Healthy Chicken Tenders – Air Fryer or Oven

Hi, I’m Kathleen. I am and always will be obsessed with chicken fingers, tenders, and nuggets. Fun fact: in college (although I did cook for myself often), frozen chicken nuggets were one of my favorite pre or post bar fuel snacks. And I may have had a preference for the dinosaur shaped variety :). Although I am DEFINITELY not above frozen chicken fingers, I have taken it as a personal challenge to master the different techniques of making chicken tenders from scratch. For Christmas I received an Air Fryer and in January I completed a Whole30, so it seemed like a no brainer to try making paleo, healthy chicken tenders.

Healthy paleo chicken tenders in the air fryer or oven. Crispy on a plate

What You’ll Need for these Paleo Chicken Tenders:

  • Chicken Tenders or Chicken Breasts sliced into tenders
  • Almond Flour
  • Spices: Italian seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt & pepper.
  • Eggs
  • Cooking Spray

Air Fryer Directions – Healthy Chicken Tenders:

Are you an Air Fryer user? I got one for Christmas this year and am OBSESSED. I love that it doesn’t need to preheat like the oven and how quickly it cooks food! It’s an awesome tool for a quick meal.

Place the breaded tenders in your air fryer basket that has been sprayed with cooking spray. I like to give a quick spray to the tenders themselves too. Then into the “fryer” they go at 400ºF for 10 minutes. They will be beutifully golden brown and crispy.

Paleo chicken tenders in air fryer. Dredged in almond flour and crispy

Oven Directions – Healthy Chicken Tenders:

There are 2 perfectly acceptable reasons to make these in the oven

  1. You don’t have an air fryer. Although I encourage you get one :), I TOTALLY get not wanting another kitchen gadget taking up space.
  2. You DO have an air fryer but you want to make a BIG batch of these tenders and don’t want to do multiple batches in your air fryer.

paleo chicken tenders in air fryer dredged in almond flour

Next, pop your tenders on a cookie sheet that is either sprayed with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. I like to spray the tenders themselves to help them brown all nice :). Finally, bake at 400ºF for about 25 minutes. Dinner (or snack time) is served.

Paleo chicken tenders baked in the oven or air fryer

 

SUPER easy! Now, the only decision you have left to make is what are you going to dip these bad boys in?

My favorite Chicken Finger Dipping Sauces:

  • Ketchup
  • Barbecue Sauce
  • Marinara Sauce (this was my go-to on Whole30!)
  • Honey Mustard
  • What am I missing?
Print Recipe
Healthy Chicken Tenders - Air Fryer or Oven
Healthy Chicken Tenders are paleo and kid-friendly! Make them in your air fryer or oven, for an easy family friendly meal. Almond flour instead of bread crumbs in these healthy chicken fingers. Recipe at KathleensCravings.com
Healthy paleo chicken tenders in the air fryer or oven. Crispy on a plate" width="350" height="466" data-pin-description="Healthy Chicken Tenders are paleo and kid-friendly! Make them in your air fryer or oven, for an easy family friendly meal. Almond flour instead of bread crumbs in these healthy chicken fingers. Recipe at KathleensCravings.com #chickenfingers #chickentenders #paleochickentenders #airfryerchickentenders #almondflourrecipes #paleoairfryer #whole30chicken #whole30recipes
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10-25 minutes
Passive Time 0 minutes
Servings
3-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders or boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into tenders
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • cooking spray
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10-25 minutes
Passive Time 0 minutes
Servings
3-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders or boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into tenders
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • cooking spray
Healthy paleo chicken tenders in the air fryer or oven. Crispy on a plate" width="350" height="466" data-pin-description="Healthy Chicken Tenders are paleo and kid-friendly! Make them in your air fryer or oven, for an easy family friendly meal. Almond flour instead of bread crumbs in these healthy chicken fingers. Recipe at KathleensCravings.com #chickenfingers #chickentenders #paleochickentenders #airfryerchickentenders #almondflourrecipes #paleoairfryer #whole30chicken #whole30recipes
Instructions
Bread the Tenders
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. In a second medium bowl whisk the almond flour and all the spices.
  2. Pat the chicken tenders dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. First, dip a tender in the eggs. Then dredge the tender in the almond flour mixture, making sure all the surface is covered. Set aside onto a plate or cutting board. Repeat with all tenders.
Air Fryer Instructions
  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF. Spray the basket with cooking spray and place as many tenders in the basket that will fit, as long as they don't touch. Spray tenders with cooking spray to lightly coat. Fry for 10 minutes, flipping half way through. The tenders will be golden brown and read 165ºF as their internal temperature. Repeat until all tenders are cooked.
Oven Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. Place the tenders on your baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes then flip chicken over and cook for another 10-12 minutes until golden brown and fully cooked through (165ºF) .
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