The Mexican-inspired seasoning sets this Pistachio Crusted Chicken recipe apart from the others. A sprinkle of cumin, paprika, cayenne and cinnamon gives this baked chicken a unique flavor that is still versatile enough to pair with just about anything.

A blue plate topped with rice, roasted broccoli and sliced pistachio crusted chicken.

This pistachio crusted chicken is packed with flavor!

Crusting chicken with pistachios is a way to break up the monotony of baked chicken for dinner several nights a week.

This pistachio crusted chicken is anything but monotonous. Not only does it have a super crunchy crust from pistachios and panko breadcrumbs, but the chicken is seasoned with Mexican-inspired spices.

A little sprinkle of cumin, paprika, cayenne, cinnamon and salt sets this pistachio chicken recipe apart from the others.

Pile it into a torta-inspired sandwich, or serve it with rice and a roasted vegetable. It has a unique flavor that is still versatile enough to pair with just about anything.

Why you will love this pistachio chicken

  • Ready in 30 minutes or less. Because the chicken breasts are pounded thin, they bake super fast.
  • Versatility. It can be eaten on its own, sliced up and dipped in sauce, made into a sandwich or added to a salad.
  • Adding heart-healthy pistachios to your diet. Research has shown that pistachios may improve blood pressure and lower cholesterol.
A white surface with the ingredients needed for pistachio chicken, including chicken breasts, flour, breadcrumbs, spices, an egg and pistachios.

Pistachio crusted chicken ingredients

  • chicken breast – two large, boneless skinless chicken breasts will yield four servings of pistachio crusted chicken.
  • pistachios – remove them from their shells, if necessary (or buy the pre-shelled ones) and THEN measure out 1/2 cup.
  • all-purpose flour – this will be the first step of a classic 3-step breading process.
  • eggs – the second step of the breading process.
  • panko breadcrumbs – you’ll add breadcrumbs to the pistachios to complete the breading mixture.
  • cumin – this earthy, savory spice gives the chicken a Mexican-inspired flavor.
  • cinnamon – normally associated with baking, it’s a common ingredient in Mexican dishes like mole.
  • paprika – this adds a peppery but fruity flavor to the chicken.
  • cayenne – just a pinch adds a little bit of heat.
  • salt – crucial for any type of chicken to taste its best.
A bowl of a food processor filled with chopped pistachios.

How to make chicken with pistachios

  1. Preheat the oven and chop the pistachios up in food processor.
  2. Cut the chicken and pound it out thin.
  3. Season the chicken with spices, and then dip the chicken in flour, then egg, then the pistachio and breadcrumb mixture to bread it.
  4. Bake until the chicken is cooked through.
A pounded out chicken breast in a zip top bag.

What temperature should the oven be for pistachio encrusted chicken?

I’ve found that 425 degrees F is the perfect temperature for baking pistachio chicken. This allows the chicken to cook through without burning the nut mixture on the outside.

Seasoned chicken breasts being coated with flour in a bowl.

How to serve this pistachio chicken recipe

  • CLASSIC – Serve it on its own with any side dishes you want, like rice and Parmesan roasted broccoli.
  • SALAD – Chop the baked pistachio chicken breasts up and add it to a bright green salad for a satisfying and protein-packed meal.
  • SANDWICH – Use it to build a Mexican-style torta sandwich! See the chicken torta recipe I published over on Food52 to get all the details of making this into a sandwich. The torta recipe was chosen as a Community Pick in one of Food 52’s contests.
A process shot of coating chicken with pistachios in a white bowl.

What pairs best with pistachio crusted chicken

My favorite side dishes for pistachio chicken include roasted glazed carrots and balsamic green beans.

I also like serving them with a dipping sauce, and feta dressing is one of my favorites.

Home Chef Tips

  • If you want to save time and not pound out chicken breasts, you can start with a package of thin sliced chicken breast cutlets instead.
  • If you don’t have a food processor, you can simply chop the pistachios very finely.
  • Invest in an instant read thermometer. The internal temperature of the chicken needs to reach 165 degrees F for food safety. An instant read thermometer is the easiest way to check this.
Pistachio crusted chicken breasts, baked, on a rimmed baking pan.

Pistachio chicken storage

To store leftovers or use this recipe as a meal prep idea, allow pistachio crusted chicken to cool completely.

Place it in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days.

To reheat, place in an air fryer or 350 degree F oven and cook until warmed through.

Sliced pistachio chicken on a blue plate with rice and broccoli.

Pistachio crusted chicken recipe FAQ

Can I use a different nut?

I don’t recommend a different nut, because the flavors and spices in this recipe have been chosen to complement pistachios. I do have a recipe for almond chicken if you’d prefer an almond-crusted chicken recipe instead.

Can I use a different type of flour?

Yes! Whole wheat flour, gluten free flour, or a nut flour like almond flour all work fine here.

Can I use regular breadcrumbs?

I highly recommend panko breadcrumbs for the most amount of crunch, but regular breadcrumbs will also work here. The end result of the pistachio crusted chicken will not be as crispy.

Pistachio crusted chicken breasts on a cutting board, with one piece cut into slices.
A blue plate topped with rice, roasted broccoli and sliced pistachio crusted chicken.

Pistachio Crusted Chicken

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 18 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

The Mexican-inspired seasoning sets this Pistachio Crusted Chicken recipe apart from the others. A sprinkle of cumin, paprika, cayenne and cinnamon gives this baked chicken a unique flavor that is still versatile enough to pair with just about anything.


  • Olive oil nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray rimmed baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In bowl of food processor fitted with knife blade attachment, pulse pistachios until finely chopped.
  3. Place flour in shallow dish. In second shallow dish, lightly whisk eggs. In third shallow dish, stir together breadcrumbs and chopped pistachios.
  4. In small bowl, stir together cumin, salt, paprika, cayenne and cinnamon.
  5. Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Depending on the brand of chicken, the tenderloin portion may be attached to the breasts, and it may split away while you're cutting the chicken (so you may end up with 3 pieces per breast) - this is fine. Working with a few pieces at a time, place chicken in large zip-top bag and pound to 1/4- to 1/2-inch thickness. Place chicken in even layer on two large plates and sprinkle both sides of chicken pieces with cumin mixture.
  6. Working with one piece at a time, dredge chicken in flour, then egg, then breadcrumb mixture, allowing excess flour and egg to fall away before moving to next step. Place chicken on prepared baking pan. Lightly spray chicken with cooking spray.
  7. Transfer to oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, turning once.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 391Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 610mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 30g

This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. Nutrition information does not include any optional ingredients or toppings. You should calculate the nutrition information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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