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Better than Shake ‘n Bake! Easy, inexpensive & tastes better too!

Better than Shake ‘n Bake! Easy, inexpensive & tastes better too! Common ingredients come together in this copycat Shake ‘n Bake recipe that’s even better than the original.

Homemade Shake 'n Bake close up photo of cooked chicken

Better than Shake ‘n Bake! Easy, inexpensive & tastes better too!

PLEASE NOTE! Several comments have asked about the amount of salt at 1 1/2 Tbsp. Remember that this recipe makes sufficient coating for SEVERAL meals. It is equivalent to 6 or more envelope packets of a commercially available coating, so the amount of salt is pretty moderate, if not low by comparison, and of course with no artificial preservatives added.

I have to be honest and say up front that I have not had Shake ‘n Bake Chicken in many, many years. Although it was one of my absolute favourites as a kid, I don’t know that I have even purchased it while living in this house for the past 22 years.

When I was a kid, I would have been like that little fella in the 1970’s commercial, running home for his favourite dinner on Shake ‘n Bake night. Remember him? “Once, we didn’t have it for two whole weeks!!”

Better than Shake 'n Bake ready for the oven

Better than Shake ‘n Bake ready for the oven

A recent reminder of Shake and Bake

A couple of months ago I was at a friend’s house after he had just come home from a massive Costco run and there was an enormous box of Shake ‘n Bake on his countertop.

Apparently his kids loved it and both parents in the household being teachers, this convenience product surely did make sense when coming home and having to have dinner ready quickly. Seeing it again made me a little nostalgic.

How to make dried bread crumbs for everything from meatloaf to our fantastic homemade Shake and Bake recipe!

Dried Bread Crumbs

My cheapskate inspiration for Homemade Shake ‘n Bake.

When I was in a supermarket a few weeks later I noticed the packages and checked the price. It was $2.79 for a package of two small envelopes. Since this was only about 1 cup of dried breadcrumbs and some seasoning, I thought, “Wow, that’s quite a markup!”

Since I was planning some recipes for my blog that included Homemade Dried Bread Crumbs, I made a mental note to try a homemade version myself. 

Looking at the package ingredients, the seasoning did not have individual ingredients listed but I did note that corn meal and corn starch were on the list. This made perfect sense because the cornmeal would add extra crispiness.

The instructions said to wet only with water, so the corn starch made perfect sense too because it undoubtedly helps the coating stick to the chicken when coming into contact with the wet exterior of the chicken pieces.

Homemade Shake 'n Bake Chicken on a white platter with Caesar Salad in the background

Homemade Shake ‘n Bake. Getting the flavour right.

I kept a blend of common spice rack ingredients in mind for this recipe. I experimented with a couple of batches and finally got the seasoning level that think works best.

Judging by the flavour, there is considerably more seasoning used in this version than the commercial version. Our family absolutely loved it; more flavour is definitely better!

Better than Shake 'n Bake Facebook Collage with title text added

The look, texture and crispiness are as close to the original as it is probably likely to get. Like the commercial brand, it also kept the chicken pieces moist and juicy inside.

Considering that y0u can make the bread crumbs from 2 or three day old bread ends that you may already have on hand, I’d say the cost is easily at least 75% less than buying it in the store and a single batch is enough for 5 or 6 meals. On value alone, this idea can’t be beat.

JUNE 2018 UPDATE

Check out our latest version of this recipe Copycat Barbecue Shake & Bake.

Copycat Barbecue Shake and Bake image collage for Pinterest

Copycat Barbecue Shake and Bake

I’ll be trying a couple of other versions soon, including one that uses our Homemade Italian Seasoning in the mix! 

45 Minute Italian Roast Chicken image with title text for Pinterest

45 Minute Italian Roast Chicken

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Homemade Shake 'n Bake close up photo of cooked chicken
Yield: 56 Servings of 1 TBSP (1 chicken piece) Makes enough to coat chicken for several meals.

Better than Shake 'n Bake!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Better than Shake 'n Bake! Easy, inexpensive & tastes better too! Common ingredients come together in this copycat Shake 'n Bake recipe that's even better than the original.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups dried bread crumbs, , ground very fine
  • 3 tbsp cornmeal
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp granulated onion, (powder can work too)
  • 1 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp finely ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fine salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground dry thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground dry oregano

Instructions

  1. Mix together all of the ingredients very well. I use a food processor or mixer to make sure everything is very well blended.
  2. Store in a cool place in an airtight container like a 1 quart/litre mason Jar.

To prepare the chicken

  1. I use one whole chicken, cut in pieces and well trimmed but about 3 lbs of any kind of chicken pieces you like will do. You can, of course make any amount you need.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Simple wet chicken pieces with water, drain well and drop them, one at a time into a plastic bag containing some of the homemade shake 'n bake. I usually start with a half cup of the coating in the bag, which is equivalent to what is in an envelope if you bought it at the supermarket. You can always add a little extra if you need it at the end, but I find this is the best way to maximize the use you get out of a batch.
  4. Shake the bag and press the coating onto the individual chicken pieces. Place the coated pieces on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Don't crowd the pieces, they will crisp much better if there is space between them.


Baking the chicken

  1. At this point you can drizzle a little canola oil or peanut oil over the coated pieces to maximize browning but this step s completely optional. I have an oil spritzer which is ideal for this purpose because you can spritz about 9 or 10 pieces of chicken with only about a tablespoon of oil. This is a method I often use for Oven Fried Chicken too.
  2. Bake for about 45-55 minutes depending upon the size of the chicken pieces being used. Boneless skinless chicken breasts can be ready in as little as 25 minutes depending on size. I use my meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature is 175-180 degrees F to ensure they are fully cooked.
  3. Let the chicken pieces rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

PLEASE NOTE! Several comments have asked about the amount of salt at 1 1/2 Tbsp. Remember that this recipe makes sufficient coating for SEVERAL meals. It is equivalent to 6 or more envelope packets of a commercially available coating, so the amount of salt is pretty moderate, if not low by comparison and of course with no artificial preservatives added.

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

Nutrition Information

Yield

56

Serving Size

1 g

Amount Per Serving Calories 27Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 232mgCarbohydrates 5gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 1g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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Francine

Tuesday 16th of March 2021

I've made this recipe once and about to make it a second time. It is really good. I've used it for chicken and pork chops and found that it seals in the juices perfectly; the meat does not dry out. Both my husband and I love the flavour. It is definitely not bland. I think that you can add anything you would like to it and it would still be great. I use 1/3 cup of the mixture for coating 2 large chicken breast or 3 pork loin chops. I will be trying the mixture (1/3 cup) with a half tsp of cayenne pepper,chipotle pepper or curry powder to spice it up. We do like spicy food!

James R Meadours

Tuesday 16th of February 2021

Could shake bake wings also too.

Max Harris

Sunday 14th of February 2021

Barry I’m definitely a big fan of your recipes especially the traditional ones , with your twist on them . Living away from home all these years hasn’t diminished my love of the food or culture, recently I’ve take a desire to make brawn like my mother used to . It was of course made from dad’s two pigs he raised ever year , the heads in particular. I remember it being like a potted meat but a little coarser ( not as coarse as store bought head cheese ) but rather mashed up . The flavour I can still smell but can’t get the spices quite right. Was wondering if you might have or know of someone who has the recipe. Like I’m talking about back in the 50 / 60’s when most households only had a small selection of spices ( the most common of the day and availability in the outports Any help would be appreciated Maxwell Harris formally from Buchans / Port Blandford Cheers

Rhonda

Friday 8th of January 2021

This was awesome. I don’t know if I will ever use shake n bake again. The last 10 mins I brushed some olive oil on my chicken. It was crispy on the outside and juicy inside. I was impressed....Thank you Barry.

Freda Baillieul

Friday 8th of January 2021

How long is this good for?

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