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Pretzel Crusted Chicken: Ultimate Guide to Crispy Perfection

Snacktime and dinnertime collide with each other in this fun take on breaded chicken. Pretzel crusted chicken is a great addition to your weeknight dinner repertoire, and you can prep it in just a few steps. Add a fresh veggie and some potatoes as sides, and you have a meal the whole family will love. Create the best pretzel crust for your chicken with OMG! Pretzels.

Breaded chicken - a global favorite

Breaded chicken - a global favorite

You might think of breaded or fried chicken as a strictly American food, but the truth is, cultures across the world have their own versions of this tasty dish.

Many think it originated in Austria or Germany around 1850 with traces of a similar item popping up at the same time in Italy. Immigrants from Europe brought the dish with them to the Middle East, Texas and other places they made home. 

  • Schnitzel is the name used throughout Europe for thinly pounded protein - usually pork, veal or chicken - that is breaded and then fried. 
  • Cotoletta alla milanese is the Italian phrase for veal schnitzel, which can be topped with mushrooms and marsala wine, arugula and shards of parmesan cheese, or the American favorite - marinara and mozzarella - also known as Chicken Parm. 
  • Katsu is Japan’s take on breaded chicken and is often served with steamed rice. 
  • Schnitty is how Australians refer to the breaded chicken breast or veal cutlet.

Can pretzels be used as breadcrumbs?

The answer is a delicious yes! In fact, the finer you make your pretzel crumbs, the more they look like breadcrumbs and the better they will stick to your chicken tenders. We like to use a food processor for this job, but you can crush the pretzel nuggets by hand in a large zip top bag with a food mallet if you don’t have a food processor.

How to make pretzel crusted chicken

How to make pretzel crusted chicken

Getting the pretzel breading to adhere to the chicken is the most important part of this recipe, which is really more of a method since there can be so many variations, including:

  • Which cut of chicken to use
  • Which cooking method to employ
  • Which pretzels will give the best crunch and flavor (our seasoned sourdough pretzel nuggets, of course!)
  • Which variety of OMG! Pretzels to use as breading 

Once your decisions have been made, you are ready to prep your dredging or pretzel breading station.

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Egg
  • 1 tbsp of water (to thin the egg wash)
  • Hot sauce (if desired to add spice to the egg wash)
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of OMG! Pretzels, finely crushed (Your choice of variety based on the flavor you want your pretzel breaded chicken to have.)

What to do:

  1. First, you need 3 pie plates or similar size/shape plates or shallow bowls. In the first, add about 1 cup of all purpose flour and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  2. In the next, goes egg wash. Crack and beat the egg into the dish and add enough water or hot sauce to thin the mixture so it can fully coat the chicken breast. 
  3. In the third, add your pretzel crumbs. You’ll need about 1 cup of the whole OMG! Pretzels to make enough pretzel breading for chicken.
  4. Choose your cooking method and enjoy!
Traditional - skillet fried pretzel crusted chicken tenders

Traditional - skillet fried pretzel crusted chicken tenders

Once you coat your chicken pieces, place them in the fridge for about 10 minutes. This will help the pretzel crust stay on the chicken during the frying process.

You want to add a shallow layer of neutral oil, like vegetable, to a skillet and heat on medium-high. Once the oil is hot, add your chicken to the skillet without overcrowding. You may have to fry in two batches.

For pretzel crusted chicken tenders or thin cutlets, cook for about 5 minutes per side until they are cooked through and the crust is golden brown.

Better-for-You - Pretzel Crusted Baked Chicken

As with the method above, once the chicken is coated, place the pretzel crusted chicken strips in the fridge for a few minutes while you preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Once you preheat the oven, add the pretzel crusted chicken to a lightly sprayed sheet pan to prevent sticking.

Cook for 10 minutes and then turn the chicken over and cook for another 5-10 minutes, depending on how thick your chicken pieces are.

Time saving ideas for pretzel crusted chicken breast

Time saving ideas for pretzel crusted chicken breast

Even though pretzel crusted chicken is a pretty fast recipe, you can make it even quicker without giving up flavor with a few simple tricks:

  • Use OMG! Pretzels for the crust. Because our sourdough pretzel nuggets are already seasoned, you don't need to season your chicken or breading mixtures. 
  • Thin cutlets or tenders will cook more quickly and evenly than large chicken breasts, so consider these options next time you make pretzel crusted chicken. 
  • Go even smaller and cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes to make pretzel crusted chicken nuggets. They will cook in about 5 minutes. Kids will love these bite-sized nuggets for snacks or a meal and adults will devour them at parties or tailgates.

Don’t have time for a dredging station? Make pretzel crusted honey mustard chicken.

Instead of setting up a three-part system for pretzel breaded chicken fingers, save time and coat them in honey mustard in a bowl. Then, add your pretzel breadcrumbs to a large zip-top plastic bag and the honey mustard coated chicken fingers. Shake until the pretzel breaded chicken fingers are fully covered and either fry, bake or air fry.  

For healthy pretzel crusted chicken that also saves time, try this!

Cook your pretzel crusted chicken fingers in the air fryer. This kitchen appliance heats up to 375 degrees more quickly than an oven. Plus, the cooking time is only 10 minutes and clean-up is a breeze. It’s healthier and easier than frying, but the air fryer lends a similar crunch to the pretzel crust, which - let’s face it - is the best part!

Pretzel flavor and dipping sauce combinations OMG Pretzels
Pretzel flavor and dipping sauce combinations

Pretzel flavor and dipping sauce combinations

Everything is tastier with a dipping sauce, right? Here are some of our favorites to take your pretzel crusted chicken strips to the next level:

How good is pretzel crusted chicken

How good is pretzel crusted chicken?

We think it’s seriously scrumptious. The pretzel-tastic crunch and seasoning blends from OMG! Pretzels shine through no matter which cooking method of your pretzel crusted chicken you choose. And, the unique flavor combinations for pretzel crusted chicken tenders and dipping sauces are sure to please and elevate your weeknight dinners. 

Ready to try them all? Shop our Savory Sensations collection and you’ll be all set! SHOP NOW

Happy eating!

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