Healthier Chicken and Waffles

chicken and waffles

I was first introduced to chicken and waffles when I lived in Memphis years ago and I absolutely loved it.  If you’re not familiar with this dish it may sound a little strange, but hear me out.

It’s a piece of fried chicken (typically spicy) placed on top of a waffle and the whole thing gets drizzled in maple syrup.  When the crunchy, spicy, saltiness of the chicken, mixes with the creaminess of the waffle, and the sweetness of the maple syrup, it tastes amazing!

The only problem is, a piece of fried chicken on top of a waffle covered in syrup isn’t exactly healthy or diet friendly.  So, when I decided to make chicken and waffles at home, I made a healthier version of the original.


I made spicy oven fried chicken tenders, which have the taste of fried chicken without the guilt.  And, I made buttermilk waffles that call for whole wheat flour and healthier fats.

This healthier version of chicken and waffles provides all the crunchy, salty, spicy, creamy, and sweet flavors/textures of the original version, but it is much lower in fat and calories.

Nutrition information is for one 4 by 5 inch buttermilk waffle, 1 spicy oven fried chicken tender, and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup.

Calories: 314 Fat(g): 11.1 Saturated Fat(g): 1.2Protein(g): 17.8 Carbohydrate(g): 35.5 Fiber(g): 1

Buttermilk Waffles

          Serves        6
          Prep time        5 minutes
          Cook time        10 minutes
          Total time        15 minutes
          Meal type                                                            Breakfast        


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (all purpose flour could be substituted for whole wheat flour)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt


                1              In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk.  Add the oil and vanilla and whisk to combine.
                2              In a large bowl, stir together the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Stir just until all the flour moistened.  Batter may be lumpy.
                3              Once the batter is prepared, let it rest at room temperature while a waffle iron preheats.  Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray.  Add the batter to the waffle iron and cook according to the manufacturers directions (usually around 3 minutes).  Serve warm.


Nutrition information is for one 4 by 5 inch waffle.

Calories: 169 Fat(g): 10.4 Saturated Fat(g): 1.1 Protein(g): 3.8 Carbohydrate(g): 15 Fiber(g): 1

Serving size is 2 waffles.



Spicy Oven Fried Chicken Tenders

          Serves        6
          Prep time        2 hours, 10 minutes
          Cook time        15 minutes
          Total time        2 hours, 25 minutes
          Meal type                                                                                  Lunch, Main Dish        


  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 1/2lb chicken tenders (about 12 tenders)
  • 1 1/2 cup Italian seasoned Panko
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayanne pepper
  • cooking spray


                1              In a large flat-bottom dish, whisk together buttermilk and hot sauce.  Add the chicken and turn in the buttermilk to coat.  Let the chicken marinate in a refrigerator for 2 to 6 hours. 
                2              Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a shallow dish, combine panko, salt, and cayenne pepper.
                3              One at a time, lift the chicken tenders out of the buttermilk, letting the excess drip off.  Then, place them in the panko mixture. Turn and coat them well with panko.
                4              Place the panko coated tenders on a cookie sheet.  Spray the tops of the tenders with cooking spray.  Bake until the crust is golden brown and the chicken is completely cooked through (around 15 minutes).


Nutrition information is for one prepared chicken tender.

Calories: 92 Fat(g): 0.7 Saturated Fat(g): 0.1 Protein(g): 14 Carbohydrate(g): 7.2 Fiber(g): 0

Serving size is 2 chicken tenders.

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