Oven-Fried Hot Honey Popcorn Chicken

It’s hard not to love anything reminiscent of Nashville Fried Chicken (spicy, crunchy, delicious) so for a lighter, healthier take on it, try Oven-Fried Hot Honey Popcorn Chicken.

Never fried, only baked, these nuggets of moist chicken are coated in corn flakes and baked in a hot oven until crispy.  They are served with a crazy good hot honey butter that’s been spiced up with garlic, cayenne, chili powder onion powder and smoked paprika.  Need I say more?

The chicken pieces are combined with eggs.  In a separate bowl, cornflake crumbs, flour, and smoked paprika are tossed together.  The chicken pieces get dredged through the cornflake mixture until they are completely covered and then placed on a baking sheet.  Drizzle them with some olive oil and bake in a hot oven for 15 or 20 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, make the hot honey sauce by first browning the butter and garlic together.  Once browned, whisk in the honey, cayenne, chili powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, and chili flakes.

All that’s left is tossing the chicken with the sauce and serving this delicious meal up!  Serve any extra hot honey butter on the side.

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Oven-Fried Hot Honey Popcorn Chicken

Makes: 6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Bake Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


Baked Chicken:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 1 & 1/4 cups corn flakes, finely crushed (you can also use Panko)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Hot Honey:

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1-2 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl, add the chicken and toss well to coat. In a separate bowl combine the cornflake crumbs, flour, paprika, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.

Dredge the chicken through the crumbs, covering fully. Place on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.

Just before the chicken is done cooking, make the sauce. In a small skillet, melt together the butter and garlic over medium heat. Cook until the butter is browning and the garlic turns golden. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the honey, cayenne, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, chili flakes, and salt.

Drizzle or pour the warm sauce over the chicken, tossing to coat. The sauce thickens quickly, so be sure to use while still warm. Serve them up!

Chef’s Note:

If you like extra sauce for drizzling/dipping, double the hot honey recipe.

Recipe by Half Baked Harvest


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