Pretzel Crusted Chicken with Cheddar-Mustard Sauce

Crispy Pretzel Crusted Chicken with Cheddar-Mustard Sauce is an easy delicious dinner that will be on your table in 30 minutes!

Pretzel coated chicken breasts on piece of parchment before drizzling with cheese sauce.

This is a recipe that I’ve been making for over ten years. And since I had no clue how to cook ten years ago, I’m going to come right out and say that I did not come up with the original recipe. It was created by my hero in the kitchen, Rachael Ray.

Rachael basically taught me how to cook. After graduating from college, my friends and I would make a point to get together every Wednesday night for dinner. We would take turns at each other’s houses and the one hosting that week would be in charge of cooking.

The rest of us would bring the wine.

Admittedly back in those days, we drank our fair share of “Two Buck Chuck.”

That was when Rachael Ray had her television series, 30 Minute Meals, and I would watch it religiously. I also owned (still own) all of her cookbooks. This Pretzel Crusted Chicken recipe came from either her show or one of those cookbooks.

Over the past ten years, I’ve put my own twist on that original recipe. And, I’m sharing that with you today.

The changes I’ve made to that original recipe are mainly to the cheese sauce. I swapped the spicy brown mustard for whole grain mustard. I love the way that the mustard seeds pop on your tongue when you eat them. I also spiced my cheese sauce up with some paprika and cayenne.

Ingredients Needed

  • Chicken Breasts – I used two boneless skinless chicken breasts, that I sliced and turned into cutlets. You can also use chicken tenders.
  • Crushed Pretzels – These will be used to make a crispy coating for the chicken.
  • Paprika & Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Eggs
  • Vegetable Oil & Butter
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese – Or, another favorite cheese. Pepper jack, swiss and gruyere are also delicious!
  • Mustard – I used a whole grain mustard, because I love the way the seeds pop on your tongue. But any mustard will work here.
  • Fresh Parsley – This is optional, but adds nice color to your dish and a bit of freshness.
  • Red Onion – This is also optional. But if you love the bite of onions, they’re delicious!

How to Make It

  • Grind pretzels in a food processor to resemble coarse breadcrumbs.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet (it should be about 1/4″ deep).
  • Butterfly the chicken breasts and flatten with a meat mallet to 1/4″ thickness.
  • Cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side.
Chicken breasts coated with pretzels before frying.

Recipe Tips

The chicken’s internal temperature should register 165-degrees with an instant read meat thermometer. If you don’t have one, you can also check the chicken for doneness by cutting into it with a knife. It should no longer be pink inside and the juices should run clear.


  • Cheese Sauce: Use pepper jack cheese for a nacho cheese sauce vibe. Or you could even use Swiss cheese instead of the sharp cheddar and season it with some thyme and black pepper. Don’t love cheese? Swap in this honey mustard sauce instead.
  • Breading: Swap the pretzels for tortilla chips to make this tortilla chip crusted chicken. Or, you can use panko or seasoned breadcrumbs.
  • Chicken Tenders: You can use chicken tenders instead of chicken breasts and dip your tenders into the cheese sauce.
Four pretzel crusted chicken cutlets on piece of parchment drizzled with cheddar mustard sauce.

How to Make Ahead & Store

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat the chicken in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes, or heat it in your air fryer (this keeps it crispy). Store the cheese sauce separately, and reheat in the microwave or in a small saucepan over low heat.

What to Serve with It

Wine Pairings

  • Prosecco or unoaked Chardonnay would pair nicely with this dish.
  • If you would like to go the red route, I’d suggest a Pinot Noir, or other light bodied red. Avoid hard, oaky tannic reds and they can overwhelm the delicate flavors of the chicken.
Four pretzel crusted chicken cutlets on piece of parchment drizzled with cheddar mustard sauce.

More Chicken Recipes You’ll Love!

Did you Make This Pretzel Chicken?

If you loved this pretzel coated chicken recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give it a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

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Overhead close up of pretzel crusted chicken drizzled with cheddar sauce.

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Recipe

Crispy Pretzel Crusted Chicken with Cheddar-Mustard Sauce is an easy delicious dinner that will be on your table in 30 minutes! 
4.95 from 52 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 people



  • Butterfly each of the chicken breasts, making a total of 4 thin chicken breasts. Then flatten with a mallet so that they are uniform in thickness, about 1/4″. 
  • Put the pretzels in a food processor and grind until fine. Put the crumbs in a shallow dish. Combine with paprika and season with salt and pepper. In another shallow dish, beat the eggs with a splash of water.
  • Preheat a large non-stick skillet with a 1/4-inch of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  • One at a time, coat each chicken breast in the egg and then the ground pretzels.
  • Add the pretzel-coated chicken breasts to the hot oil. Cook in a single layer, in 2 batches if necessary, about 3 or 4 minutes on each side, until cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the cheese, mustard, paprika and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve chicken breasts with a drizzle of cheddar-mustard sauce and a sprinkle of parsley and red onion.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Calories: 695kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 240mg | Sodium: 1241mg | Potassium: 753mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1655IU | Vitamin C: 6.4mg | Calcium: 580mg | Iron: 4mg

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This post was originally published in 2019. It was updated in 2023 to add new content. The pretzel chicken recipe remains the same. Enjoy!

47 thoughts on “Pretzel Crusted Chicken with Cheddar-Mustard Sauce”

  1. 5 stars
    I need to make a vegan version of this recipe ASAP… maybe with extra firm tofu or tempeh. Love the idea of using pretzels — yum! What a great texture!

  2. 5 stars
    How delicious and easy to make – can’t wait to get back to the kitchen. Thank you, Erin.
    I love watching your videos.

  3. 5 stars
    Hi there! I made this recipe after seeing your Instagram post on Whole Foods’ feed! I surprised my boyfriend by making this for him when he woke up from his night shift. I served it with roasted potatoes and broccoli. I’m not sure if I have ever seen that boy so happy before omg! We both loved this so much. I especially loved how simple and quick this recipe was! I had most of the ingredients on hand, which made it even easier. This recipe will definitely be made again sometime soon 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    This was a wonderful and refreshing way to make chicken for dinner. The whole family enjoyed this dish. Thank you for sharing.

  5. 5 stars
    This was amazing! Even my picky 9 year old loved this chicken. It was ready very quickly and the flavors were fantastic. This is absolutely going in the rotation! Thank you so much.

  6. 4 stars
    The chicken was phenomenal. Like others said, I would like to try making in the air fryer next time. I feel like my cheese sauce was too runny/soupy for my liking. Next time I make it I would reduce the milk measurement to 1 cup.

  7. 4 stars
    The chicken was phenomenal. Like others said, I would like to try making in the air fryer next time. I feel like my cheese sauce was too runny/soupy for my liking. Next time I make it I would reduce the milk measurement to 1 cup.

    • I have to agree. The chicken was great, but there was a lot of thinner sauce and it didn’t have enough of the sharp cheddar cheese taste. I will also reduce to one cup next time and it should be perfect!

  8. Perhaps I had my oil a little too high but the pretzels just started to burn in the pan. 😢
    I browned them quickly and then finished them in the oven. Sadly since my apartment is now smoke filled I don’t think I will be making this again.

  9. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing! Came across it a few months ago and my husband asks me often to make it. He doesn’t really request much, but this has been requested a few times since I’ve made it :). I love it just as much! Such a good, different take on the classic cutlet. Great recipe!

  10. 5 stars
    This was absolutely incredible! We had way too much sauce. We smothered the chicken and our veggies and still only used about half. I guess that means I have to make more of the delicious chicken to use it all up…oh darn! 🙂 I only had dijon mustard and it could have used a little more mustard flavor, but I am guessing that is only because of the dijon. I will definitely make this recipe again, and again….

  11. This is one of the rare dinners my 3-year-old will eat! It’s so yummy it’s on our menu at least once a month. I like to brine the chicken in salt water for an hour or so beforehand to make it extra tender and delicious! Thank you for sharing!

  12. I too started cooking because of Rachael Ray. I think I made this recipe at one point from one of her books, but I forgot about it until now. You’ve done it justice with some beautiful photography. I just found your site and can’t wait to have a look around!

  13. 4 stars
    The first time I made these the breading came off because the dredge is not a proper breading procedure. Second time, I did flour, then egg, then pretzel crumbs and it came out fantastic.

    • Hi Kimberly. You can. To Reheat your cheese dip, place it in a saucepan on a stovetop over low heat, stir the sauce constantly until it warms through and becomes smooth again. You can also reheat it in a microwave, stirring every 20-30 seconds.

  14. 5 stars
    I’d never used pretzels as coating for chicken before and it came out delicious!! I didn’t have the right cheese so my sauce needs some work but everyone ate it so that’s a win! Thank you! I’ll be adding to my rotation!


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