Where are my comfort foodies at?! If that’s you, these healthy baked chicken tenders are FOR YOU! Pretty much anything that tastes like a classic comfort food but made with wholesome ingredients is a 10/10 in my book!
This is one of my favorite recipes EVER to make. I promise these taste just as good as regular deep-fried chicken tenders but a much healthier choice.
I’ve included options to make these in the oven and in the air fryer! Both equally as delicious.
Oven Baking vs. Air Fryer
Baking: Baking your tenders in the oven is the most accessible option for most people, considering not everyone has an air fryer. Baking time doubles compared to the air fryer, but you can bake all of the tenders in one batch (versus 2 batches in the air fryer), making it about equal for cook time. The oven bakes up these tenders perfectly and they’re just as delicious.
Air Fryer: Air fryers are all the rage and for a good reason. The air fryer will make the chicken tenders slightly crispier than the oven, without any added oil. The cook time is cut in half, but you will have to do 2 batches in the air fryer (so the cooking time ends up being 20 minutes both ways) unless you make a half batch!
Both options are great, it’s just personal preference 🙂
what do I need to make these healthy baked chicken tenders?
As with most of my recipes, the ingredients needed are super simple!
Chicken Tenderloins: I prefer to buy my chicken tenderloins already cut, but you can use any cut of boneless chicken you have. If you choose to use chicken breasts, I recommend dicing in to nugget size pieces or cutting the breasts in half to make them thinner (for cook time purposes).
Eggs: The sole purpose of the egg is to bind the almond flour to the chicken.
Almond Flour (& seasonings): Pretty much the star of the show here is the almond flour. The almond flour is used as a breading to make the healthy baked tenders crispy. I find that the almond flour bakes up really nicely and adds a perfect healthy breading.
can I substitute almond flour for another baking flour?
If you cannot have almonds, I would recommend using a gluten-free flour blend. Oat flour may work as well, although I have not tested it. I wouldn’t recommend using coconut flour as a sole substitute, as coconut flour is best for a secondary flour in baked goods.
healthy chicken tenders (paleo & gluten-free!)
- 1-1½ pounds of chicken tenderloins
- 1½ cups of almond flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- Start by prepping the chicken tenderloins. Trim any excess fat, and gently pound with a meat mallet to tenderize. This step is totally optional but makes for extra tender & juicy chicken.
- Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl. In another bowl, mix almond flour & seasonings together. Dip each tenderloin in the egg wash, followed by the almond flour mixture.
- Place the chicken tenders on a lined baking sheet (no oil needed, but a spray of olive oil will make them crispier).
- Bake in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown & cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Air Fryer Instructions:
- Place the tenders on the air fryer pan. Spray with olive oil spray for extra crispiness (optional). Air fry at 400 degrees F in two separate batches for about 10 minutes each batch. Flip the tenders at the halfway point (about 5 minutes).