Chicken & Waffles for Beginners

My college days are way behind me — and when I was in college the only “cooking” I did was making popcorn in a microwave oven. I was curious about the kinds of recipes I would find in the 2nd edition of The Everything College Cookbook: 300 Easy and Budget-Friendly Recipes for Beginner Cooks, by Emma Lunsford. 

What I found was a cookbook filled with simple and healthy recipes that would appeal to anyone. Recipes are divided into chapters that include breakfast, lunch, snacks, leftovers, bowl meals, party food, vegan and vegetarian and desserts, plus chapters for both date-night recipes and “when the parents visit.” The Special Devices chapter includes Instant Pot turkey breast, Air Fryer coconut shrimp, and slow cooker honey garlic chicken.

My freezer usually is well stocked with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. While they’re easy to prepare, this cook sometimes lacks the inspiration to make them into a meal my family is excited to eat. Then I came across Lunsford’s chicken and waffles recipe, in her “when the parents visit” chapter. I had never prepared chicken and waffles before, having only eaten them once, in a restaurant. (At the time, I was unimpressed by the fried chicken tenders served over a waffle.) This recipe takes a healthy spin on the Southern dish, using a seasoned coating of crushed cornflakes on the baked chicken. The entire recipe is dairy free, if you’re trying to avoid dairy products. The waffles contain whole-wheat flour, unsweetened almond milk and applesauce, instead of oil.

While the recipe serves four, I found I had enough waffle batter for eight waffles using a standard (non-Belgian) waffle maker.


  • 2 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 large eggs, divided
  • 2 cups crushed cornflakes
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup applesauce


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Add 1/2 cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to a small bowl. Add 1 egg to a separate small bowl and beat. Add crushed cornflakes to a third small bowl.
  3. Coat each chicken breast in flour mixture, then egg, and then cornflakes, and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until fully cooked, and remove from oven. Using a meat thermometer, check chicken at its thickest portion to make sure the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer to large plate and keep warm.
  4. Preheat waffle maker and spray with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine remaining 2 cups flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. In a small bowl, combine milk, vanilla, honey, applesauce, and remaining 3 eggs.
  5. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture and mix well. Cook batter according to waffle maker instructions.

The Everything College Cookbook: 300 Easy and Budget-Friendly Recipes for Beginner Cooks is available for request here or by calling Whitehall Public Library at 412-882-6622.

Chicken & Waffles
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