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Overhead view of Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders drizzled with Honey Mustard Sauce from One Lovely Life

Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders (Gluten free, paleo friendly)

  • Author: Emily Dixon, One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4-5 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


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.


  1. 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)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. If you haven’t already, place a wire rack (cooling 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.
  5. 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).
  6. Repeat with remaining chicken until all pieces are coated. Lightly spray the top of the chicken with spray oil or nonstick cooking spray.
  7. 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.
  8. 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: Chicken
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Pecan Chicken, Pecan Chicken Tenders, Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders, gluten free chicken tenders, dairy free chicken tenders