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This Oven Fried Southern Hot Honey Popcorn Chicken is spicy, saucy, and so delicious. It’s an easier, yet still fun, twist on the famous Nashville Hot Chicken. Breaded popcorn chicken bites are oven baked until crispy. Then they’re finished with a beyond perfect sweet and spicy honey butter sauce with crisp garlic and chili flakes. Out of this world good. Great for dinner or served as a game day appetizer.

Oven Fried Southern Hot Honey Popcorn Chicken |

With the Olympics starting up on Thursday, and the Super Bowl to follow, I’m all about creating some fun recipes with sports in mind. That said, these have been on my “to-make recipe list” for a while now.

My brothers are big chicken guys, especially bite-sized chicken covered in sauce. They usually request some kind of buffalo chicken, but I thought I’d throw them a curveball and do something southern-inspired. If you’re not familiar with it, there is a Nashville hot honey chicken that people rave about. It’s deep-fried and covered in a spicy honey butter sauce.

I’ve only been to Nashville once, and it wasn’t a long trip, so I’ve never gotten to try this chicken. I’ve googled the recipe and everyone’s is slightly different. The biggest thing is lots of cayenne, honey, and butter.

I’ve made a version in the past, but wanted to do something bite-size.

What ended up happening was simple. I made my own hot honey sauce as I was cooking this chicken. It’s very different from the Nashville sauce, but it sure is delicious.

I did a little combo of chili crisp garlic oil and hot honey. It turned out so well, I’ve been excited to share this ever since I made it!

Oven Fried Southern Hot Honey Popcorn Chicken |

The details – the chicken

Like a lot of my “oven fried” chicken recipes, this doesn’t require much effort. I love to use finely crushed corn flakes for the breading. Then bake the chicken in a super hot oven until it’s crispy all around.

While I love using cornflakes, you could also use Panko or gluten-free bread crumbs.

Oven Fried Southern Hot Honey Popcorn Chicken |

The sauce – the most important part

I’m not sure there’s a better sauce for these, this sauce is extra special.

It starts with cooking butter and garlic together until the butter slowly browns around the garlic and the garlic turns golden crisp. Basically, I’ve been really into the chili garlic crisp sauce everyone also seems to be into right now. I love the slight crunch of the garlic and all the chili flakes. So I took the concept and applied it to the butter sauce.

When the sauce is off the stove, add the honey, cayenne, and spices. Then some chili flakes. Make sure to add the cayenne and chili flakes to your taste.

If you love sauce like we do, I would double the recipe. Never enough sauce.

Oven Fried Southern Hot Honey Popcorn Chicken |

As soon as the chicken comes out of the oven, drizzle that hot honey over the chicken and give it a little toss. It’s important to use most of the sauce right away. As the sauce cools, the butter separates from the honey, making it a little tricky to drizzle.

Serve the chicken warm. It doesn’t need any extra sauces or garnishes. Just the chicken and that honey sauce! So delicious.

If you want to make this into an easy dinner, I’d serve the chicken and sauce over rice. Then add a side of roasted vegetables and a nice big house-style salad.

Everyone really enjoyed this, my dad, brothers, mom, I even think Asher loved it. Though it may have been a little spicy for her…but she had rice, so all was good! Excited to make this for the Olympics this week!

Oven Fried Southern Hot Honey Popcorn Chicken |

Looking for more game day recipes? Here are a few to try:

Sheet Pan Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Soft Pretzels

Fried Buffalo Goat Cheese Balls

Baked Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls with Cilantro Lime Ranch

Buffalo Cauliflower with Spicy Tahini Ranch

Lastly, if you make this , be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Oven Fried Southern Hot Honey Popcorn Chicken

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 541 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Hot Honey


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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, and chili flakes.
    5. 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 um up!


Sauce: if you like extra sauce for drizzling/dipping, double the hot honey recipe. 
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  1. Absolutely a HIT!!! The only thing I’d add is that the instructions say to beat the “eggs” and there’s only one egg and I only used 1 pound of cubed tenders and barely had enough of the cornflake crumbs mixture. Next time I’d add about half again of the crumbs mixture to make it easier to dredge efficiently. I considered just using hot honey rather than making the sauce, but I’m so glad I didn’t skip it. It was delicious. PS I can’t wait for leftovers at lunch tomorrow!

  2. 3 stars
    I wanted to like this. I’ve looked back over the recipe multiple times to figure out where I may have gone wrong but I followed it exactly. My chicken wasn’t crunchy on the outside. It was mostly kind of soggy. I even patted the chicken dry and tapped off excess egg before dredging. I did salt and pepper the chicken itself and I’m glad I did or it would have been very bland.
    And the sauce. I just can’t understand what happened. By the time the butter started to brown, the garlic was almost burnt. Then adding in so many dry spices to it made it very bitter and grainy. And the sauce broke almost immediately after it came together in the pan. Sadly I won’t be making this one again. Hopefully others have better luck.

    1. Hi Andrea,
      Thanks for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback, so sorry to hear it was not enjoyed! Please let me know if there is anything that I can help with or clarify! xx

  3. This was such a fun and good recipe to make! i did find that the ratio of 2 pounds of chicken chopped to 1 1/4 cup of corn flakes and 2 tbsp of flour was way off. I had to do 2 eggs, and probably triple the amount of corn flakes and flour/ seasoning to have enough for all the chicken! This will be on our rotation though bc the entire family loved it!

    1. Hi Maria,
      Happy Wednesday!!🌈 🐇 I am so glad to hear that this recipe turned out well for you! Thanks for sharing your feedback and trying it out! xT

  4. 4 stars
    This was really good! The only thing I would change the next time is seasoning the actual chicken itself as well, i feel like the flavor got lost a little bit but other than that D E L I C I O U S

    1. Hey Haley,
      Wonderful!! I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear it was delish!! xx

  5. 5 stars
    I have to be gluten free so what substitute would you use for corn flakes. Not sure if they make a GF corn flake. Will check the next time at the grocery store. I used a mix of rice & corn starch. Turned out perfect but should have used 1 tsp of smoked paprika. Served with rice. A keeper recipe.

    1. Hey Tony,
      Happy Monday!!💐 Thank you so much for making this recipe and your comment, so glad to hear it was a winner! xx

  6. 5 stars
    I kind of wish I hadn’t discovered this recipe. It’s really good and I want to eat the hot honey sauce by itself. This was a family favorite. My son ate three servings and wanted more.

  7. Made these for dinner last night. Will definitely be making them again! I accidentally bought Frosted Flakes instead of Corn Flakes, but it was still delicious!

    1. Hey Karen,
      Wonderful! Thanks a bunch for making this recipe and sharing your comment, I love to hear that it turned out well for you! xx

    1. Hey MJ,
      Sure, that would be just fine for you to do! Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xx

    1. Hey Cori,
      Wonderful!! I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you and thanks so much for trying it out! xx