Baked Pretzel Popcorn Chicken with Chipotle Honey Mustard

Tender, juicy chicken bites breaded in crushed pretzels and baked until crispy perfection, and served with easy, homemade chipotle honey mustard dipping sauce! Serve as a game day appetizer or fun dinner that both kids and adults love.

baked popcorn pretzel chicken on a sheet pan

When it comes to appetizers, I’ve always been a big fan of warm soft pretzels and boneless chicken wings. So, why not combine two of my favorites into one? These little popcorn chicken bites are so dang good and make for a fun appetizer or dinner!

What’s really great about this recipe is that it’s super easy to make! Instead of the standard breading process of dipping the chicken in a beaten eggs, I coat the chicken pieces in a greek yogurt and mustard mix to tenderize the chicken bites and seal in all the juices. The acid in the yogurt works to soften the proteins in the chicken to make them practically pull-apart. The chicken is then rolled in a pretzel breading and sprayed with olive oil cooking spray to ensure that the breading cooks and becomes nice and crispy. This step is key! If you skip it, the flour in the breading will remain raw and you won’t have a crispy exterior. No one wants that!

Ingredients in Baked Pretzel Popcorn Chicken with Chipotle Honey Mustard.

Chicken breasts. I like to use chicken breasts because they’re tender and juicy, and I almost always have them in my freezer. You can also use chicken tenders if you prefer.

Greek yogurt. Yogurt helps to tenderize the proteins in chicken and it also creates a coating around the chicken that seals in all the juices, resulting in tender, juicy, pull-apart chicken. So instead of dipping the chicken in beaten eggs like you typically would when breading chicken, this recipe calls for coating the chicken bites in a yogurt mustard mix before rolling in the pretzel breading.

Mayonnaise. Similar to greek yogurt, mayonnaise also helps to create a protective layer around the chicken to seal in the juices. Mayonnaise also carries a lot of flavor thanks to the fact that it’s primarily made up of fats. Mayonnaise is also an ingredient in the chipotle honey mustard – it adds creaminess and flavor.

Mustard. I use dijon mustard in the chicken marinade because it’s full of zesty flavor and takes the chicken up a notch. When it comes to the chipotle honey mustard, I use both dijon and yellow mustard because together they balance each other out creating the perfect flavor – tangy, but not too tangy.

Pretzels. Crushed pretzels are the primary ingredient in the breading. They add a crispy texture to the chicken and salty goodness.

Flour. I like to mix some flour in with the crushed pretzels to create a nice thick breading.

Seasoning. Garlic, onion, paprika, chipotle chili pepper, salt and pepper. They all add so much flavor.

Olive oil cooking spray. This is KEY. Once the chicken pieces are breaded you will spray them with olive oil cooking spray to help the breading cook and crisp up. No one wants soggy popcorn chicken. If you don’t have cooking spray, you can also drizzle the chicken with olive oil. I prefer the spray because it helps achieve even coverage.

Honey. You can’t make honey mustard without it.

Apple cider vinegar. Adds some extra tang to the chipotle honey mustard.

Tips & tricks.

If time allows or if you want to prepare the chicken the night before, you can mix together the marinade, toss in the chicken, cover and place in the refrigerator overnight (no more than 12 hours), resulting in extra tender popcorn chicken. When you’re ready to make dinner, you’ll pick up at step 2.

To crush the pretzels, I find it easiest to throw the pretzels into a food processor or blender and pulse until you achieve a mix of a fine powder and some small chunks. If the crushed pretzels aren’t fine enough, they won’t stick well to the chicken. Alternatively, you can crush the pretzels in a large Ziploc bag.

The olive oil cooking spray is key. It helps the breading cook, making the exterior of the popcorn chicken nice and crispy. I prefer to use the spray because it’s easy to get an even, thick coat on each piece of chicken. If you don’t have the spray you can also drizzle the chicken with olive oil.

More of my favorite chicken dinners.

Curry Chicken and Broccoli Divan.

Chicken Pot Pie Tater Tot Hotdish.

Honey Lime Cilantro Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner.

baked popcorn pretzel chicken with chipotle honey mustard dipping sauce

Baked Pretzel Popcorn Chicken with Chipotle Honey Mustard

Tender, juicy chicken bites breaded in crushed pretzels and baked until crispy perfection, and served with easy, homemade chipotle honey mustard dipping sauce! Serve as a game day appetizer or fun dinner that both kids and adults love.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Appetizer, Dinner
Servings 5 servings

Ingredients
  

Pretzel crusted chicken

  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into 1-2 inch bite size pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Olive oil cooking spray

Chipotle honey mustard

  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons chipotle chili pepper powder (to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika powder

Instructions
 

Pretzel crusted chicken

  • In a large bowl, whisk together dijon mustard, greek yogurt and mayonnaise. Add the chicken and toss to coat.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the crushed pretzels, flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Working with a few pieces of chicken at a time, remove chicken from the honey mustard and roll into the crushed pretzels, pressing to adhere. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Generously spray the pretzel crusted chicken with olive oil cooking spray so the pretzel breading gets crispy during baking. Bake for 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

Chipotle honey mustard

  • While the chicken bakes, in a small bowl, whisk together all chipotle honey mustard ingredients until combined.
  • Serve the chicken with the chipotle honey mustard dipping sauce!
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to hear from you! Rate the recipe and leave a comment below. You can also share a picture on Instagram and tag @ModernFarmhouseEats and hashtag it #ModernFarmhouseEats

By Modern Farmhouse Eats

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