Healthy Buttermilk Chicken Fingers

Healthy Buttermilk Chicken FingersThis is one of my most popular recipes, with adults and children alike!

I love the taste of crispy chicken but prefer this version for a healthy everyday meal. I soak my chicken in low-fat buttermilk to tenderize it first, giving it the same tender texture of the deep fried version. If you have a busy schedule, you can soak the chicken overnight and purchase seasoned breadcrumbs instead of making them. Little folk love to eat with their fingers, and this chicken is moist and tender for small mouths!

Serves 4

Healthy Buttermilk Chicken Fingers

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 4 hours, 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 40 minutes

Yield: 1 pound chicken fingers

Serving Size: 1/2 pound chicken fingers

Calories per serving: 449 calories

Fat per serving: 15 g fat (3 g saturated)

Healthy Buttermilk Chicken Fingers


  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast, (about 12 ounces) cut into 1-inch strips,
  • 1 cup low-fat butter milk
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme or rosemary
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled, slightly crushed with the palm of your hand
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 cups plain whole wheat crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried or fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Place the chicken, buttermilk, thyme or rosemary, and garlic into a large zipper lock bag. Tuck the bag inside another zipper lock bag to avoid leaks. Place in refrigerator for four hours or overnight.
  • Set out a large piece of wax paper or aluminum foil on the counter top and place the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, sesame seed, parsley, garlic and onion powder, and black pepper. Mix with your finger tips.
  • Remove the chicken from bag and place in a strainer Discard buttermilk and zipper lock bags. Place the egg whites in a shallow bowl. Dip each chicken piece into the egg then press into the bread crumb mixture. Place the breaded chicken on a plate then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (this will help the breadcrumbs to adhere to the meat).
  • Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add half of the olive oil and half of the chicken. Reduce the heat to medium and cook 5 to 6 minutes total, turning once or twice so that both sides brown and the chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a plate covered with paper towels and sprinkle with half the salt. Repeat with remaining oil, chicken, and salt. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Stats Per Serving (1/4 pound chicken fingers): 449 calories, 35 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 15 g fat (3 g saturated), 77 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 673 mg sodium.

Weight Watchers® Points Plus: 11


  1. Tried this tonight and loved it. Saving the recipe :)

    Only thing to mention: amount of bread crumbs mentioned in the recipe is a bit too much.

  2. I’m confused. so cook it in a pan, and how long do you bake it in the oven?

  3. I’ve made these several times now and truly love them! Such great flavor! I have found that using grape seed oil (higher smoking point) instead of olive oil helps keep my kitchen from smoking up when I’m cooking the chicken on the stove. I HIGHLY recommend this recipe! Thank you for sharing it!

  4. Why do you turn on the oven just to keep the chicken warm as you cook the other batch?

  5. I’m still partly confused on why you need the oven. Perhaps you should clarify how many minutes the chicken is meant to finish cooking in the oven or if it is to be kept warm in the oven .

  6. Hi! I tried this recipe a long time ago and i did bake it in the oven and we really liked it. I would rather do that than fry the chicken. I don’t like frying things, it’s messy and takes more time. I didn’t print off the recipe so I don’t have the oven temp and how long to bake it. Can you post both versions. Were there cons to baking? Why did you switch to frying. I have a family of six and that’s a lot of chicken fingers to fry! Thanks

    • Hey Janie,

      Mmmm I think one of the versions I had was too dry. But if you want to bake them and skip the skillet step, here’s the easiest way. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange the breaded fingers on top about 1/2-inch apart. Coat the tops of the fingers with another light layer of cooking spray. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center then serve.

Speak Your Mind