Baked Hot Honey Chicken (Super Crunchy!)

This Baked Hot Honey Chicken is seriously crispy on the outside thanks to the thick cornflake crust, yet tender and incredibly juicy on the inside. Coated in a luscious sweet and spicy hot honey sauce, it's what makes this dish an irresistible combination of flavors and textures.

by Ioana

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Updated:

Baked Hot Honey Chicken Recipe on the baking sheet

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The sauce is truly special because it perfectly complements the crunch of the cornflakes, while the spices in the coating add depth to every bite.

Really Crispy Oven Baked Hot Honey Chicken

This hot honey chicken is ideal for a satisfying weeknight dinner with friends and family. It is the perfect balance between comfort food and healthy, offering a delightful culinary experience.

I love making this version of crispy oven-baked chicken thighs because fried chicken is definitely our family’s favorite, but we’re always looking for healthier alternatives. 

They taste like they’ve been deep-fried – it’s just as indulgent and satisfying as the classic fried version, yet it comes with a lighter feel that doesn’t compromise flavor or texture. But it’s EASY!

Gone are the worries of hot oil and the hassle of frying; instead, you get a clean, efficient, and safe method that yields equally, if not more, delicious results. 

easy crispy hot honey baked chicken thighs

Hot Honey Chicken Thighs Video Tutorial

YouTube video

Ingredients and Substitutions

Here is the list of the ingredients that we need to make this crispy and delicious chicken thighs recipe:

  • Chicken Thighs –  I love using boneless, skinless chicken thighs because they always turn out super juicy. Sometimes, I switch it up with chicken breasts, especially if that’s what I have in the fridge. I just adjust the cooking time as needed and sometimes slice or pound them to even thickness. 
  • Eggs – They’re like the glue for the coating, making everything stick together nicely.
  • Hot Sauce – If I’m making this for kids or someone who prefers less heat, I’ll reduce or completely omit the hot sauce. Sometimes, I’ll use barbecue sauce or ketchup mixed with a bit of chili powder for a gentle kick.
  • Cornflakes – I stick to plain, unsweetened cornflakes and crush them up for that perfect, even crunch.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Nutritional yeast or vegan Parmesan can be used as a dairy-free alternative. 
  • Paprika – adds a mild, smoky flavor and a rich color to the coating.
  • Italian Seasoning – I always have a jar of homemade Italian seasoning handy and use it in many recipes. If I run out, I make my own mix with dried oregano, thyme, basil, and rosemary, or just use what I have of those.
  • Garlic Powder – infuses the coating with a subtle garlic flavor.
  • Olive Oil – A drizzle of olive oil over the coated chicken before baking gives that crispy, golden texture and a bit of flavor. You can also use melted butter for even more flavor.
 Baked Hot Honey Chicken Ingredients for the chicken thighs and cornflake coating

For The Hot Honey Sauce

I stick to the classic combo of quality honey, hot sauce, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt. It’s always a hit!

Whenever I’m short on time, I just drizzle sweet chili sauce straight from the bottle, and it’s just as delicious.

  • Honey – Provides a sweetness that balances the heat from the hot sauce.
  • Hot Sauce – Combined with honey, it creates a perfectly sweet and spicy sauce. Adjust the quantity or omit for less heat, especially for a kid-friendly version.
  • Chili Powder – you can replace it with smoked paprika.
  • Garlic Powder – adds savory and aromatic notes to the sauce.
  • Salt – balances the sweetness and enhances all the flavors in the hot honey sauce.
 Baked Hot Honey Chicken Sauce Ingredients

How to Make Hot Honey Chicken?

First things first, let’s get the oven hot and ready. I preheat mine to 425°F. Then, I grab a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. This helps with the cleanup later – one less thing to worry about!

Prepare Crumb Coating

Next up, it’s time to create that deliciously crispy coating. I toss the cornflakes, Parmesan, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt into a food processor. A few pulses, and voilà, you’ve got a fine, crumbly mixture. I pour this into a shallow bowl, ready for coating.

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cornflakes coating for the chicken

Coat the Chicken

Now, the fun part – coating the chicken! I beat the eggs in a separate bowl with 2 tbsp of hot sauce. This mixture helps the crumbs stick to the chicken and adds a nice spicy flavor. I pour the mixture over the chicken thighs, making sure it’s well coated, then dredge it through the crumb mixture until it’s completely covered.

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Bake the Chicken

Once my chicken is all dressed up and ready to go, I place each piece on the prepared baking sheet. A little drizzle of olive oil on top ensures the chicken will turn a lovely golden brown as it bakes.

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Into the oven they go for about 20-25 minutes, or until they’re crispy and irresistible.

the best hot honey chicken recipe

Prepare Hot Honey Sauce

While the chicken is transforming in the oven, I whip up the hot honey sauce. In a large bowl, I combine honey, hot sauce, cayenne, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt. It’s the perfect mix of sweet, spicy, and savory – a real flavor bomb!

Drizzle and Garnish

Timing is everything! Just before the chicken is done, I get ready to drizzle it with that warm, spicy, sweet sauce. This is the moment it all comes together, and let me tell you, the aroma is heavenly. Sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley for a pop of freshness and color.

Troubleshooting

  • Chicken Not Crispy Enough. Ensure that the oven is preheated to 425°F before baking. Also, avoid overcrowding the baking sheet; the air needs to circulate around each piece. If it’s still not crispy enough, try increasing the oven temperature slightly or leave it in for a few extra minutes. A final blast under the broiler can also help crisp up the coating. You can also flip the chicken pieces on the other side halfway through the cooking process.
  • Coating Doesn’t Stick. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels before coating to remove excess moisture, ensuring the cornflakes stick well to the chicken. Double-check that each piece is fully coated in the egg mixture and crumb coating, pressing the crumbs onto the chicken for better adherence.
  • Chicken Overcooked or Undercooked. Cover the chicken with foil if it is browning too quickly to prevent burning. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
  • Burnt Coating: This can happen if the oven is too hot or the chicken is left in too long. I keep an eye on the chicken as it cooks, and if I notice the coating getting too dark, I cover the top with foil for the remainder of the cooking time to prevent further browning.
  • Sauce is Too Spicy or Too Mild: I always taste my hot honey sauce before adding it to the chicken and adjust it accordingly. Add more honey for sweetness or a bit of water to dilute the spiciness if it’s too hot. If it’s too mild, a pinch more of hot sauce or spices can kick it up a notch.
easy baked hot honey chicken with spicy honey sauce

How To Serve

Here are some serving suggestions for this easy baked crunchy chicken recipe:

  • Creamy Mashed Potatoes: Pair the crispy chicken with creamy mashed potatoes for a comforting and satisfying meal.
  • Fresh Coleslaw: Balance the heat with a cool and refreshing side of coleslaw. The crunchy texture of the salad complements the crispy chicken.
  • Sauteed Green Beans: Sauté green beans in garlic butter for a simple yet flavorful side that complements the dish without overpowering it.
  • Mixed Greens Salad: A light mixed greens salad with a tangy vinaigrette provides a refreshing contrast to the richness of the chicken.
  • Air Fryer Fries: When I’m in the mood for something fun, I go for a mix of regular and sweet potato fries. They’re a healthier option when baked and bring a lovely, slight sweetness that pairs wonderfully with the hot honey flavors of the chicken.
  • Dipping Sauce: Whether it’s a classic ranch, spicy mayo, or even more hot honey sauce, having a variety to choose from makes every bite exciting.

Storing Ideas

  • Fridge: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Use airtight containers to prevent the chicken from absorbing odors from the fridge and to maintain its crispy texture.
  • Freezer: If you want to store the chicken for longer, consider freezing it. Wrap individual pieces in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before placing them in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months.
  • To Reheat: When reheating, use an oven or toaster oven to help restore the crispiness. Microwaving may result in a loss of texture.

More Chicken Recipes

Baked Hot Honey Chicken (Super Crunchy!)

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This Baked Hot Honey Chicken is seriously crispy on the outside thanks to the thick cornflake crust, yet tender and incredibly juicy on the inside. Coated in a luscious sweet and spicy hot honey sauce, it’s what makes this dish an irresistible combination of flavors and textures.
Author: Ioana
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce
  • 4 cups cornflakes
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 2 tsp paprika or smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For Hot Honey Sauce

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce or more to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp chili flakes optional
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder optional
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F/ 220°C, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare Crumb Coating. Add the cornflakes, Parmesan, paprika, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt to a food processor bowl. Pulse until you obtain a fine, crumbly texture. Transfer crumbs to a shallow bowl.
    4 cups cornflakes, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp salt
  3. Coat the Chicken. In a separate bowl, beat eggs with the hot sauce, and toss in the chicken until well coated.
    2 large eggs, 2 tbsp hot sauce
  4. Dredge chicken through the crumb mixture until each side is fully covered with the crumbly mixture.
    1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs
  5. Transfer each piece of chicken thighs to the prepared baking sheet, and drizzle them with olive oil to get that beautiful golden brown crust.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the chicken thighs are crispy.
  7. Prepare Hot Honey Sauce. While the chicken is baking, add the honey, hot sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and whisk until everything is well combined.
    1/2 cup honey, 1/4 cup hot sauce, 3/4 tsp chili flakes
  8. Drizzle. Just before the chicken is done, drizzle the hot honey sauce over it and enjoy.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 serving, Calories: 351 kcal, Carbohydrates: 31 g, Protein: 18 g, Fat: 18 g, Saturated Fat: 5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8 g, Trans Fat: 0.1 g, Cholesterol: 126 mg, Sodium: 889 mg, Potassium: 273 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 19 g, Vitamin A: 779 IU, Vitamin C: 11 mg, Calcium: 60 mg, Iron: 5 mg

The nutritional information provided on this website is intended to be a helpful reference and convenience for our users. It is offered as a courtesy and is based on data primarily sourced from the USDA Food Composition Database.

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