Walnut-Crusted Chicken Breast


I almost never order a nut-crusted entrée in a restaurant, as it often features a sugary glaze or an overly sweet nut, like pecan or macadamia. That's not an issue with this walnut chicken. Buttery, subtly bitter walnuts coat the chicken, attached with a savory "nut glue" made with a garlic and mustard base. This protective layer of deliciousness makes boneless, skinless chicken breast taste like it was just carved off a freshly roasted chicken.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 25 mins


  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided

  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme

  • 2 (8 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped walnuts

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • ½ cup chicken broth

  • 2 teaspoons honey


  1. Mix garlic, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, and thyme together in a bowl.

  2. Season chicken breasts generously on both sides with cayenne, salt, and pepper. Spread Dijon mixture on both sides of chicken until fully coated.

  3. Firmly press walnuts onto both sides of chicken breasts. Keep covering with more walnuts and pressing until chicken is thoroughly coated. Refrigerate for 1 1/2 to 3 hours.

  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  5. Coat the bottom of an oven-proof skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place chicken breasts on top, reserving excess nuts if desired. Season with a pinch of salt and drizzle remaining olive oil over top.

  6. Bake in the center of the preheated oven until walnuts are lightly toasted and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a breast reads 165 degrees F (74 degrees C), about 25 minutes. Be careful taking the pan out of the oven; keep the handle covered with a towel or mitt at all times.

  7. Quickly transfer chicken to a plate to rest.

  8. Transfer the skillet to the stovetop and stir in broth, remaining 1 tablespoon Dijon, and honey. Add any reserved nuts if desired, and bring to a boil over high heat; cook until reduced by about half, 3 to 4 minutes.

  9. Spoon pan sauce over and around chicken to serve.

Chef's Note:

You can prep the chicken hours ahead if you prefer. Just cover and refrigerate after Step 2.

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of walnut coating. The actual amount of coating consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

1006 Calories
74g Fat
26g Carbs
67g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 2
Calories 1006
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 74g 95%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 133mg 44%
Sodium 1005mg 44%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Protein 67g
Vitamin C 8mg 38%
Calcium 129mg 10%
Iron 5mg 26%
Potassium 1007mg 21%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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