Our weekend menu generally leans toward the fun, snacking, treat-like variety especially now that we’ve moved from the sandwich generation back to being midlife empty nesters. Hubby and I are chicken fanatics and eat chicken at least 4 nights a week; accordingly the Kraft First Taste opportunity to test the new Fresh Take Cheese and Breadcrumb mixes was perfect!

Kraft Foods new Fresh Take cheese and breadcrumb mixes are a flavorful combination of seasoned breadcrumbs and cheese used to coat chicken, pork or fish. The Fresh Take mixes are available in six varieties: Southwest Three Cheese, Italian Parmesan, Roasted Garlic and Rosemary, Cheddar Jack and Bacon, Chili Lime and Panko, and Savory Four Cheese. As a member of Kraft First Taste, I received a coupon for one free package of the new coat mix. Of course, I purchased an additional package so as to test more than one recipe and flavor. I chose the Southwest Three Cheese and the Cheddar Jack and Bacon varieties.  

Baked Southwestern Chicken Tenders

Our Friday night chicken special was Southwestern Chicken Tenders with Spicy Bleu Cheese Dipping Sauce.

Breadcrumb and Cheese Coated Chicken Tenders

The tenders didn’t work out so well even though I did follow the package directions. Did I miss something?? Evaluating the pros and cons with hubby, we agreed the flavor was quite good. However, I found the crunch hubby so enjoys could only be achieved by overcooking (as you can see). The tenders shrunk big time, were dry, and really needed that spicy dipping sauce. Hubby didn’t complain as usual and said with the spicy homemade dipping sauce he still enjoyed them. All was not lost. As a longstanding Kraft Foods user and a Philadelphia Brand enthusiast, I was compelled to give the coating mix another attempt. In all reality, I was determined to “get it right”!!!

Baked Chicken Tenders


 Baked Cedar Jack and Bacon Chicken Cutlets

The Cedar Jack and Bacon Coating Mix saved me from Monday Dinner Madness. What is Monday dinner madness you ask? No work problems or SOS phone calls all afternoon. The clock struck five and boom, everyone has issues. My cell phone was on overload. “We need more materials on site”. Then the other crew leader calls, “we need the electrician to reroute the chandelier wires.” He calls back a few seconds later saying “Sorry, I forgot to tell you they changed the framing in the kitchen on 15thagain, but only this time after we sprayed the texture!” OMG it’s now 6:00, dinner not started and we are both starving!

Here we go… Three large boneless chicken breast halves were filleted, then breaded according to the package directions. Pop those in a 350˚ oven set the timer for 30 minutes. Email the super requesting the electrician; fax the supplier a material list, and text the punch out man about the kitchen repairs. Whew that’s done.

Now back to the kitchen to assemble a green salad and heat up the leftover buttery dilled veggies. Take the chicken cutlets out and hope for the best. Kraft has done it again, just look at those cutlets, crispy on the outside while tender and juicy on the inside. In addition, the bacon cheddar jack flavor was outstanding. Served with a side of ranch or bleu cheese dressing for dipping, heaven I tell you!

Breaded Baked Chicken Breast


Tips for using Kraft Breadcrumb and Cheese coating mixes:

  1. Larger potions work better than small pieces; chicken breast rather than nuggets or tenders.
  2. Press meat/chicken/fish firmly into the mix twice on each side for a more even coverage.
  3. Sprinkling the remaining mix evenly but more toward the center and avoid the extreme edges. During the baking process, the cheese will spread out.
  4. Try to avoid getting extra mix between the pieces on the baking sheet to avoid burning.   Thanks to First Taste for supplying me with the free coupon for testing.
  5. Serve with Spicy Dipping Sauce – add 1 teaspoon hot sauce to 3 or 4 tablespoons of ranch or bleu cheese salad dressing


Would you try these new Cheese and Breadcrumb Coating Mixes? Have a recipe idea, please do share, I love new recipes!