Crispy Cheddar Chicken- Baked

Say goodbye to greasy frying pans and hello to the ultimate baked crispy chicken experience! This Crispy Cheddar Chicken recipe is a game-changer, delivering all the crunch and flavor you crave without the hassle of deep frying. With a golden crust made from crushed Ritz crackers and a gooey cheddar cheese filling, this dish is sure to become a family favorite. Follow along for a step-by-step guide to creating this irresistible baked chicken masterpiece that will have everyone asking for seconds.


  • 2 lb chicken tenders or 4 large chicken breasts
  • 2 sleeves Ritz crackers
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (2% can be used)
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp dried parsley


  • 10 oz can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp butter


  1. Prepare Chicken and Ingredients: Crush the Ritz crackers and place them in a shallow dish. If using chicken breasts, cut each breast into three large pieces. Pour milk, grated cheddar cheese, and cracker crumbs into three separate small pans. Season the cracker crumbs with salt and pepper, stirring to combine.
  2. Coat Chicken: Dip each piece of chicken into the milk, then coat it with the grated cheddar cheese. Press the cheese into the chicken, ensuring it adheres well. Next, coat the cheesy chicken with the seasoned cracker crumbs, pressing gently to adhere.
  3. Bake Chicken: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and arrange the coated chicken pieces inside. Sprinkle dried parsley over the chicken. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown and crispy.
  4. Prepare Sauce: While the chicken is baking, prepare the sauce. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and butter. Whisk together over medium-high heat until the sauce is hot and smooth.
  5. Serve: Once the chicken is cooked through and crispy, remove it from the oven. Serve the crispy cheddar chicken hot, drizzled with the creamy sauce.

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Tips:

  1. Family Dinner Favorite: Serve this Crispy Cheddar Chicken as the star of your next family dinner. Pair it with mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or a fresh garden salad for a complete and satisfying meal.
  2. Party Pleaser: Impress your guests at gatherings and potlucks by serving crispy cheddar chicken as a delicious appetizer or main dish. It’s sure to be a hit with both kids and adults alike!
  3. Meal Prep Option: Prepare a batch of crispy cheddar chicken ahead of time for easy weekday meals. Simply reheat leftovers in the oven or microwave for a quick and convenient dinner option.
  4. Sandwich Sensation: Transform leftovers into mouthwatering sandwiches by layering sliced crispy cheddar chicken between toasted buns with your favorite condiments and toppings for a delicious lunch or dinner idea.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration: Store any leftover crispy cheddar chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until warmed through before serving.
  2. Freezing: To freeze crispy cheddar chicken, place cooled individual pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer the pieces to a freezer-safe bag or container and store for up to 1-2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.


1. Spicy Kick:

  • Buffalo Style: Toss the cooked crispy cheddar chicken in your favorite buffalo sauce for a spicy twist. Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping.

2. Bacon Lover’s Delight:

  • Bacon-Wrapped: Wrap each piece of chicken with a slice of bacon before coating in the cracker mixture for an extra crispy and flavorful twist.

3. Italian Inspired:

  • Parmesan Herb: Substitute the cheddar cheese with grated Parmesan cheese and add Italian herbs such as basil, oregano, and thyme to the cracker mixture for an Italian-inspired flavor profile.

4. Gluten-Free Option:

  • Almond Crusted: Use crushed almonds or almond flour instead of Ritz crackers for a gluten-free alternative. Ensure all other ingredients, including the cream of chicken soup, are also gluten-free.

5. Tex-Mex Twist:

  • Taco Seasoning: Add taco seasoning to the cracker mixture for a Tex-Mex flair. Serve with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream for dipping.

6. Honey Mustard Glaze:

  • Sweet and Tangy: Drizzle cooked crispy cheddar chicken with a homemade honey mustard glaze made from honey, mustard, and a splash of vinegar for a sweet and tangy flavor.

7. Mediterranean Fusion:

  • Feta and Olive: Add crumbled feta cheese and chopped Kalamata olives to the cracker mixture for a Mediterranean-inspired twist. Serve with tzatziki sauce for dipping.

8. Panko Crusted:

  • Japanese Inspired: Substitute crushed Ritz crackers with panko breadcrumbs for a lighter and crispier coating. Add Japanese spices like ginger and garlic powder for extra flavor.

9. Barbecue Bliss:

  • BBQ Glazed: Brush cooked crispy cheddar chicken with your favorite barbecue sauce before serving for a smoky and tangy flavor. Sprinkle with chopped green onions for garnish.

10. Vegetarian Option:

  • Crispy Cauliflower: Replace the chicken with cauliflower florets for a vegetarian alternative. Follow the same coating and baking instructions for crispy and flavorful cauliflower bites.

Experiment with these variations to customize your crispy cheddar chicken and discover new flavor combinations that suit your taste preferences!


1. Can I use other types of crackers besides Ritz crackers?

  • While Ritz crackers provide a buttery and crispy coating, you can experiment with other types of crackers such as saltines, butter crackers, or even panko breadcrumbs for different textures and flavors.

2. Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken tenders or breasts?

  • Yes, you can use chicken thighs if preferred. Adjust the cooking time accordingly as thighs may require a longer baking time compared to chicken tenders or breasts.

3. Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

  • Yes, you can make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free crackers or breadcrumbs and ensuring that all other ingredients, including the cream of chicken soup, are gluten-free.

4. How do I prevent the chicken from becoming dry?

  • To prevent the chicken from becoming dry, ensure not to overcook it. Follow the recommended baking time and temperature, and consider using chicken tenders or breasts with higher fat content for juicier results.

5. Can I prepare this dish ahead of time?

  • While the chicken is best served fresh from the oven for optimal crispiness, you can prepare the coated chicken in advance and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Add an extra few minutes to the baking time if cooking from chilled.

6. Can I freeze the cooked chicken?

  • Yes, you can freeze cooked crispy cheddar chicken. Allow the chicken to cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag. Reheat in the oven until heated through before serving.

7. Can I substitute the cream of chicken soup in the sauce?

  • Yes, you can substitute the cream of chicken soup with a homemade white sauce or another cream-based soup such as cream of mushroom or cream of celery for a different flavor profile.

8. How do I know when the chicken is fully cooked?

  • The chicken is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C). Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken is safe to eat.

9. Can I make this recipe vegetarian?

  • While this recipe traditionally uses chicken, you can experiment with vegetarian alternatives such as tofu or cauliflower. Coat the tofu or cauliflower in the same manner as the chicken and adjust the baking time as needed.

10. How can I make the dish less rich?

  • To make the dish less rich, you can use reduced-fat cheese, skim milk, and light sour cream in the coating and sauce. Additionally, you can reduce the amount of butter used in the sauce or opt for a lower-fat alternative.

With its crunchy exterior and cheesy center, this Crispy Cheddar Chicken baked to perfection is a true crowd-pleaser. Whether you’re serving it for a family dinner or a special occasion, this dish is sure to impress. Follow this easy recipe for a deliciously crispy chicken dish that will have everyone coming back for more!