Healthy Chicken Tenders are the perfect guilt free, delicious dinner! Whole30, paleo, and gluten free- they’ll be loved by everyone, including picky eaters!
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If you LOVE chicken tenders but are looking for a lighter option – these baked chicken tenders are for you! Baked instead of fried, paleo, whole30 and SO yummy – these are one of my all time favorite meals.
When I was growing up.. I basically lived off of chicken nuggets/chicken tenders + pasta. I was the PICKIEST eater ever.
I also loved fries… I mean.. can you blame me? Fried potatoes and chicken… a match made in heaven.
If we’re being totally honest, I never really grew out of my chicken tender loving phase, and I still crave them.
But here’s the thing with chicken tenders/chicken nuggets. In addition to being fried (we all know that’s no good for you), their ingredients are seriously questionable.. from the chicken on the inside, to the batter on the outside.. there are some WEIRD things in there…
That’s why I came up with my Healthy Chicken Tenders recipe! (Which I personally think is even better than whatever you’d get from a restaurant!)
What makes these chicken tenders healthy?
- Minimal ingredients – These chicken tenders are paleo, whole30, gluten free and so delicious!
- Baked, not fried– Even though these tenders are baked instead of being fried – you’d never taste the difference!
- Gluten, sugar, and soy free– Most chicken tenders are coated in bread crumbs and have all kinds of funky additives – these don’t!
- Low carb – While low carb doesn’t necessary = healthy, the batter on these tenders is made from better-for-you nut flours instead of bread crumbs!
Even though these chicken tenders are healthy, they really don’t taste like it – I swear!
In addition to being good for you, these baked chicken tenders are also SUPER easy to make – they only have a few ingredients and a few steps. Let me show you how I make them!
Ingredients for Healthy Chicken Tenders:
I also use an egg and a little bit of almond milk when breading them.
I’ve also included some substituions below if you don’t have these ingredients or need to make them nut free!
How to make healthy chicken tenders:
Making healthy chicken tenders really is so easy. I know it can be simple to just pop the ones you like from the freezer in the oven.. but I promise when you try these you’ll love them!
First – mix together your breading. Then, dip the chicken tender in your egg mixture. Coat evenly in breading.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet + bake – that’s it!!
How to serve Healthy Chicken Tenders
- Fries: Healthy Baked French Fries are a must make with these chicken tenders!
- Dipping: You can dip these in ketchup, or usually dip them in mustard. This one is one of my favorites. These baked chicken tender are also delicious dipped in the buffalo sauce in this recipe
- On a salad: This Strawberry Avocado Goat Cheese Salad is one of my favorites
- Roasted Veggies: Garlic Rosemary Roasted Brussels Sprouts or Healthy Green Beans Almondine go great with these chicken tenders!
Storing/Reheating these Chicken Tenders:
I store these chicken tenders in the fridge for up to 4 days. I have never tried freezing the chicken tenders, but i think they would freeze well.
When you want to reheat your chicken tenders – place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 and heat for 5-10 minutes until edges are crispy.
I would not recommend microwaving these chicken tenders. They can get soggy and do not taste as good!
Freezing: You can freeze these chicken tenders. Lay them on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the freezer. When they’re frozen completely, place them in a ziploc bag. THey’ll last in the freezer for 2 months. When you want to reheat them, place them in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes until thawed and crispy. Make sure to freeze them after you have cooked them!
Substitutions for our baked chicken tender recipe:
I purposely created these healthy chicken fingers with my paleo + Whole30 friends in mind – but you an definitely customize them for your family!
- Flour: You can substitute almond flour/coconut flour 1:1 with whole wheat or panko breadcrumbs, however, they will not be paleo or whole30 friendly.
- Nut Free: Substitute almond/coconut flour with bread crumbs
- Milk: You can use any milk in this recipe
- Salt/Pepper: I don’t use salt/pepper in this recipe because I typically serve these with salted french fries. You could add 1/4 teaspoon of each to the breading if you like.
- Chicken: You can use chicken breasts for this recipe. Simply cut in tender-shaped sticks and follow the rest of the recipe!
- Spices – You can add parsley, cayenne pepper or really any spices you like depending on your tastes!
- Can you make these in the air fryer? I don’t have an air fryer, but many other people have made these in their air fryers and enjoyed them! I’d recommend following your air fryers conversion chart and trying them out!
Other healthy chicken recipes:
We love cooking with chicken because it’s so versatile! Here are some of our other favorite chicken recipes!
- Healthy Orange Chicken
- Chicken Caprese Quinoa Meal Prep Bowls
- Whole30 Cashew Coconut Chicken Tenders
- Whole30 Greek Chicken Zucchini Noodles
- Sheet Pan Lemon Rosemary Chicken Thigh Dinner
- Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash Boats
Healthy Chicken Tenders
- Preheat oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl mix together shredded coconut, coconut flour, almond meal and pepper
- In a separate bowl mix beat one egg and milk
- Dip the chicken into egg mixture, and then dip into breading until all chicken is coated.
- Place the chicken tenders on lined baking sheet. Bake at 450 for 10-15 minutes, flip and bake for an additional 10 minutes until outside of chicken is crunchy. Enjoy!
- Flour: You can substitute / 1:1 with whole wheat or panko breadcrumbs, however, they will not be paleo or whole30 friendly.
- Milk: You can use regular milk in this recipe
- Salt/Pepper: I don't use french fries. You could add 1/4 teaspoon of each to the breading if you like. / in this recipe because I typically serve these with salted
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