If you were to ask me what meals I remember eating as a child, the first things that come to mind are TV Dinners, Hamburger Helper, Prego Sauce, and Shake ‘N Bake. Oh and whipped cream icing cake, but that’s another story entirely. For now, I’m offering up my Homemade Shake and Bake.
Homemade Shake and Bake
So, why do I readily remember those foods over the meals my parents made from scratch?
Branding most likely, but during my teens, boxed meals allowed me to assemble food with little to no supervision. As an inexperienced cook, this made me feel like I was really making kitchen magic…even if I wasn’t cooking from scratch.
As an adult however, ‘eating for health’ means avoiding added sugars, salt, fat, flavorings, and other ingredients…you know, the stuff we tend to associate with instant foods.
And I’m still addicted to crrrrrispy things!
So, I’ve dialed in a Homemade Shake and Bake recipe in homage to my childhood memories and quest for healthy versions of crunchy stuff.
And it’s really not so painful to not open a box of pre-mix and instead throw a handful of ingredients together. In fact, once you have your wet and dry ingredients assembled, it’s a two-step process really.
- Dunk your item into the egg mixture
- Smoosh your item into the bread crumb mixture
That’s it! Of course you must bake it (see recipe below).
Here at The Kitchen Girl HQ, we’ve tested this mix on pork, chicken, and tofu. We also compared methods of baking and frying. Here’s what we found:
- Homemade shake and bake is way better than the store-bought stuff. (duh)
- Pork, chicken, or tofu…they all rock!
- If you want to go hands-free with less oil, baking is the way to go.
- If you want speedier results and you don’t mind some splatter, you can skillet-fry.
Here are some ideas of how we use our shake and baked goods:
- Shake and bake tofu sandwich with micro greens, sundried tomatoes, and Arrowwood Garlic Aioli
- Chopped shake and baked tofu on kale and cabbage salad with cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and poppy seed dressing
AND FOR MEAT-EATERS…
- Shake and bake boneless pork sandwich with arugula, caramelized red onions and lemon aioli
- Shake and bake boneless pork cutlet with jalapeno peach jam, tossed green salad, and roasted potatoes
I’ve included instructions for both baking and skillet-frying methods in the recipe below, but please be aware that not all burners, ovens, and proteins are alike…so, you may need to adjust your cooking times and temperatures.
I have found that chicken, pork, and tofu pieces tend to require about the same amount of baking time as long as they are no more than 1/4 inch thick…and most definitely boneless. If you’re ever unsure, the meat thermometer is your best friend when testing for doneness.
Cheers to healthy knockoffs, and always to your health!
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