A great alternative to your standard breaded chicken breast, this air fried pecan crusted chicken with maple honey mustard is crispy and delicious. The perfect addition to a fall-inspired salad with crisp apple, crunchy pecans, and goat cheese. This chicken is air fried, to eliminate the use of any oil and to make for a crispy outside. Breaded with a mixture of panko breadcrumbs and ground pecans and topped with a maple honey mustard glaze for some sweetness, this chicken is super easy to make, and the perfect dish for Fall.
How to serve air fried pecan crusted chicken with maple honey mustard
My recommendation for how to serve this chicken is over mixed greens with more components to echo the flavors of the chicken and glaze: pecans, fresh apple slices, and tangy goat cheese. When served this way, this dish tastes like something you would order at a restaurant.
You can also serve this chicken with a starch, like potatoes (sweet potatoes would be great here to echo the sweetness of the glaze) and a vegetable, like asparagus.
Do I need the glaze?
I personally think the glaze is the best part of this recipe. It adds so much flavor to the chicken. You can use sugar free syrup if you prefer, but I definitely recommend making the glaze for dipping the chicken. It also makes a great salad dressing, if you plan on serving the chicken over mixed greens.
What do I need to make this recipe?
To make this recipe you will need:
- chicken breast
- egg whites
- plain unseasoned panko breadcrumbs
- I like using plain panko breadcrumbs here, since you can add your own seasonings as desired.
- garlic powder
- kosher salty
- olive oil spray
- maple syrup
- I used real maple syrup here since I avoid artificial sweeteners, but if you prefer, you can use sugar-free.
- honey mustard
How is this recipe lightened up?
There are a few ways this recipe is lightened up in calories and WW points:
- Since nuts can be high in calories and fat, the pecan topping is stretched by using panko breadcrumbs along with the pecans. The pecans still give the chicken flavor and crunch, but you save calories and fat by combining the breadcrumbs and the pecans.
- I use egg whites as the binder for the breadcrumbs, since they are lower in calories and fat as well.
- The chicken is air fried, as opposed to pan fried with oil. I use olive oil spray to moisten the chicken while it cooks, but this is a fraction of the amount of oil that would be used in pan frying.
All of these factors together create a recipe that is lower in calories and points, yet delicious and enjoyable!
How to make air fried pecan crusted chicken with maple honey mustard
To make this recipe, start by making a dredging station. Grind the pecans up finely in a food processor, or chop them by hand if you want larger pieces. Add the egg whites to a shallow bowl, and combine the panko breadcrumbs with the pecans, garlic powder, and kosher salt.
Cut the chicken breasts into four equal-sized pieces. Dip each piece of chicken into the egg white followed by the panko mixture. Spray the air fryer basket with olive oil spray, and add the dredged chicken pieces. Spray the tops with more olive oil spray and air fry at 370 for 10 minutes, flipping halfway and spraying again. Make sure the pieces are golden brown and cooked through.
To create the glaze, combine the honey mustard with the maple syrup.
Can I use my oven? What if I don’t have an air fryer?
An air fryer is really a compact, countertop convection oven. It circulates air to create a “fried” texture on food. If you do not have an air fryer, you can convection bake these chicken tenders. I recommend placing them on a wire rack, fitted over a baking sheet. This helps create air circulation around and underneath the chicken pieces. You can prepare the chicken using the same method, and then spray the chicken with olive oil spray, and bake the chicken at 400F until crispy and cooked through.
The air fryer I use is this one from Gowise; it is a 7 quart, and it is more than large enough to cook multiple pieces of chicken at a time. It also really gets the chicken crispy, more so than other air fryers that I have tried in the past.
Air Fried Pecan Crusted Chicken with Maple Honey Mustard
- air fryer
- 1 lb chicken breast
- 1/4 cup egg whites
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- olive oil spray
- 1 tbsp honey mustard
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Cut the chicken breasts into 4 slices.
- Ground the pecans up using a food processor.
- Combine the panko, pecans, garlic powder, and salt in a shallow bowl.
- In another bowl, add the egg whites.
- Dip each piece of chicken in the egg whites, followed by the pecan and panko mixture.
- Spray the air fryer basket with olive oil spray.
- Add the breaded chicken to the air fryer basket.
- Air fry at 370 for about 10 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through, flipping halfway and spraying the chicken again.
- Combine the honey mustard and the maple syrup and drizzle on the chicken.
- 4 WW points per piece with glaze (green plan)
- 3 WW points per piece with glaze (blue and purple plans)
If you are looking for other recipes that use pecans, check these out: