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Easy Popcorn Chicken

7 Reviews

This Homemade Popcorn Chicken requires minimal prep and cooks in under 10 minutes. Perfect with steamed veggies, a side salad, or mashed potatoes!

homemade popcorn chicken piled in white bowl

Homemade Popcorn Chicken

Do you remember the whole “popcorn chicken” phenomenon? It was years and years ago and I don’t even remember who brought it up first, was it Arby’s? Either way, suddenly people were so excited to get these little “nuggets” of chicken that were actual white meat, super crispy, and totally easy to eat. In fact, I think a lot of them came in cups. And as I’m saying this I’m realizing that they are probably still out there and because we don’t ever eat fast food (except JCW’s because bless those hot, salty fries and special sauce) I’m just plain clueless.

Which brings me to something else I’m clueless about…

Age. Dudes, apparently I am THE WORST judge of a person’s age. Like really. I am always blown away by people when they tell me their age. I think I just assume everyone is my age or younger and I don’t think twice about it. I won’t throw out any names here, but let’s just say there are a few bloggers that I literally still cannot believe are older than me. You know who you are. I’m looking at you, girls.

So what are you a bad judge of? Chicken being done? Boyfriends? Clothes? I’d love to hear!!

What’s in Popcorn Chicken? 

This easy popcorn chicken recipe requires minimal ingredients. Here’s all you’ll need to make it: 

  • Chicken breasts
  • Milk
  • Hot sauce
  • All-purpose flour
  • Spices (paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper) 
  • Oil (for frying) 

overhead view of homemade popcorn chicken in a bowl

How to Make Popcorn Chicken

These crispy fried chicken bites are a cinch to make. Here are the basic steps to making homemade popcorn chicken: 

  1. Whisk together milk and hot sauce in one bowl, and the flour and spices in another bowl. 
  2. Marinate the chicken bites in the milk mixture for 1 hour. 
  3. Once marinated, dunk each piece of chicken into the flour mixture.
  4. Immediately fry the chicken in oil until golden and cooked through. 

Can I Make Baked Popcorn Chicken? 

Oven baked popcorn chicken is easy to make and tastes just as good as fried popcorn chicken. Marinate the chicken as directed, coat in flour, then place on a baking tray. Drizzle with a little oil, then bake at 425F for 10 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally. 

What to Serve with Popcorn Chicken

This popcorn chicken recipe is so easy to prepare on a busy weeknight, so it’s best to pair it with a simple side dish as well. Here are a few dishes we like serving alongside this popcorn chicken: 

Tips for Making Homemade Popcorn Chicken

Be sure to use skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. The coating on the chicken gets nice and crispy in the oil, so there’s no need to have skin on the chicken too. 

Note that you need to use a neutral-flavored oil for frying the chicken. Something like canola or vegetable oil will work well. 

Try dipping this popcorn chicken into homemade Garlicky Avocado Sauce, BBQ sauce, or Special Sauce. Or keep things simple and dunk it in ketchup! 

More Easy Chicken Dinner Recipes: 

Easy Popcorn Chicken

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easy popcorn chicken!!! ohsweetbasil.com

Popcorn Chicken

3.86 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Marinating Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4
This homemade popcorn chicken requires minimal prep and cooks in under 10 minutes. Perfect with steamed veggies, a side salad, or mashed potatoes!


  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts , cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • dash of hot sauce
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • neutral oil (for frying)
  • season salt


  • In a dish, whisk together the milk and hot sauce.
  • In another dish, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  • Place the chicken in the milk mixture and cover with saran wrap in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Heat a pan 1/3 full of oil over medium heat.
  • Remove the chicken and coat in the flour mixture then straight into the hot oil until golden and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with extra paprika if desired.


To bake the popcorn chicken: Marinate the chicken as directed, coat in flour, then place on a baking tray. Drizzle with a little oil, then bake at 425F for 10 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally. 
reheat in the microwave
Nutrition Facts
Popcorn Chicken
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 367
% Daily Value*
Cholesterol 88.1mg29%
Carbohydrates 26.4g9%
Fiber 0.9g4%
Sugar 2.4g3%
Protein 32g64%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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Cozy Christmas Movie & Snack Nights 🎥🎄

About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • I am so looking forward to making this recipe! My 5 kids adore popcorn chicken!
    So, I am clueless about clothes! I like to wear clean, nice, decent clothes, but I don’t notice what others wear, I don’t know brands or latest trends.

    • Reply
    • I hope you love this recipe! We would love to hear what you think! Me too on the clothes! And half the time whatever is “in style” is so hideous to me. Haha!

      • Reply
  • Would this recipe work in my air fryer?

    • Reply
    • Yes this is a great recipe for an air fryer!

      • Reply
  • omg this was sooooooooooooo good! Our family (and neighbors) loved it!

    • Reply
    • Yay! Thank you so much Stella!

      • Reply
  • Can these be frozen and reheated?

    • Reply
  • i dont have any paprika is there anything you can suggest i use instead?

    • Reply
    • You could actually just use chili powder and it will still taste great!

      • Reply
  • This looks great! I’d love to give it a try but I have a family member who can’t eat fried food. Can you bake this instead?

    • Reply
    • You totally can. Just drizzle with a little oil, and grease the pan then make sure you turn occasionally while baking.

      • Reply
      • Great! Can you suggest oven temp. and cook time?

      • Absolutely! 425 for 10-15 minutes!!

  • I made this last night for supper and everyone in my family loved it…which is no small feat 🙂 I think the seasoned salt after the chicken was fried was that extra little something that made it excellent!

    • Reply
    • I totally understand that! Glad everyone liked it!

      • Reply
  • This looks wonderful….wonder if you could bake it ? Too much oil…..trying to stay away from fried foods…..can you make a healthy popcorn chicken and post it 🙂 And I am way older than any of you guys 🙂 just sayin…………………….

    • Reply
    • Lol, the older the better in my book. Just means you’re more wise and the older I get the more I appreciate that. And popcorn, you know what we love to do, we put popcorn in a paper bag and microwave it then sprinkle a little salt so there’s no oil at all. Then occasionally we make a recipe like this one for fun and share with friends!

      • Reply
  • This popcorn chicken looks way better than fast food!

    • Reply
    • Thanks Jessica! It definitely is more real chicken

      • Reply
  • I know. You must be referring to me. LOL, kidding!!! My kids would flip over this popcorn chicken. I would too, but this old lady cant do flips.

    • Reply
    • Lol!!! I am!!!! I still think you and I look the same age. I cannot get over it and you looked amazing this weekend! And this probably now looks like a weird comment. haha!!

      • Reply
  • Have always loved KFC’s popcorn chicken but this looks way better! So fun spending some time with you in Florida this weekend. Thanks for inviting me to join in with you girls! (p.s. I am older than you:)

    • Reply
    • Lol, you’re seriously one hot mama! We all just kept saying how darling you are! Love you to pieces!

      • Reply
  • Popcorn chicken is the best!

    • Reply
    • Especially with a dipping sauce!

      • Reply
  • This popcorn chicken is making me a serious believer this morning! It looks so fantastic!

    • Reply
    • k, could you be any sweeter or more darling?! Loved meeting you!

      • Reply
  • I could pop a handful of these bad boys into my mouth no problem.

    • Reply
    • and I did, again and again lol

      • Reply

Cozy Christmas Movie & Snack Nights 🎥🎄