Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders (Gluten free, paleo friendly) – Savory chicken tenders dipped in a crunchy pecan coating. Don’t forget to add your favorite drip or drizzle to go with them (see below for our favorites)
*Serves 4-5. They’re pretty substantial, so you may find you’ll have a smaller portion than you’d think!
- 1 3/4 cups pecans (whole or pieces)*
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken tenders (or chicken breast, sliced into strips)
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp gluten free flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Mix**
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- Oil spray or cooking spray (I like 100% avocado oil spray)
- To Serve: Your favorite dipping sauce–honey mustard, ranch, BBQ sauce, ketchup, etc.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. If you have one, place a metal cooling rack on top of a baking sheet. (This will yield crispier tenders)
- Start by making the pecan topping. Pulse pecans in a food processor until you have fairly fine crumbs. (Don’t pulse them till they’re completely smooth, but you don’t want any huge pieces left). Transfer crushed pecans to a shallow bowl or plate.
- Make dredging batter, by whisking together egg, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, gluten free flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Whisk until smooth and place in a shallow bowl.
- If you haven’t already, place a metal cooling/baking rack on top of a baking sheet. This will promote even browning/crisping. If you don’t have a rack like this, spray your baking sheet with cooking spray or oil.
- Batter your chicken one piece at a time by first dipping into the batter to coat well, then rolling in the pecan topping. Place on the baking sheet (on top of the rack if possible).
- Repeat with remaining chicken until all pieces are coated. Lightly spray the top of the chicken with spray oil or nonstick cooking spray.
- Bake at 400 degrees 12-15 minutes, or until chicken is completely cooked through. For even baking, flip over the tenders at the 6 minute mark.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce—honey mustard, ranch, barbecue sauce, ketchup, etc.
*To lighten the recipe up a bit, you can use 1 cup pecans and 3/4 cup breadcrumbs (gluten free or regular)
**For a paleo version, you can substitute arrowroot or almond flour. Do not use coconut flour. Alternatively, if you have no dietary restrictions, you can use white all purpose flour.
Can I freeze these? Yes! They’ll reheat well from the freezer. I freeze them fully cooked. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat in the freezer until they’re mostly solid (this helps prevent them from sticking together). Then, transfer to an airtight freezer safe bag. Freeze 1-2 months! (See the recipe card for how I bake them from the freezer.)
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Main Dish, Chicken
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Pecan Chicken, Pecan Chicken Tenders, Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders, gluten free chicken tenders, dairy free chicken tenders