Chicken With Pecans

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Chicken with pecans is a simple, flavorful dish that will change the way you think about chicken.  Chicken breast, garlic, onions and pecans make up this delicious main course. Serve it alongside your favorite greens or try serving with a baked sweet potato.

Pecan Crusted Chicken

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
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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
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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
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  1. Pulse the pecans then transfer them to a ziptop bag.
A bag with crushed nuts
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  1. Add breadcrumbs, basil, salt, and pepper to the bag.
Chicken breasts being pounded
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  1. Pound the chicken breasts.
Meat in an egg wash
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  1. Dip each chicken breast in the eggs, then into the pecan mixture to coat.
Four honey pecan crusted chicken breasts
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  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
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  1. Stir the sauce ingredients together.
Pecan crusted chicken with honey mustard
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  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
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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.

Honey Garlic Pecan Chicken

Honey Garlic Pecan chicken Close photo
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When we’re short on time but I still want to put a delicious home cooked meal on the table, I often turn to recipes that combine a simple pan-seared chicken breast with a flavorful sauce.  This Honey Garlic Pecan Chicken is a perfect example.  A thin chicken breast is seasoned and lightly dusted with flour, seared in olive oil, and then the sauce comes together by toasting some pecans and adding some butter, fresh garlic, and honey.  This is great served alongside some jasmine rice and a fresh vegetable side like broccoli or green beans.  And the sauce is great served over the rice too!

Now, lots of folks avoid using boneless skinless chicken breast because they dry out so easily.  The trick is to make sure not to overcook them.  And the only way to ensure that doesn’t happen is to equip yourself with an instant read thermometer.  Doing so will allow you to get that chicken right to 165° without it drying out.  The thermometers are relatively affordable and can be use for so many things.

A few things to keep in mind with this recipe:

  • The big thick chicken breast they sell in the store won’t work well in this recipe.  It takes too long to cook them through.  If that’s your only option, you can buy them and slice them in half for two thinner portions.  And even though it might seem like a hassle (I know, been there, done that), pounding the chicken to a thin uniform thickness is super important.  It allows the chicken to cook quickly and evenly.  Just put the chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap or in a gallon ziptop bag (not sealed) and pound it to about a 1/2 inch thickness.  They’re more expensive, but you’re paying for the convenience.
  • Searing the chicken in the same skillet helps to build flavor.  All the browned bits on the bottom of the pan (knows as fond) add flavor.  You’d want to use a wooden spoon scrape all that off for your sauce when you add the broth.  That said, you don’t want to burn all that goodness either, so watch and adjust your heat when searing the chicken as to not burn everything that hangs out in the pan.
  • Toasting the pecans in the butter is key to getting tons of great flavor.  Be sure to get them nice and toasty before moving to the next step.
  • Garlic burns easily when added to a hot pan and can give your dish a bitter flavor.  It only needs about a minute to cook before you add the broth.

Honey Garlic Pecan Chicken

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time25 mins

Total Time35 mins

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 thin, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt (I used Lawry’s)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  • Place chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound to about 1/2-inch thick. Place on a tray and season both sides of the chicken with the seasoned salt. Set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the flour to a plate and lightly dredge the chicken in the flour. Add it to the oil. The chicken should sizzle when you put it in the skillet. If not, allow the oil to heat a little longer.
  • Sear the chicken for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove and set on a wire rack. Cover with foil.
  • Add the butter to the skillet and allow it to melt. Add the pecans and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until the pecans are fragrant. The butter will foam up. That’s normal.
  • Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and stir, scraping the bottom of the skillet to get the browned bits (also called fond) off the bottom – there’s lots of flavor there.
  • Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the honey, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until the mixture thickens – about 5 minutes. Serve the chicken with the sauce spooned over the top.

BUTTER PECAN CHICKEN

Sweet glaze spooned over Butter Pecan Chicken.
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Before I tell you all about this delicious Butter Pecan Chicken recipe, let me just say… It feels like spring in Arizona. This is the time of year we start hoping the heat that summer brings won’t come too soon, and we can enjoy mild weather just a little bit longer.

I’ve been working out in my garden, pruning what survived the winter (tomatoes!), pulling out what didn’t (eggplant) and also planting some things I’ve never tried before (dahlias!). And did I tell you we have chickens now? I’m definitely that crazy chicken lady – checking those nesting boxes for eggs each day just never gets old. I do love all things spring!

Overhead view of Butter Pecan Chicken dished out onto a plate with a side of mashed potatoes.
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Back to the Butter Pecan Chicken recipe – I think you’ll love this one! It’s sweet and savory, cooks in one pan, and doesn’t have a lot of ingredients. Butter, brown sugar, honey, chicken broth, dried herbs and chopped pecans simmer together in the skillet to make the most incredible sticky sweet glaze. I like to serve it with either mashed potatoes or a rice pilaf so none of that sauce goes to waste.

Close up view of bite cut out of Butter Pecan Chicken with a fork.
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It is helpful if your chicken breasts are all relatively the same size so they will cook evenly. If yours are on the thick side, you can pound them out, so they are thinner. Be careful not to overcook it, so it won’t dry out. I use this meat thermometer so there’s no guesswork.

Overhead view of Butter Pecan Chicken in a skillet.
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Whenever I get recipe requests from you all, it’s almost always easy dinner ideas. I feel ya! That’s my struggle too. So here’s an idea – if you have a favorite, easy dinner idea and don’t mind sharing recipes, send it my way!

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