With just five minutes of prep and only a few simple of ingredients needed, this yummy honey mustard chicken is one of my favorite easy recipes for busy weeknights.
It was created by my chief photography assistant, pan-stirrer and cookie dough snatcher – my daughter Katie – who just published a cookbook with her friends called Chef Junior: 100 Super Delicious Recipes by Kids for Kids.
Now, prepare yourself for some proud mama gushing and a quick story:
When Katie was six, I jokingly told her to make lunch while I nursed my third cup of coffee. My littlest, who was a baby at the time, had kept me awake ALL NIGHT and I was trying to muster the motivation to heave myself into action.
While I took another sip, she sailed into the kitchen and started sautéeing leftover roast chicken with onions and capers. I supervised to make sure she was safe, but she made the entire lunch by herself. Clearly she had been learning more from me than I realized.
I discovered two things that day:
- Kids are capable of more than we sometimes give them credit for
- Food tastes better to them when they make it themselves
A couple of years later, she and some friends (whose parents you might recognize) hatched a plan to write a cookbook that was “FOR kids, BY kids.”
They wrote a proposal along with some sample recipes and got it into publishers hands. A year went by, then two. And then finally they got amazing news – Sterling Epicure in New York wanted to publish their book. After a ton of recipe testing, Chef Junior is finally available.
Why Kids Need A Cookbook
There’s a lot of talk about life skills right now – basic things we all need to know in order to stay healthy. Some people are focusing on gardening, and there are many other good ones, too.
I think we can all agree that knowing how to nourish ourselves is an essential life skill everyone needs . . . especially our kids.
Teaching them how to cook is a gift we give to them, but it’s also a gift we give to ourselves.
Because you know what happens when kids can (and WANT to) cook? They make their own snacks, and they make you dinner one night a week (or more!)
So, what’s in the book & where can I find it?
The kids worked hard to create simple, delicious recipes that kids will actually want to make and eat. (And you will, too.)
Here’s a sampling of what’s included:
- A handful of recipes that don’t require any heat – Like No-Bake Cookies and Peanut Butter & Jelly Cups
- Easy, Intermediate & Advanced recipes that use a variety of cooking methods – With reminder notes like “put your oven mitts on before placing the dish in the oven.”
- Typical “kid food” and more adventurous recipes – Mac ‘N’ Cheese and Mediterranean Sundried Tomato Chicken, for example
- Some from-scratch recipes and some that call for pre-made ingredients – Some recipes call for pre-made items like tortillas, and some show you how to make recipes like chia seed jam from scratch
- Some gluten-free and dairy-free recipes, and some that contain wheat and/or dairy – Each child’s family has a different eating style, so there’s a little of everything.
- Chapters on basic cooking skills – Like how to use kitchen equipment and measure ingredients, use knives safely, make substitutes for allergies, and meal plan
During the recipe testing process, Katie tweaked and perfected many of her recipes time and again. We were more than happy to be her dedicated taste testers, and many of those recipes have become family favorites.
Here are a few she’s most proud of along with some of our favorites from the other amazing authors:
- Grain-Free Blender Bread from Katie – Just mix the ingredients in a blender, pour into a pan, and bake. It’s easy peasy, and you can use the same basic method to make a sweet cinnamon raisin version. (That recipe is also in the book.)
- Chia Pudding & Baked Oatmeal Squares from Abigail
- Strawberry Pecan Salad & Mango Lemonade from Anthony
- Easy Chicken Avocado Soup & Strawberry Crumble from Will
- Pizza Cauliflower Soup & Blueberry Banana Ice Pops from Paul
- Honey Mustard Chicken from Katie (Recipe below)
If you want to snag a copy for your family, here’s where you can order Chef Junior: 100 Super Delicious Recipes by Kids for Kids.
3 Notes About This Honey Mustard Chicken Recipe
- I’ve shared this juicy, flavorful honey mustard chicken recipe exactly as it’s written in the book even though I know you probably know to use oven mitts. 🙂
- We use organic whole-grain mustard because it’s tasty and creates a beautiful topping, but we have also tried it with dijon mustard and it works well, too.
- If you’re serving it for a special occasion and want to dress it up a little, I suggest garnishing it with a couple of sprigs of rosemary.
Easy Baked Honey Mustard Chicken Recipe
- Medium baking dish (2.5 quart)
- small bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Oven mitts
- Paring knife
- Large potholder
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Place the chicken breasts in a medium baking dish.
- In a small bowl, add the mustard, honey, oil, garlic powder, rosemary and salt and stir together with a fork. Pour the honey mustard mixture over the top of the chicken breasts, then use a spoon to spread it around. Make sure all the chicken is covered.
- Wearing oven mitts, place the baking dish in the hot oven and bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes, or until it is cooked through. To check, wearing oven mitts, remove the dish from the oven and put it on the potholder. With a paring knife, cut through the thickest part of the breast. If it is white all the way through, it's done. If any pink remains, return the baking dish to the oven for 5 minutes more and check again.
- Sprinkle the chicken with a little black pepper and serve, drizzled with some of the pan liquid.
What age range is this cookbook for?
The publisher recommends it for kids 9-12, however I think there’s some variation in that. My six-year-old can make some of the beginner recipes with minimal assistance.
I recommend looking over the instructions instead of solely relying on whether a recipe is “Easy,” “Moderate,” or “Advanced.” Some of the ones marked as “Advanced” are actually easier for my kids than some of the “Moderate” ones, so which ones work best for your family may depend on what skills are already most developed.
How many of the recipes are gluten-free and dairy-free?
If I counted correctly, out of 100 recipes:
- 44 are dairy-free and gluten-free (or have dairy/gluten options and alternatives suggested in the recipe)
- 2 more are gluten-free and dairy-free if you do an easy swap (coconut oil for butter)
- 3 more are gluten-free or dairy-free if you use dairy-free milk
- 5 more are gluten-free or dairy-free if you use dairy-free yogurt (there’s a recipe on my blog)
- 23 are gluten-free but include dairy
What side dishes go well with this chicken?
We love it with a big salad oven roasted Italian potatoes, or a quinoa stir fry with veggies. If either of those sound good to you let me know in the comments and I’ll write up my recipes.