Kirbie's Cravings

Baked Crunchy Honey Lemon Chicken

This honey lemon chicken has a crunchy coating but it’s not fried. It’s baked in the oven instead! You only need three ingredients for the breading and it’s gluten-free, too.

photo of honey being drizzled over crunchy lemon chicken

My current favorite way to eat chicken is this baked method, which gives the chicken a crunchy coating just like it has been fried and without the need for bread crumbs. It’s also gluten free! The chicken comes out with such a great texture that I always make extra so I can munch on a few while I make my sauce.
photo of a plate of Baked Crunchy Honey Lemon Chicken
I know I’ve made quite a few variations of these chicken dishes the last few months, but when I get an obsession, I just need to keep at it  until I get sick of it. I’m like that with music too. At any given time, there’s usually only about 2-3 songs I really enjoy and I just want to only listen to those. I end up skipping all the other songs on my list so I can listen to the same ones over and over again. My two current favorites are Blank Space (I still think Taylor Swift should just change the lyric to Starbucks’ lovers) and Take Me To Church (which I find really hard to sing along to).
photo collage of chicken ready to go in the oven and a photo of it once it's bakedphoto collage of lemons before and after their juiced
close-up photo of honey being drizzled over the chicken

Recently I decided to do a honey lemon chicken because I had some fresh lemons and I wanted to use my new honey sticks. I’ve actually never used one before until now and I was delighted to find that they don’t just look cute, but actually work really well at portioning out the honey. While making this recipe, I also discovered that I really like the OXO wooden lemon reamer. I previously had a lemon squeezer that totally broke on the first use. I also have a lemon hand juicer, but it’s a lot of work. I found this wooden tool buried in my kitchen tools drawer and was surprised at how easy it was to get all that juice out of the lemon and it is really fast too.

This chicken comes out crunchy, sweet, savory and a little spicy. I served it over brown rice.
photo of Baked Crunchy Honey Lemon Chicken with honey

New Kitchen Tools I’m Loving:

Honey Dipper Sticks*

OXO Wooden Reamer*

*Some of the links contained in this post are affiliate links. Much like referral codes, this means I earn a small commission if you purchase a product I referred (at no extra charge to you).


Baked Crunchy Honey Lemon Chicken

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
One of my favorite ways to eat chicken is this baked method, which gives the chicken a crunchy coating just like it has been fried and without the need for breadcrumbs. It's also gluten-free!


  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp vodka (see note)
  • 1 large egg whisked

For the sauce

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup  fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp  hot sauce or hot pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce  (see note)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp water


  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk egg with vodka. In another bowl, add cornstarch. Coat chicken in egg mixture and then roll in cornstarch. Place on large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat until all chicken is coated. 
  • Bake chicken for about 15 minutes in top half of oven or until chicken is cooked. The chicken should have a pale yellow coating formed over it from the cornstarch and egg mixture.
  • While chicken is cooking, make the sauce. Add all ingredients except cornstarch + water into a small saucepan and bring to a low boil, stirring to mix. After letting the sauce cook for about 1 minute, dissolve cornstarch completely in water and then add to mixture. Stir and continue to cook until sauce thickens (about 1 minute).
  • After chicken is cooked, move chicken baking sheet into bottom third of oven. Turn oven to low broil. Let chicken cook for about 5-10 minutes or until chicken pieces turn light brown on top and crisp up. Make sure to watch your chicken closely so it doesn't burn. There may still be some loose cornstarch still left on the chicken when it's done, which you can just brush off.
  • Add finished chicken to saucepan and coat chicken pieces in sauce. Serve immediately. You can serve with rice if desired and garnish with fresh chopped scallions.


  • If you are cooking gluten-free make sure to choose a gluten free vodka brand and a gluten-free soy sauce. Kikkoman brand has a good option.


Serving: 0.25of recipe, Calories: 366kcal, Carbohydrates: 50.7g, Protein: 27.9g, Fat: 4.3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.7g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1.2g, Cholesterol: 129.2mg, Sodium: 273mg, Fiber: 0.7g, Sugar: 18.4g, Vitamin A: 100IU, Vitamin C: 12.4mg, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 1.1mg, Net Carbs: 50g

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!


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30 comments on “Baked Crunchy Honey Lemon Chicken”

  1. This chicken looks really good, thanks for the recipe.  

  2. This looks delicious, I love that it is baked. Can’t wait to try it!

  3. Oh, I need to make this. I’m addicted to honey chicken, and with lemon? Perfection!

  4. Wow this sounds really yummy!  I’m very curious to try it.  I love chicken, and I love crunchy.  I’m a bit of a salt addict, so I’d probably add a bit of salt to the coating.  The sauce might be a little sweet for me, but I think my kids  will love it if I leave out the spice. 

  5. Hi,

    will the chicken not be crunchy when baked if i left out the vodka?

  6. File this under best post of 2015. Taylor Swift and cute honey sticks. LOL.  The chicken looks amazing! 🙂 🙂 🙂 

  7. Heh heh. I love that Blank Space song, too. I almost feel embarrassed but then remember that I can like whatever I want to like! The chicken looks amazing. Honey sticks! Funny, I’ve never used one before, either! 

    • hehe, yeah I kept seeing people use honey sticks in honey recipe posts so I bought it mainly as a prop but it’s actually really useful and cute. And a set of them was pretty cheap. I think it’d be cool as a party favor too. It’s the No. 1 song, so you shouldn’t feel embarrassed! hehe

  8. I cooked this last night, and it was delicious!  I cooked it exactly as written (except I doubled it… We like leftovers.). 

    If I were to do anything different:

    * I may fry the chicken next time instead of bake. Our chicken came out a little too dry. Frying the egg/vodka/corn starch batter will give a great crunch while preserving the tenderness of the chicken. 

    * I would use lime juice instead of lemon. I think lime would do better here. 

    That’s not saying we didn’t love it! Thanks for dinner!

    • I agree frying would be good, but I was trying to be a little healthier with the baked version. and i’m sure lime would be good too =)

  9. Is there anything that I could substitute for the vodka??

  10. This really wan’t very good.  It took so long for the cornstarch to brown that the chicken was very dry….

    • you shouldnt have to cook it beyond the times I have in the recipe. the last few minutes should be at a broil which should brown it very quickly…

  11. i still don’t get that leftover thing people keep talking about …

    this really WAS very good. 😀

    we made it last night.
    turned out delicious.

    thanks for sharing.

  12. Hi:) 
    This looks amazing but I was just wondering if there’s a substitute for the vodka? Just because of religious purposes we don’t have it in the house 

  13. So this recipe looks nomz and I’m excited to try it!

    One caveat, however: this is not gluten-free.

    My close friend suffers from Celiac’s and cannot have any wheat product WHATSOEVER or else she gets violently ill. Soy sauce is one of those little hidden land mines.

    Perhaps someone could use liquid aminos or something to kind of substitute, but almost all soy sauces have some type of wheat derivative in them.

    That being said, I’m gonna try to sub for her if she ever wants to eat it. This recipe made me drool.

    • Hmm so actually the soy sauce I use is a Kikkoman one which is labeled gluten free. have you ever tried that? But you are right, like the vodka, I should have added a little note that people need to choose a gluten free brand if they are trying to make the recipe gluten free.

  14. There is no need to buy “gluten free” vodka. The Celiac Disease Foundation states that distilled alcohol does not contain any harmful gluten peptides because the gluten peptide is too large to carry over in the distillation process.

  15. can i freeze this honey lemon chicken receipe

    • I have not tried freezing it.If you do freeze it you may want to keep the sauce off because once the sauce is added, you won’t be able to crisp up the chicken again.

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