How to Make Nut Coating for Chicken: Honey Nut Crust Chicken | The Recipe ReDux

Add toasty crunch to chicken without the frying – here are tips for making a nut coating – that are so easy you won’t need a recipe.

How to Make Nut Encrusted Chicken | @tspcurry

In the dinnertime rush, sometimes there just isn’t time to search for a recipe for that chicken in the fridge; this simple no-recipe recipe for nut encrusted chicken has saved dinner more than once at my house. Nuts add toasty crunchiness to skinless chicken – plus extra nutrition. It’s perfect for boneless chicken breasts or tenders; it also works for bone-in thighs and/or drumsticks.

Here are some tips to make sure your chicken comes out crispy outside, juicy inside – every time:

How to make nuts stick:

  • Honey + mustard – Mix together a spoonful of each and and brush on. Need more directions? For every 1 pound chicken, use 1 tablespoon each of honey + mustard.
  • Buttermilk – If you don’t have honey/mustard, pour a little buttermilk in large bowl; add chicken and toss to coat. Specifics: For every 1 pound of chicken, use 2 tablespoons buttermilk.

How to Make Nut Coating for Chicken | @tspCurry

Which nuts to use:

  • Best nuts for encrustingPeanuts, pistachios, almonds, walnuts or pecans – all work great – especially because they are easy to chop and toast beautifully in the oven.
  • Use with careMacadamia nuts and Brazil nuts are oilier – so watch them in the oven as they burn easier.

Best way to chop nuts for encrusted chicken:

  1. Add nuts, salt and pepper to a mini-food processor or spice grinder and process for 2 or 3 pulses. Don’t process too long or your nut coating will be all dust, no crunch! (Adding salt + pepper to the processor saves the extra step of salting/peppering chicken later.)
  2. Dump nuts/salt/pepper onto cutting board to chop remaining bigger nut chunks. Results: You’ll have a bit of finely ground nuts for coating the entire surface of meat with nutty flavor, plus you’ll have bigger nut chunks for crunch.

BIG benefits of ‘nut crust’ chicken are:

  • Added flavor! – Toasting any nut adds warm, rich aromas – without lots of ingredients. Anyone in my kitchen always asks, “What smells so good?!”
  • Added nutrition – Nuts have several nutrients not found in many other foods like:
    B-vitamins – May be helpful in countering stress
    Magnesium – Has been shown to help decrease symptoms of headaches, even migraines
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – Helpful with heart health!
Add toasty crunch to chicken: How to Make a Nut Coating for Chicken + Honey Nut Encrusted Chicken via @tspcurry Click To Tweet

And for one more reason to make this…Tomorrow is  National Nut Day – October 22! So we’re celebrating – along with everyone else at The Recipe ReDux with a theme of nuts. Check out all the nutty and nutritious recipes below!

And if you feel a bit more comfy with a real recipe – instead of a no-recipe recipe, here it is:


Honey Nut Crust Chicken

Simple no-recipe recipe and tips on which nuts are best for encrusting chicken. How-to photos included.

  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken or 1.5 pounds bone-in chicken (see above post for suggestions on chicken cuts)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard (or whatever kind you have)
  • ½ cup peanuts, walnuts, pistachios – or any nut or seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Coat a wire rack well with non-stick cooking spray. Place rack on baking sheet or bottom of a broiler pan. Heat oven to 375-degrees
  2. Cut chicken into 2-inch pieces (if using bone-in chicken, leave as is)
  3. In a large bowl, combine honey and mustard; add chicken and toss to coat. Set aside.
  4. In a small food processor, add nuts then salt and pepper, pulse 2-3 times until coarsely chopped.
  5. Dump entire contents onto cutting board and chop larger nuts into pieces the size of sunflower seeds.
  6. Slide nuts onto a plate and press chicken pieces into nuts. Place chicken pieces on wire rack.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes or until chicken registers 165-degrees with a thermometer.

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How to Make Nut Coatings for Chicken : Tips for pistachios, almonds, walnuts, peanuts | @tspcurry

What is your favorite nut to use in cooking? Sweet or savory for your nutty creations?


We’re Serena & Deanna, two dietitians who love food as much as you do!  

We're also moms and business owners who share our family recipes, healthy kitchen hacks and nutrition adventures while keeping it real in the kitchen with you.

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