Sesame-Crusted Chicken Breasts with Sugar Snap Pea Salad

Your meal is set with this chicken breast dinner recipe.

Sesame-Crusted Chicken Breasts with Sugar Snap Pea Salad
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Christine Keely
Active Time:
25 mins
Chill Time:
2 hrs
Bake Time:
25 mins
Rest Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 55 mins

Craving a new twist on the classic chicken breast? This cut of meat can be breaded, fried, roasted, or sauteed, but this unique preparation might just be our new favorite. Our Sesame-Crusted Chicken Breasts with Sugar Snap Pea Salad is sure to drag you out of your weeknight dinner rut.

Crusted with both black and white sesame seeds, this chicken breast is as fun to look at as it is to eat. The crunchy sesame crust insulates the chicken, keeping the interior juicy and tender. Since this recipe replaces a traditional breadcrumb or flour dredge with a sesame coating, this chicken dish is gluten-free (just be sure to use a gluten-free soy sauce). Be sure to allow time for the chicken to marinate—at least 2 hours or up to 6 hours. The chicken soaks up the orange-spiked soy marinade so that it's flavored all the way through.

The black-and-white sesame crusted chicken breast is complemented by a vibrant, colorful sugar snap pea salad, complete with fresh peas and navel orange segments. Prep pointer: in this recipe, the marinade is also the salad dressing. Set aside ⅓ cup for the dressing to avoid cross contamination.


  • 2 medium navel oranges

  • ¼ cup light brown sugar

  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

  • 1 ½ tablespoons toasted sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

  • ¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce, divided

  • 2 small red jalapeño chiles, thinly sliced crosswise (about ¼ cup), divided

  • 4 (about 9 oz. each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 cup mixed white and black sesame seeds

  • 1 large egg

  • 12 ounces fresh sugar snap peas, trimmed, thinly sliced lengthwise (about 4 cups)


  1. Grate 1 navel orange to yield about 1 teaspoon zest, and set aside. Using a sharp knife, cut along curve of each orange to remove peel and pith. Cut oranges into segments, and transfer to a large bowl. Cover and chill until ready to use or up to 8 hours. Squeeze orange scraps into a small bowl to yield about 2 tablespoons juice; set aside.

  2. Whisk together brown sugar, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, ginger, ¼ cup of the soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of the jalapeños, and reserved 1 teaspoon grated zest and 2 tablespoons orange juice in a small bowl. Reserve ⅓ cup of the marinade for dressing salad; cover and chill. Combine chicken breasts and remaining about ½ cup marinade in a large ziplock plastic bag; seal and toss to coat the chicken. Chill at least 2 hours or up to 6 hours, turning chicken occasionally.

  3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; lightly coat foil with cooking spray. Place mixed sesame seeds in a medium shallow bowl. Whisk together egg and remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce in a separate shallow bowl. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Working with 1 chicken breast at a time, dip in egg mixture and then in sesame seeds, turning until completely coated. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake chicken until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 155°F, about 25 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes (internal temperature will continue to increase to 165°F).

  4. While chicken bakes, toss together sugar snap peas, orange segments, remaining about 2 tablespoons sliced jalapeños, and reserved ⅓ cup dressing in a large bowl. Serve chicken with Sugar Snap Pea Salad.

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