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This crispy Baked Ranch Chicken recipe is coated with Ranch dressing and dredged in a flavorful blend of Corn Flakes, bread crumbs, and zesty seasoning. Use chicken breast, thighs, or drumsticks for an oven-baked dinner that tastes like it’s deep-fried! The easy Ranch chicken is delicious alongside mashed potatoesmac and cheese, or Southern-style green beans.

Two pieces of crispy oven-fried Ranch chicken - one bone-in thigh and one drumstick - served on a plate with a small dish of pickles.
Table of Contents
  1. What is Ranch “Fried” Chicken?
  2. Ingredients for Oven-Fried Ranch Chicken
  3. How to Make Baked Ranch Chicken
  4. What to Serve with Crispy Oven Fried Chicken
  5. Baked Ranch Chicken Prep & Storage Tips
  6. Baked Ranch Chicken Recipe Variations
  7. Tips for the Best Oven Fried Ranch Chicken Recipe
  8. More Fried Chicken Recipes to Try
  9. Oven Baked Ranch Chicken Recipe

What is Ranch “Fried” Chicken?

Oven “fried” chicken is baked instead of fried but has the same taste as classic deep-fried chicken. This baked Ranch chicken is crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, and so incredibly flavorful! It gives you all of the texture and taste that you crave from classic buttermilk fried chicken — but without an oily mess on the stovetop and without too much prep. All you need to do is mix a bit of oil into the breadcrumb mixture and while baking, the breadcrumbs crisp up to create a crunchy, golden-brown breading atop the creamy Ranch-coated chicken. Oven-baked fried chicken is quick, easy, and incredibly family-friendly!

This quick and easy chicken recipe is perfect for busy weeknights. The best part is that you only need a handful of ingredients for a delicious dinner that takes minimal prep time. The whole family will love this flavorful, delicious baked Ranch chicken dinner! 

Ingredients for Oven-Fried Ranch Chicken

This is a quick overview of the simple ingredients that you’ll need to make this easy baked Ranch chicken recipe. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Ranch salad dressing: for coating the chicken before dredging in the breadcrumb mixture. You can use your favorite store-bought brand or substitute it with homemade dressing.
  • Breadcrumbs: to coat the chicken.
  • Corn Flakes cereal crumbs: mixed in with the breadcrumbs for added flavor and crunch.
  • Sugar, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and kosher salt: the seasoning that flavors the bread crumbs.
  • Oil: added to the breadcrumb mixture, the oil helps the outside of the chicken turn especially golden brown and crispy in the oven.
  • Bone-in chicken pieces: I prefer thighs or drumsticks because they cook faster than a larger chicken breast, but any variety of pieces will work. You can leave the skin on if you like, but I find that removing the skin helps the breading adhere to the meat a little bit better.
An overhead image of a platter of raw bone-in, skin on chicken pieces next to a bowl of Ranch dressing and a breadcrumb mixture.

How to Make Baked Ranch Chicken

This recipe is a twist on two of our favorite recipes: Oven-Fried Pork Chops and Cornflake Chicken. The combination of Cornflakes cereal crumbs and traditional bread crumbs gives the meat an unbelievably crispy, crunchy, flavorful, golden brown exterior, while Ranch dressing acts as a substitute for more traditional buttermilk, mayonnaise, or egg dredges that you often find in fried chicken recipes. The end result is a delicious dinner with just a few minutes of hands-on prep work! Here’s how to oven-fry chicken:

  • Pat chicken dry, season with salt and pepper, and coat in Ranch dressing. If you want to use less Ranch, just brush the dressing onto the chicken.
  • Coat the chicken in the seasoned Corn Flakes and breadcrumbs, pressing gently to help the breading adhere.
  • Arrange the chicken on a wire rack on top of a foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake the chicken in a 400° F oven for 40-50 minutes, until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165° F. If the coating starts to get too dark before the chicken is done, you can tent the chicken loosely with foil.
Breaded Ranch chicken arranged on a wire rack over a baking sheet, ready to be oven-fried.

How do you tell when oven-fried Ranch chicken is done baking?

A meat thermometer is the best way to tell when the chicken is cooked to temperature. Insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the meat to test for doneness. The golden-brown color of the breadcrumb mixture isn’t an indicator that the chicken is completely cooked, so always make sure to check the internal temperature of the chicken.

Can I use Ranch dressing mix in this recipe? 

You certainly can! You can sprinkle Ranch seasoning mix into the breadcrumb mixture to really enhance the ranchy flavors. If you swap out the Ranch dressing for mayo, season the mayo with some Ranch seasoning so you don’t miss out on the trademark flavors of this baked ranch chicken recipe.

Two pieces of oven baked Ranch chicken served on a plate alongside pickles and a dish of mac and cheese.

What to Serve with Crispy Oven Fried Chicken

This oven baked fried chicken pairs perfectly with just about any of your favorite classic Southern sides. Here are a few easy recipes to round out the meal:

A close up image of two pieces of golden-brown oven-fried Ranch chicken served on a plate with bread and butter pickles.

Baked Ranch Chicken Prep & Storage Tips

You can prepare the breading mixture in advance, but I do not recommend breading the chicken until just before baking.

Leftover oven-fried chicken will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months. This chicken is best when served immediately, however, since it does not stay as crispy once it’s chilled.

What’s the best way to reheat oven-fried Ranch chicken? 

Preheat your oven to 400° F. Meanwhile, place the chicken on a wire rack over a baking sheet and allow the chicken to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes (this ensures that it reheats evenly). Next, reheat the chicken until it feels hot and very crispy, about 15 minutes. You can reheat also baked Ranch chicken in the air fryer. 

An overhead image of Ranch chicken thigh and drumstick served on a plate with a small dish of bread and butter pickle slices and mac and cheese.

Baked Ranch Chicken Recipe Variations

  • You can dip the chicken in the Ranch dressing, or for a lighter coating, use a brush to baste the Ranch onto each piece of chicken.
  • Swap out the Ranch dressing and brush the chicken with mayonnaise instead. If you still want the Ranch flavor, mix a tablespoon (or more) of Ranch seasoning mix into the mayonnaise.
  • I love the combination of the bread crumbs and Corn Flake crumbs because the Corn Flakes add extra crunch and flavor that you can’t get from the bread crumbs alone. I prefer the finer texture of regular breadcrumbs to coat the chicken when paired with crushed Cornflakes, but you can substitute with Panko breadcrumbs if that’s all that you have.
  • Instead of the breadcrumbs, add extra flavor to the breading mixture by using finely crushed Ritz crackers with the Corn Flakes!
  • For a special touch, add a couple of tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese to the breading mixture.
  • Use the same process and breading to prepare oven-fried chicken strips (using boneless chicken tenderloins). Boneless chicken tenderloins will cook faster than bone-in thighs, so you will need to decrease the baking time.
  • Swap out the sheet pan for a baking dish and bake the Ranch chicken on top of uncooked white rice mixed with chicken broth. You’ll have a delicious Ranch chicken bake with no extra effort. (Just make sure to prep the baking dish with baking spray or a drizzle of olive oil first to prevent sticking.)
  • Cooking just for two? Cut all the ingredients in half and bake less chicken. The rest of the cooking instructions remain the same.
A close up image of crispy baked Ranch chicken served with macaroni and cheese and pickles.

Tips for the Best Oven Fried Ranch Chicken Recipe

  • Remove the skin before breading the chicken. Bone-in meat stays extra juicy and flavorful in the oven, but I find that the recipe works best if you pull off the skin before adding the breadcrumb coating. I’ve tested it both ways (and you can certainly leave the skin intact if you prefer), but the breading adheres to the meat best when the skin is removed.
  • I prefer chicken thighs and drumsticks because they cook faster than chicken breasts, so the coating doesn’t burn and the meat stays nice and juicy. If you would rather use bone-in chicken breast, you’ll need to increase the baking time slightly.
  • The oil in the breading is key to this extra crispy oven-fried chicken recipe since the fat helps the breading turn brown and crunchy in the oven. Don’t skip the oil, or the end result won’t be nearly as good.
  • Tent the chicken loosely with foil if it starts to get too brown before the meat is cooked through. I check it after the first 20 minutes and add the foil cover, if necessary.
Two pieces of fried Ranch chicken served on a plate. The chicken is coated in a crispy baked breadcrumb coating and served with a small dish of pickles.

More Fried Chicken Recipes to Try

Side shot of the best oven fried chicken served on a blue and white plate

Oven Baked Ranch Chicken

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Calories 931 kcal
A crispy oven-fried Ranch chicken recipe for busy weeknights! This crispy Ranch chicken takes minutes of prep and only a handful of simple ingredients.

Ingredients
  

Breadcrumb Mixture:

Ranch Chicken Coating

  • 1 cup ranch salad dressing
  • 3-4 lbs. bone-in chicken pieces, skin removed (I use thighs or a combination of drumsticks and thighs)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400° F. Place a rack on top of a large rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with aluminum foil. Spray rack with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Pour salad dressing into a medium bowl.
    1 cup ranch salad dressing
  • In a large, shallow dish, combine bread crumbs, Corn Flakes crumbs, sugar, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and salt. Drizzle with oil and mash with a fork until the oil is thoroughly incorporated (the crumbs will almost look like wet sand).
    1 cup dry bread crumbs, 1 cup Corn Flakes cereal crumbs, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 teaspoons paprika, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • Pat the chicken dry; season with kosher salt and pepper.
    2 teaspoons kosher salt, 2 teaspoons Freshly-ground black pepper, 3-4 lbs. bone-in chicken pieces, skin removed
  • Coat chicken pieces in Ranch salad dressing. I like a thin layer of the dressing, so I use a brush to coat the chicken. If it's easier, you can also just dip the chicken directly in the Ranch, then shake off any excess. Coat chicken with Corn Flakes mixture, pressing gently to help adhere.
    1 cup ranch salad dressing
  • Arrange chicken on prepared wire rack. Bake for about 40-50 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165° F. Check the chicken after the first 20 minutes – if the breading starts to get too dark, tent loosely with foil for the remainder of the cooking time. If you're using bone-in chicken breasts, you will need to bake them for longer.

Notes

  • Remove the skin before breading the chicken. Bone-in meat stays extra juicy and flavorful in the oven, but I find that the recipe works best if you pull off the skin before adding the bread crumb coating. I’ve tested it both ways (and you can certainly leave the skin intact if you prefer), but the breading adheres to the meat best when the skin is removed.
  • I prefer the chicken thighs and drumsticks because they cook faster than the chicken breasts, so the coating doesn’t burn and the meat stays nice and juicy. If you would rather use bone-in chicken breast, you’ll need to increase the baking time slightly.
  • The oil in the breading is a key to this extra crispy oven fried chicken recipe since the fat helps the breading turn brown and crunchy in the oven. Don’t skip the oil, or the end result won’t be nearly as good.
  • Tent the chicken loosely with foil if it starts to get too brown before the meat is cooked through. I check it after the first 20 minutes and add the foil cover, if necessary.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 931kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 74gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 328mgSodium: 2261mgPotassium: 1046mgFiber: 4gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1636IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 97mgIron: 22mg
Keyword: crispy oven fried chicken, oven baked fried chicken, Oven Fried Chicken, ranch baked chicken, ranch chicken
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. Tina Marie Allen says:

    Can you use an air fryer?

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Hi, Tina Marie! Yes, I think it would probably work well in the air fryer. I haven’t tested it, though, so I can’t offer specific cooking times or temps. Let us know if you give it a shot!