Unbelievable Walnut Crusted Chicken

This walnut crusted chicken served with honey mustard glaze is all at once wholesome and savory, crisp and saucy, super impressive, and very easy to make. It’s everything you want dinner to be, whether that’s a casual meal or a special gathering.

overhead image of walnut crusted chicken in a skillet

We make this dish every spring season and depending how many join us for Easter supper, we fix it for the main meal. Over the years, we’ve perfected this walnut crusted chicken recipe by adding a little more of this and a little less of that. The toasted walnuts, tender + juicy chicken, and sweet honey mustard are made for each other, and it’s truly versatile enough for all occasions:

  1. It’s fancy enough for company and holidays. Spruce it up with fresh parsley and serve it with homemade biscuits, rice, steamed vegetables, and/or a fresh leafy salad. 
  2. It’s also simple, yet special enough for a Sunday dinner with just the family.
  3. Finally, this walnut chicken makes for a quick, low-key meal on weeknights. And any leftovers keep like a dream – a quick reheat in the oven brings the crisp coating back to life.

Tell Me About this Walnut Crusted Chicken

  • Texture: Served warm out of the oven, you’ll enjoy crunchy chopped walnuts, tender juicy bites of chicken, and sticky sweet glaze with every delicious mouthful – if you crave texture, this recipe totally delivers. FYI: those browned crispy walnut bits at the bottom of the pan are the best part. Don’t leave them behind!
  • Flavor: This is a confidently balanced dish. The beautifully seasoned chicken, the nutty walnuts, and the tangy sweetness of the honey mustard glaze work so well together. The white wine in the chicken marinade adds depth of flavor, but if you’d like to skip the wine, you can replace it with chicken stock. And feel free to replace the walnuts with pecans.
  • Ease: This is a recipe for cooks of any skill level. Marinate the chicken, coat it in the nut mixture, and then bake. Serve with a 2 ingredient glaze. 
  • Time: Set aside about 30 minutes for hands-on prep, plus at least 4 hours to overnight for marinating the chicken.

walnut crusted chicken breast on a white plate with asparagus

Overview: How to Make Walnut Crusted Chicken

The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through it so you understand each step before you get started.

    1. Marinate the chicken. You’ll want to marinate the chicken for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours.
    2. Coat the chicken in walnuts + flour + salt + pepper. The finer you chop the nuts, the more they’ll stick and stay on the chicken. 
    3. Sear the chicken. Searing the chicken before baking it is our secret and here are 3 reasons why: (1) locks in the flavor, (2) helps ensure the walnuts stick to the chicken, and (3) gives that coating a head-start crunch.
    4. Bake until golden brown. Transfer the seared chicken to the oven and bake.
    5. Make the glaze. Mix Dijon mustard and honey in a bowl and serve with chicken. If the walnut crusted chicken were an ice cream sundae, the honey mustard glaze would be the very necessary whipped cream + cherry on top– it just completes the whole dish!

chicken marinating in a plastic bag

ingredients for walnut crusted chicken coating

2 images of using tongs to coat chicken in walnut mixture and chicken breasts coated in walnut mixture in a glass baking dish

Serve With:

If you need ideas for side dishes that pair well with walnut crusted chicken, here are some of our favorites: homemade biscuits or dinner rollsbrown or wild rice, steamed vegetables such as asparagus, green beans, or broccoli, and/or a fresh leafy salad.


Tip: Use This Shortcut

Make life (and clean up!) a breeze with an oven-safe skillet that can handle all the cooking, from searing to baking. And while the chicken bakes, whip up the sweet honey mustard glaze. All you need are two ingredients: Dijon mustard again (what you used for the marinade) and honey.

pouring honey mustard glaze onto cooked walnut crusted chicken breasts in a saucepan

We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as our family has over the years. A familiar dish can remind you of home, but only the best can take you there.

Print
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walnut crusted chicken breast on a white plate with asparagus

Walnut Crusted Chicken

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes (includes marinating)
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This walnut crusted chicken served with honey mustard glaze is all at once wholesome and savory, crisp and saucy, super impressive, and very easy to make. The dish pairs wonderfully with steamed vegetables, rice, and/or fresh salad.


Ingredients

  • 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for pan
  • 1/4 cup (60g) dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) dry white wine (or chicken broth)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) very finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose or whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • optional: chopped fresh parsley for serving

Honey Mustard Glaze

  • 3 Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup (80g) honey

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken, olive oil, mustard, white wine, garlic, and dried thyme in a large zipped-top bagger container. Seal shut, give it a shake to combine, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours.
  2. Combine the walnuts, flour, salt, and pepper together in a shallow dish such as a 9×9 inch baking pan or a pie dish. Remove the chicken, shake off a little excess marinade and dip both sides of the chicken in the walnut mixture. Coat it really well so there’s lots of walnut coating on each.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
  4. Heat a couple Tablespoons of olive oil in an oven-safe skillet* over medium heat. Add the chicken and sear for 2 minutes, 1 minute on each side. Transfer skillet to the oven and bake, covered loosely with aluminum foil, for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through. (Chicken is considered done when an instant read thermometer reads the center of the thickest part as at least 165°F (74°C).)
  5. Whisk the glaze ingredients together and serve with chicken. Garnish chicken with fresh parsley if desired.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: You can marinate the chicken for up to 12 hours in step 1.
  2. Walnuts: The finer you chop the walnuts, the more likely they’ll adhere and stick to the chicken. Feel free to replace the walnuts with very finely chopped pecans if desired.
  3. Skillet: If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, simply use a regular frying pan and transfer seared chicken to a baking pan before the oven.
  4. This recipe is a 20+ year family favorite, tweaked over the years and originally from an old Bon Appetit magazine issue.

Keywords: walnut chicken

40 Comments

  1. Just made this for dinner today – awesome! I love your savory recipes – I am not much of a cook (hey, kitchens are made for baking, aren’t they?), but your recipes always turn out great!

  2. Oh my gosh, Sally! I tried cooking it today and my husband absolutely loved it! When I pulled it out of the oven, my husband peeked a little below the aluminum foil; He was very excited to try it cos it’s sizzling! I drizzled it with honey mustard glaze and it’s the bomb!!! Will def make it part of our weekly/monthly dinner 😉 thanks so much for the recipe!

  3. I had my in-laws over for brunch and EVERYONE loved this! Thank you!

  4. I made this last night and it turned out great! I was worried about the walnuts falling off the chicken but they stayed on just fine. I let the chicken marinade overnight and the next day prep was a breeze. The glaze is a perfect ratio of mustard and honey too. My *very* picky boyfriend approved of this dinner, whew! I paired this with homemade drop bisquits and a fresh salad, yum! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  5. Hi Sally! This looks amazing! I’m going to make this for dinner tomorrow but I’m wondering what kind of white wine you use for this? I never know what kind of wine to cook with‍

    1. Lately I’ve been using Sauvignon Blanc for this 🙂

  6. Would this work if I only marinated the chicken for one hour? I forgot to marinate the chicken this morning, and was going to try to make this for dinner tonight, but 1 hour is the max amount of time I’d have to marinate. I’d rather have it turn out, though, and make it tomorrow instead if need be!

    1. 1 hour would be fine, but when it comes to flavor and a tender texture– the longer the better!

  7. This was FANTASTIC. I’ve never made chicken breasts this tender before! FYI, I didn’t put the glaze on top (completely forgot haha) and it was still great, so if you want to avoid the extra sugar that’s an option.

    Can’t wait to make this again!

    1. Yes, they stay super tender! I have skipped the glaze before and agree they are still great!

  8. Unbelievable is right! We loved this chicken! I made this a day after I intended, so my chicken marinated for a day and a half, and it was great! My whole family enjoyed this very much, and I will be adding it to our regular rotation. Thank you for sharing your family’s recipe!

  9. Very good, quick and easy too. I halved the recipe since the whole thing would have been way too much for just me and my two little ones. My son didn’t like the glaze, but liked the chicken without it.

  10. Made this recipe, the chicken was super moist, delicious with the walnut crust/ Dijon mustard combination. The glaze tasted so wonderful with the chicken we drizzled it on a rice side dish we had with the chicken. I could definitely see using the glaze for dipping with other meats such as pork. Thank you, Sally!

  11. Stephanie says:

    The flavor was great, but the walnuts didn’t stay on. Any suggestions? Mine didn’t look anything like yours. Mine looked very dry. Please help as my husband wants it again, but would like the walnuts to stay on the chicken.

    1. Hi Stephanie, Are you coating the chicken and then searing right away? It’s best to coat and then put directly in the pan to sear.

  12. LOVE! One of our new fav’s (along with your chili topped with cornbread)
    Heaven!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  13. Absolutely fabulous recipe! My picky kids had second helpings! Definitely saving this one to go into the rotation. It’s really delicious!

  14. Barbara McDaniel says:

    Made this recipe this evening and it was absolutely fabulous. Ingredients easily available, really easy to assemble and make. Finishing it in oven perfect. Served a tomato, onion and avocado salad, small serving of pasta. BTW, the honey mustard sauce is a little extra surprise and was so great with the chicken. This recipe going into my “Make It Again” recipes. Thank you! Super good recipe!!

  15. Patricia holt says:

    Could you use almond flour for lower carbs?

    1. Definitely!

  16. Michelle Strydom says:

    I made this for dinner last night and it was incredible, so tasty and so tender! Would it be possible to marinate the chicken and freeze it?

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed it! Yes, you can freeze it after step 1.

  17. Heather Gilbert says:

    This was really delicious. I made a number of changes, swapping out the herbs for fresh coriander. I would use ordinary French mustard rather than Dijon next time. I found the Dijon a tad too strong. I had no white wine, so used a splash of liquid Maggi seasoning and a splash of red balsamic vinegar, with a sprinkling of celery salt too. I forgot all about the foil. Seared it in a cast iron frying pan and then straight into the oven. I shall definitely make this again. Thanks for the recipe.

  18. I’m not usually a subber on your recipes but my peeps don’t like walnuts or pecans! Would cashews work on this? Thank you as always!

  19. I would love to try this recipe but I absolutely HATE mustard of any kind. What would you suggest subbing for it Sally?

    1. Hi Bethie, Without the glaze on top it really doesn’t taste like mustard, but you can try simply leaving it out. It won’t be a flavorful but it should still work.

  20. Susan Jodon says:

    I made this last night and it became my favorite chicken dish!!! I marinated the chicken for about 6 hours and I used almond flour. SOOOOOOO GOOOD!!!!! Will be saving this once for sure.

  21. Great recipe taste great the only thing I added was a pinch of homegrown Greek oregano

  22. Vicki Zielinski says:

    My favourite chicken dish. So yummy and easy. I’m addicted 🙂

  23. Sally Richardson says:

    This was really good! Mine was a little oily even after baking, but I think the pan wasn’t hot enough and I had a little too much oil in it when I seared it. Next time I will measure the oil, and make sure it is screaming hot when I put the chicken in. But we loved it anyway! There will be a next time. . .

  24. OH my goodness, just made this for dinner – I didn’t have walnuts so I used pecans, but I followed everything else as written….this is amazing. Every bite my husband and I took, we said oh my God, get this in the recipe rotation! Absolutely delicious…we had it with your “everything biscuits” and steamed broccoli! 10 stars!!!!!!

  25. I couldn’t get the walnuts to stay on very well. I let the chicken breast marinate for 4 hours and it looked delicious but after cooking it there wasn’t a ton of dijon flavor because the flour and walnuts competed with it. I think I’ll make the marinade again and just fry the chicken in the pan without the coating. The honey Dijon dressing was delicious.

  26. Lori from California says:

    Hi Sally. This looks so delicious. After reading the directions I am a little bit confused by the instructions (#1) “marinate 4 hours or overnight” and in the Notes section (#1) “marinate up to 12 hours”. If I marinate overnight, by the time I want to bake it for dinner it will be 24 hours or so. Will this be an issue?

    1. Hi Lori, it’s best to keep the marination under or close to 12 hours. Let me clarify the timing in the instructions. Thank you for bringing to my attention.

  27. Served this last night and my guests asked for the recipe. It was delicious. The meat was tender and flavorful.

    I used boneless thigh meat. So what if the walnuts fell off when turning the meat over, I placed them on top when the meat was served. My other variant was that I drizzled the honey mustard on top of the chicken and then placed the skillet back in the cooling oven for another five minutes. It came out looking a lot like the photos in the article.

    1. I did this again and added a tablespoon of bourbon to the honey mustard sauce. Wow!

  28. Patty VanBuskirk says:

    Made this for dinner tonight. It was delicious! Thanks.

  29. Just tried this recipe but I added pistachios and it was AMAZING!!!! Seriously might be the best chicken I’ve made. I also used a Dijon that had mustard seeds still in it instead of a completely smooth Dijon. It’s savory and sweet and crunchy, this will be my new go to anytime I want to impress someone with my cooking skills because it’s seriously amazing and looks appetizing on the plate!

  30. Hi Sally! The flavor of this chicken turned out amazing but I’m not sure why the crust didn’t work out for me. You are my go to for baking recipes (love your red velvet cake recipe) and I just had to try this when I searched for chicken dinner recipes. Do you have any advice for next time? The breading separated from the chicken completely after it was done cooking and I tried to transfer to plates. I usually let my chicken reach room temp prior to breading it but I was in a hurry and didn’t take the extra time. Could that be the problem? I also used unbleached white flour. I really want to make this recipe again just hesitant because of the way the crust turned out!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jamie! Are you coating the chicken and then searing right away? It’s best to coat and then put directly in the pan to sear — that helps the crust stay in tact.

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