I not messing with you here. There’s a reason this recipe is called No work Chicken. Cause it is absolutely NO work! 

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Back when I first met my husband, I had the opportunity to become pals with one of his mother’s best friends, Pat O’Keefe. Beautiful, lovely, charming and far younger than her chronological age, Pat is bubbly and full of life every time I see her.

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A few years ago, Pat decided that she was starting her own cooking blog. She told me about all of the recipes she loved to create and share with her family — especially her beloved grandson, Toby — and now wanted others to discover.

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Since then I have received an email from Pat almost every week featuring a new recipe — original ideas that are always a little out of the ordinary and with ingredient combinations I wouldn’t normally think of putting together but which make perfect sense when you taste the final product. 

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I’ve enjoyed many of Pat’s recipes over time, but when I saw “No Work Chicken” as the subject line of last week’s email, I was beyond intrigued. After all, if there’s a recipe for something with little-to-no work involved and it’s very likely going to be delicious, I’m in! I tweaked Pat’s recipe slightly to suit our family, but this is my interpretation and it’s unbelievably good. Not just another chicken recipe, this one immediately earned a distinguished place in our dinner rotation.

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All you do is quickly whisk the marinade ingredients together in the morning (or the night before), add the chicken breasts and then bake them when you get home that night. In less than an hour, you’ll have moist, juicy chicken with a sweet and tangy sauce that is heavenly served over brown rice.

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Recipe courtesy of Pat O’Keefe

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No Work Chicken

4.34 from 9 votes
Author: Catherine McCord
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 minute



  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • In a 9 x 13 baking dish, whisk the honey, soy sauce, dijon mustard, curry powder and scallions.
  • Place chicken on top of sauce and turn to coat.
  • Cover and marinate 30 minutes to overnight, flipping halfway through to coat with sauce.
  • Cover with foil and bake chicken 30-40 minutes, depending on size of chicken breasts. Baste chicken with the sauce half way through cooking.
  • Serve over rice or pasta.



Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 150mg | Sodium: 1150mg | Sugar: 18g
Did you make this recipe?Mention @Weelicious or tag #weelicious!

About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.


  1. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! I have made this many times since I re-discovered it, works great with thighs too! My mother made this same recipe (no scallions) when I was a child in the 1960’s. I had been looking for it and found yours awhile ago on Pinterest. Thank You! When she passed recently I finally found the cookbook it originally came from. “Make It Now Bake It Later” by Barbara Goodfellow. Her series of books are full of easy and delicious recipes from the 1950’s through the 70’s!

  2. I’ve made this a couple times now and I love it. It’s a simple recipe with great flavor that my kids love. Maybe next time I’ll do something with the sauce after it’s out of the oven so it’s thicker and covers pasta/rice better.

  3. This is a great recipe, but it is NOT gluten free, UNLESS gluten-free soy sauce is used…the recipe does not detail this. Regular soy sauce is not gluten free and could cause a terrible reaction in Celiacs or otherwise gluten sensitive people. That said, can’t wait to try it with the proper soy sauce!

  4. Yay!This reminded me that I forogt my own important day and I feel gutted that I missed it. I’ve been stalking through your journal and I friggen love it. Your photos are always freaking beautiful and you don’t ramble on like some mofos.

  5. […] friend of mine posted that she had this chicken for dinner and loved it, so of course I had to try it out too. It was pretty good and was really […]

  6. I think this would work with tenders! Those will cook much faster. I’d check for doneness at 15-20 minutes!

  7. My kids and I made this today and we loved it! Of course we didn’t have any curry in the house so based on the list of ingredients that make up curry, we mixed up our own version with what we had in the house (cinn, cumin, ground mustard, cayene, cloves and nutmeg)!

  8. Just found the site yesterday and am loving it. After reading the comments, I wonder if the “curdling” that JF noted was the white stuff that comes out of chicken when it’s cooked. Also, I’m so disturbed lately at the amount of chicken that has been injected with, from 12-15%, water or broth. It really makes baked chicken dishes soggy as there is too much liquid to evaporate during a normal cooking cycle. Maybe this is what screwed up the glazing?

  9. I made this last night and it was wonderful. But today I’m having leftovers and it’s EVEN BETTER!

  10. Huge hit! I put it over whole wheat pasta and added some chopped up steamed broccoli and my kids gobbled it up:)

  11. […] No Work Chicken recipe on Weelicious had me with the name. And the tasty looking photo. The marinade is made with honey, mustard and […]

  12. This is my 3rd Weelicious recipe in the last week, after finding it only a few weeks ago. This has already gotten the seal of approval from my fiance and 2yo daughter, will be a firm family favourite from here on out.
    From Louise, all the way in New Zealand.

  13. Have this marinating right now and the marinade tastes and smells delish! (I tasted it before I put the chicken in!) I bet my kids will love it!

  14. Made this last night for dinner and it was a huge hit! My husband and my one year old (who doesn’t eat alot of meat) gobbled it up! Love your website SO much!

  15. The dijon mustard really adds a lot to this dish! There isn’t anything that I’ve tried that is a good substitute. You can use a different type of mustard, but that will alter the flavor of the dish.

  16. I cook brown rice in a rice cooker. Just follow the cups and water measurement, and put it on the brown rice setting, and that’s it. Sometimes you need to add a little more water for brown rice, so it won’t be so chewy.

  17. I struggle with brown rice as well, instant brown rice turns out better for me than regular, but my best success is with using a rice cooker and following the instructions to a T. I received my rice cooker as a gift and thought it was a ridiculous appliance but have come to appreciate it for the wonderful job it does on brown rice. (Also use it on the porch with the crockpot in the summer to avoid heating the kitchen)

  18. You might need to cook it longer. Brown rice can sometimes take an hour to cook! Follow your package directions, but check on it every now and then to make sure it still has enough water. If it looks like the water is almost gone and you still have half an hour of cooking time left, add a little more water! For more flavor try cooking it in Chicken Stock instead of water, or adding a pinch of salt to the cooking water.

  19. Will try. Looks yummy. I just have a brown rice question. I’ve never been able to cook brown rice well enough to make my fam eat it. Whats the best way to cook the rice and does the brand matter? When i make it always tastes uncooked and flavorless.

  20. Thank you, Catherine! A huge hit with the entire family (4 yr old and 14 mo old included!). Full of flavor, perfect kick of curry. And truly lived up to the “no work” name. So pleased to add this to our rotation.

  21. That is so strange! There isn’t anything in the sauce that would curdle. I mix all the sauce ingredients in the baking pan and baste the chicken about half way through the cooking time. Maybe basting it more than once would help the sauce smooth out more? I wish I could jump through my computer screen and help you!

  22. Hi Catherine,
    My family loves all of your recipes – thank you so much! I tried this tonight and it was so tasty – served it over quinoa. But – it looked nothing like your gorgeous photo … the sauce broke I think – it looked curdled and did not thicken or leave a pretty glaze on the chicken like in the photo. Any idea what I did wrong? Thanks!

  23. Great recipe! Always looking for something different for chicken!
    (yesterday I put a cut up fryer in the crockpot with some bbq sauce, some salt & pepper, and water, put on low for 8.5 hours… delish!)
    By the way, my daughter cannot get enough of your graham crackers! I have the recipe taped to the side of the fridge because we make them so much (and of course she helps… she’s 2). Love that they are egg-free so we can sample the dough!

  24. Just had your chicken tortilla soup for lunch(kids #1 fav meal I make). Def going to make this for supper, have everything on hand…going to go good with brown rice and grilled asparagus 🙂
    Cheddar crackers just out of the oven as well. It’s a weelicious day here 🙂

  25. i used little pieces of pork, that’s all i have in the fridge, i will let you now how they turn out…i am very excited!

  26. Dijon mustard and yellow mustard are so different in flavor that I wouldn’t substitute one for the other. You can substitute the dijon if you must, but just know that the flavor will be different!

  27. i don’t have dijon mustard on hand. can i use another mustard? or is there a substitute? i have stadium mustard (not sure but i think it’s like a spicy mustard) and normal mustard on hand. thanks

  28. I tried this recipe with no curry powder and it just wasn’t as full-flavored. I scaled way back on the curry powder because I know it isn’t a super popular ingredient but it really does add that “extra something” to this dish, and you can’t even really pick it out when tasting this recipe! Curry powder is a mixture of: Turmeric, Corriander, Mustard powder, Cumin, Paprika, Cayenne, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, and Cloves. It’s just such a great combination of flavors I wouldn’t want to leave it out!

  29. That’s what I’m wondering also. Should I just leave it out, or what would be a good substitue seasoning?

  30. I make something similar with just dijon, honey, and curry in the sauce and don’t marinate it before baking. It is so easy and one of our favorite dinners served with rice, quinoa, or couscous. I’m definitely going to try it with the soy sauce and marinading it beforehand next time!

  31. I am terrible when it comes to cooking chicken. I always destroy it! I will have to try this recipe. That marinade sounds awesome.

  32. This is fantastic! Have some chicken already defrosting and will serve with leftover vegetable fried brown rice. Thanks!

  33. Hi. Just a hint – any marinade with that ratio of honey might burn on a grill. He should watch it very carefully.

  34. we don’t eat meat but that marinade sounds awesome! i think i’m going to try it with tofu. yummmm!

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