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What does shake and bake contain?

Shake and bake is a coating mix used to bread and fry foods like chicken, pork chops, and fish fillets quickly and easily. The shake and bake coating mix is a convenient product that combines breadcrumbs, seasonings, and flour into one package.

Main Ingredients

The main ingredients in a typical shake and bake coating mix are:

  • Breadcrumbs – Usually made from white bread that is dried and ground into fine crumbs.
  • Flour – Most often all-purpose flour, but can also contain rice flour or cornstarch.
  • Seasonings – A blend of salt, spices, herbs, onion powder, garlic powder, etc.
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG) – Used as a flavor enhancer in some brands.
  • Dry buttermilk – Adds tanginess and helps the coating adhere.
  • Cornstarch – For extra crispness when fried.

The exact ingredients and proportions vary between brands, but breadcrumbs, flour, and seasoning are the core components. Some brands may also add extras like Parmesan cheese, paprika, chili powder, or cayenne pepper to give the coating more flavor.

Nutrition Facts

Since shake and bake can have varying recipes, the nutrition facts will differ depending on the brand. However, below are the nutrition facts for a typical 1/4 cup serving (28g) of original shake and bake mix:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 110
Total Fat 2g
Sodium 460mg
Total Carbohydrate 18g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 2g
Protein 3g

As you can see, a serving of shake and bake is high in sodium, providing about 20% of the daily recommended value. It also contains 2g of sugar and 18g of carbohydrates per serving. The calorie, fat, and protein content are moderate per serving size.

Shake and Bake Coating Process

Using shake and bake involves a simple 3-step breading process:

  1. Season – Season the meat or fish with salt, pepper, and other desired spices.
  2. Dredge – Dredge the meat in flour, coating all sides.
  3. Coat – Place the floured meat into a bag with shake and bake. Close bag and shake to coat the meat evenly.

Once coated in the shake and bake mixture, the meat is ready to fry. You can pan fry, deep fry, or air fry using standard breading techniques. The shake and bake provides a crispy, flavorful, and golden coating after frying.

History of Shake and Bake

Shake and bake coating mixes were introduced in the 1960s as a quicker alternative to traditional breading methods. The concept was developed by food scientist Ruth Siems for General Foods Corporation (now Kraft Heinz). Traditionally, breading meat involved dredging in flour, dipping in egg wash, then coating in breadcrumbs – a lengthy 3-step process.

Siems helped revolutionize this process by creating an all-in-one seasoning blend with dried breadcrumbs, flour, and spices. By combining the dry ingredients, breading time was cut in half. You simply dredge, shake to coat, and fry. This innovation provided added convenience for home cooks.

The first shake and bake products hit the market in 1965 under the brand name Shake ‘n Bake. It was an immediate success and quickly became a staple in kitchens. Kraft Heinz continues to lead the category with 70% market share. Numerous other brands now offer similar shake and bake style coating mixes as well.

Common Uses for Shake and Bake

Shake and bake is versatile coating option. Here are some of the most popular uses:


One of the most common uses is for breading chicken pieces like breast, thighs, drumsticks, and wings. Simply coat chicken in shake and bake then pan fry or bake until crispy and cooked through.

Pork Chops

Shake and bake adds flavor and crunch to pan fried or baked pork chops. Dredge pork chops in flour then shake to coat in the breading mix.


Firm white fish fillets like tilapia, cod, haddock, and halibut work well with shake and bake. The coating provides texture and taste to more delicate fish.


For crispy shrimp, use shake and bake instead of plain breadcrumbs. Coat peeled, deveined shrimp then fry or air fry until golden brown.

Extra Crispy Fried Chicken

For juicy chicken with an extra crispy crust, double coat using shake and bake. Dredge in flour, coat in shake and bake, then repeat the process for extra crunch.

Homemade Shake and Bake Recipes

While the store-bought coating is convenient, you can also make homemade shake and bake from scratch. This allows you to control the ingredients and tweak the flavors to your liking. Here are a couple easy homemade recipes:

Basic Homemade Shake and Bake

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container. Use as you would regular shake and bake. Additional spices like cayenne, rosemary, or oregano can also be added.

Buttermilk Ranch Shake and Bake

  • 1 1⁄2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 Tbsp dried minced onion
  • 1 Tbsp ranch seasoning mix
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp pepper

Whisk together all ingredients. For added tang, use buttermilk instead of milk when dredging meat or fish before coating in the mix.

Tips for Best Results

Follow these tips to get the perfect crisp, flavorful coating when using shake and bake:

  • Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or pork chops cut to an even thickness – about 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 inch thick.
  • Pat meat or fish dry before dredging to allow the coating to adhere better.
  • Season meat with just salt and pepper before dredging so the seasoning doesn’t make the flour gummy.
  • Dredge meat thoroughly in flour, coating all sides. Shake off any excess before coating in shake and bake.
  • For a thicker crust, double dredge by coating in flour, shake and bake, then repeating the process.
  • Use one hand for flour dredging and the other for shake and bake to avoid gummy build up.
  • Shake item vigorously in the bag with the coating to evenly cover.
  • Pan fry in oil over medium heat for crispiest results. Turn gently to avoid knocking off the coating.
  • Let cooked items rest for 5 minutes before serving to allow the coating to set.

Storage Tips

To maintain freshness and flavor, store shake and bake properly:

  • Keep unused shake and bake mix in a tightly sealed container or zip top bag.
  • Store in a cool, dry place away from moisture and direct heat or sunlight.
  • Write the date opened on the package and use within 3-4 months for best quality.
  • If mix starts smelling stale or tastes bland, it’s time to discard and open a new package.
  • Don’t store shake and bake in the refrigerator or freezer. The cold, moist environment can cause clumping.

Shake and Bake Varieties

While the original flavor is most popular, shake and bake comes in a wide range of flavor varieties to suit different tastes:


The iconic, versatile original blend of savoryseasonings, herbs, and spices.

Crispy Chicken

Features crackers crumbs for extra crispness when making fried chicken.


Seasoned for complementing the richness of pork with garlic, sage, ginger, and paprika.


Designed for seafood with a lemon and herb seasoning blend.


Adds heat with cayenne and chili pepper spice blends.

Parmesan Ranch

Includes parmesan cheese and ranch seasoning for added flavor.

Honey BBQ

Sweet and sticky honey barbecue seasoning perfect for chicken.

Nut-Free Options

For those with nut allergies, be sure to check the label carefully when purchasing shake and bake. Some brands contain nuts or manufacturing traces. However, there are nut-free options available including:

  • Kraft Original Shake ‘N Bake
  • Market Pantry Shake and Bake Mix (Target brand)
  • Great Value Crispy Original Shake and Bake (Walmart brand)
  • Trader Joe’s Breading Mix

You can also make your own nut-free shake and bake at home by using nut-free breadcrumbs and avoiding ingredients like almond flour or pecans.

Gluten-Free Shake and Bake

Gluten-free shake and bake options allow those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities to still enjoy this quick and easy cooking method. Some brands of gluten-free shake and bake include:

  • Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Shake and Bake Mix
  • Siete Foods Gluten Free Shake and Bake Mix
  • Taste Guru Gluten Free Bread Crumbs and Baking Mix
  • Pillsbury Gluten Free Shake and Bake Mix

You can also make DIY gluten free shake and bake withgluten-free breadcrumbs, rice flour, potato starch, and seasonings.

Shake and Bake Safety Tips

When using any breaded coating like shake and bake, follow these safety recommendations:

  • Wash hands and surfaces thoroughly before and after breading meat.
  • Avoid cross contamination by keeping raw meat separate from ready to eat foods.
  • Cook meat to safe internal temperatures – at least 165°F for chicken and 145°F for pork.
  • Do not eat raw batter or shake and bake coating mixes due to risk of salmonella and E. coli.
  • Discard any leftovers after cooking to avoid spoilage and food poisoning.


Shake and bake coating mixes provide a quick and easy way to add delicious flavor and texture when cooking foods like chicken, pork, fish, and shrimp. While mainly containing breadcrumbs, flour, and seasoning, the ingredients and nutrition can vary by brand. Proper storage and safety practices help maintain quality and prevent foodborne illness. With dozens of flavor varieties, gluten-free options, and the ability to make homemade, there are tons of possibilities with this popular time-saving breading product.