Crispy Chicken Cutlets (Air Fryer or Oven Baked)

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Chicken cutlets are a personal and family favorite.  But making them the old-fashioned way — fried on the stovetop in a pan full of oil — is a messy business.  Cut the cleanup time and the calories by air (or oven) frying.

This recipe uses chicken thighs, a more forgiving cut than chicken breasts which cook quickly and can dry out.  And instead of using an egg wash and flour, we use mayonnaise (the light version to shave even more calories) to get the bread crumbs to stick.

Crispy Chicken Cutlets (Air Fryer or Oven Baked)

Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 344kcal


  • 4 Boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • ½ cup Light Mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Panko
  • ½ cup Bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning more or less to taste
  • Spray oil


  • All ingredients ready? Let's begin!

Air Fryer Version

  • Preheat the air fryer to 380F. Heat oven to 300F if cooking in batches/all the chicken won’t fit in your air fryer.
  • Mix the bread crumbs, panko and Old Bay Seasoning on a shallow tray.
  • Half the chicken thighs and brush with mayonnaise on both sides.
  • One at a time, place each chicken section to coat with the crumb mixture on both sides
  • Holding the chicken section with tongs or your fingers, lightly shake then spray with oil on each side.
  • Place on air fryer basket or rack.
  • Once all chicken pieces are covered (or you’ve filled the rack), air fry for about 15 minutes, turning them half way through. If you’re cooking in batches, lessen the air fryer time to about 12 minutes and place on rack on a tray (so the bottoms don’t get soggy) and put in oven to keep warm/continue cooking.
  • Serve hot – but they also taste great cold.

Oven Fried Version

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425F positioning a rack in its lowest position.
  • Generously spray a cookie or jelly roll sheet with oil.
  • Follow steps 2-4, above, placing the chicken pieces on the baking sheet.
  • Place cutlets on the lower oven rack.
  • After about 5 minutes, check the bottom of the cutlets. Cutlet bottoms should be browned. Flip to the other side. If you’d like them browner, leave in for a few more minutes.
  • Bake another 5 to 8 minutes until other side is browned.



Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 583mg | Potassium: 681mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 77IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg

Tips & Substitutions

  • Any type of mayonnaise will work so if you have full fat, vegan, olive oil or even Miracle Whip, use that instead.
  • Old Bay Seasoning is a combination of 18 different spices.  It’s a versatile mix used to flavor meats, chicken, fish and soups. Available at grocery stores or online, if you don’t have it, use paprika with a little salt and pepper.  Or, use any spice blend you have on hand.  
  • For the oven method, you may be wondering why we didn’t use the top rack.  Our family actually tested the rack position and found the bottom rack browned the cutlets faster and more evenly.
  • Cutlets can be frozen. Wrap carefully so not to remove the breading.  Defrost before reheating in your pre-heated air fryer or oven.

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