Almond Crusted Chicken Tenders are a paleo and low carb way to enjoy chicken tenders. Using almond meal and a quick homemade spice combo, you can make a baked chicken tender that is good for you and tastes amazing.
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Almond Crusted Chicken Tenders Recipe
These Almond Chicken Fimgers are ready in less than 30 minutes and are a healthier way to make chicken tenders or chicken nuggets. Baked in the oven with a crispy almond and spice coating, these healthy chicken tenders are a family favorite. They are delicious with these Baked Skinny Fries or Crispy Parmesan Onion Straws.
Chicken tenders are one of those foods I don’t really want to admit how much I love. And I can’t even blame it on childhood memories because I don’t think we ever even ate chicken fingers or nuggets as kids. I guess I would have to blame it on late night college eating and my love for dipping anything and everything. So normally to lighten up traditional chicken tenders, I would reach for breadcrumbs and bake them instead of the traditional deep frying. Easy peasy.
However, on a Paleo, low carb diet, or gluten-free diet, you need to find a good substitute for the breadcrumbs. My personal favorite? Almond meal. It provides a great crunch and I actually prefer the nutty flavor and texture to breadcrumbs. It also adds some extra protein and is a healthier alternative to breadcrumbs. I use it for these Almond Crusted Pork Tenders as well. Sometimes I will add some chopped almonds as well to the almond meal for extra crunch.
Dipping Sauces for these Almond Crusted Chicken Tenders
- Honey mustard: I make a quick honey mustard sauce all the time using equal parts mustard and Greek yogurt. Then I sweeten it with honey or Stevia for a lower carb option.
- Teriyaki sauce: I could eat almost anything dipped in teriyaki sauce but it can be loaded with sugar. This healthier teriyaki sauce is a good option. Add some Sriracha or sambal olek to make it spicy.
- Healthy ranch: Let’s be honest, everyone loves ranch dressing but one tablespoon can have over 100 calories and 10 grams of fat. I make a yogurt based ranch dressing instead that is perfect for salads, dipping, and more.
- Store bought options: If you don’t want to make your own sauce, there are tons of good store-bought options. Consider buffalo sauce, sweet chili sauce, and light salad dressings. Usually, I look for something that is highly flavorful versus super low calorie so I don’t need to use a ton but still get lots of flavor.
Are these low carb and keto friendly chicken tenders?
These almond chicken tenders have 30 grams of protein, 10 grams of fat, and only 4 grams of carbohydrates, making them perfect for a low carb or keto diet. For folks on the keto diet who are focused on higher fat recipes, you could use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast to increase the fat content. You could also add some chopped almonds and brush the chicken tenders with oil to add more fat.
How can I freeze these Almond Chicken Fingers?
These chicken tenders are a great make ahead meal and it’s easy to freeze them for a future meal. Once you have breaded all the chicken, place it on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place the chicken tenders in the freezer. Make sure to leave space between each tender. Let them freeze for 2-3 hours until they are frozen solid. At this point, you can move them to a freezer bag or container for future use. When you are ready to cook them, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the tenders for 20-25 minutes until cooked through.
Can I use coconut flour instead of the almond flour?
Coconut flour is a great option if you need a nut-free breading or simply love the flavor or coconut. For the best chicken tenders, mix together half coconut flour and half shredded unsweetened coconut to create the coating. You can add the spices included in the recipe or opt for something different. Coconut flour pairs well with jerk seasoning, blackening season, or simple salt and pepper.
Products and tools used in this recipe:
- I use a ton of almond flour and have always loved the quality of the one from Bob’s Red Mill.
- I am obsessed with this $13 wire rack. The grid design ensures you don’t have to worry about things falling through the crack and it will last forever. Great for baking things like chicken tenders or fries so they get nice and crispy on both sides. Plus it doubles as a cooling rack.