Fast food, step aside. When you can make Baked Paleo Chicken Tenders that are this good, there’s no going back. These gluten-free, Whole30 crispy tenders are made with shredded coconut, almond flour, and more!
The best homemade chicken tender recipe you’ll ever try
You guys, these baked paleo chicken tenders may just be the most delicious pieces of chicken that I’ve ever tried! Golden, crispy perfection on the outside with a perfectly cooked, juicy middle. If you’re a chicken tender or chicken finger type of person, you are so going to love these!
Last week I found myself with a serious chicken finger craving. But, I knew regular homemade recipes weren’t going to cut it – I was craving the real, bad-for-you-but-so-delicious fast food version! But instead of going out and indulging, I decided that I would just have to get creative to make a homemade version better than I’ve ever made before.
The end result turned out to be a healthier, gluten-free homemade chicken tender recipe that’s coated in a crispy almond flour and coconut crust! Those ingredients, along with garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper create the most delicious breading.
Serve ’em up with your favorite sauce, and you’re in for a treat! I used a big bowl of ketchup, but they’re also tasty when tossed in buffalo sauce and served with blue cheese or ranch.
Ingredients in these chicken tenders
The best part about these chicken tenders is that the ingredient list is super simple and super delicious. Seriously, take a look at what’s included!
- Chicken tenders: Grab 2 lbs of chicken and slice into your desired sizes.
- Almond flour: For the breading, we’ll use 1/2 cup of almond flour as the main ingredient.
- Coconut: Next up, we’re using 1/2 cup of desiccated (dried) coconut. It needs to be in very small pieces, so pulse flakes in a food processor until fine.
- Egg: We’ll use 1 egg to help with the breading.
- Salt: For salt, use just 1/2 tsp.
- Pepper: Likewise, you’ll need 1/2 tsp of pepper.
- Garlic powder: For garlic, 1/2 tsp will also work, though you can add more if desired.
- Paprika: I love to add smoked paprika! 1 tsp is the perfect amount.
- Cayenne pepper: Finally, add 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper, opting for more if you want more spice.
Tools you’ll need to make baked paleo chicken tenders
These little chicken tenders are baked in the oven, which means there’s no need to deal with the mess of cleaning up a frying pan! The outsides will get super crispy as if they had been fried, and the inside will stay perfectly tender and moist. It’s the perfect combo!
For this recipe you’ll need the following tools:
- Cutting board and knife (for the chicken)
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Two small mixing bowls
- Stirring utensil
- Measuring cups: 1/4 tsp, 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, 1/2 cup
How to make baked paleo chicken tenders
Think baked chicken is boring? Think again. When you see just how delicious these tenders are (and with such little prep work), you’ll be amazed! Here’s how it’s done:
To begin, preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Wash the chicken and pat it dry.
Then, in a small bowl, whisk the egg and set aside.
In another small bowl, mix the almond flour, coconut, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne.
Dip a chicken tender into the egg, letting any extra drip off. Then, place it in the flour bowl.
Press the chicken down so that it’s completed covered, flipping and pressing it several times to ensure that it is fully coated.
Place it on a baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the chicken.
Once finished dredging, sprinkle a bit more of the flour mixture on top of each tender.
Bake for 15-17 minutes and then broil for 2-3 more to get a crispy crush. Depending on the size of the chicken, this timeframe may range. As long as the internal temperature reaches at least 160F, you’re good to go.
Sprinkle the tenders with parsley as a garnish (optional) and serve immediately.
Dip in your favorite sauces, and enjoy!
Storing and reheating
These chicken tenders can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Keep them fresh in a tightly sealed container.
When it’s time to reheat, I recommend doing so in an air fryer or oven to keep them crispy.
Can’t get enough chicken? Try these!
I must agree: chicken recipes are the best! Between the great source of lean protein, the versatility, and the sauce dipping options, I’m a multiple-chicken-dinners-a-week kind of gal. Below are some of my favorites that I know you’ll enjoy!
- Lemon Chicken Spaghetti Squash Casserole
- Healthy Chicken Pot Pie Soup (Dairy-Free)
- Easy White Chicken Chili Recipe (Stovetop or Crockpot)
- Healthy Chicken Nuggets (Baked and Air Fried)
- Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Casserole
- Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wash and pat dry chicken.
- In a small bowl, whisk egg. Set aside for now.
- In another small bowl, mix together almond flour, coconut, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne.
- Dip a chicken tender in the egg mixture, letting an extra egg drip off, then placing into flour bowl.
- Press down on tender to completely cover, flipping and pressing several times to make sure each tender is fully covered.
- Line on baking sheet and once finished dredging, sprinkling a little bit more of the flour mixture onto each one.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes and then broil for 2-3 more minutes to get a crispy crust. Dependent on your tender size, this time may range. Internal chicken temperature should be 160F or higher.
- Sprinkle with parsley for garnish (optional) and serve immediately.
- Store in fridge and heat up via air fryer or oven for crispiness.
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