This pecan crusted chicken is served with a killer honey dijon yogurt sauce that takes this easy weeknight meal over the top. Crunchy and packed with flavor, this is a dinner everyone will ask for over and over.

Pecan crusted chicken with honey dijon sauce drizzled on top on a plate.
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This recipe originally published in 2014 and at the time, it included a cranberry goat cheese sauce that accompanied the pecan chicken. I remade it recently though to shoot some new photos and decided to switch things up.

While cranberries and goat cheese are still a delicious combination to pair with chicken coated in a pecan crust, not everyone loves goat cheese and cranberries are pretty seasonal. So it got a makeover with a much more all year round and crowd-pleasing honey dijon yogurt sauce.

The result, if I do say so myself, is even better than the original. It’s packed with crunchy texture, loaded with savory flavor and the tangy, sweet honey dijon sauce is the perfect complement to the pecan crusted tender baked chicken.

This is one of those meals that takes little effort but really transforms a boring weeknight chicken dinner into something special.

Pecan crusted chicken breast with a serving spatula on a baking sheet with a small bowl of honey dijon yogurt sauce on the side.

Ingredients to make pecan crusted chicken

Chicken breasts – Boneless chicken breasts make this an easy meal but feel free to swap out for boneless thighs instead if preferred. Using bone-in chicken will lengthen the cooking time quite a bit and the pecan coating might end up burning so it’s best to stick with boneless.

Plain yogurt – Using yogurt to coat the chicken so that the pecans stick to it is my favorite hack when I don’t want to deal with an egg wash. I use plain regular yogurt but any style yogurt so long as its plain and unsweetened will work.

Honey – Honey is mixed in with the yogurt to bring some sweetness and flavor to the chicken. It’s also a great pairing with pecans.

Dijon mustard – Another flavoring agent used with the yogurt to season the chicken. It adds a complementary tangy taste to the honey.

Pecans – The star ingredient of this recipe, they’re ground until finely chopped in a food processor making the quick work of the coating.

Rosemary – I love adding a fresh herb any time I do a nut crust. Rosemary is a classic pairing with pecans and adds the perfect brightness to the savory mixture.

Spices – A combination of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and smoked paprika round out the flavoring of the pecan crust bringing big flavor to this meal.

Pecan crusted chicken drizzled with a yogurt honey dijon sauce on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

How to make baked pecan chicken

Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I also like to lightly spray the paper with an olive oil cooking spray to prevent any sticking whatsoever.

Combine the pecans, rosemary and spices in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped and uniform in size. Transfer the mixture to a large shallow bowl.

Whisk the the yogurt, honey and dijon mustard together in a large bowl. Add the chicken breasts and toss until fully coated in the yogurt mixture.

Remove the chicken from the yogurt, shaking off any excess and place it in the pecan mixture. Coat both sides of the chicken breast with the pecans then transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

Repeat this process with the remaining chicken.

Bake the pecan crusted chicken at 400°F for about 15-20 minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F using a digital instant read thermometer. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts used or if you choose to use thighs instead.

Remove the chicken from the oven once fully baked. Serve with the dijon, honey yogurt sauce and enjoy with your favorite sides.

The honey dijon serving sauce

To be honest, the chicken certainly doesn’t need this sauce, it’s very flavorful on its own. But who doesn’t love a good drizzle of something saucy on top of chicken or, better yet, a good dipper for each forkful?

To make this sauce simple whisk together:

  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard

Adjust the amounts as needed, keeping the ratios the same. This sauce is perfect for so many recipes but really goes well with chicken. It tastes very similar to the dressing in this honey mustard chicken and brussels sprouts salad and if you’re making something simple for dinner like air fryer chicken tenders or chicken leg quarters, it’s an easy way to make the meal feel special.

Overhead shot of pecan chicken with honey dijon sauce and green beans.

Why you’ll love this pecan chicken recipe

  • 30-minute meal start to finish
  • Crispy, crunchy, toasty pecan flavor
  • Juicy chicken
  • Creamy sweet and tangy sauce for serving
  • Feels fancy, requires minimal effort

So many nut-crusted meat recipes use breadcrumbs and rely on an egg wash. This pecan crusted chicken does not. It’s one of the reasons I love this recipe.

It’s naturally gluten-free and once you make it, you’ll realize there’s really no need for breadcrumbs at all. Egg washes are annoyingly messy and equally as unnecessary.

Like this dijon almond crusted tilapia, the nut crust adheres perfectly well without the need for either of those ingredients, making your life much simpler.

Close up of pecan chicken sliced on a plate served with green beans with a fork on the side.

Pro tips for making this recipe

  1. If time permits, try marinating the chicken in the yogurt mixture for a few hours up to overnight before coating in the pecans for extra flavor. This also helps tenderize the meat.
  2. Make the pecan coating ahead of time and store at room temperature in a sealable bag or air-tight container.
  3. Pound the chicken breasts if too thick. Use a meat tenderizer or even a rolling pin to thin out the chicken breasts to a uniform thickness helping them cook more evenly and quicker.
  4. Use chicken tenders for a healthier version of a kids chicken nugget dinner. Try the pecan mixture with air fryer fish sticks too.

Storing leftovers

Once baked, the chicken will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.

To reheat, use an oven or toaster oven at 350°F until warmed through. This is the best way to re-crisp the pecan crust. A microwave can also be used but the coating will remain a little mushier.

Pecan chicken can also be frozen. Cool to room temperature then store in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 3 months. Thaw under refrigeration before reheating in the oven.

Sliced pecan chicken on a plate with green beans and a fork.

How to serve with pecan chicken

Because the pecan crust is the star of the show, this meal needs little fanfare when it comes to side dishes.

Keep it simple with a steamed or sautéed green and an easy starch. We often enjoy quickly sautéed green beans or leafy greens with this meal and something like air fryer baby potatoes or Greek yogurt smashed potatoes.

The chicken would be great on top of a salad too. Enjoy it with a mizuna lettuce salad or a baby kale salad using the sauce as the dressing.

More chicken recipes to try

Stuffed chicken marsala is a classic recipe with a twist. It’s an indulgent and impressive recipe that rivals even the best Italian restaurant meal.

Maple miso chicken has that crave-worthy sticky, sweet and umami combination in a sauce that coats oven baked drumsticks. An intensely delicious meal you’ll want to make time and time again.

This garlic chicken bite skillet is the answer to busy nights when one pan is all you can handle for clean up. Garlic lovers will rejoice in the easy yet bold flavor of this meal.

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4.94 from 48 votes

Pecan Crusted Chicken

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Pecan crusted chicken with honey dijon sauce drizzled on top on a plate.
This pecan chicken with honey dijon yogurt sauce is deliciously crunchy and packed with flavor. A baked dinner perfect for a simple weeknight meal.

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard

For the honey dijon sauce

  • 3 tablespoon plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly spray with olive oil or avocado cooking spray.
  • Combine pecans, rosemary leaves and spices in a food processor. Process until finely chopped. Transfer mixture into a shallow bowl.
  • Whisk together the yogurt, dijon and honey in a large bowl.
  • Add the chicken to the bowl and coat each piece on both sides.
  • Transfer the yogurt coated chicken to the bowl with the pecan mixture and coat both sides of the chicken breast with the pecans.
  • Place on the baking sheet and repeat with remaining pieces of chicken.
  • Bake for about 15-20 minutes until the internal temperature of the chicken breast reaches 165°F using an instant digital thermometer.
  • While the chicken cooks, make the serving sauce by stirring together the yogurt, honey and dijon mustard in a small bowl.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven when done baking and serve with the sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 425kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 39gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 643mgFiber: 3gSugar: 12g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
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Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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20 Comments

  1. STOP. IT. Ohmygosh my mouth is watering already. I love Love LOVE goat cheese. And paired with cranberry and pecan crusted chicken? Sounds too good to be true. Will definitely be making this!

  2. Never would have thought to crumb chicken like that before.. definitely something that I need to try! I can definitely see myself making this delicious all through the upcoming Christmas season too, thanks for sharing it.

  3. I started with the cranberries this week too! I’m so ready for them! This chicken looks amazing! And that sauce….GAH. I want it all!

  4. Whoa! This looks and sounds SO good! I love the color of that sauce, and that you used goats cheese, and that bread crumb, oh my! Pecans! Looks like they work well, I am pinning this for sure!