the parmesan with freshly shredded mozzarella.
Looking for a Mexican inspired dish? Use Monterey Jack cheese instead of parmesan for a nice kick! I’d also leave out the parsley and paprika, and add ground chili pepper and ground cumin.
Love Greek food? Substitute the parmesan with feta, leave out the paprika, add in some Mediterranean seasoning, and squeeze some lemon juice over it after it’s finished baking.
The possibilities are endless! Whatever kind of flavor you’re craving, this baked chicken will become your new favorite easy chicken recipe.
How to Make Melt In Your Mouth Chicken
Start by slicing the chicken horizontally. You want to start at the thickest end and work your way towards the thinner side. The chicken breasts I buy normally have a smaller piece on the underside that’s only partially attached, so I tend to end up with two large pieces and one small piece per breast.
Next, you’ll pound the chicken to an even thickness. Marinate the chicken in buttermilk for 20 – 25 minutes to make it super tender and juicy.
Make the topping by mixing together the mayonnaise, parmesan, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, paprika, black pepper, dried parsley, and chili pepper flakes together. Alternatively, you can skip all the spices (except the garlic powder), and replace them with some seasoning salt.
You can substitute the parmesan with another cheese if you like. Ones that have a sharper flavor, like sharp cheddar or asiago, work the best, but mild ones like mozzarella will also work.
Dry off the chicken and place it in a baking dish. Top it with the the mayonnaise mixture and sprinkle it with the remaining parmesan cheese.
Bake at 375 F for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the juices run clear and the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165 F on a meat thermometer. The bake time will vary depending on the thickness of your chicken (if you don’t slice the chicken in half, the bake time will be closer to 45 minutes).
Do You Have to Pound the Chicken Breast?
I mean, technically, no, you don’t have to. Should you? Definitely.
Here’s the thing with this recipe. When the chicken stays flat, it’s amazing. The topping doesn’t slip off and every single bite is incredible.
When you don’t pound the chicken, the chicken will bake in a mound shape. A lot of times this means that the topping will slide off. You’ll also end up with some really thick bites that don’t have the right sauce to meat ratio.
Do You Have to Marinate the Chicken?
I like to keep recipes super adaptable, so I’m going to go ahead and say that no, you don’t have to marinate it.
If you do marinate it, you’ll be rewarded with more tender and juicy chicken though! The lactic acid in the buttermilk reacts with the protein in the chicken, and makes it so much better and more flavorful.
Why is There So Much Liquid in the Baking Dish?
This is totally normal and natural. Chicken releases juices when it bakes. It’s especially noticeable in recipes like this that don’t call for searing the recipes before baking.
As long as you pound the chicken first, it’s easy to scoop the chicken out of the baking dish without losing any of the toppings to the liquid in the bottom of the dish.
Can You Use Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt?
Definitely! I know that this recipe has a lot of mayonnaise for some people. If you’re one of them, feel free to substitute the mayonnaise with sour cream or Greek yogurt.
I also think a 50/50 mixture of sour cream and mayonnaise would be delicious!
The only thing I wouldn’t try is Miracle Whip. I think it would taste too sweet in this recipe.
Healthy Melt in Your Mouth Chicken
I think this really depends on your definition of healthy.
If you’re following a low carb or keto diet, then this recipe is perfect for you as it’s written.
This recipe is also perfect for you if you’re looking for a naturally gluten free recipe that reminds you of chicken parmesan! Seriously, those parmesan bits on top really remind me of breading and taste phenomenal.
If you’re looking for a lower fat recipe, I’d definitely recommend substituting the mayonnaise with sour cream or Greek yogurt.
What to Serve with MIYM Chicken
Here are some of my favorite side dishes to serve with this chicken dinner:
If you’re looking for more easy and delicious chicken recipes, some of my favorites are:
- French Onion Chicken
- Chicken Stuffed Peppers
- Chicken Tinga Tacos
- Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Greek Chicken Thighs
I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime
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- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup buttermilk (optional, I used 1%)
- 1 cup freshly finely grated parmesan (divided)
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (depending on taste preference)
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- Pinch red chili flakes (optional)
- Pinch dried parsley flakes (optional)
- Wash and dry the chicken breasts. Move the chicken breasts to a cutting board. Place your non-dominant hand flat on one of the chicken breasts, and use the other hand and a sharp knife to slice through the thick side of the chicken. I normally end up with two large pieces and one small piece per chicken breast. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
- Optional step: Place the chicken in a bowl and cover the chicken with buttermilk (for me this takes about 1 cup of buttermilk). Toss the chicken to make sure the pieces at the bottom are coated in buttermilk as well. Marinate for 20 - 25 minutes in the refrigerator. This tenderizes the chicken, but it's very much an optional step - it will be delicious either way.
- While the chicken is marinating, add the mayonnaise, 1/2 cup of the parmesan, the garlic powder, the sea salt, the onion powder, the black pepper, the paprika, the red chili flakes, and the parsley flakes to a small bowl. Mix to combine.
- When the chicken is nearing the end of marinating, preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Once the chicken has finished marinating, remove the bowl from the refrigerator. Discard the remaining marinade and dry each piece of chicken before placing it on a baking dish. The dish doesn’t need to be too large, but the pieces should be able to lay next to each other rather than on top of each other. I used a 9" x 11" size casserole dish.
- Spread the mayonnaise mixture over the chicken, then sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 20 - 25 minutes (or until the juices run clear and a meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 165 F). Turn the oven to broil and broil for 1 minute, or until the topping is golden.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes, then serve warm.
This recipe makes 4 generous servings, or 6 smaller servings. We noticed that because the topping is so rich, we didn't need to eat as much of it as we normally would.
The mayonnaise can be substituted with sour cream or Greek yogurt, but I think mayonnaise has the best flavor. I've tried it with Hellmann's brand and the Costco Kirkland brand, and both turned out well. I wouldn't recommend using Miracle Whip.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 333Total Fat: 25.2gSaturated Fat: 6.2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCarbohydrates: 5.2gNet Carbohydrates: 5.1gFiber: 0.1gSugar: 2.1gProtein: 20.4g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
The next time you’re looking for an easy dinner that your family will love, try making this incredible melt in your mouth chicken!