Pecan-Crusted Chicken

Pecan-Crusted Chicken

34 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2007

This recipe coats tender chicken breasts with a buttery pecans flavored with spicy chipotle and zesty orange. Serve with a spinach salad.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
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  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (1-1¼ pounds), trimmed (see Tip)
  • ½ cup pecan halves or pieces
  • ¼ cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, (see Note)
  • 1 large eggwhite
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Working with one piece of chicken at a time, place between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or heavy skillet until flattened to an even ¼-inch thickness.
  2. Place pecans, breadcrumbs, orange zest, salt and ground chipotle in a food processor and pulse until the pecans are finely ground. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish. Whisk egg white and water in a shallow dish until combined. Dip each chicken breast in the egg-white mixture, then dredge both sides in the pecan mixture.
  3. Heat 1½ teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half the chicken and cook until browned on the outside and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Carefully wipe out the pan with a paper towel and add the remaining oil. Cook the remaining chicken, adjusting the heat as needed to prevent scorching. Serve immediately.
  • Tip: It can be hard to find individual chicken breasts small enough for our recommended 4-ounce (uncooked) portion size. If yours are closer to 5 ounces each, remove the tender (about 1 ounce) from the underside to get the correct portion size. Wrap and freeze the leftover tenders; when you have gathered enough, use them in a stir-fry, for chicken fingers or in soups.
  • Note: Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapeño peppers. Ground chipotle can be found in the specialty spice section of most supermarkets.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 3 oz. chicken breast
  • Per serving: 270 calories; 15 g fat(2 g sat); 2 g fiber; 7 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 17 mcg folate; 63 mg cholesterol; 1 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 76 IU vitamin A; 1 mg vitamin C; 35 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 413 mg sodium; 271 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: ½ starch, 4 lean meat, ½ fat

Reviews 34

April 16, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious Love love love this recipe! I thought the recipe called for too much orange zest though. I love the taste of the orange, but it was a bit overpowering. I couldn't even taste the chipotle pepper, so I may put less orange zest next time, but there will definitely be a next time!
February 25, 2012
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By: christiesharda
One of my favorite recipes This has become one of my favorite recipes to make. It reminds me of fried chicken. The only thing I've noticed is that the breading doesn't always turn out quite right - I'm still not quite sure why. I love serving it with mashed cauliflower. Pros: light Cons: have to mix breading exactly
December 01, 2011
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By: EatingWell User
Excellent! We loved this recipe. Based on a few other recipes for pecan crusted chicken, we made sauce to go over the chicken: diced shallots cooked in a bit of olive oil, added chicken stock, cooked down, added whole grain mustard and butter. To die for!
February 22, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I've made this twice now and thought it was delicious each time. I used white pepper and couldn't really taste it, so maybe I'll try the cayenne pepper that was suggested next time. Even so, it was the best chicken I've ever made. By the way, pounding the chicken breast helps to tenderize it and it makes it really moist and juicy.
February 16, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
My whole family, 2 boys included loved this recipe. I used Italian seasoned bread crumbs and Oh it was so good and juicy. Please don't use chili powder, that's probably why you didn't like it. I just might try it with lime, that sounds really good, thank you for the idea.
January 09, 2010
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By: mariepmcmanus
My boyfriend is allergic to oranges, so I substituted lime and used ground cayenne pepper instead of the chipotle. I do not have anything to make the chicken into 1/2 inch thick, either, so I take a regular boneless chicken breast and slice it down into two thin pieces. This is one of our favorites and I usually make it once a week or every other week. If you love lime like I do, you'll love this version!
January 01, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
Great, easy dish. Didn't have chipotle on hand so I used cayenne pepper, which was recommended through a Google search for substitutes. Even got the steak-loving boyfriend to devour it.
November 14, 2009
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By: katiedid
I may be the only person on here who did not like this dish. I just thought the orange zest and pecans overpowered any flavor of the chicken and the texture of the ground pecans was a little weird. Maybe it was because I subbed chili powder for the chipotle, which I couldn't find at the two stores I looked at? My son, on the other hand, LOVED it.
November 06, 2009
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By: kathrynn1024
I love this chicken recipe - it is so tasty over a nice spinach salad. I, however, do not have anything to mash the chicken to 1/2 inch thick, so I baked the pecan-crusted chicken in the oven which is also super tasty and helpful to make sure the delicious crust does not come off when flipping the chicken over! Just an option if you don't have the necessary utensils like I didn't...
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