Ritzy Cheddar Chicken Breasts Recipe (2024)

By Eric Kim

Ritzy Cheddar Chicken Breasts Recipe (1)

Total Time
30 minutes
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They’re as good as they sound: cheesy chicken cutlets coated with buttery Ritz crackers. Skipping the usual flour-egg-bread crumb dredge, this recipe relies instead on a flavorful base layer of tangy sour cream, which has lactic acid that tenderizes boneless, skinless chicken breasts beautifully. When it comes to breaded white meat, thin cutlets are ideal, which you can buy from the store or achieve by slicing thick breasts in half horizontally (no pounding necessary). They cook more evenly this way, staying tender throughout as they’re quickly baked in a hot oven. Serve with something fresh — a big green salad, perhaps — to balance the wonderful richness of this nostalgic number.

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Yield:4 servings

  • 1tablespoon olive oil, plus more for greasing wire rack
  • ¼cup sour cream
  • 1large egg white
  • 1teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
  • 2large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1½ pounds total)
  • 1sleeve Ritz crackers (about 100 grams)
  • 2ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 cup)
  • ½teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½teaspoon onion powder

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

526 calories; 27 grams fat; 10 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 9 grams monounsaturated fat; 4 grams polyunsaturated fat; 18 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 3 grams sugars; 49 grams protein; 595 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Ritzy Cheddar Chicken Breasts Recipe (2)


Make the recipe with us

  1. Step


    Position rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat oven to 450 degrees. Place an ovenproof wire rack over a sheet pan. Dab a folded-up paper towel with olive oil and rub it over the wire rack to grease it.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, egg white and Dijon mustard until smooth. Season with salt. Lay the chicken flat on a cutting board and carve each breast in half horizontally so you end up with four thin cutlets. Add the chicken to the sour cream mixture, and using your hands, smear the sour cream all over the chicken.

  3. Step


    In a large bowl, crush the Ritz crackers into coarse pieces with your fingers. Some crackers will turn to rubble while others turn to dust. Add the cheese, garlic powder, onion powder and olive oil. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and toss until evenly distributed. Holding one of the chicken cutlets by its thinner end, add to the bowl with the crumbs, and using your hands, pack the crumbs onto the chicken, pressing them in to create a thick coating. Transfer the breaded chicken to the rack in the sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining three cutlets.

  4. Step


    Bake the cutlets until the outsides are crispy and the insides are no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Let the chicken cool slightly so the coating can set, about 5 minutes, before transferring to plates and serving.



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Cooking Notes


This recipe is a “cousin” to a 1960’s family favorite, “RitzCracker Chicken” OUR RECIPE:One whole chicken, cut in eighths and skinnedCrushed Ritz Crackers Melted butter (ouch)Bake in preheated 425• oven and serve. Every once in a while my grown sons still request…


Good recipe. I counted the crackers as I crumbled them into a bowl on my scale. About 32 crackers for 100g. Then I zeroed the scale and switched to ounces to add the cheese. What’s with the mixed measures here? It would be nice if Times recipes used one set of measurements consistently in a recipe, preferably with the other in parentheses since the USA is the only nation that doesn’t use metric.


yes, and since yogurt is a bit thinner than sour cream, you can actually skip the eggwhite - still binds nicely


Hey London, I copied this from the NYT substitution guide, it's very helpful."Tangy, textural ingredients like crema, crème fraîche, mascarpone, Neufchâtel, Quark, queso fresco, sour cream or yogurt of any variety can be used interchangeably."


I'm thinking Cheez-Its might be fun, too.

John A

This worked well in an airfryer at 400 F for 15 minutes, flipping once. (internal temperature of the chicken needs to be 165 F)


I'm thinking of using Cheez-Its instead of Ritz crackers and cheddar.Should I go get my coat?


Just made this. Used pounded thighs. Ritz makes the crust a little sweet. I will add a bit of chili flakes next time. I also cooked this on a cookie sheet on a 450 degree grill. Cooked perfectly


An even easier variation I have made frequently:1/4 cup olive oil mixed /1 tbs chopped garlic in one bowl1/4 cup grated Parmesan mixed / 1/4 cup bread crumbs in second bowlDip chicken into oil & garlic, then cover with crumbs & cheese.Bake @ 425 degrees x 20-25 minutes.


I can’t eat gluten, so I use Rice Chex cereal, crushed. I keep a box in my freezer so it stays fresh. Comes out very crispy, like Panko.


in this recipe the sour cream serves a dual purpose - the lactic acid tenderizing the chicken, while the sour cream itself coats the chicken and gives the breading something to adhere to. you definitely could sub yogurt, but neither queso fresco nor neufchâtel would work as a sub, and quark might be iffy depending on the product. i think most people here know this and would make an educated sub but, hey, it takes all kinds you know? ;)


This is one of those old ideas from a mid-20th-century Ritz Cracker recipe booklet, slightly tweaked. It's funny to see the NY Times audience high-falutin' it up with mascarpone, etc. Anyhoo, cooking it on a rack is an improvement!

Mike Linton

This chicken was AMAZING. It was so juicy and tender. I let it marinate in the sour cream mixture of a couple of hours.


I have made this using seasoned Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix after dipping in sour cream and drizzling with a little butter. Delicious and simple.

Sue in British Columbia.Don't eat out often

Similar. Julia Child from really old Julia Child. Use Swiss Cheese and Panko


Doubled (tripled?) the onion powder and garlic powder (I spilled one, so I had to match with the other). Added crushed red pepper to the sour cream mixture per a comment suggestion and used the air fryer at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, flipping at the 10 minute mark. Served as sandwiches on toasted pretzel buns. Absolute delight.

Pam Pomar

Made this last night. Sprayed the baking rack but everything on the bottom of the chicken stayed wet, didnt brown, and stuck to the rack, didn’t come off with the chicken so made a dishwashing mess. But the taste was very good and the breast meat moist.


Made this in Hawaii and it was a bit of a disaster. The chicken did not crisp, likely due to the humidity and resulted in a bit of a slimy exterior. An air fryer would have helped but even a minute under the broiler did not render a crispy outside. Taste was good but my family said more seasoning would have helped.

Grace Diggs

Great recipe- I used half Ritz crackers and half rosemary crackers, and the rosemary flavor added a more complex flavor to the chicken, with no extra work.


Followed the recipe and also made the salad to go with it and it’s delicious! I don’t normally like chicken breast but this was not dry at all and so tasty.


Although this recipe looked good, I found it too salty with the Ritz crackers. Also, placing the rack 1/3 up from the bottom did not achieve the golden, crispy crust pictured with the recipe. I had to move up close to the top to finish.


This recipe has a lot of potential, but I think it would be useful for the author to amend the recipe to include an ideal thickness for the chicken breasts instead of simply cutting them in half. As others have noted, if you have super thick chicken breasts, 12-15 minutes is not going to be nearly enough time. One of mine is still in the oven after nearly an hour.


The first time I made it I didn't have sour cream so used ranch dressing. The second time I did the sour cream and egg white dijon thing and I have to admit that the ranch dressing was better. In both cases, however.....it was a yummy dish.


We made this again tonight and used Cabot seriously sharp cheddar. It was delish! I also didn’t realize we were out of mustard and only had dill pickle mustard from TJ’s. Surprisingly added a nice zing to the overall flavor!


I used mayo instead of sour cream or yogurt, as I didn’t have either of them. Otherwise followed the recipe exactly! Needed a bit more time in the oven (i am sure this varies depending on breast size) so use a meat thermometer if you have one. The top was wonderfully crunchy and the bottom was, well, a bit soggy - but to be fair I have never seen baked, coated chicken come out super crispy all over. The main point is it tasted great and my finicky toddler really gobbled it up!

sheila goodwin

bottom side of chicken did not crisp


Turned out perfectly! It was just me so I froze the leftovers after cooking and they were just as good. I'd make it again in a minute.


Don't let the oven proof wire rack stop you if you don't have one! I Don't have one either, so instead i used an aluminum foil lined baking tray and put the chicken directly on it. I was worried it would stick so I cut the chicken into strips for tenders in case I ended up having to wrangle them a bit, but it worked! Bottom came out a little toastier than the top, but not burnt, and though they did stick a bit, they came off clean with the gentle nudge from a spatula. Kids gave it 10/10


Wow, this was so good!! I used plain yogurt instead of sour cream, since it was what I had on hand. Had enough coating for 3 chicken breasts, a little over 2 lbs.


I made this last night and it was hit. A few mods though. I used up half a pack of garlic and herb Boursin I had in the fridge. Soften it first in the microwave and stir it into the sour cream. In place of the egg, I used buttermilk to thin the sour cream (that's what they do here in Georgia). I also let the chicken rest in the sour cream/buttermilk for almost an hour in the fridge. I didn't have cheddar, so I used a package of colby jack. Next time, I might try Gruyere.

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Ritzy Cheddar Chicken Breasts Recipe (2024)
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