Pecan-Crusted Chicken Breast Recipe

Are you looking for a surprisingly tasty, quick, and simple dish to liven up your weekday dinners? We highly recommend this delicious and nutritious baked, pecan-crusted chicken breast recipe. Chicken breast has long been a favorite protein in kitchens across the world; it is a wonderfully versatile, and low-fat meat that is often very reasonably-priced. Due to chicken being a lean protein, it can quickly dry out when cooked, resulting in tough, often flavorless meat. 

This is why recipe developer Jennine Rye recommends marinading it first in a buttermilk mixture. If you are new to marinading chicken, here's what you need to know: the high acidity in buttermilk tenderizes the meat, making the resulting dish both flavorful and juicy. Simple and worthwhile, this chicken recipe is finished off with a crumb-coating of chopped pecan nuts and breadcrumbs, resulting in a delicious, protein-packed meal. We would describe this dish as the healthiest alternative to buttermilk fried chicken; it has all the flavor with nutritious ingredients, and no frying required. 

Gather the ingredients for this pecan-crusted chicken breast

To make this pecan-crusted chicken breast, first you will need to gather the ingredients. You will need buttermilk, garlic powder, onion powder, mixed dried herbs, 2 large chicken breasts, finely chopped pecan nuts, breadcrumbs, and salt and pepper to taste.

If you can't find any buttermilk, there are plenty of buttermilk alternatives you can use in a pinch. Milk mixed with lemon juice or vinegar is a good substitute, or plain yogurt can be used instead; all these alternatives will tenderize the chicken breast, due to their acidic content. 

Prepare the buttermilk marinade

To create beautifully tender, baked chicken breasts, you will want to marinade them first in buttermilk. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the buttermilk with the garlic powder, onion powder, dried herbs, salt, and pepper. Slice the chicken breasts down the middle lengthwise to create 4 fillets, and then place these into the bowl with the buttermilk marinade, making sure the chicken is thoroughly coated. Place the bowl in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or overnight, to allow the marinade to tenderize the meat.

Coat the chicken, and bake

When you are ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 425 F, and set out a medium-sized baking tray. Remove the chicken breasts from the fridge.

In a bowl with a wide, flat base, mix together the chopped pecans, the breadcrumbs, and salt and pepper to taste. Then, remove one chicken fillet at a time from the marinade, scrape any excess marinade off, and then press it into the pecan and breadcrumb mixture. Make sure each fillet is well-coated with the crumbs before gently placing them into the baking tray. When all the chicken is coated in the crumb mixture, place the baking tray into the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Serve immediately while the chicken is hot, and the coating is deliciously crunchy.

Pecan-Crusted Chicken Breast Recipe
5 from 75 ratings
Dry and flavorless chicken is a thing of the past, thanks to recipes like this hearty, pecan-crusted chicken breast recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
chicken breasts on tray
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the buttermilk with the garlic powder, onion powder, dried mixed herbs, salt, and pepper to make a buttermilk marinade.
  2. Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise, and then place them into the buttermilk marinade, making sure that each fillet is well-coated. Cover the bowl, and place it into the fridge for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
  3. To bake the chicken, preheat the oven to 425 F, and remove the chicken from the fridge. Mix the chopped pecans and breadcrumbs together in a wide bowl, and season well with salt and pepper.
  4. Scrape off any excess marinade from the chicken fillets, and then coat them well on both sides with the pecan mixture. Gently place the coated chicken breast fillets onto an oven tray.
  5. When all the chicken has been coated in the mixture, bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked though. Serve the pecan-crusted chicken hot and fresh.
Calories per Serving 505
Total Fat 24.2 g
Saturated Fat 3.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 125.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 26.3 g
Dietary Fiber 4.0 g
Total Sugars 4.9 g
Sodium 626.6 mg
Protein 45.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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