This pistachio crusted chicken will up your chicken-for-dinner game. I find it hard to describe the flavor of this pistachio crust…sweet…salty…crunchy…how about just overall high in YUM factor!  Pistachios are a good source of protein and fat and surprisingly, make a great crust.  Purchase them already shelled or you will have some work on your hands before you can dig into this recipe. If you find them already salted, then just omit the salt from the recipe.

pile of pistachios

The original recipe I adapted this from called for ¼ cup of parsley.  I have replaced half of that with basil just to give it a change. I love the flavor of basil, but I also really like parsley for its health benefits including improved digestion and lowering inflammation.

This recipe would be great either way, all parsley, or all basil. Combining a little of both creates a well-rounded flavor and crust. Plus, this is a great way to use up that basil plant during the summer. This crust also really helps keep the chicken moist during baking. I like to trim each chicken breast into a couple of pieces so as to increase the surface area covered with the pistachio mix.  This could work really well with chicken tenders also.

I’ve included a printer-friendly version of this recipe at the bottom if you’d like to skip to it. Otherwise, here’s my step-by-step guide:

Ingredients

1 cup roasted, unsalted pistachios
1½ tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 Tbsp packed fresh basil leaves
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt, plus extra
4 chicken breasts, about 1½ to 2 pounds total

Procedure

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place pistachios, garlic powder, parsley, basil, pepper and salt in the food processor. Make sure the parsley and basil are really dry before they go in.  If they are wet at all, they will create a wetter breading that won’t stick to the chicken.

gluten-free pistachio crust in food processor

Process until a smooth meal is formed, about 30 to 40 seconds. You will still see small pieces of the pistachios, but they should all be pretty small.

gluten-free pistachio crust in food processor

Transfer to a sided, flat bottomed baking dish, suitable for breading the chicken.

gluten-free pistachio crust ready to bread chicken

Trim breasts to remove any fatty edges and separate the tender if needed.  Lay the breast on a cutting board and, similar to “butterflying”, place your hand flat on the breast to hold it still, and with the edge of a knife parallel to the cutting board, carefully slice the thickest part the breast in half width-wise, cutting all the way through. This will leave you with one large piece and a smaller piece that are about the same thickness. Cut the large piece in half to create three similarly sized pieces.

Coat chicken by pressing pieces into pistachio meal, one at a time, coating all sides and pressing down on the breasts with your hands to make sure the coating stays on the chicken. Gently place in large baking dish. Repeat until all pieces are done.

chicken breaded in gluten-free pistachio crust

Quick tip: if the pistachio crust doesn’t seem to stick to the chicken, or if the crust is super clumpy, it might be too moist. Add 1 tsp brown rice flour and 1 tsp tapioca flour, give the pistachio meal a good stir to incorporate the flour and try again. Add one more teaspoon of each flour if needed.

chicken coated in gluten-free pistachio crust

Heat large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil, and once hot (oil should move quickly across pan when tipped), add 3 to 4 pieces of chicken to pan without overcrowding, cook for 1 to 2 minutes until crust is browned, then flip and cook the other side.

Quick tip: Use a flat spatula to flip the chicken when browning in the pan. If you use tongs, you may lose some of the crust as it tends to stick to the tongs.

Place cooked pieces back into baking dish and repeat until all chicken is browned. Place baking dish in oven for 25 minutes, (depending on thickness of pieces, could take up to 30 to 35 minutes) internal temp should be 160 degrees. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

cooked gluten-free pistachio crusted chicken on a sheet pan

Because this chicken tends to have a rich and slightly sweet taste, I would serve it with less fatty foods like an arugula salad, some steamed broccoli or sautéed kale, mashed or roasted cauliflower.  I often just eat it cold from the fridge the next day too.

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cooked gluten-free pistachio crusted chicken in a sheet pan

Pistachio Crusted Chicken – Gluten Free

  • Author: Andrea Sprague

Description

This pistachio crusted chicken will up your chicken-for-dinner game. I find it hard to describe the flavor of this pistachio crust…sweet…salty…crunchy…how about just overall high in YUM factor!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup roasted, unsalted pistachios
  • 1½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 Tbsp packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt, plus extra
  • 4 chicken breasts, about to 2 pounds total

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place pistachios, garlic powder, parsley, basil, pepper and salt in the food processor. Make sure the parsley and basil are really dry before they go in.  If they are wet at all, they will create a wetter breading that wont stick to the chicken. Process until a smooth meal is formed, about 30 to 40 seconds. You will still see small pieces of the pistachios, but they should all be pretty small.
  3. Transfer to a sided, flat bottomed baking dish, suitable for breading the chicken.
  4. Trim breasts to remove any fatty edges and separate the tender if needed.  Lay the breast on a cutting board and, similar to “butterflying”, place your hand flat on the breast to hold it still, and with the edge of a knife parallel to the cutting board, carefully slice the thickest part the breast in half widthwise, cutting all the way through. This will leave you with one large piece and a smaller piece that are about the same thickness. Cut the large piece in half to create three similarly sized pieces.
  5. Coat chicken by pressing pieces into pistachio meal, one at a time, coating all sides and pressing down on the breasts with your hands to make sure the coating stays on the chicken. Gently place in large baking dish. Repeat until all pieces are done. A quick tip: if the pistachio crust doesn’t seem to stick to the chicken, or if the crust is super clumpy, it might be too moist. Add 1 tsp brown rice flour and 1 tsp tapioca flour, give the pistachio meal a good stir to incorporate the flour and try again. Add one more teaspoon of each flour if needed.
  6. Heat large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil, and once hot (oil should move quickly across pan when tipped), add 3 to 4 pieces of chicken to a pan without overcrowding, cook for 1 to 2 minutes until crust is browned, then flip and cook the other side Quick tip: Use a flat spatula to flip the chicken when browning in the pan. If you use tongs, you may lose some of the crust as it tends to stick to the tongs.
  7. Place cooked pieces back into the baking dish and repeat until all chicken is browned.
  8. Place baking dish in the oven for 25 minutes, (depending on the thickness of pieces, could take up to 30 to 35 minutes) internal temp should be 160 degrees.
  9. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Because this chicken tends to have a rich and slightly sweet taste, I would serve it with less fatty foods like an arugula salad, some steamed broccoli or sautéed kale, mashed or roasted cauliflower or a little buttered pasta.  I often just eat it cold from the fridge the next day too.