These two things probably don’t come to mind when you think of healthy food: Cheesecake Factory and fried chicken. And yet, here we are. This skinny version of the Cheesecake Factory’s Southern Fried Chicken Sliders lets you enjoy Southern comfort food without any of the guilt. Whether you’re a Cheesecake Factory fanatic, a Southern fried chicken lover, or both, this recipe will put your favorite comfort food back on the table. Thank goodness for skinny copycat recipes!
Baked, Not Fried
The biggest trick to making this Cheesecake Factory favorite more clean-eating friendly? Ditch the fried chicken. For this skinny copycat recipe, we’ve swapped out fried chicken for a healthier baked chicken breast. Dipped in buttermilk and coated in a flavorful mix of Panko and spices, this chicken has all the crispy goodness of classic fried chicken without all the fat, calories, and overall heaviness. Once you taste this healthy baked chicken alternative, you may never go for real fried chicken again.
Even better: This chicken only needs about 10 minutes in the oven to cook. How much easier is that than making traditional fried chicken at home? No need to worry about heating up all that oil and figuring out how to dispose of it later.
This skinny take on Cheesecake Factory’s Southern Fried Chicken Sliders wouldn’t be complete without the perfect combination of toppings. Whole wheat slider buns keep this recipe healthy (and, honestly, they’re tastier and more flavorful than traditional white bread buns, anyway). Place the crispy “fried” chicken on the buns and top it off with crunchy lettuce, sliced tomato, and (of course) a few dill pickle slices.
Comfort Food Made Skinny
The Cheesecake Factory is known for a lot of things. Catering to the health conscious? Not so much. Fortunately, this skinny copycat recipe is here to resolve that minor issue. Each of these skinny sliders is just over 200 calories.
Enjoy a couple of them as a meal or serve ’em up as a tasty game day appetizer. And, since a good slider isn’t complete without a side of fries, why not serve these tasty southern fried chicken sandwiches with our healthy crispy oven fries? These sliders also go well with some of our other healthier alternatives, like baked sweet potato fries or crispy grilled rosemary fries.
You can also feel free to enhance these sliders with the healthy sauce or spread of your choice. Low fat mayo, a spicy chipotle sauce, or your favorite aioli will all go well with these crispy “fried” chicken sliders. Enjoy the perfect combination of comfort food, totally guilt free.
Yield: 8 sliders | Serving Size: 2 sliders | Calories: 430 | Total Fat: 7 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Carbohydrates: 54 g | Fiber: 4 g | Sugar: 8 g | Protein: 36 g | Cholesterol: 83 mg | Sodium: 789 mg | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 9 |
- 1/2 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs, lightly pulsed in a food processor
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 4 (4 to 6 ounce) boneless and skinless chicken breast (cut in 1/2 to make 8 pieces)
- 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 8 whole wheat slider buns
- 4 large lettuce leaves (cut in half to make 8 pieces)
- 2 roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch circles
- 1 large dill pickle, sliced into 8 circles
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the panko, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Mix well.
- Dip the chicken into the buttermilk and then dip the chicken into the panko and spices mixture. Place the coated chicken onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown and chicken is firm and cooked through.
- Once cooked, place a piece of chicken on to each slider bun. Top with lettuce, tomato, and a pickle slice. Finish with the top slider bun. Serve and enjoy!