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Maple Waffle Popcorn Chicken

 Do you know how sometimes your most creative ideas come to you completely out of the blue?

For me, that’s almost always in the shower.

This recipe I bring you today is the result of one of those completely random shower thoughts:

I wonder I can make crispy chicken, but with waffle mix and Eggo waffle cereal to be like chicken and waffles…

Considering I had all the ingredients I needed (because you’ll never catch me empty-handed when it comes to waffles) I figured I’d give it a try.

The result: Maple Waffle Popcorn Chicken.

Maple Waffle Popcorn Chicken Recipe

To be fully transparent, I didn’t really expect these to work. I feared they were going to be way too sweet. I mean, it’s chicken coated with buttermilk waffle mix AND a sugary cereal.

But I am happy to report that these are not too sweet at all. In fact, they hug that fine line between savory and sweet, and it worked out perfectly.

If you love chicken and waffles, you’re going to love this popcorn chicken.


How to make Maple Waffle Popcorn Chicken

If you’ve made my Crispy Chicken Sandwich, this process is going to look incredibly similar.

We’re going to go with the classic method: dip chicken into flour, then an egg mixture, then the crispy coating. But what sets this maple waffle popcorn chicken apart, is that we are using waffle ingredients:

Using these ingredients, we’re transforming the chicken from normal popcorn chicken into a maple waffle popcorn chicken. We’re going to make 3 mixtures:

Mixture 1: Waffle/Pancake Mix with a dash of salt & pepper

Mixture 2: Eggs & syrup

Mixture 3: Crushed Eggo Waffle cereal (any cereal will work great, but we obviously want that mapley flavor!)

All we need to do is prep those mixtures in 3 separate bowls and dice up 2 chicken breasts. In hindsight, I should have diced my chicken up even smaller to be more like popcorn chicken, but this should give you the general idea.

We’re going to take each piece of chicken, coat it in the waffle mix, dip it in the egg & syrup mixture, then coat it in the crushed Eggo cereal!

I crushed up the Eggo cereal with my hands, but you can do it with a food processor or blender as well. Be careful not to blend it up completely into a powder, because the larger crumbs are what will give the chicken a really nice crisp.

Completely coat the chicken and add to your air fryer, leaving space in between them to allow them to crisp on all sides. I ended up doing 2 batches, and I recommend you do the same.

If you over-crowd the air fryer, the chicken will also require a longer cook time.

These will crisp up really nicely after 12 minutes in the air fryer, but you can go up to 15 minutes without any issue.

You can cook them longer if you prefer a crispier chicken, but you’ll want to be careful not to burn the coating.

The amazing thing (one of the amazing things, anyway) about an air fryer is that it holds moisture really well. Even if you let this chicken cook for an extra 3-5 minutes, it won’t dry out!

You can see how some of the larger cereal pieces create that crispy coating, which is exactly what we want.


How to serve Maple Waffle Popcorn Chicken

This popcorn chicken works really well as an appetizer. If you’re having people over for brunch, this is an amazing way to serve a fun spin on chicken & waffles!

I like to add syrup to a bowl and mix some hot sauce into it for a perfect compliment. Plus, you can adjust the amount of hot sauce you use to get the heat level you prefer.

Another great dip would be Hot Honey, which I used in my Hot Honey Ground Beef Recipe.

If you want to enjoy this maple waffle popcorn chicken as a meal, then I recommend serving it directly over waffles!

I had leftover popcorn chicken, so I re-heated it the following day and enjoyed it over some of my famous protein waffles.

I mean, how amazing does that look?

And if you want to get even more creative, take that some idea of chicken and waffles, but turn it into…

Chicken & Waffle Tacos!

Just whip up some protein waffles, or use frozen waffles, and you’ve got yourself an easy and fun breakfast that anyone would love.


And don’t forget: if you make this Maple Waffle Popcorn Chicken, please tag me in your creations over on Instagram! I never get tired of seeing you guys enjoy my recipes.

Maple Waffle Popcorn Chicken Recipe

Maple Waffle Popcorn Chicken

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes

All the flavors you love from chicken & waffles, packed into bite-sized pieces. Perfect as a dippable appetizer or served over waffles for an incredible chicken & waffles dish.


  • 100g Ego Waffle Cereal (or maple cereal of choice)
  • 85g Waffle/Pancake Mix
  • Dash of Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Syrup of Choice
  • 16oz Chicken Breast (2 Chicken Breasts)


  1. Preheat the air fryer at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes while you prep your ingredients (pre-heating the air fryer is the key to crispy chicken as learned in my crispy chicken sandwich recipe).
  2. Prep your coatings in 3 separate bowls. In one bowl, add the waffle/pancake mix with a dash of salt and pepper. In another bowl, whisk together 2 eggs with 1/4 cup of syrup. In a third bowl, crush up your cereal intro crumbs. I just used my hands to crush up the cereal, but you can use a food processor or blender to make it easier.
  3. Take your 2 chicken breasts and pat them dry with a paper towel, then dice them up into small pieces.
  4. Spray your air fryer with nonstick spray, or line with air fryer parchment paper sheets. Take your cut up chicken and dip them into the mixtures: first the waffle mix, then the egg, then the cereal, making sure to fully coat each piece.
  5. Continue until the air fryer is full, but there is space between each piece of chicken. You don't want to overcrowd the air fryer or else they will not crisp up as well. Plan on making 2 batches.
  6. Air fry at 375 degrees for 12 minutes, flipping halfway through. If you over-crowded your air fryer, or you kept the chicken in larger pieces, you may need a few extra minutes (15 minutes would be recommended, in that case)
  7. Repeat for your second batch. Once the second batch is done, you can throw them all back into the air fryer for a couple minutes if they need to be re-heated.
  8. Mix some syrup and hot sauce for the perfect dip for your maple waffle popcorn chicken, or serve over waffles!


  • I only used about 50g of the waffle mix for my coating, but I much prefer using more than needed to make it easier to coat. I also only used about half the egg mixture, so both of those adjustments are reflected in the nutrition.
  • I was worried these would be very sweet, but they are surprisingly savory! The cereal coating loses sweetness when cooked, so it's not overly sweet by any means.
  • If you don't have waffle/pancake mix, you can use plain ol' flour for these too. I wanted that extra buttermilk flavor, but you can leave it out if you absolutely need to.
  • Along those lines, you can definitely use a high-protein waffle mix if you want to up the protein a little bit. It won't add a ton of protein, but probably about 3g of protein or so per serving.
  • These can be stored as leftovers in the fridge and then reheated in the air fryer. I can tell you that they are still great the following day!

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Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Servings Serving Size 1/4 of Recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 275Total Fat 3.5gCarbohydrates 31gProtein 29g

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About Matt Rosenman

With over 15 years of experience in health and fitness, Matt Rosenman is the expert voice behind Matt’s philosophy is simple: no foods are off-limits, and a healthy lifestyle shouldn't be complicated or restrictive. As a former certified personal trainer with a bachelor’s degree in Health Behavioral Sciences, Matt brings well-rounded expertise to his blog. From revamping classic recipes with a nutritious twist to breaking down fast food menus, his goal is make healthy living less confusing for everyone. Featured in major publications and with a strong following on social media, Matt is committed to making “healthy” uncomplicated—no matter where you are in your health journey. Join Matt on his mission to simplify health without sacrificing flavor. Learn More

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