What is Shake 'N Bake and How To Make Your Own At Home

If you were a kid in the last half of the 20th century, you probably remember seeing TV commercials for Shake 'N Bake. There's a good chance, like the ad says, that you helped make family dinner by vigorously shaking pork chops or chicken pieces around in the Shake 'N Bake bag (technically, it was helping). If you've never stopped to think about what Shake 'N Bake is, we've got a look at this crunchy coating and a homemade version that will help you get dinner on the table.

It was first rolled off the General Foods production line in 1965. Home cooks were looking for ways to make family favorites in a healthy way, and so lots of deep fried foods got an oven-baked makeover. One way to give meat that deep-fried crispy texture is to coat the meat in some kind of breading, but that process gets messy. Home cooks looking for a fast, easy solution loved the coating mix they found in the box of Shake 'N Bake.

It helped that one of the most famous housekeepers in the world used Shake 'N Bake. Ann B. Davis, Alice from The Brady Bunch, appeared in ads for the product. Other ads used popular child actors helping in the kitchen by shaking the bag.

Shake 'N Bake is still around, made and sold by Kraft Heinz. You can find Kraft Shake 'N Bake Original Chicken Seasoned Coating Mix and Shake 'N Bake Original Pork Seasoned Coating Mix, but the company also makes Shake 'n Bake Extra Crispy Seasoned Coating Mix, Shake 'n Bake BBQ Glaze Seasoned Coating Mix, Seasoned Panko, Parmesan Crusted, Crispy Buffalo and Hot & Spicy versions of the crispy coating. It works for bone-in or boneless chicken and for pork chops.

Shake n' Bake provides more nutritional value that one may think. It's made with Enriched Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour, Salt, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oils, Canola Oil, and Paprika.  It also has less than 2% of celery seed, dried garlic, yeast, dried onions, natural flavor and high fructose corn syrup.

If you're looking for something that's maybe a little lighter in sodium, maltodextrin and high fructose corn syrup, copycat shake and bake is easy to make.

You can create your own blend of spices and crumbs that are just as good and easy to use. Here are a few recipes for Shake 'N Bake you can make at home and a few ways to use your coating mix.

Homemade Shake 'N Bake

This recipe makes several boxes worth of the coating mix, and it keeps for two months in an airtight container or longer in the freezer. The ingredients are ones you most likely already have in your cabinet: salt, sugar, onion flakes, paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, bread crumbs, cayenne pepper, and dry oregano, parsley and basil. Mix it all with a little bit of vegetable oil. Use a Ziploc bag to shake the meat in until coated.

Get the recipe here.

Homemade "Butcher Bake"

This version uses panko bread crumbs for a lighter crunch and is perfect for pork chops. It's a dry mix, though, so you will need something to dip the chops in first in order for the coating to stick.

Get the recipe here.

Crispy Chicken Sandwich

You don't have to go out for a chicken sandwich. Use a crispy coating mix to give boneless skinless chicken breasts a crispy crust for a perfect chicken sandwich at home.

Get the recipe here.

Shake and Bake Pork Chops

Here's a DIY coating mix recipe and one way to use it for baked pork chops. You need five minutes of prep time and then 25 minutes while the chops cook on a baking sheet in the oven. Dinner couldn't be easier.

Get the recipe here.

Copycat Shake and Bake Chicken Nuggets

Easy chicken nuggets that kids and adults alike will love? Yes, please. You can do DIY Shake 'N Bake chicken strips, too. And because these are baked and not fried, they're healthy as well as tasty.

Get the recipe here.


This post was originally published on February 26, 2020