This recipe for Pistachio Crusted Chicken breasts results in chicken that's crisp and golden. They nutty breading is crunchy and flavorful on the outside and the chicken is juicy and tender on the inside. Both air fryer and oven instructions included!
Air Fryer Pistachio Crusted Chicken Recipe
Pistachios may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a breading for chicken but they are a fabulous way to add an element of surprise and amp up the menu. As always, I'm including oven instructions as well knowing that everyone doesn't own an air fryer and this recipe will work either way.
How to Make the Best Pistachio Crusted Chicken Breasts Recipe
- Ingredients you'll need to make homemade Pistachio Crusted Chicken Breasts: Boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs, lightly salted shelled pistachios, Italian breadcrumbs, garlic salt, black pepper, plain Greek yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, peach jam or preserves and parsley for garnishing.
- Kitchen gadgets you'll need: An air fryer, sharp knife and cutting board, measuring cups and spoons, shallow bowls for coating the chicken breast pieces and a spatula or tongs for turning the chicken half way through cooking and removing from the air fryer.
- The nuts in this recipe are the pistachios without the shells. I would recommend chopping them using a food processor. If you chop them too thick, they won’t adhere to the chicken breast. That said, if you want to be able to tell that you are using pistachios and retain some of their green color, don’t process them too small.
- Italian breadcrumbs: If you have another type of breadcrumb that you prefer, feel free to use that instead. The Italian breadcrumbs include additional seasonings, so if you are using plain breadcrumbs, you may want to consider adding in more seasonings to your mix for a full flavored breading.
- You can use sour cream if you don’t have plain Greek yogurt on hand.
- I use olive oil in this recipe, but please note you can use canola oil, grapeseed oil, or even avocado oil will work, instead.
- Lime juice, either fresh or from concentrate, is a great substitute for lemon juice in a pinch.
- If making more than two chicken breasts, cook in batches to avoid overcrowding the air fryer.
- Peach jam or preserves pair beautifully with the flavor of the pistachios. Another alternative is apricot jam or preserves.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts are my go-to for this recipe. Boneless chicken thighs would also work, but make an effort to remove all visible fat beforehand.
- How do I store this Pistachio Crusted Chicken? If you have leftovers cool then place it in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to three days. When reheating, use the air fryer to heat up each side at 350 degrees F for around 2-4 minutes. You can also freeze these leftovers for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator then reheat in the air fryer.
- See the Cook's note in the recipe card for oven instructions.
How to Prepare Pistachio Chicken in an Air Fryer
How can I use the air fryer correctly for this recipe? A few pointers for your success.
- Make sure to preheat the air fryer to 360°F before adding the chicken.
- Do not overcrowd the air fryer, otherwise the chicken won’t cook enough. If you want to make two large pieces or 4 smaller pieces, either will work as long as there's room for air to circulate on all sides.
- The marinade will help infuse more flavor into the chicken, but if you are short on time, you can skip the marinade and simply dredge the chicken in the marinade mixture before coating it with the breadcrumbs and pistachios.
- Make sure your chicken is not too thick. If it is, you will need to increase the cooking time.
- Either set the air fryer for 360° F at 9 minutes twice, or set it at 360° F for 18 minutes, and make sure to take out and flip over the chicken breasts at 9 minutes. You definitely want to flip the chicken otherwise the nuts and breading will burn on one side before the chicken is cooked.
- Do not use aluminum foil under the chicken breasts for this recipe, as it will trap the juices and make the breading wet.
Southern Style Side Dishes to Serve with Chicken
This pistachio chicken recipe will go with any of your favorite side dishes. A crunchy Green Bean Salad with Tomatoes, fresh Corn on the Cob or may this recipe for Zucchini Salad from Fifteen Spatulas. A big dish of cheesy Scalloped Potatoes or Parmesan Smashed Potatoes. For the pasta fans at your table Creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese or homemade Fettuccine Alfredo better than any you'll get at a restaurant. You can never go wrong with a Spinach Salad filled with Granny Smith apples, bleu cheese and bacon and a basket of Honey Yeast Rolls and a glass of Southern Sweet Tea to wash it all down. You're welcome.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Pistachio Crusted Chicken
- 2 8 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded to ¾ inch thick
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoon peach jam or preserves
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅔ cup lightly salted shelled pistachios finely chopped
- ¼ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper OR red pepper flakes
- chopped fresh parsley
- In a large shallow bowl, whisk together Greek yogurt, peach jam, olive oil and lemon juice. Add chicken pieces turning to coat. Cover and chill for 1-2 hours.
- In a shallow bowl whisk together pistachios, Italian breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic salt, and black pepper. Set aside.
- Preheat the air fryer to 360°F. Remove chicken breasts from marinate allowing excess to drip off. Transfer to the breadcrumb bowl and thoroughly coat both sides of the chicken pressing breading to adhere.
- Spritz air fryer rack with cooking spray. Arrange chicken breasts in air fryer and cook for 9 minutes on each side, turning halfway through. To confirm chicken is completely cooked test internal temperature with a meat thermometer. (165°F)
- Remove from the air fryer and rest for 3-5 minutes, then serve garnished with parsley, if desired.
- Note: If making more than two chicken breasts, cook in batches to avoid overcrowding the air fryer.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Fit a rimmed sheet pan with an oven safe rack or use a broiler pan. Spray liberally with cooking spray.
- Prepare chicken per the recipe. Place onto the rack or pan.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the juices run clear and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. (Adjust time depending on the thickness of the chicken pieces)
- Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve.