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Sharp Health News

Air fryer buttermilk chicken (recipe)

Dec. 21, 2021

Air fryer buttermilk fried chicken

Nothing says Southern comfort like fried chicken. It’s a hearty crowd-pleaser that’s easy to make, and even easier to pick up at your favorite fast-food restaurant. But like most fried foods, it’s typically high in fat, calories and sodium — which are linked to increased risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Today, thanks to the invention of the air fryer, fried chicken is making a comeback — but in a new and healthier way.

“Fried foods are often cooked in hydrogenated oils, which are high in trans fats,” says Kendra Grinde-Busalacchi, a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes educator with Sharp Grossmont Hospital. “Studies show that trans fats can drive insulin resistance and lead to Type 2 diabetes, in addition to many other health problems. So, cooking food in an air fryer, where the rapid heat circulation crisps food without the oil, can be a great alternative to deep-frying.”

Air Fryer Buttermilk Chicken

Prep time: 15 minutes / Total time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Nutrition facts per serving: Calories = 160; Fat = 3.5 grams; Sugar = 0 grams

Complement the protein by serving chicken with a green salad, such as this one featuring Brussels sprouts, to up the meal’s nutrients.


  • 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut in half lengthwise to make 4 equal pieces)
  • 6 tablespoons cornflakes
  • 3 tablespoons stone-ground cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
  • Nonstick cooking spray


Step 1: Marinate the Chicken

In a small bowl, combine buttermilk and hot sauce and thoroughly mix. Place the chicken in the buttermilk mixture and allow to marinate for 15 minutes.

Step 2: Process the Cornflake Mixture

Using a food processor, grind cornflakes until coarse crumbs form. Add the cornmeal, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper, and pulse until thoroughly mixed. Pour the crumbs into a shallow bowl. (If you don’t have a food processor, put cornflakes in a sealable plastic bag and crush them using a rolling pin.)

Step 3: Coat the Chicken

Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture, allowing the excess buttermilk to drip off into the bowl. Place chicken pieces in the bowl of cornflake mixture and evenly coat. Place coated chicken on a wire rack.

Step 4: Cook and Serve

Spray the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray for 2 seconds. Place chicken in the air fryer basket. (Do not crowd the chicken; cook in batches if all pieces don’t fit.) Set the temperature to 375° F and air fry for 7 minutes.

Turn the chicken pieces. Air fry for an additional 7 to 10 minutes or until the chicken is done and a meat thermometer inserted in the center registers 165° F.

Recipe adapted from the American Diabetes Association.

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