How to Bake Thin-Sliced Chicken Breasts

The versatility and familiarity of chicken makes it a great choice for a healthy and flavorful meal. In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that chicken consumption per person in the United States will be 94.5 pounds per year for 2019, up 14.5 pounds since 2009.

Thin chicken breasts are good for a quick meal. (Image: gbh007/iStock/GettyImages)

But depending on how you prepare them, thinly sliced chicken breasts can be a heart-healthy source of protein or a real workout for your jaw. Chicken's lean white meat demands a deft touch to avoid the dreaded rubbery chicken syndrome. Fat provides flavor and moisture to meats, so it needs to be present in the preparation and cooking process.

Tip

How long should you bake thin-sliced chicken breasts? Using the prep methods below, it'll take about 15 to 20 minutes, but you want to double check that the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thin-Sliced Chicken Breast Nutrition

A four-ounce serving of thin-sliced chicken breast provides the following:

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 21 grams
  • Fat: 4 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams

Tips for Baking Thin-Sliced Chicken Breasts

Warning

Raw chicken meat can contain bacteria, including strains of salmonella, so dedicate utensils and cutting boards for raw foods and keep them separate from those you use when serving. Always cook chicken thoroughly and wash your hands with soap and water after handling the meat.

Baking Thin-Sliced Chicken With Breading

Things You'll Need

  • Baking sheet

  • Parchment paper

  • Fork

  • Tongs

  • 3 bowls

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (or finely crushed nuts)

Step 1: Prep and Preheat

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Prepare three bowls:

  1. In one bowl, add one half cup of all-purpose flour mixed with one half teaspoon of salt and one quarter teaspoon of black pepper.
  2. In the second bowl, add one egg and whisk with one tablespoon of water.
  3. In the third bowl, add one cup of seasoned panko breadcrumbs.*

*NOTE: Substitute finely crushed nuts for the breadcrumbs for a crunchy, protein-packed coating.

Step 2: Bread the Chicken Slices

Prepare four thin-sliced chicken breasts by cutting a chicken breast into strips of desired thickness. Dip each chicken slice first in the flour, coating it thoroughly, then dip in egg wash, and then finally dipping in breadcrumbs.

After the chicken is coated in breadcrumbs, place on parchment paper, leaving space between each chicken slice.

Step 3: Cook for 15 to 20 Minutes

Place the pan onto the middle rack of your oven and cook the chicken for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping the chicken pieces once to ensure that both sides become golden brown. Remember to check that the chicken reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Marinade your chicken in a variety of glazes. (Image: AlexPro9500/iStock/GettyImages)

Baking Thin-Sliced Chicken With Marinade

Things You'll Need

  • Sealable storage bag

  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

Step 1: Prepare Marinade

In a sealable storage bag, mix together the following marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

Step 2: Let the Chicken Marinate

Cut your chicken breasts into thin slices and place into the bag of marinade. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

Step 3: Cook Chicken for 158 to 20 Minutes

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place chicken breasts on a foil-lined sheet pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, double checking with a meat thermometer that the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Discard marinade.

Spice up Taco Tuesday with chicken tacos. (Image: bhofack2/iStock/GettyImages)

Healthy Meal Ideas for Thin-Sliced Chicken Breasts

1. Salad Topper

Thin-sliced chicken breasts are the perfect high-protein salad topper. Cut into strips or chunks and place on top of a healthy garden salad or Greek salad.

2. Baked Chicken Tenders

Forget fast food chicken nuggets! Make your own by cut marinated or breaded chicken breasts into thin strips and baking at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.

3. Quick Chicken Parmesan

Bake thin chicken cutlets with breading per above instructions (except do not slice the chicken breast before breading or cooking). Remove chicken from oven and turn heat to broil.

Spoon one quarter cup of no added sugar jarred pasta sauce on top of each thin-sliced chicken breast and top with one slice of mozzarella cheese. Carefully place pan under broiler until cheese starts to brown, about one minute.

4. Asian Glazed Chicken

Use the above instructions for baked marinated chicken, but with the following marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

While chicken is baking (do not cut into slices), mix the following into a small bowl:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch

When the chicken is just about done baking, add the sauce into a skillet over medium heat. When the sauce starts to thicken, turn off heat, add chicken to skillet and garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

5. Baked Salsa Chicken

In a small bowl, mix together:

  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Line a baking sheet with foil and place four thin-sliced chicken breasts on the foil. Sprinkle seasoning on both sides. Bake according to marinated chicken instructions above. Remove from oven and turn on broiler.

Add one quarter cup salsa on top of each chicken breast, followed by one slice of cheddar cheese. Broil until cheese is brown, about one minute.

6. Chicken Tacos

Once you have the marinated or breaded chicken slices from one of the above prep method, you can add them to tacos. Fill either a hard shell or flour or corn tortilla with the chicken slices as well as your favorite toppings like salsa, guacamole, lettuce, tomatoes and shredded cheese.

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