Baked chicken tenders were always a favorite of mine growing up, especially BUTTERMILK chicken tenders!! So soft and tender on the inside, with a complimentary CRUNCH on the outside. I’ve tried several times with a few different allergen-friendly flours to make paleo chicken tenders, but this my friends, is THE ONE. Using unsweetened shredded coconut with cassava flour (which is nice and thin and sticks easily to the buttermilk coating), makes the perfect crust. No sandy sawdust as I call it, blowing all over the oven or choking you (I’m looking at you, coconut flour…). Let’s chat “buttermilk”… the mix of coconut milk and acid of choice with other goodies makes a creamy marinade that bathes those chicken strips so nicely and is the perfect coating for the crust to stick to! No eggs needed. You’ll want to add this to your bounty of gluten-free chicken recipes STAT because it’s a KEEPER!
I also grew up with a little dipping sauce and marinade called, SAUCY SUSAN. Anyone else?! It was this peach-apricot thing pumped with high fructose corn syrup, and I couldn’t get enough. I thought of it recently when pondering over what quickie dipping sauce I could create that everyone could enjoy. Well, this is it! Peach preserves, a little acidity, salt, and olive oil… and BOOM. You could get crafty and also find/add in the apricot, or when they’re in season… make it fresh on the stove! The mix of peach and coconut is HEAVENLY (even though I don’t think you can taste the coconut that much at all, the very subtlety of it makes for a happy marriage on the palate).
Feel free to make this ahead for a great meal-prep chicken recipe, which keeps well in the fridge. I’ve sliced it up over salad for a breaded chicken salad with my leftovers and it’s wonderful! Make it your own and switch it up each time depending on the seasonings you use as well. This versatile recipe will be a staple in no time.
Baked Paleo Chicken Tenders Recipe
(Paleo, AIP, Nut-free, egg-free, dairy-free)
These tender but crispy baked chicken tenders will be a staple for you that everyone in the house can enjoy! Great for meal-prep or eating right out of the oven.
- 1-1.5 lbs skinless chicken tenders or breasts cut into strips
- Avocado or Olive Oil Spray
- 1/3 cup cassava flour
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk if too thick, loosen with a little water
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt to taste
- Any other seasonings you like I used Simply Organics Adobo
- 1/4 cup peach preserves no added sugar
- 1/2 lime juiced
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt to taste
Make the “buttermilk”, combine ingredients and let sit together for 10 minutes.
Clean chicken breasts and cut into tender sizes.
Make the buttermilk marinade by combining ingredients in a large bowl/dish to marinade the chicken in. Place chicken pieces in and make sure they’re well coated. Let sit for 30 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 375f degrees in the meantime and prep a baking sheet with parchment paper, spray with oil.
Mix the breading ingredients in a bowl well, then to a large skillet, toast the breading on the stove - 5 or so minutes on medium, watch it the whole time, until golden brown/desired color, then remove from heat and set aside on a large plate you can dredge the chicken in.
When chicken is done marinating, dredge in breading mixture one by one, patting down each side and shaking off any dry pieces of breading.
Place breaded chicken on the greased and lined baking sheet, spray with avocado/olive oil on top of the chicken and bake on 375f degrees for 15 minutes.
For more color, you can optionally broil for a couple of minutes (watch carefully to not burn).
While baking, you can make the sauce by combining all ingredients and pouring into a dipping bowl.
Let the chicken sit out of the oven for 3-4 minutes to set before lifting and serving.
This stores well in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
Use #foodbymars to tag your FBM inspired creations! I’d love to see!