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Lightened-Up Chicken & Waffles

Craving soul food but prefer to not eat a day’s worth of calories in one meal? Then this is the perfect recipe for you—healthier but still finger-licking good!


MAKES 4 thighs & 2 waffles

SERVING SIZE 1 thigh & 1⁄4 waffle

PREP TIME 90 minutes

COOK TIME 40 minutes



For the chicken:

4 chicken thighs, skin on

1 cup low-fat buttermilk

1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. kosher salt

1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1⁄2 tsp. mustard powder

1⁄2 tsp. garlic powder

1⁄4 cup honey (for serving)

For the waffles:

1⁄2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt

1 TB. granulated sugar

2 TB. canola oil

1 cup low-fat buttermilk

1 large egg, beaten


1. Place the chicken thighs and buttermilk in a sealable plastic bag, then place the bag in the fridge to marinate for 1 hour or for up to 24 hours.

2. Set the air fryer to 360°F.

3. In a shallow dish, combine the all-purpose flour, kosher salt, black pepper, mustard powder, and garlic powder.

4. Remove the thighs from the buttermilk and pat dry with a paper towel. Dredge in the flour mixture, then the buttermilk, and finally the flour mixture again. Shake off any excess.

5. Spray the fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray, then place 2 thighs in the basket. Spray with a light coating of nonstick cooking spray, then cook for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. Repeat this process with the remaining thighs.

6. While the thighs cook, make the waffles in a large bowl by combining the whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, kosher salt, granulated sugar, canola oil, low-fat buttermilk, and egg. (This makes 2 waffles. Freeze the leftover waffle for up to 3 months.) Use a waffle iron to cook each waffle until golden brown. Cut one waffle into 4 pieces.

7. Remove the thighs from the fryer and allow to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

8. Place a chicken thigh on each warm waffle piece, then drizzle 1 tablespoon of honey on top before serving.


Total fat 26g

Saturated fat 6g

Cholesterol 160mg

Sodium 528mg

Carbohydrates 38g

Dietary fiber 1g

Sugars 21g

Protein 26g