This crispy almond chicken breast is perfect for a weeknight meal! Your family will love the nutty, crispy crust and tender, juicy chicken underneath.
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You’ve had crispy almond chicken breast from Panda Express, but now you’re ready to make it at home! The good news is that copycat almond chicken is easier than you think, and when you make it yourself, you can make it healthier and customize it with your own favorite sauces and sides.
In fact, this crispy almond chicken breast can be served with a savory Asian-inspired sauce like Panda Express crispy almond chicken, but you can also pair it with other cuisines and flavors. Like grilled BBQ chicken and baked chicken breasts, it’s the kind of easy chicken recipe you’ll find yourself turning to again and again when you’re planning your weeknight dinners.
Crispy Almond Chicken Breast Recipe
This crispy almond chicken breast recipe makes the perfect chicken—crispy on the outside, but tender and juicy on the inside. It’s also incredibly flavorful, with a full teaspoon of black pepper, savory garlic and onion powder, and nutty almonds.
Pan frying the almond chicken before baking it gives you the best of both worlds—you’ll get the nice, crispy exterior that comes from cook the chicken in a pan, but after that, the recipe is largely hands-off as you finish it in the oven.
(Looking for more family-friendly chicken recipes? Check out my 30 Best Chicken Breast Recipes!)
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts – Try to choose ones that are roughly the same size so they finish cooking at the same time. Chicken tenders can be used instead, but you’ll need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- All-purpose flour – Make the recipe gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour blend and gluten-free breadcrumbs.
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper – Freshly cracked is best!
- Garlic powder – Garlic powder is nice because it distributes more evenly into the dredging mixture than fresh garlic.
- Onion powder
- Eggs – Here’s the best way to crack an egg!
- Slivered almonds – Although some recipes use almond flour, we like using crushed almonds for some additional texture. Use leftovers to make Almond Cookies!
- Panko breadcrumbs – We use panko instead of the puffed rice used in the Panda Express version because it works better for oven baking.
- Olive oil – Another oil you have on hand and like to use for cooking is fine, too.
You can take this crispy crunchy chicken in different directions with a few easy swaps and additions. Try using other chopped nuts like walnuts or cashews instead of the almonds, or add Parmesan cheese to the coating for a cheesy flavor that pairs well with Italian dishes.
Serve it with your favorite sauces like sweet chili sauce for a Thai-inspired dish, teriyaki sauce for a Japanese twist, or go with a savory soy garlic sauce to serve it up Panda Express style. Garnish with basil, scallions, and extra almonds.
How to Make Crispy Almond Chicken Breast
- Prepare: Preheat your oven to 375ºF. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
- Make the dredging stations: In a shallow container, whisk together the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and water. Pulse the almonds in a food processor until they’re roughly crushed, then add the breadcrumbs and pulse one more time. Transfer the almond mixture to a third shallow dish.
- Dredge the chicken: Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture on both sides, followed by the egg mixture, and the almond coating. Set the coated chicken on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Heat the oil: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet set over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer.
- Pan-fry: Add the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side, or until the crust is golden brown.
- Bake: Drizzle the chicken with the remaining olive oil, then place the pan in the preheated oven. Bake until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF, or for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Finish: Let the chicken rest for 3 to 4 minutes, then serve.
Instead of using a food processor, you can crush the almonds by putting them in a plastic freezer bag and using a rolling pin to smash them.
What to Serve With Crispy Almond Chicken Breast
This crispy almond chicken breast is a great base for lots of types of meals. Serve it with roasted broccoli or air fryer Brussels sprouts, steamed green beans, mashed potatoes or crispy Parmesan potatoes, or sliced over a salad.
If you want to make it Asian-style, pair your almond chicken with Instant Pot rice and a quick vegetable stir fry. Add your favorite Asian-inspired sauce and some green onions on top.
How to Store Leftover Almond Chicken Breast
Leftover almond chicken breast can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat leftovers, place the chicken in a 350ºF oven and bake until warmed through—about 10 minutes.
Yes, almond chicken is made with white meat chicken. The almonds provide a crave-worthy crunch to the outside of the chicken, but it’s still moist and juicy on the inside.
No, unfortunately Panda Express stopped serving almond fried chicken in 2020. But that’s okay, because now you can make a healthier version at home!
Crispy almond chicken has a crunchy, nutty exterior with a tender, juicy interior. The flavor is slightly sweet from the almonds and savory, with just enough spices to make it flavorful without being overpowering.
Crispy Almond Chicken Breast
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- In a shallow container, mix together the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder with a fork until evenly combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and water.
- In a food processor, pulse the almonds a few times, just until just crushed but not powdered. Add the breadcrumbs and pulse one more time to combine. Remove to a shallow container. You can also crush the almonds by putting them in a plastic freezer bag and using a rolling pin.
- Using a paper towel, pat dry the chicken to ensure the coating adheres evenly.
- Working one at a time, dredge the chicken in the flour mixture on both sides, followed by the egg, then in the almond and breadcrumbs. Set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat until hot and the oil starts to shimmer. Add the chicken breasts and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side, just until the crust starts to turn golden brown. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and place the pan in the preheated oven.
- Bake until the chicken is cooked completely through. Depending on the size, this will take 20 to 25 minutes. If using a meat thermometer, the internal temperature will reach 165ºF.
- Let rest for 3 to 4 minutes before serving.