Buttermilk Chicken Recipe
This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
This delicious Buttermilk Chicken Recipe is an easy way to grill or bake chicken with fantastic results, and it’s so perfect for spring and summer cookouts and celebrations.
Our typical go-to meal for any night of the week is grilled or baked chicken. We often serve it with a side of something green, like roasted broccoli or one of our favorite go-to potato dishes, quick baked potatoes. To avoid boredom with the same ole, same ole, we mix things up, and experiment with different marinades and techniques for the chicken. This grilled (or baked) Buttermilk Chicken is one of our tried and true favorites that makes flavorful, tender chicken every single time. Yay for tried and true!
You can easily prepare this chicken ahead of time, by at least 30 minutes or up to a whole day. Allow the recipe to marinate in the fridge until ready to cook. The longer it can mingle in the buttermilk marinade the better. (See how to make an easy buttermilk substitute below.)
When I have planned ahead of time (which is not often) I like to buy bone-in chicken pieces in bulk and divide them for more than one meal. As with most meat, chicken pieces are usually less expensive when bought in bulk, so hit your favorite butcher counter, then divide and conquer!
A couple of weeks ago, I prepped half of a batch of chicken legs with another favorite chicken recipe, Honey Jalapeño Chicken to grill one evening. For the remaining half, I used this buttermilk chicken recipe and marinated them for dinner the next night. Of course that means two nights in a row for grilled chicken, but hey, no one is complaining over here about grilled chicken. We’re a grilled chicken-loving family.
Ingredients needed for Buttermilk Chicken
- buttermilk (or make your own, see above)
- garlic powder
- dried Italian Seasonings
- ground red pepper
- bone-in chicken pieces
Quick Tip: How to Make Buttermilk in a Pinch
Out of buttermilk? Easily make a quick substitute by stirring 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar into 1 cup of milk and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. I’ve used this buttermilk alternative for marinades like this one as well as in baking recipes. While we don’t always have buttermilk on hand, we do usually have vinegar and a lemon. Try it sometime.
How to Make Buttermilk Chicken (see full printable recipe below)
- Begin by mixing together in a small bowl or large measuring cup the buttermilk, garlic powder, Italian seasonings, red pepper, and some salt.
- Next pour the buttermilk mixture into a large zip-top plastic bag or a large baking dish and add the chicken pieces. Fully coat the chicken with the buttermilk mixture. Seal/cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. Turn the chicken occasionally in the marinade. When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes ahead of time.
- To grill, heat the grill to medium-low. Once heated place the marinated chicken on grill, cover and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes. (Discard the unused marinade.)
- To bake, preheat the oven to 450-degrees F. Place the marinated chicken in a single layer in an oven safe skillet or baking pan. Bake until done, about 30 minutes. Be sure to check for doneness.
See how easy this Buttermilk Chicken is to grill or bake in an oven in about 30 minutes? That’s what I call easy and flexible. Serve this alongside a tossed salad, quick Garlic Lemon Green Beans, and Twice Baked Potatoes (or Quick Baked Potatoes) for a weeknight win!
More delicious grilled chicken recipes:
- Honey Jalapeno Grilled Chicken Recipe
- Southwestern Grilled Chicken with Lime Butter
- BBQ Chicken Recipe
- Mint Lime Grilled Chicken Breasts Recipe
- Sweet and Spicy Grilled Chicken Wings Recipe
Buttermilk Chicken Recipe
A delicious recipe for grilled or baked chicken that is full of flavor and so easy to make any day of the week.
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian Seasonings
- 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk, garlic powder, Italian seasonings, red pepper, and 2 teaspoons salt.
- Pour buttermilk mixture into large ziptop plastic bag or large baking dish; add chicken and toss to coat. Seal/cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight, turning chicken occasionally. Remove chicken from refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling.
- Heat grill to medium-low*. Place marinated chicken (discard the marinade) on grill, cover and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes.
*To bake, preheat oven to 450-degrees F. Place marinated chicken in a single layer in an oven safe skillet or baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until done.
Originally published June 3, 2016.
I love this recipe! This chicken looks so delicious!!!
This sounds delicious and, even better, easy!!
I’ve tried it . This chicken was very delicious. seriously , I love it .
sounds like a very succulent chicken recipe, thank you xoxo
By ground red pepper do you mean Cayenne Pepper? I’m going to make this tonight, thanks!
Yes, cayenne pepper.
Looks good I’m going to give this a try real soon.
Does this recipe work as well with boneless chicken?
Yes! Tried it tonight for the first time with skin off bone in thighs and boneless skinless breasts, they were AMAZING especially the breast meat. This will be my new go to chicken marinade. NOTE: I marinaded the chicken overnight, so about 18 hours. I may go even longer next time
I make a very similar recipe [Nigella Lawson} and add hot sauce and crushed garlic. Bake in cast iron pan. Delicious.
Would this marinade work for a pork tenderloin? I tried the chicken and it was excellent!!!
Hmmm … I’ve never tried buttermilk with pork, so I’m not sure.
Do you leave the skin on?
We leave the skin on when cooking bone-in chicken. This marinade also works well with boneless skinless chicken pieces.
I want to make this for a friend recently diagnosed with breast cancer and recovering from a double mastectomy, and she has 3 kids at home… If I make this the night before, do you think it will reheat okay? I wanted something kid friendly (thinking this and a twice baked potato casserole?), but since I don’t have kids I’m clueless…. Chicken and potatoes, kids will eat that, right? any other suggestions?
I would worry about it drying out, so I would try reheating it covered to avoid it drying it. Ideally, I would marinate it the night before and bake just before taking. OR prepare it in a crockpot.
I made this chicken 2 ways, drum sticks in the oven on a cast iron skillet and chicken strips in a frying pan on the stove, both amazing!!
Yummmm. Phenomenal marinade. I used this on wings and put them in my air dyer. So good I didn’t even bother with a sauce.
After cooking, would this freeze well?
I would think 450 for 30 minutes would burn the bottom side to a crisp do these instructions turn out fine?
I rarely leave reviews for recipes but I want to tell you that this was amazing. I did not use bone in chicken I used boneless thighs and chicken breast marinated it overnight and then I grilled it and it was perfect! My go to marinade recipe for chicken now.
Your drumsticks look as though they are skinless. Since I really don’t cook chicken with skin on, would I then cover or lower temperature?
I used skin on drumsticks. If you use skinless, personally I wouldn’t cover them, but you could lightly cover if worried about burning.
I’m marinating the chicken breast at the moment and can’t wait to fire up the grill tonight!!! Looks delicious an I’ll post again after dinner.
I marinated bone in chicken thighs for about 36 hours,(I sort of forgot them )put them into a heated, greased pan skin down.after a few minutes I turned them over and put them into the oven., at 400, uncovered., till done.
They were the best I’ve had,the meat was so nice and moist
Do you rinse the buttermilk off or leave it on.
I do not rinse it off.