These Whole30 Chicken Tenders are crispy, savory and so easy! They can be made on the stovetop, in the oven, or in an air fryer. Either way, these Paleo chicken tenders are quick, versatile, and delicious!

Whole30 chicken tenders with ketchup

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • A healthier version of chicken tenders is great for the whole family!
  • Both kids and adults love these Whole30 chicken tenders.
  • They can be made in a skillet, oven, or air fryer.
  • They have a crispy breading and tender meat.
  • Pair them with your favorite dipping sauce!
  • This recipe is Whole30 compliant, Paleo, grain free, gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free.
  • Check out these Whole30 Chicken Nuggets for another fun option!

What are Chicken Tenders?

Chicken tenders, or chicken fingers, are made from the white meat under the breast meat of a chicken. This chicken is primarily white meat.

Chicken tenders are usually coated in a breadcrumb mixture before deep frying. They have a crispy crunchy exterior and tender chicken.

They have become a very popular fast food option, restaurant dish and household dinner.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Chicken breasts work the best in this recipe. The meat tends to hold together better than chicken thighs. Use boneless skinless chicken breast for the best result.

The whisked egg is a must! It helps keep the breading on the chicken.

Almond flour can be replaced by almond meal if desired. In addition, tapioca flour can be replaced by arrowroot powder or cornstarch (for not Whole30).

The spices and seasonings can be adjusted to suit your taste.

Use avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee, or grass fed butter in place of olive oil if desired.

Whole30 chicken tenders with ketchup

How to Make

Step 1

First, slice chicken into long strips.

Step 2

Add whisked eggs to a shallow bowl.  Combine almond flour, tapioca flour, garlic powder, oregano, onion powder and basil in another shallow bowl.

Step 3

Dip each piece of chicken in the egg bowl until coated.  Once coated, immediately dip into the flour mixture.

Step 4

Repeat for remaining chicken.

Step 5

Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in chicken.

Step 6

Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Cook until chicken has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 7

Then, remove chicken from heat. Serve!

Breaded chicken with fork

Oven Method & Air Fryer Method

Oven:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a baking pan with olive oil spray.

Prepare chicken as listed above.

Cook for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Air Fryer:

Preheat air fryer to 390 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray air fryer pan with olive oil spray.

Prepare chicken as listed above.

Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until cooked through. Flip chicken halfway through air frying.

Expert Tips & Tricks

Allow excess egg mixture to run off raw chicken before dredging through dry mixture.

Fully coat chicken in dry mixture.

Use a meat thermometer to prevent undercooking or overcooking chicken.

Serve hot for best results!

Crispy Paleo chicken tenders on air fryer sheet

How to Serve & Store

Serve Paleo chicken tenders hot! Serve with Whole30 Sweet Potato Fries.

Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.

To reheat, add chicken to a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil. Cook until warmed. Alternatively, cook chicken in the oven or air fryer until reheated.

Whole30 Dipping Sauces

Whole30 dipping sauces make these chicken tenders even better. Here are some ideas, all of which are Whole30 compliant:

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use instead of breadcrumbs for chicken tenders?

Almond flour and tapioca flour act as the breading for these.

How do I get them crispy?

The stovetop and air fryer methods get them most crispy. For oven, feel free to broil for 1 to 2 minutes for extra crispiness.

What is the best cut of chicken to use?

Chicken breast are great for this recipe.

You May Also Like

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Whole30 chicken tenders with ketchup

Get the Recipe: Whole30 Chicken Tenders (Paleo)

These Whole30 Chicken Tenders have a crispy golden breading and the most juicy and flavorful chicken. They are great for both kids and adults. These Paleo chicken tenders are easy, healthy and delicious!
5 from 2 votes

Ingredients

Instructions 

Stovetop Method

  • First, slice chicken breasts into long strips.
  • In a shallow bowl, add whisked egg. In another shallow bowl, combine almond flour, tapioca flour and seasonings.
  • Dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture. Allow excess egg to run off. Then, dip into flour mixture. Coat both sides of chicken.
  • Set coated chicken on a plate. Repeat for remaining chicken.
  • Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add each piece of chicken.
  • Cook chicken for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Finally, remove from skillet and serve!

Oven or Air Fryer Method

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or air fryer to 390 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray baking pan or air fryer pan with olive oil spray.
  • First, slice chicken breasts into long strips.
  • In a shallow bowl, add whisked egg. In another shallow bowl, combine almond flour, tapioca flour and seasonings.
  • Dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture. Allow excess egg to run off. Then, dip into flour mixture. Coat both sides of chicken.
  • Set coated chicken on greased pan. Repeat for remaining chicken.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Or, air fry for 12 to 15 minutes or until cooked through, flipping halfway through.
  • Finally, serve!

Notes

  • Arrowroot powder or cornstarch (not Whole30) can replace tapioca flour.
  • Completely whisk egg.  Allow excess egg to drip off chicken.  Too much egg will make the breading not stick to the chicken.
  • Almond meal can replace almond flour.
  • Fully coat chicken in dry mixture.
  • The stovetop method and air fryer method yield crisper chicken than the oven method.
  • Chicken is done when its internal temperature has reached 160 degrees Fahrenheit.  Use a meat thermometer to measure this.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • To reheat, add chicken to a skillet with a drizzle of oil and heat until warmed.  Or, cook in oven or air fryer until warmed.
Calories: 551kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 56g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 186mg, Sodium: 279mg, Potassium: 880mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 132IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 83mg, Iron: 3mg

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