Recipe Swap: Make crispy juicy fried chicken in the oven

We have been testing chicken recipes since we started our low-carb keto diet, opting for less breading and other purist ways (plain baked chicken legs, anyone?) to enjoy our drumsticks. None of which made us thrilled to eat chicken. We knew there had to be a way to make keto crispy chicken and we began digging into our recipe box and testing.

We started with almond flour dredging and baking, spraying with olive oil, which wasn’t that great. Then, we tried dredging in whey protein (finer powder) before pan frying and baking on a sheet pan with a rack. Still, we didn’t get the super crispy results we had hoped to achieve.

Why didn’t we use an air fryer? Quite simply, we aren’t equipped with one in our kitchen. The oven does the job, however, with temperature settings we need for perfect crispy chicken. Note we do adjust temperatures at the end to ensure internal temperature of our chicken is perfect (just like the crispy outside).

We discovered earlier this week it is possible to have low-carb chicken fully breaded and baked that tastes just like our favorite non-keto fried chicken in oil.

Take it from our testers when we tell you, this baked chicken tastes as good (if not better!) than any crispy fried chicken we have made before.

Try this low carb chicken recipe with chicken drumsticks next time you are craving a keto fried chicken recipe.

Best Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken

Jamie P
Whoever said you can’t have crispy fried chicken on a keto diet never tried this! You will really feel like you have landed on the perfect indulgence, if you have been missing this meal in your diet.
photo credit: taste & tell
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Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 1 hr
Cooling 10 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 205 kcal


  • Large glass baking dish
  • Pie plates (2)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Platters (2)


  • 2 lbs chicken drumsticks skin on
  • 2 Cage Free Organic Eggs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tbsp Coarse-ground Black Pepper
  • 2 cups Gluten-free, Pork Panko or Keto Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Whey Protein for dredging
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 2 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1 tbsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp Coarse-ground Black Pepper
  • 6 tbsp Butter


  • Marinate chicken drumsticks in salt, pepper, eggs and buttermilk, turning regularly to thoroughly coat (at least an hour).
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place a large glass baking dish (big enough for all drumsticks) with six tablespoons of butter to melt. Watch for butter to melt but not brown.
  • While oven is preheating, butter is melting and chicken is marinating, prepare a batch of chicken breading by combining half of all remaining spices with 1 cup of bread crumbs in a resealable plastic bag. Do the same with the remaining dry ingredients. Reserve whey protein for dredging in a pie plate.
  • After chicken is done marinating, place all pieces on two platters (divided evenly), pouring egg and buttermilk mixture in the remaining pie plate.
  • Dredge first batch of chicken drumsticks in whey protein, shaking off excess powder before dipping back in egg mixture (coating both sides). Next, drop into first bread crumb bag two drumsticks at a time. Make sure all sides are coated and place on foil-lined counter in preparation for butter coating. Continue with second batch.
  • Remove glass dish with melted butter from the oven and carefully coat all sides of each breaded drumstick, placing drumsticks in a single layer in the dish. Hot butter is best for this step.
  • Place baking dish in oven and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees before turning over and finishing at 400 degrees.


Serving: 2drumsticksCalories: 205kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 11gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 1046mgPotassium: 134mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 418IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 35mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Gluten-free, Keto
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!