Sweet and Spicy Honey Pepper Chicken

Satisfy your cravings for the perfect balance of sweet and spicy with our delectable Honey Pepper Chicken recipe! Tender chicken breasts are glazed with a mouthwatering honey pepper sauce, creating a dish that is bursting with flavor. Paired with creamy macaroni cheese, this meal is a delightful combination of comfort and indulgence that will leave your taste buds tingling with delight. Let’s dive into the recipe and discover how to create this sweet heat delight at home!


For the Honey Pepper Chicken:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

For the Creamy Macaroni Cheese:

  • 8 ounces macaroni pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley for garnish


  1. Prepare the Honey Pepper Chicken:
    • Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the chicken until golden and cooked through, about 6-7 minutes per side. Once done, remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.
    • In the same skillet, combine honey, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and ground cayenne pepper. Allow the mixture to simmer until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally, for about 2-3 minutes.
    • Slice the cooked chicken into strips and return them to the skillet with the honey pepper sauce. Coat the chicken evenly with the sauce and set it aside while you prepare the macaroni cheese.
  2. Prepare the Creamy Macaroni Cheese:
    • Cook the macaroni pasta according to the package instructions, then drain and set it aside.
    • In a separate pot, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens, approximately 2-3 minutes.
    • Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese until melted and smooth. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
    • Combine the cooked pasta with the cheese sauce until well coated.
  3. Serve:
    • To serve, plate the creamy macaroni cheese and top it with the honey pepper chicken. Garnish with chopped parsley for a pop of freshness.

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cooking Time: 45 minutes | Total Time: 60 minutes
Calories: 780 kcal | Servings: 4 servings

Serving and Storage Tips:

  1. Serve Fresh and Hot: For the best dining experience, serve the Honey Pepper Chicken with Creamy Macaroni Cheese immediately after preparation. The flavors are at their peak when enjoyed freshly cooked.
  2. Garnish Just Before Serving: Add a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley as a garnish right before serving. This adds a touch of color and freshness to the dish, enhancing its visual appeal.
  3. Portion Control: If you have leftovers, portion them into airtight containers before refrigerating. This makes it easier to reheat and enjoy later without compromising the quality of the dish.
  4. Reheating: To reheat, simply microwave individual servings until heated through or place the desired portion in a skillet on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally until warmed.
  5. Avoid Freezing: While the macaroni cheese portion of the dish may freeze well, the honey pepper chicken is best enjoyed fresh due to its sauce. Freezing may alter the texture and flavor of the chicken.
  6. Recreate the Magic: If you plan to serve leftovers, consider refreshing the dish by adding a splash of milk to the macaroni cheese to prevent it from drying out during reheating.
  7. Pairing Suggestions: Accompany this dish with a side salad tossed in a light vinaigrette dressing or steamed vegetables for a complete and balanced meal.
  8. Family-Friendly Fare: This recipe is perfect for family gatherings or casual dinners with friends. Customize the spice level to suit your taste preferences or omit the cayenne pepper for a milder version suitable for kids.
  9. Make Ahead: While it’s best to prepare the dish fresh, you can save time by prepping the ingredients in advance. Marinate the chicken and cook the pasta ahead of time, storing them separately until ready to assemble and cook.
  10. Enhance Leftovers: Transform leftover honey pepper chicken into a delicious wrap or sandwich filling by shredding the chicken and layering it with your favorite toppings, such as lettuce, tomato, and avocado.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that every bite of your Sweet and Spicy Honey Pepper Chicken with Creamy Macaroni Cheese is a delightful culinary experience, whether enjoyed fresh or reheated for later enjoyment.


  1. Asian Fusion Twist: Add a splash of sesame oil, minced ginger, and chopped scallions to the honey pepper sauce for an Asian-inspired flavor profile. Serve the chicken over steamed rice or noodles.
  2. Fiery Chipotle Kick: Infuse the sauce with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for a smoky and spicy twist. Adjust the amount according to your desired level of heat and serve with a side of cornbread or roasted vegetables.
  3. Maple Mustard Glaze: Substitute the honey with maple syrup and add Dijon mustard to the sauce for a tangy-sweet flavor combination. Garnish with fresh thyme or rosemary for a hint of herbaceousness.
  4. Citrus Zest: Incorporate freshly squeezed orange or lime juice into the sauce for a citrusy burst of flavor. Top the chicken with a sprinkle of orange or lime zest for added brightness.
  5. Sweet Teriyaki Fusion: Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, and pineapple juice in the sauce for a sweet teriyaki-inspired glaze. Serve the chicken over a bed of stir-fried vegetables and rice for a complete meal.
  6. Savory Herb Infusion: Add dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, and sage to the sauce for a savory twist. Serve the chicken alongside mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts for a comforting dinner.
  7. Spicy Mango Tango: Blend fresh mango with jalapeño peppers and lime juice to create a spicy mango salsa. Serve the honey pepper chicken with a dollop of mango salsa for a tropical flair.
  8. Balsamic Bliss: Replace the apple cider vinegar with balsamic vinegar for a deeper, richer flavor profile. Drizzle balsamic reduction over the plated chicken for an elegant presentation.
  9. Sticky Sesame Glaze: Combine soy sauce, honey, garlic, and sesame oil to create a sticky sesame glaze for the chicken. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving for added crunch and nuttiness.
  10. Buffalo Twist: Toss the cooked chicken in buffalo sauce for a spicy kick. Serve with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing for a classic buffalo chicken experience.

FAQs :

  1. Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?
    • Yes, you can substitute chicken thighs for chicken breasts. Adjust the cooking time as needed to ensure they are cooked through.
  2. Can I make this dish gluten-free?
    • Yes, you can use gluten-free flour and tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) to make this recipe gluten-free. Ensure all other ingredients are also gluten-free.
  3. Can I grill the chicken instead of pan-searing it?
    • Absolutely! Grilling the chicken adds a delicious smoky flavor. Cook the chicken over medium-high heat until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C).
  4. Can I use different types of cheese for the macaroni cheese?
    • Yes, feel free to experiment with different cheeses such as Gouda, fontina, or pepper jack to customize the flavor of the macaroni cheese.
  5. How long will leftovers last in the refrigerator?
    • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat thoroughly before serving.
  6. Can I use pre-cooked chicken for this recipe?
    • Yes, you can use pre-cooked chicken for convenience. Simply skip the cooking step and proceed to slice the chicken and toss it in the honey pepper sauce.
  7. Can I make the macaroni cheese ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can prepare the macaroni cheese ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.
  8. Can I adjust the level of spiciness in the honey pepper sauce?
    • Yes, feel free to adjust the amount of ground cayenne pepper or omit it altogether to suit your preference for spiciness.
  9. Can I use other types of pasta for the macaroni cheese?
    • Yes, you can use any type of pasta you prefer, such as penne, rigatoni, or fusilli, for the macaroni cheese.
  10. Can I make this recipe dairy-free?
    • Yes, you can use dairy-free alternatives such as plant-based milk and cheese to make this recipe dairy-free. Ensure all other ingredients are also dairy-free.

With its irresistible combination of sweet and spicy flavors, our Honey Pepper Chicken paired with Creamy Macaroni Cheese is sure to become a family favorite. Whether you’re cooking for a weeknight dinner or entertaining guests, this dish is guaranteed to impress. Enjoy the delightful fusion of flavors and indulge in a culinary experience like no other!