Sour Cream and Onion Chicken Recipe

Sour Cream and Onion Chicken on a plate with lemon wedges

The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 16 mins
Marinate: 60 mins
Total: 86 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 cutlets
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
727 Calories
35g Fat
70g Carbs
39g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 727
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 7g 33%
Cholesterol 164mg 55%
Sodium 1558mg 68%
Total Carbohydrate 70g 25%
Dietary Fiber 9g 31%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 39g
Vitamin C 109mg 546%
Calcium 214mg 16%
Iron 5mg 29%
Potassium 740mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Turn boring weeknight chicken into something easy and delicious. This recipe is like the better and more dinner-appropriate version of sour cream and onion potato chips. The chicken is juicy and mouthwatering with a flavorful crispy crust. The acid from the sour cream marinade helps keep the thin cutlet moist as it fries and ready for devouring. No need to deep fry—the chicken is shallow fried in a skillet with a small amount of oil for easier clean-up.

Serve this dish sliced over a big salad with roasted potatoes and vegetables, or even tossed in creamy pasta or used as the filling for a sandwich. It's also perfect for a midnight snack.

“The sour cream mixture really flavors the chicken nicely. If your chicken cutlets are really thick, I would recommend frying them on both sides until desired golden brown color, per the recipe, and finish cooking them in the oven at 350F. This way they don’t burn or get too dark.” —Carrie Parente

Sour Cream and Onion Chicken Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 4 chicken thin cutlets, patted dry with a paper towel

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 lemon, zested and quartered

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced chives, more for garnish

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill

  • 2 tablespoons onion powder, divided

  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs

  • Canola oil, for frying

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Sour Cream and Onion Chicken ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  2. Season the chicken cutlets generously with salt and pepper.

    Seasoned chicken on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  3. In a medium bowl, combine the lemon zest, sour cream, chives, dill, and 1 tablespoon of the onion powder.

    Lemon zest, sour cream, chives, dill, and onion powder in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  4. Add the chicken and coat well.

    Chicken coated in the sour cream mixture, in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  5. Cover and refrigerate, 1 hour or up to overnight.

    Chicken with sour cream in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  6. When ready to fry the chicken, combine the panko and remaining 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

    Breadcrumbs in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  7. Working with one chicken cutlet at a time, press the chicken into the panko mixture. Coat evenly on both sides and transfer to a sheet pan or platter.

    Breaded chicken on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  8. In a large heavy-bottomed skillet, heat about 1/4-inch canola oil over medium heat until the temperature reaches about 375 F.

    Cast iron skillet with oil

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  9. Working in batches, fry the chicken until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side, lowering the heat as necessary if the chicken is becoming brown too quickly.

    Breaded chicken frying in a cast iron pan

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  10. Remove and discard excess panko from the skillet with a slotted spoon between batches.

    Oil in a cast iron pan, breadcrumbs removed from the oil

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  11. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle lightly with salt.

    Sour Cream and Onion Chicken on a paper towel lined plate

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  12. Garnish the cutlets with chives and a squeeze of lemon. Serve immediately.

    Sour Cream and Onion Chicken served with lemon wedges on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

Whole Chicken Variation

Another fun idea is to take this same marinade and use it on a whole chicken. Double the ingredients for the marinade and put it in a gallon bag. Then pat dry a whole chicken, place it in the bag, and seal. Refrigerate overnight, turning every few hours to be sure the whole chicken is coated in the marinade. When you're ready to roast the chicken, just follow these instructions for roasting. Enjoy!

How to Store

For a tasty make-ahead meal, fry up a large batch of cutlets and let them cool completely. Wrap each cutlet separately, then freeze in freezer bags. Remove desired number of cutlets from the freezer, and let thaw refrigerated. Reheat in a 350 F oven until warmed through.