Baked Chicken Tenders

DF GF

These baked chicken tenders are coated in almond flour or meal, shredded coconut and a blend of spices. They’re absolutely delicious and perfect for dipping in your favorite sauce.

I feel like most adults deem chicken tenders as a kids food. But I’m a big fan of chicken tenders! They’re super flavorful, crispy and can be eaten on their own or in a variety of ways.

Overhead shot of baked chicken tenders on 2 plates with dipping sauce.

Instead of using traditional bread crumbs for breading, I made these baked chicken tenders paleo and grain-free by using almond meal. My family is hooked on this simple dinner!

Ingredients measured out to make baked chicken tenders: cayenne pepper, almond meal, egg, chicken, coconut flakes, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper.

Here’s What You Need

  • boneless skinless chicken breast – cut into strips. You can also buy pre-cut chicken tenders but they’re usually more expensive and it’s easy to slice a chicken breast into strips!
  • egg – to bind the almond meal to the chicken.
  • almond meal – the base of the breading! I typically use almond meal, but you can definitely use almond flour instead. You’ll mix spices into the almond meal or flour to make it extra flavorful.
  • unsweetened shredded coconut – to add flavor and crunch to the breading! If you’re not a big coconut fan, you can just use more almond meal.  
  • spices – a delicious combination of paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, sea salt and pepper.
tip!
Bake these chicken tenders on a baking sheet with a wire rack. The wire rack will result in a crispier texture! 
Side by side photos. The first is of coconut, almond flour and spices in a bowl. The second photo is a bowl of whisked egg and a bowl of the whisked almond flour mixtire.
Overhead shot of chicken tenders on a baking sheet.

Dip Pairings

You can’t have chicken tenders without dipping sauce, right?! Here are some of our favorites:

What to Serve Baked Chicken Tenders With

Like I mentioned earlier, these baked chicken tenders are actually pretty versatile! Here are some ways to serve them:

  • As a full meal – Eat them on their own with a delicious dip and vegetable fries – my favorites are baked zucchini fries or baked sweet potato fries!
  • On a salad – Top a salad with crispy chicken tenders! The options are endless here – swap any protein out for these chicken tenders or add them to a side salad like this strawberry spinach salad for a complete meal.
  • In a wrap – Make a wrap by adding greens, any extra veggies, chicken tenders and a sauce. Lunch on the go!
Overhead shot of a serving platter with baked chicken tenders.

How to Store Baked Chicken Tenders

Leftover chicken tenders store really well! After allowing them to cool, store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To reheat, I like to pop them in the conventional oven or toaster oven for a few minutes so they crisp back up!

Baked Chicken Tenders

5 from 39 votes
These baked chicken tenders are coated in almond flour or meal, shredded coconut and a blend of spices. They're absolutely delicious and perfect for dipping in your favorite sauce.
Overhead shot of baked chicken tenders on 2 plates with dipping sauce.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb organic boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup almond meal (or almond flour)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (or ¼ cup more almond meal)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F and coat a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place almond meal, coconut, paprika, cayenne, garlic, sea salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
    Overhead shot of a bowl with almond meal, coconut, paprika, cayenne, garlic, sea salt and black pepper ready to be combined.
  • Crack egg into another shallow bowl and whisk.
  • One by one, dredge each chicken tender in the egg bowl, wiping off any access and then dip each into the almond meal mixture. Roll until each tender is covered completely.
    Overhead shot of two bowls. One bowl has eggs that have been whisked and the second bowl has a mixture of dry ingredients with a whisk resting in the bowl.
  • Place the coated tenders on a baking pan lined with parchment paper or a wire rack that fits on a baking sheet. The wire rack will make for a crispier texture.
    Overhead shot of chicken tenders on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, flipping the tenders once at the 10 minute mark. When done the chicken tenders will be golden brown and completely cooked through.
  • Remove tenders from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
  • Leftover chicken tenders store really well. After allowing them to cool slightly, store in an airtight container for 5 days. To reheat, I like to pop them in the conventional oven or toaster oven for a few minutes so they crisp back up!

Video

Notes

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1/4 of recipe Calories: 211kcal Carbohydrates: 3g Protein: 27g Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 117mg Sodium: 386mg Potassium: 50mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 1g
    Course: Lunch/Dinner
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: baked chicken tenders

    DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

    Please leave a comment and star rating on this post and share on social media using the hashtag #eatingbirdfood. I love seeing your recipe shares!
    This post may include affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating




      102 comments
      1. Steve
        September 4, 2021 AT 3:10 pm

        5 stars
        These are so good. I really liked the texture of the coconut. I added red pepper flakes for an kick. Maybe my tenders were thicker, I had to cook longer. This is going to be a “go to” recipe. Thanks, you did it again!

        1. Brittany Mullins
          September 7, 2021 AT 1:53 pm

          Ah yay!! So pumped these chicken tenders were a hit, Steve! I love the addition of the red pepper flakes for some spice. Thanks so much for the review and star rating. I really appreciate it!

      2. Rachel
        September 3, 2021 AT 7:02 pm

        5 stars
        These are amazing everyone loved them and so easy to make!

        1. Brittany Mullins
          September 7, 2021 AT 2:06 pm

          So wonderful to hear, Rachel! Thanks so much for the review and star rating. I so appreciate it!

      3. Giftbasketworldwide
        September 2, 2021 AT 10:14 pm

        Thank you for sharing this delightful recipe. I can hardly wait to try it.

      4. Pamela Shah
        September 2, 2021 AT 5:04 pm

        5 stars
        Just made the tenders. Everyone loved how crispy and flavorful they were.

        1. Brittany Mullins
          September 7, 2021 AT 2:12 pm

          Woo!! So happy to hear this, Pamela! Thanks so much for trying them out and coming back to leave a review. I really appreciate it!

      5. Emily
        August 31, 2021 AT 3:16 pm

        Hi Brittany,

        I tried these last night and they were very good. I was wondering if you have any tips for keeping the breading on the chicken when you flip them or any ideas why it might not be sticking. I used a wire rack, egg replacer instead of eggs, and mostly almond flour (add only about a Tbsp of coconut flakes).

        Also, do you think the chicken would be crispier if I baked it on the bottom rack in the oven instead of the middle? Or do you think it would bake the outside too quickly?

        Thank you!

        1. Brittany Mullins
          September 3, 2021 AT 11:29 am

          Mmm maybe the egg replacer wasn’t keeping the breading stuck to the chicken as well as a regular egg? That’s the only thing I could think of! I’m not too sure on the oven, it really just depends on your oven. You could try it to see if it results in crispier tenders!

    Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

    5 SECRETS TO
    HEALTHY SNACKING

    Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring!

    FREE EMAIL BONUS

    GET A 3 DAY CLEAN EATING MEAL PLAN

    Subscribe to our list and get your free printable PDF of the 3 Day Clean Eating Meal Plan and Shopping List!

    X