Up close shot of tortilla crusted chicken

Tortilla Crusted Chicken

Tortilla crusted chicken is an entree that will definitely wow your guests! If you’re looking to switch up taco night, then make tortilla crusted chicken. It’s fun to prep and is baked for a healthy alternative.

This is a throwback for me! I used to treat my husband (at the time boyfriend) to tortilla crusted chicken dinners when we were undergraduate students. We lived right across to street from each other, and it was an easy and inexpensive date dinner to put together for college students- and it still is! The difference now, I serve a little homemade salsa with it, and we have a little bundle of joy to share some with too.

Tortilla crusted chicken is FUN to make, especially if you are having a bad day. It involves crushing up chips and pounding the chicken thin. So, if you need to de-stress and feel like chowing down, then this is the recipe for you.

Here’s how it’s made…

Prep the Tortilla Chips

I like to crush the chips in a gallon-sized freezer bag. The bag will later serve as a vessel for coating the chicken. I find it most comfortable to use a rolling pin to crush the chips. To get the chips broken down into even-sized crumbs, I roll one side of the bag a few times and then flip the bag over and roll again. I repeat this process until the tortilla chips are broken down into a panko like consistency.

Tortilla chips in a freezer bag being crushed by a rolling pin that is rolling over the bag.
I prefer using a rolling pin and a freezer bag to crush the chips.
Rolling pin next to bag of crushed tortilla chips.
Using a plastic freezer bag is convenient for coating the chicken in later steps. Plus, it’s one less dish to clean up.

Prep the Chicken

Next, you’ll want to prep the chicken. I prefer using boneless, skinless chicken pieces that I cut down myself. Two large chicken breasts can be split in half to create four servings. I recommend pounding the chicken pieces out to make the baking process quicker. This also tenderizes the chicken and is another fun time to let out a little stress! You can use a rolling pin, mallet, or a heavy pan to do this.

Dredge & Bake

Dredging chicken can be pretty simple if you prep your station first. Remember, mise en place means “everything in place” before you start your cooking. For more info visit my post here.

You’ll want to set up a little dredging station that includes a bowl of flour, a bowl of egg wash, your bag of crushed tortilla chips, and lastly, a prepared baking sheet to place your dredged chicken pieces at the end.

Dredging station of flour, chicken, egg wash and crushed tortilla chips needed to make tortilla crusted chicken.
Setting up a dredging station is a form of mise en place or having “everything in place” prior to cooking.

Be sure to season your chicken and the flour lightly with salt and pepper before you begin. You’ll also mix the spices in the tortilla chips. Note: I don’t add salt or pepper to the tortilla chips because the store-bought chips are usually pretty salty.

When preparing the egg wash, I like to add a splash of water to the eggs as I whisk them. This loosens the egg slightly. It doesn’t take much, just a splash.

When ready, you’ll work with one piece of chicken at a time. You’ll first coat the chicken entirely in the seasoned flour, then dip it in the egg wash, and then place it in the bag of tortilla chips. Close up the bag and shake to coat the chicken in the chip pieces- just like ‘Shake and Bake’! Remove the chicken from the bag and place on the prepared baking sheet. You’ll repeat this process with the remaining three pieces of chicken and then bake until golden and cooked through.

Tortilla crusted chicken prepped on a sheet pan and ready to go in teh oven.


Once the chicken is baked, serve warm on a platter. It is fun to serve the chicken with optional toppings for your guests. Any toppings that you would pair with tacos or fajitas go wonderfully with this dish: sour cream, cheese, salsa, limes, cilantro, etc.

If you are up to making homemade salsa, check out my recipe for Roasted Tomato Salsa.

Tortilla crusted chicken on the left with topping on the right.

All in All

This has been one of my favorite dishes to make over the last decade. It brings back so many fun memories! Christian and I always reminisce about funny college stories while eating this dish. I hope this becomes one of your favorites too.

Do you have a dish or meal that brings back fun memories? If so, please share it in the comments. I’d love to hear!

Don’t forget to pin this recipe for later!!!

Up close shot of tortilla crusted chicken

Tortilla Crusted Chicken

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4


  • 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast about 1-1 1/2 pounds
  • 5-6 handfuls Tortilla Chips
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper (to taste)


Prepare Tortilla Chips

  • Crush the tortilla chips in a gallon-sized freezer bag.
  • Mix in cumin, onion powder, and smoked paprika. If desired, add salt and pepper.

Prepare Chicken & Dredging Bowls

  • Split chicken breasts in half. Pound chicken with a heavy skillet or rolling pan until about 1 inch thick. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
  • In a bowl or plate, season flour lightly with salt and pepper.
  • In another bowl or a small baking dish, whisk together the egg with a splash of water.
  • Prepare a rimmed baking sheet by spraying it lightly with your favorite cooking spray.

Dredge Chicken & Bake

  • One piece of chicken at a time dredge the chicken in the following order: coat with flour, dip in egg wash and then coat with tortilla chips. Place the chicken on the baking sheet and repeat this process with the remaining 3 pieces of chicken.
  • Bake the chicken at 375 degrees F until cooked through. This will take about 20-25 minutes. Flip the chicken halfway through.
  • When chicken is cooked, serve on a platter with desired toppings. Optional: Garnish with chopped cilantro.
    Tortilla crusted chicken on the left with topping on the right.
Keyword chicken