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Easy, crunchy, sticky, saucy chicken poppers that are coated and baked, not fried.

baked honey bbq popcorn chicken on a white plate

I like to think I’m a PRO at football snacks. I would play in the snack Super Bowl every year if there was a snack Super Bowl. This is not meant to brag; I’m just a very good football snack maker! And one of my all-time, kick you in the pants football snacks to make is popcorn chicken. Actually, it’s these bacon wrapped jalapeños, but you already knew that. Second place is popcorn chicken aka little breaded chicken bites that are super juicy on the inside, crunchtastic on the outside, and served with an array of dipping sauces including but not limited to ketchup, honey mustard, and BBQ sauce.

baked honey bbq popcorn chicken in a glass bowl with a spoon

And guess what? I bake my popcorn chicken!

I love homemade popcorn chicken and one of my favorite varieties to make is this honey BBQ version. Basically plain popcorn chicken bites submerged in a tangy and sweet honey BBQ sauce while they’re still warm. The sauce is sticky and its flavor sinks into that crispy popcorn chicken breading. It’s all absolutely incredible and you don’t even need a dipping sauce!

The breading! It’s easy peasy stuff. There are 3 layers of breading. But don’t get scared, it’s all super simple. First you’ll need flour. The chicken pieces will get a coating of flour prior to taking a dunk in egg. The flour helps the egg stick, the egg helps the crunchy coating stick. So, you’ll have a few bowls happening on your counter but I promise the clean up is a cinch.

2 images of chicken in flour coating in a glass bowl and cornflakes in a glass bowl

For a super crunchy and thick coating– we’re going to use crushed corn flakes cereal just like we do for buffalo chicken fingers. The cereal is key to having that superb crunch. Our cornflake crumbs will be mixed with some seasonings for added flavor like salt, pepper, smoked paprika (YES!!), and garlic powder. It’s all very yum.

Then you’ll bake the popcorn chicken until super crisp. Usually just under 20 minutes or so, but keep your eye on them. If your bites are cut very small, it might only be about 15 minutes. Use your best judgment. These are hard to mess up.

Look how golden and crisp. ↓ ↓

2 images of baked honey popcorn chicken in a glass bowl and adding bbq sauce into glass bowl of popcorn chicken

The honey BBQ sauce is nothing more than these 3 ingredients: your favorite BBQ sauce, honey, and a little ketchup. It’s all warmed together over the stove to sort of thin it out, then poured over the warm chicken. Give it a toss, taste test, and GASP you’ve met your new favorite game day snack. Also works perfectly as an easy dinner option served with sweet potato fries. And, I’m being super serious here, is really good on salad. Chopped up on top of a lettuce/tomato/cucumber/bacon crumble/shredded cheddar cheese action. Good glory! It’s fantastic.

baked honey bbq popcorn chicken

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baked honey bbq popcorn chicken on a white plate

Baked Honey BBQ Popcorn Chicken

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: serves 8
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American


This crunchy, saucy, and crowd pleasing baked honey BBQ popcorn chicken is the easiest appetizer or bite-sized dinner you can make!


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 5 cups (140g) corn flakes cereal, crushed lightly
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk

Easy Honey BBQ Sauce

  • 3/4 cup (222g) your favorite BBQ sauce (I like Sweet Baby Rays Original)
  • 1/4 cup (80g) honey
  • 1/4 cup (68g) ketchup


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  2. Place the bite-sized pieces of chicken in a large bowl. Add flour and stir to coat each piece. Set aside.
  3. Place the corn flakes, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika into a large bowl. Set aside. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a small bowl.
  4. This next step gets your hands a little messy so have paper towels nearby. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture, letting any excess drip off. Then generously roll in the cornflake mixture, shaking off any excess. Place onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with all chicken bites.
  5. Bake for 18 minutes, flipping once at the 9-10 minute mark. (During this time, I make the sauce in step 6.) Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Heat the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat for 6-7 minutes, whisking occasionally.
  7. Carefully place the chicken bites into a large bowl. Pour the warm honey BBQ sauce on top and gently stir to coat. Serve warm. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Reheat in the microwave until warmed through.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Prepare the popcorn chicken through step 4. Refrigerate for up to 1 day before continuing with step 5. You can also freeze the baked popcorn chicken before tossing in the honey BBQ sauce. Bake frozen popcorn chicken in a 350°F (177°C) oven for 20 minutes or until warmed through.
  2. Plain Popcorn Chicken: You can leave the popcorn chicken plain. Simply add a little more seasoning (salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder) to the cornflake mixture and leave off the honey BBQ sauce.

Keywords: baked popcorn chicken

Three things for you!

1) Did you see that I’m currently expanding Sally’s Baking Addiction? Click here for more information and how to apply. I can’t wait for you to be part of this team!

2)  See you tonight, Philly! The 2016 book tour officially begins tonight. I’ll be all over the place the next two weeks: Boston, NYC, San Fran, San Diego, and the LA area. See you soon!

3)  Guess what? I recently made buffalo popcorn chicken too! I shared the recipe on People last week. You have to try these.

baked buffalo popcorn chicken on a white plate

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Made these for supper and had salads and mashed potatoes and that popcorn chicken was a hit! Thanks for a great savory recipe.

  2. These are fantastic. I have made them almost weekly for the last 3-4 months. Definitely a staple in the meal rotation now. I serve with French fries and we like it better (and it is cheaper) than going out to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings. Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  3. This chicken is very good. I was surprised how crispy it came out. My kids loved it. Plain or with sauce its very good. 

  4. I had to double the recipe but these were delicious! I actually poured the sauce over them and baked them with the sauce at 400 for 5 minutes! It thickened the sauce and gave the top an extra crispy coat! Yummy!

    1. Hi Dayana! The crunchy texture comes from the cornflakes cereal. You wouldn’t have the same exact result if breading with Panko.

  5. Sally,
    Thank you for another delicious recipe! My family of six, including some very picky, I mean selective, eaters, ALL ate this for dinner tonight. That’s a huge win for this mama. We’ve always loved your desserts. I can’t wait to try more of your dinner recipes.

    Thank you so much!! God bless you!

  6. Made this and it turned out great. One question. The ingredients you add to the corn flakes are all dry and falls to the bottom. Would adding it to the egg mixture work?

  7. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! I would’ve never thought to use corn flakes. It was perfectly crispy and the sauce was delicious. Perfect wings for the Super Bowl.

  8. Good stuff! Husband said he liked these more than the ones we usually order from our favorite wing joint. Was less $$$ too! Thanks Sally!

  9. Can I use regular paprika instead of smoked? Will it mess with the flavor? Thanks!

  10. I saw these in your Super Bowl email and couldn’t wait until Sunday to make them! Had them for dinner last night and the whole family devoured them. Making them again this weekend. They’re pretty easy!. Thanks Sally!

  11. This is just wonderful…Hands down one of the best chicken recipes I’ve ever come across…This is a definite keeper…Thank you for sharing!

  12. These turned out amazing! I should have doubled the recipe because my family wanted seconds and thirds!! Will definitely be making again!

  13. Hi Sally,

    Thank you for your great recipes.

    Will this recipe work if I use chicken drumsticks?

    Thank you.

  14. One of my favourite recipes now, made this with egg fried rice on the side. It was amazing, and mouth-watering, definitely worth it, and will be making it again.

  15. Hi,
    Can I prepare through step 4 earlier in the day, put it in the refrigerator then bake it when I’m ready? Also how can I keep this warm?

    1. Hi Linda, absolutely. You can prepare through step 4 and leave in the fridge for up to a day before continuing with step 5. The finished chicken stays warm for quite a while while serving, but feel free to reheat in the microwave to your liking while enjoying leftovers.

  16. Came out sooo good! My family & I loved this recipe.

  17. Go with the Corn Flakes folks… it’s what makes it crispy! I followed a couple suggestions from previous reviews and added the spices in with the flour to coat the chicken. After baking I sauced the pieces and placed them back on the tray to bake an additional 5 minutes at 400F….Oh boy!!! So good!! I also used chicken thighs…about 1 1/2 pounds…made way more than I figured, but so yummy!!!

  18. Do you have a gluten free corn flake substitute you recommend? I really want to make these for a large group, many of whom are gluten free.

    1. Hi Heather, We haven’t tested any gluten free alternatives to corn flakes but let us know if you try anything!

      1. We haven’t tested these in an air fryer but I’m sure it would work!

  19. Oh my, why did I wait so long to try this chicken recipe?! I love that this not only tastes wonderful but it is simple and BAKED with no oil or fat!! Who would have ever thought smashing up corn flakes (plus a few simple ingredients) would result in a winning chicken recipe? Sally, just to let you know how many age groups love what you do, I’m 78. So many recipes to try…

  20. My picky 4 year old loved these! He doesn’t usually eat much at dinner time but he couldn’t get enough of these!

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