Here is an easy oven-baked pecan-crusted chicken breast recipe. It's simple to adjust the recipe to fit an egg-free, dairy-free, or paleo meal plan!
When preparing the roasted garlic cream sauce that I posted last week, I needed to find a dish to serve it with. There's already a chicken in white sauce recipe on the blog, so I wanted something a bit different.
I just happened to have a 1 cup bag of chopped pecans and a big bag of pork rinds lying around. So, that inspired me to create this easy oven-baked parmesan pecan-crusted chicken recipe.
However, I've been staying away from dairy. So, I separated the dish into one with cheese and the other with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast added instead.
If you haven't tried nutritional yeast, you need to pick up a bag. It's a wonderful substitute for cheese in dairy-free recipes as it gives a similar flavor.
Why you'll love it
These tender chicken breasts are covered in an irresistible pecan coasting. They are the perfect thing to serve for dinner or to add to your meal prep the rest of the week.
You'll be surprised at how much flavor roasted pecans give the chicken! If you haven't tried to cook with pecans and chicken before, make this recipe. It is the perfect combination.
There are two parts to this chicken recipe - the keto-friendly crust and the chicken.
You'll need boneless skinless chicken breasts. You can also use chicken cutlets or chicken tenderloins.
These are the perfect replacement for panko breadcrumbs. You can either buy them whole or chopped because you will grind them up finely in the food processor later.
When you mix pork rinds and chopped pecans, you get the perfect low-carb coating to replace traditional bread crumbs.
Parmesan cheese adds a lovely crunchy texture to the chicken and a flavor that will have you coming back for seconds!
Season them with your favorite spices. I used garlic powder, freshly ground black pepper, and kosher salt. I also mixed in some fresh basil for the amazing flavors and aroma it has.
If you want the baked pecan-crusted chicken to have a bit of heat, add some smoked paprika!
Finally, I used egg whites in the coating. If you are egg-free, use some gelatin and water.
Please note: Check out the recipe card at the bottom for a full list of ingredients used to make this low-carb recipe.
- Use a food processor. If you don't have one, get one. It will make this recipe so much easier.
- Make pecan crusted chicken salad. Save leftover chicken strips and use them on top of your favorite chopped salad greens.
- Line the baking tray with a silicone mat. It tends to stick to the baking sheet, so use a non-stick mat. It works better than non stick cooking spray.
The steps to make this delicious pecan-crusted chicken breast with crunchy texture are super simple. Just coat the chicken and bake it!
Process pecan mixture
Add the pecans, pork rinds, and parmesan cheese to a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is the size of fine crumbs.
Pour the mixture into a medium bowl. Stir in garlic powder, basil, and salt. Set aside.
Make the egg dip
In a shallow dish, beat egg whites or prepare gelatin water mixture for egg-free.
Coat the chicken
Dip chicken breasts in egg whites (or gelatin water), then press into pecan mixture to coat. Place each piece on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake pecan crusted chicken
Bake the chicken breasts until golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm.
️ Serving suggestions
Serve this chicken with some delicious sides for dinner tonight!
To enjoy it for lunch, cut them into strips and make pecan-crusted chicken tenders. Dip into keto honey mustard sauce - just use your favorite low-carb version.
Pecan chicken is also perfect when you drizzle it with garlic cream sauce. My favorite recipe uses coconut cream in place of heavy cream.
Before we get to the printable recipe card, here are some questions people often ask about how to make it.
Yes, they are keto-friendly as long as you use low-carb ingredients for the coating.
It is true that boneless chicken breasts tend to dry out when you bake them in the oven. The best way to lock in the juices is to coat them with something - like the pecan and pork rind mixture in this recipe.
Keep leftover crusted chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
This pecan-coated chicken will taste delicious with dijon mustard. Serve with either sugar-free honey mustard dip or your favorite keto honey mustard dressing. You can also drizzle some sugar-free maple syrup on top.
If you aren't a fan of sweet flavors, serve this with some blue cheese dressing or Greek yogurt.
Use an instant-read thermometer and remove chicken when it reaches an internal temperature of 165F.
I found a great dairy-free mozzarella cheese that my daughters both like. However, the carbs are a bit high at 7 grams for each ¼ cup serving.
I'd like to try and make a keto-friendly vegan cheese. But, it will take a lot of experimentation to get that stretchiness without using starchy ingredients.
I have made zucchini cheese, and it's not a bad substitute when you add in the nutritional yeast for a cheesy taste. However, it's not something you'll want to put on top of a low-carb pizza!
Looking for more chicken recipes to make for dinner? Be sure to check out these gluten-free chicken dinner ideas. They are some of my favorites!
- Tuscan Chicken Skillet has an incredible and classic Italian flavor with the most vibrant sauce.
- Chicken And Green Bean Stir Fry has 5 grams net carbs and is sweetened with juicy tomatoes.
- Citrus Herb Chicken Chorizo is a cinch when you make it in the Instant Pot. Plus, the flavors really infuse into the meat.
- Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken gives you plenty of chicken for other recipes and speeds up the time it takes to cook a whole chicken.
- Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken is a zesty recipe from south of the border.
Oven Baked Parmesan Pecan Crusted Chicken Breast
- 1 cup pecans chopped or whole
- 25 grams pork rinds about 1 cup
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated or shredded (omit for dairy-free or use nutritional yeast)
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
- ⅛ teaspoon salt omit if pork rinds are salty
- 2 egg whites or gelatin and water for egg-free
- 4 chicken breasts about 4 oz each, skinless and boneless
- Add pecans, pork rinds, and parmesan cheese (if using) to food processor. Pulse until mixture is the size of fine crumbs.
- Pour mixture into a medium bowl. Stir in garlic powder, basil, and salt. Set aside.
- In small bowl, beat egg whites or prepare gelatin water mixture for egg free.
- Dip chicken breasts in egg whites (or gelatin water) then press into pecan mixture to coat. Place each piece on a parchment paper lined or silicone lined baking pan.
- Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes then flip and bake another 10-15 minutes until chicken tests done. Remove from oven and serve warm.
Array ( [serving_size] => 1 [calories] => 372 [carbohydrates] => 5 [protein] => 34 [fat] => 24 [saturated_fat] => 3 [cholesterol] => 82 [sodium] => 444 [potassium] => 567 [fiber] => 2 [sugar] => 1 [vitamin_a] => 125 [vitamin_c] => 1.7 [calcium] => 97 [iron] => 1.3 [serving_unit] => breast )
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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First published February 19, 2018. Updated on March 17, 2022, with new images and additional recipe information.