Baked Paleo Chicken Tenders

These baked paleo chicken tenders are made with organic chicken, almond meal, shredded coconut and a blend of spices. They’re absolutely delicious high in protein, low carb and whole30 approved. 

A couple months ago I was in New York for an event and asked my friend, Kris for a few restaurant recommendations. One of her top suggestions was Hu Kitchen so I ended up there for dinner one evening. Rather than a sit-down restaurant, Hu is a quick dine-in or take-out spot. You simply order at the counter, grab your food, pay and then find a spot to enjoy your meal. Their menu is completely gluten-free and features all real food. <– Right up my alley!

White plate with four chicken tenders stacked on top. Sitting on a linen towel.

That evening I decided to get the Sides Matter with root vegetable mash, roasted cauliflower and roasted sweet potatoes along with a few baked chicken tenders. The chicken tenders were from the prepared food section so they were served cold, but they were still crazy good.

Baking sheet with 6 chicken tenders.

Once home I had a craving for the chicken tenders and since Richmond doesn’t have a Hu Kitchen (yet!) I decided to make my own homemade version.

Baking sheet with parchment paper and six chicken tenders in the oven.

I knew it wouldn’t be too hard because I’ve made baked chicken tenders before. The only difference is that these chicken tenders are paleo and grain-free so the crust is made with almond meal instead of rice cereal and an egg instead of Greek yogurt. Easy peasy!

Clear baking dish with chicken tenders stacked inside.

It took me a couple weeks but I finally got around to making them and they turned out to be REALLY good — crispy, flavorful and just as delicious as I remember them being at Hu.

Isaac and I ate them with honey mustard the first night and then I put the leftover tenders on salad for lunch the next day.

Three chicken tenders sitting on a salad made with spinach, onions, peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes on a white plate.

It was absolutely delish!! I already want to make another batch of the tenders (and these sesame roasted carrots) just so I can have this salad again.

One quick note — the Hu Kitchen chicken tenders don’t have coconut, I just decided to add a little unsweetened shredded coconut to my recipe for added flavor and crunch. If you want to stick with the traditional version or simply don’t like coconut, just use 1/4 cup more almond meal instead of the shredded coconut.

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Baked Paleo Chicken Tenders


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

Inspired by the chicken tenders from Hu Kitchen in New York, these baked chicken tenders are made with organic chicken, almond meal and a blend of spices. They’re paleo, packed with protein and absolutely delicious.


Ingredients

  • 1 lb organic boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (or 1/4 cup more almond meal)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Place almond meal, coconut, paprika, cayenne, garlic, sea salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
  3. Crack egg into another shallow bowl and whisk.
  4. 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. 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. 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.

Notes

Inspired by the Baked Organic Chicken Tenders at Hu Kitchen.

  • Category: Lunch/Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 275
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 3g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 30g

Keywords: baked chicken tenders, paleo chicken tenders

I hope you like these baked paleo chicken tenders much as we do. If you happen to try them, please let me know in the comment section or share a photo via social media. Don’t forget to tag me (@eatingbirdfood) so that I see it. You have no idea how excited I get when you make my recipes. <3

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    72 comments
    1. Ginger
      October 12, 2020 AT 8:40 am

      If I use 2 lbs of chicken should I cook it for 40 minutes? I plan on doubling the recipe.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 12, 2020 AT 10:59 pm

        Hey Ginger – 20 minutes should still be fine if you use 2 lbs, you might just need a second pan for cooking.

    2. Kate
      September 30, 2020 AT 6:38 pm

      My 5 1/2 year year old son has NEVER liked chicken fingers. Literally refuses to eat them. I have tried several times making
      my own and he still refuses. He ate ALL of these (I gave him three fairly large ones). He told me they were “delicious” and he can’t wait to eat more. Thank you 😊!!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 1, 2020 AT 11:41 pm

        Ahh yay!! That makes me so happy to hear, Kate. I’m so glad these chicken tenders were a hit!! Thanks for making my recipe and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it. 🙂

    3. Jessica
      September 3, 2020 AT 5:54 pm

      These are delicious and satisfying! Even my husband loves them. After one time making these yummy chicken tenders, we printed an official copy to add to our cookbook. Thank you for making this healthy alternative recipe! It’s genius!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 3, 2020 AT 11:11 pm

        Ahh yay!! That makes me so happy to hear, Jessica! I’m so glad these tenders were a hit. Thanks for trying my recipe and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. It means the world to me. <3

    4. Kayla
      August 21, 2020 AT 4:19 pm

      Can you use almond flour instead of the almond meal?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 21, 2020 AT 4:42 pm

        Hey Kayla – That should work just fine. 🙂 Let me know if you try it and how they turn out!

    5. Jerry Pitman
      August 20, 2020 AT 6:32 pm

      Great recipe! Very easy!! I can’t seem to get the crispness that I was hoping for. I even cooked for an extra 7 minutes. Any input would be appreciated.I’ll definitely be making them again!’

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 21, 2020 AT 2:28 pm

        You could try broiling them for a few minutes to get the crispy outside, but just keep an eye on them because you don’t want to overcook them.

    6. Anne-Marie Ferraro
      July 1, 2020 AT 6:30 pm

      I have made these twice. Each time they came out delicious! Thank you for the yummy 😋recipe!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 2, 2020 AT 8:23 pm

        Yay!! So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Anne-Marie! Thanks for taking the time to come back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    7. Kara Hall
      June 29, 2020 AT 11:17 am

      Hello! Could you cook these in the air fryer instead? If so, for how long and what temp? Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 29, 2020 AT 8:13 pm

        Hey Kara! I haven’t tried these in the air fryer, but I’m sure you could! Let me know if you try it and how they turn out. 🙂

    8. Kari
      June 12, 2020 AT 3:21 pm

      Hi Brittany! Loved your recipe, but alas, I had to make a few changes, lol, i.e. fix my mistakes…😏 So I made a Mexican herbed marinade, used lemon juice n olive oil, then the pain hit, n it ended up sitting in the frig overnight uncovered…It was really thick but fine, cut it up, breaded it, it’s baking now…I used your coconut flakes n almond flour, but also added some ground up walnuts, so fingers crossed! Thank you for your recipes, much peace n love…😏❤🕊💚✌

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 12, 2020 AT 5:21 pm

        Ahh let me know how they end up turning out for you!!

    9. Dishesdeli
      May 19, 2020 AT 6:40 pm

      Thanks for sharing this great recipe

    10. Leah
      April 27, 2020 AT 1:22 am

      Really good! Very easy to put together also!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 27, 2020 AT 12:28 pm

        Yay!! So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Leah. Thanks for trying it and for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. I so appreciate it. <3

    11. Mckenze sander
      April 26, 2020 AT 10:37 pm

      This was delicious!
      A great healthy alternative for chicken tenders!
      The recipe was super easy and quick to make.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 27, 2020 AT 12:26 pm

        I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe!! Thanks for trying it and for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. I so appreciate it!

    12. Rachel
      April 16, 2020 AT 5:52 pm

      Love this recipe. Easy, delicious, and healthy. A weekly staple in my house!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 17, 2020 AT 6:48 pm

        I’m so glad you’re a fan of this recipe, Rachel!! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and star rating. It means the world to me. <3

    13. Rachel
      April 16, 2020 AT 5:51 pm

      I love this recipe!! So easy and delicious, I come back to it time and time again. I need to invest in a baking rack so I can get these extra crispy! Great recipe.

    14. Kim
      March 5, 2020 AT 10:25 pm

      Great recipe!! will definitely make again.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 6, 2020 AT 12:07 am

        Yay!! So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Kim!! Thanks for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. I so appreciate it!

    15. Brandy
      February 16, 2020 AT 5:25 pm

      Think this would work with almond milk in place of egg?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 16, 2020 AT 8:29 pm

        Hey Brandy – I haven’t tried it so I’m not sure how the tenders would turn out. I have seen people use full-fat canned coconut milk as a sub for eggs when breading chicken. Let me know if you try it.

    16. Jolee Dvorak
      November 17, 2019 AT 11:00 pm

      Love this recipe!

      Question, 1/4 serving size, what’s the conversion? I’m trying to log my calories but recipe isn’t an option.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 18, 2019 AT 11:36 am

        Hey Jolee – I’m so happy to hear that you enjoy this recipe! If you use 1 lb of chicken breast one serving would be 1/4 pound. Hopefully that helps. 🙂

    17. Hannah baez
      November 7, 2019 AT 9:18 pm

      Love this so much. My husband ask for it all the time and I like that it’s Paleo . Thank you so much!!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 8, 2019 AT 11:26 pm

        I’m so happy to hear that you and your husband enjoy this recipe!! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and star rating. The ratings are super helpful to other readers, so I really appreciate it. <3

    18. Rebecca
      November 6, 2019 AT 5:43 pm

      This recipe was super easy. So delicious and yummy. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I can’t wait to try more recipes.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 6, 2019 AT 7:46 pm

        Yayy!! Thanks for trying this recipe, Rebecca. I’m so glad you enjoyed the tenders! And thank you so much for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. It means the world to me! <3

    19. Cristin
      October 13, 2019 AT 10:09 pm

      These were easy to make and delicious! Thank you for this recipe!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 14, 2019 AT 8:48 am

        I’m so glad you liked the tenders, Cristin. And I so appreciate you taking the time to come back and leave a star rating on the recipe. The ratings are super helpful!

    20. Garnett
      August 20, 2019 AT 11:19 pm

      I would love to make these, but my daughter has a tree nut allergy. I saw someone made them with sunflowerseed meal. Any other ideas for a substitute?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 21, 2019 AT 9:01 am

        Hi Garnett. I’m not sure if you’re trying to keep these paleo, but if not you could use bread crumbs. Another option is to try my chicken tenders that use brown rice crisp cereal for the coating. I shared this recipe over on myfitnesspal: https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/crispy-baked-chicken-tenders/ You might just want to leave out the hot sauce since you’re making them for your daughter. Hope this helps.

    21. Sabrina
      May 15, 2019 AT 10:05 pm

      So tasty!! I don’t like too much spice so I halved the cayenne and it still had a good kick! I also double breaded them! Turned out UH-MAZING!

    22. Suzi
      January 9, 2019 AT 10:09 am

      Can’t wait to try paleo chicken nuggets.

      Just a suggestion. I plan to read most of plan quickly and then organize a week of meal plans and shopping list. Then start program.

    23. Layla
      November 27, 2018 AT 1:04 am

      Hi, sounds great I’m going to try it, is it freezeable though? I guess it is however let me know your thoughts please please ?

      Thank you

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 27, 2018 AT 8:56 am

        I’ve never had a change to freeze them (we usually eat them all up), but I would assume that they freeze well. Let me know if you try it.

    24. Natalie
      November 9, 2018 AT 5:08 am

      This was sooo good! I literally ate 3 pieces before I even sat down for dinner. Thank you so much for another delicious, healthy recipe 🙂

    25. Mandy
      April 22, 2018 AT 9:56 am

      “The chicken is not dry!” My husband blurted out after his first bite. We were out of paprika so I used some chipotle powder and I made extra for a salad to take to work tomorrow. Great recipe, thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 23, 2018 AT 10:09 am

        Hooray!! So glad you both enjoyed these. They’re a favorite over here too! 🙂

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