Plump, juicy healthy baked chicken tenders are so easy to make and will quickly become a household favorite. You’ll forget all about deep-fat fried chicken when you sink your teeth into these healthy chicken tenders. They are Gluten-free, Grain-free, Low Carb, Keto, and THM S!
When it comes to feeding 6 kids, they could live off of chicken nuggets and pasta. Since I don’t eat that way, I want them to be introduced to lots of healthy food instead. This healthy baked chicken tenders recipe has been kid-tested and approved time and time again.
Don’t worry; these chicken tenders aren’t just for kids! They are just as delicious for adults as they are children. I used to eat my fair share of unhealthy chicken strips at a local restaurant or on a night when I didn’t feel like cooking. But, now that I make this healthy chicken tenders recipe, they are part of our monthly rotation. Plus, if you eat a lot of salads, these chicken tenders make the best addition! They give your salad an extra kick of flavor and texture.
What You Need To Make Healthy Baked Chicken Tenders
- Chicken Tenders – You’ll need around 2 pounds of chicken tenders.
- Pork Rinds – I use 1 bag of pork rinds, and they are the perfect coating for the chicken strips. These replace the breadcrumbs traditionally used in chicken strips.
- Seasonings – You will need some garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Pretty easy!
- Heavy Cream – Using heavy cream is wonderful when you are trying to add the coating to the chicken. It sticks perfectly.
- Eggs – The eggs help bind the pork rinds to the chicken.
- Avocado Oil – I love using avocado oil for the baked chicken tenders because they get that crispy exterior.
How To Make Baked Chicken Tenders
These homemade chicken strips are finger-licking good! Dip them in your favorite sauce or eat them plain because they are great either way.
First Step: Puree the pork rinds in a food processor, so they are crushed and into a fine powder.
Second Step: Add the pork rinds to a shallow dish and sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
Third Step: Using a different shallow pan, mix together the beaten egg and heavy cream, then mix well.
Fourth Step: Dip the chicken strips into the egg mixture, then in the pork rind mixture. Coat the chicken entirely. This is very typical of regular breaded chicken except now you are using pork rinds instead of a flour or breadcrumb mixture.
NOTE: It’s a good idea to press firmly on each piece of chicken so that the breading sticks all the way.
Fifth Step: Grease the baking sheet with avocado oil and place the chicken on it. Then spray the top of the chicken with some more avocado oil. This is what will make it bake up crispy.
Sixth Step: Bake the chicken tenders for 10 minutes, then turn them over and bake for an additional 10 minutes. The chicken should be 160 degrees F. when it’s done.
Can I just cut up chicken breasts?
You can, but for the best texture, I really recommend using chicken tenderloins. Chicken breasts have been getting a very undesirable texture in the last few years as farmers try to grow larger chickens. This has happened to me both at home and in restaurants. There is nothing worse than biting into a rubbery, chewy piece of chicken. I began only buying tenderloins because of this problem.
If you prefer chicken breasts just cut them into strips. Chicken thighs can also work for this recipe.
Which oil should I use?
I love the flavor and texture of the avocado oil, but you can certainly use a different kind of oil if you want to. Coconut oil and olive oil would be great substitutes. I would steer clear of oils like vegetable or canola oil if you want to keep the chicken tenders healthy.
Are pork rind breaded chicken strips keto?
Yes, of course! And the secret is the combination of the pork rinds and the avocado oil. Together they make perfectly crispy and irresistible oven-baked chicken tenders. They may not taste just like what you are going to get at your local diner, but if you are trying to eat healthier, you will be glad to know you aren’t giving up any flavor with these chicken strips.
What should I serve with chicken strips for dinner?
Since the oven is already hot a lot of the time I’ll make a roasted vegetable to go with these like my Oven-Roasted Green Beans. Or since the prep time for these is a little longer than most of my other weeknight dinners, I’ll just toss a simple salad such as this Cucumber Avocado Salad or my Healthy Broccoli Salad.
For a special side dish try these Brussels Sprouts with Hot Bacon Dressing.
- Preheat oven to 400.
- In a food processor puree the pork rinds until they are finely crushed.
- In a shallow pan combine pork rinds, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
- In a separate shallow pan combine the beaten egg and the heavy whipping cream, mix well.
- Place chicken tenders one at a time first in the egg mixture and then the pork rind breading mixture. Be sure to coat chicken completely. A good tip is to press down firmly on each side of the chicken when you are coating it with the breading. You want the breading to really stick! Continue this process until all of the chicken is breaded.
- Place chicken on a baking sheet greased with avocado oil. Use an oil sprayer to spray the tops of the breaded chicken with the avocado oil.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Flip the tenders over. Bake for 10 more minutes or until your chicken tenders reach an internal temperature of 160°.