No need to spend hours in the kitchen or break the bank to sweep someone off their feet—Pecan Crusted Chicken is ready to woo!

Pecan crusted chicken breast on a plate

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This baked chicken breast recipe has elements of an elegant meal—toasty, crunchy pecan crust; juicy, meaty interior; creamy sauce you can plate alongside it—yet requires less than a half-hour of active effort.

It also feels fancy, without being too fancy.

At the risk of giving myself away here, it’s essentially a grown-up version of my Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders.

Translation: kids of all ages (and kids at heart) will love it!

Pecan crusted chicken with honey mustard sauce and salad

5 Star Review

“Delicious! I made this recipe for my family and they all loved it. The flavor combination is yummy.”

— Sue —

I started cooking pecan crusted chicken when Ben was in law school. We both loved our evenings out but didn’t have the budget to make it a regular event.

A newer cook who had dining-out tastes on a dining-in budget, I sought recipes that were affordable and easy to make, but still tasted special.

This pecan crusted chicken was a fast favorite and, all these years later, it is still a staple on our menu.

Similar to this Baked Chicken Parmesan and Baked Fried Chicken, the golden, crispy exterior and tender, moist interior reminds me of a meal you’d order out, but it’s lightened up significantly and surprisingly simple to prepare.

Pecan Crusted Chicken on a Plate

How to Make Pecan Crusted Chicken

Breading the chicken does take a few extra steps, but it’s not hard to do and is 100% worth it.

This recipe is quick enough for a fast weeknight dinner, but elegant enough for a leveled-up evening in.

Tip!

For a juicy baked chicken breast recipe with no breading, don’t miss my must-have Baked Chicken Breast and Baked Bone-In Chicken Breast.


The Ingredients

  • Chicken Breast. Lean, protein-packed chicken breast is incredibly nutritious and versatile. Coating it in the pecan breading makes it feel special and will certainly please everyone at your table.
  • Eggs. Eggs help the breading stick to the chicken breasts.
  • Pecans. Crunchy, toasty, nutty goodness that tastes wonderful with chicken. Plus, pecans are packed with healthy fats, protein, and fiber.
  • Panko. Panko is extra coarse, crunchy breadcrumbs, and I love the texture it adds to the breading.

Substitution Tip!

For a gluten free and keto pecan crusted chicken, you can omit the breadcrumbs, substituting them with additional ground pecans.

  • Basil + Salt + Pepper. Dried basil, salt, and black pepper pep up the pecan mixture.

Sauce It Up

I wanted to serve the pecan crusted chicken with sauce, so while it baked, I stirred together a quick and creamy honey mustard dipping sauce.

  • While pecan crusted chicken with mayonnaise might be the standard, I skipped it here in favor of Greek yogurt, which (unlike mayo) is low calorie and high in protein.
  • Feel free to use the honey mustard sauce suggested here, swap one of your own favorite dips, or enjoy the baked pecan chicken all on its own.

The Directions

  1. Beat the eggs in a dish.
Crushed nuts in a food processor
  1. Pulse the pecans then transfer them to a ziptop bag.
A bag with crushed nuts
  1. Add breadcrumbs, basil, salt, and pepper to the bag.
Chicken breasts being pounded
  1. Pound the chicken breasts.
Meat in an egg wash
  1. Dip each chicken breast in the eggs, then into the pecan mixture to coat.
Four honey pecan crusted chicken breasts
  1. Drizzle olive oil over the chicken, then bake at 400 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes.
Sauce ingredients being stirred in a bowl
  1. Stir the sauce ingredients together.
Pecan crusted chicken with honey mustard
  1. Serve and ENJOY!

Tip!

For an extra elevated version, top each piece of pecan crusted chicken with a round of goat cheese. Pop it back into the oven for a few minutes to allow the cheese to warm.

^^This twist is especially delicious with a drizzle of honey.

Pecan crusted chicken breast on a plate with honey mustard sauce

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate the chicken in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F.
  • To Freeze. Freeze chicken in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Meal Prep Tip

Pound the chicken breasts and prepare the pecan mixture 1 day in advance. Refrigerate the chicken breasts and store the pecans at room temperature.

What to Serve with Pecan Crusted Chicken

A plate with pecan crusted chicken breast

Leftover Ideas

Dice up pecan crusted chicken breast and use it to top your favorite salads or pastas. It would be tasty swapped for the chicken in this Harvest Cobb Salad or added to this Spicy Avocado Pesto Pasta.

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

The Best Food Processor

With an array of functions and features, this food processor can help you prepare ingredients for so many recipes.

Pecan crusted chicken breast on a plate

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Pecan crusted chicken breast on a plate

Pecan Crusted Chicken

5 from 2 votes
Pecan Crusted Chicken with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce. Tender chicken breasts in a crispy pecan coating, baked until golden and juicy!

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 50 mins

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

FOR THE PECAN CRUSTED CHICKEN:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts about 6 ounces each
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

FOR THE HONEY MUSTARD DIPPING SAUCE:

  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoons grainy brown mustard or an additional tablespoon of Dijon
  • 1 tablespoon honey plus additional to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper

Instructions
 

  • Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Lightly beat the eggs in a wide, shallow bowl or pie plate and set aside.
  • In a food processor, pulse the pecans until they form fine crumbs (but don't over-process or they will turn into pecan butter). Place the mixture in a large, sturdy ziptop bag.
  • To the bag, add the breadcrumbs, basil, salt, and pepper. Seal the top and shake to combine.
  • Place the chicken on a cutting board and cover it with a large sheet of plastic wrap. With a meat tenderizer, rolling pin, or your fist, pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness. They need not be super thin—just flatten the middle so that the chicken is relatively flat and will bake more evenly.
  • Working one chicken breast at a time, dip the chicken in the egg wash, then place in the ziptop bag and shake to coat with the pecan mixture. Gently press the pecan mixture so that it sticks to the chicken, then lay the chicken on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.
  • Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the chicken. Bake until the chicken reaches 160 to 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove to a plate and let rest 5 minutes. Chicken is considered cooked at 165 degrees F, but I like to remove mine several degrees early and let the carryover cooking to finish the rest (this ensures the chicken breast is juicy and does not overcook).
  • While the chicken bakes, prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt, both mustards, honey, salt, and cayenne. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.
  • Enjoy the pecan crusted chicken hot, with the dipping sauce.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate the chicken in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze chicken in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • A much older version of this recipe included a strawberry and goat cheese topping. We’ve since come to prefer the simplicity of the honey mustard dip. If you’d like to try this version: Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small saucepan, then add 1 ½ cups strawberries, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, ¼ teaspoon dried basil, and ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Top baked chicken with strawberry sauce and crumbled goat cheese. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4) without dipping sauceCalories: 489kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 42gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 191mgPotassium: 784mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 186IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 58mgIron: 2mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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61 Comments

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  1. One of my favorite salads has strawberries, pecans, chicken and goat cheese..so I am all about a new, “un-salady” twist! Great to meet you at BHF! Pinned :)

  2. Looks fabulous! And your photos are becoming increasingly beautiful and well-styled all the time too.

    1. Georgia, I am BLUSHING! Your photos are some of the ones I admire most, so that really means a lot. Thank you :)

  3. You’re so right. I think this is 99% of my issues in my marriage is that I can’t give someone my time. I’m too busy. I’m going to make more of an effort. Miss you!!!

  4. You are SO right about that…time is incredibly important and so easy to overlook! I love this chicken!

  5. Great post!!! I didn’t know my husband while I was in law school, but I can imagine that trying to find time to spend together would have been very difficult. When I was studying for the Georgia bar, I pretty much locked myself into our guest bedroom and it was really hard to say “no” when he wanted to hang out at night after he got home from work. This looks like a great special home-cooked meal. I’m sure your husband appreciates all of your love and support while he is trying to make it through law school! I know from personal experience that it can be super stressful!

    1. Thanks so much for this thoughtful comment! It’s sometimes nice to remember that we aren’t the only ones dealing with stresses and time constraints, though I’m certainly no master at handling it.

  6. Last night my husband actually took the phone from my hands and put it in another room. I gave him a hard time asking how old we were that I just got my phone taken away but he wanted me to spend time with him and the baby. Definitely need to readjust my priorities.

    1. EXACT same thing happens to me too Meagan. I practically have to bury my phone under a pillow to stay away from it. Sad, but true!

  7. Great post Erin :D I’m big on the little things that show someone you love them. Understanding each other needs is the best way to show your love. :D
    Speaking of love…this pecan crusted chicken looks amazing! I love all these flavors.

  8. So true! Beautiful dish, Erin! The addition of strawberries and goat cheese makes everything better!

  9. Great post and the dish looks amazing! I’m sure it is delish! You are absolutely right! Time with your loved ones is so important – it goes by so quickly and things can change in an instant!

  10. You are so right. Time is the most precious commodity, and there is not enough of it to go around. Much better than flowers!
    Love the flavor combinations in this recipe! Pecans + Chicken = Always Amazing.

  11. Love not only the recipe, but some points you made in this post. Time in any relationship really is important, agree with that 150 %!! So nice that you both can understand and respect each others time like that Erin! Seems like you have a beautiful relationship ;) As for this salad, always have pecans on hand…great way to use them as a crust with chicken! Nice salad to pair…totally can picture myself eating this on the deck with a glass of sauvignon blanc!

  12. So so true – you definitely have to be more intentional about time once real life kicks in. Love this – this chicken is so right up my alley! Goat cheese and strawberries – yum!

  13. Aww, that’s so sweet! It’s those little details that make all the difference, right? This chicken looks amazing! We are always looking for different ways to change up the old chicken routine, and this looks perfect! Pinning :)

    1. I love it on just about everything Julie!! Thanks so much (PS. It was so great to finally meet you!)

  14. Totally agree. There is nothing I like and appreciate more than when my hubby and I get to spend quality time together. I am sure whipping up this nummy chicken dish wouldn’t hurt either :). Totally digging your flavor combo, lady!

  15. Awww you speak the truth!! Time is everything and Romance with a capital R. I will make this dinner for my husband too and enjoy spending an evening together that is becoming rare as things get busy around here. Hope Ben is done with studying soon :)

  16. I totally agree Erin! For us, those nights where we don’t have to run anyone anywhere are the best. That’s when we can connect. No, it’s not romantic, but it’s real. I love the strawberries and goat cheese Erin, how wonderful!

  17. Aaw I loved this post. Totally agree – quality time spent together means so much more. This looks amazing Erin, love the strawberries and goat cheese combo!

  18. I completely agree! Sometimes all I want is some time alone to work on my blog or watch my favorite tv show. I just spent a weekend with our friends who have a little baby and have really have no time to themselves at all these days and it made me realize that I need to cherish this time while I still have it! I love adding strawberries to savory dishes and this pecan crusted chicken looks so good! I’m a big sucker for anything that contains goat cheese :)

  19. Adore strawberries. We have a kosher home so I will simply have to adapt this to our diet. Also my bread crumbs are from the bread I bake. Always use only homemade bread crumbs whenever a recipe calls fro breadcrumbs. thank you for sharing. :)

    1. Susan, that is so neat that you always have homemade bread crumbs on hand. I bet it makes all the difference in the world!

  20. Love this post, Erin! Intentionally spending time with someone “in the moment” – not distracted by what’s on TV, on your phone, and/or on the computer (…not that I’ve been guilty of all three at the same time. Yikes!) is so, SO important. Now about this chicken! What a great combo of flavors. This would definitely be a crowd pleaser!

  21. Oh yum! I’ve never had strawberries with goat cheese before but that sounds so amazing together! I have all of the ingredients to make this except the goat cheese but I’ll definitely pin this for later!

    1. Polly, it is one of my favorite flavor combinations. Definitely worth giving it a go! Thanks so much.

  22. Um, did you SEE my ode to strawberries and goat cheese on my site this week? If you think I didn’t pin the crap out of this, then you clearly don’t know me.

    In other news, this post should be printed out and given to engaged couples (or anyone considering moving in together). You are so wise and on-point.

  23. What a sweet and lovely post! The encrusted chicken with seasonal berries looks so inviting!

  24. Such an awesome post and so true! Last night I cleaned off our coffee table as my act of romance. Totally NOT glamorous…but it’s real! :)

  25. Great Post.. speaking so much truth there.. and I think everything should be pecan-crusted.. Yum!

  26. sweeping the floor is totally romantic with a capital R! LOVE this dish, I just had pecan crusted chicken in Charleston last month, and I have been dying to try it at home – plus goat cheese and strawberries YUM

  27. I think its the sacrifice involved, once it is has to be a choice to give up something in order to give to someone else, it becomes a lot more special. That’s really neat that you have had that kind of time together after the craziness! And, what a gorgeously romantic dinner to celebrate with :)

  28. I love this post, Erin. You speak the truth in each and every word! I would have never thought in a gazillion years to combine strawberries and chicken, and I am totally in love with this idea! This looks spectacular! I hope you have a fabulous holiday weekend!

  29. My husband and I often spend evenings both hunched over our computers, but at a certain point we will finish and go and watch something on TV together (usually for about 5 minutes though to be honest until 1 of us falls asleep!) or we try to go for a walk just before dark or even early in the morning before breakfast. The best times of course though are when we go away together for a weekend or longer and totally put away the laptops. I guess my point is the same as yours … that we have to be intentional about the time we spend together.
    The chicken dish, by the way, is stunning – it would be such a great Valentine’s Day meal!

  30. This looks wonderful Erin. I totally agree time is one of the most important gifts you can share with someone! The way to my husbands hearts right through his stomach, I’ll have to make this for him one of these nights.

  31. I totally get this Erin. I feel like much more often these days our date nights are grocery runs and a swirl cone from Rally’s. <<<Real life. But even these little moments we share are so important. So glad you're finding little ways to connect even in this busy season.

    1. You know what Courtney? That date night sounds like perfect. We love going for frozen custard!! As per usual, love your style :)

  32. I completely agree with you! At the end what really matters is the time you spend together! I love the combination of strawberries and goat cheese!

  33. I love everything about this post. It’s a beautiful reflection on what’s important in life. I love the fact that ‘togetherness’ doesn’t need to be expensive dinners or one-to-one conversation for the entire night. It’s just being present, available, undersatnding and considerate. It’s love without words. You and Ben are a beautiful reflection of that. As for this chicken? It’s darn pretty. I never thought chicken could be pretty! x

  34. I love you because you are so REAL, Erin! You don’t put on airs; you’re just you. Refreshing! This meal sounds amazing. I would love it with the goat cheese, but Jim is not a fan. Do you think gorgonzola would be too overpowering? In the meantime, keep doing what you’re doing. You and Ben seem like the perfect match!

    1. Hi Diane! That is one of the nicest compliments that I think anyone has ever given me. Thank you! I do think that the Gorgonzola might be a bit too strong. Does Jim like feta? You could always try it with Parmesan cheese too.

  35. Hello!
    I know it’s been a while on this one but I am hoping to make this and wanted to clarify something. The recipe listing calls for 2 eggs, but in the instructions it says “egg whites.” I imagine it doesn’t matter much, but perhaps it does?

    Thank you in advance and thank you for your wonderful recipes!

    1. Hi Brooke, Sorry for the confusion. The directions should say “egg wash” (not egg whites). Thank you for clarifying!

    1. Hi Hazel! Since I’ve only tested the recipe using eggs (and they help the pecan coating stick to the chicken), it would be a complete experiment. If you decide to play around with a swap, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  36. This turned out so delicious! I used chicken tenderloins so didn’t even have to tenderize or flatten the chicken. My young kids also gobbled up the chicken and sauce. Total winner!5 stars