These paleo chicken tenders are coated in coconut flour and cassava flour, so they turn out nice and crispy while still being gluten-free! They are easy to make, incredibly delicious, and make for the perfect weeknight dinner for the entire family!
Can paleo chicken tenders be deliciously crispy? You bet! After many rounds of recipe testing, I’m excited to share what will hopefully become your new go-to paleo chicken tender recipe. It’s easy to make, totally gluten-free, and one the entire family will love!
Back in the day, I tried making homemade paleo chicken tenders, and pretty quickly decided it was too much work. I tried everything to get the tenders to crisp up, and ended up with a soggy and somewhat burnt pile of chicken tenders that didn’t make the cut.
The truth is, while almond flour is a great grain-free flour option for baking, it’s not the best option for frying. While delicious, it won’t crisp up and can burn easily in the process.
After having my two kids, I decided it was time to revisit chicken tenders. Let’s be honest—kids are picky and confusing. Some days, they love chicken, and the next, they won’t even look at it. So having a bit of variety is important. This is where paleo chicken tenders totally shine. This is the perfect weeknight dinner that’s easy to make, and yes—the kids will love it!
The Secret to Perfect Crispy Chicken Tenders
In this recipe, I combined two flours to give the tenders a nice crispy coating: cassava flour and coconut flour. I use cassava flour in other recipes, including my Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, because creates an amazing texture for gluten and grain-free cooking and baking. You simply dip the tenders in egg, and coat each side with the flour and spice mixture. To fry the tenders, just cook them in a skillet with avocado oil for 3-5 minutes each side. That’s it!
The combination of spices, specifically the smoked paprika, garlic, and onion powder, give these paleo crispy chicken tenders a nice savory flavor. If you don’t have smoked paprika on hand, just swap it out for regular paprika or chili powder.
Because the ingredients are simple, this recipe meets a variety of needs! It’s totally gluten-free, nut-free, paleo, and Whole30. I love serving these paleo crispy chicken tenders with Primal Kitchen Mayo, Mustard or Ketchup.
How to Make Paleo Chicken Tenders
To make paleo chicken tenders, start by whisking the eggs together in a medium bowl.
Mix the cassava flour, coconut flour, salt, paprika, garlic, onion, and pepper in a large bowl.
Dip each chicken tender into the egg wash, then dip each tender into the flour mixture and coat both sides. Transfer the coated chicken tenders to a clean plate.
Next, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. I like to use a large 12-inch stainless steel pan for this as it gives room for the tenders to cook, and gets them nice a crispy. Add three tablespoons of avocado oil.
Once the oil is hot, place the chicken tenders in the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan. It’s best to cook the tenders in two separate batches—the tenders will be crispy and will cook up faster! Cook the tenders for 5 minutes. Using tongs, turn each tender over and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
Remove the chicken tenders from the pan and set them aside. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons avocado oil to the pan if needed and cook the remaining chicken tenders.
Why I Love This Paleo Chicken Tender Recipe
- This is an awesome weeknight dinner—done in under 30 minutes!
- This recipe contains simple, nourishing ingredients. It’s packed with protein.
- These paleo chicken tenders are actually crispy! The blend of cassava and coconut flour is a match made in heaven.
- The entire family will love this dish. No need to make multiple meals!
- The recipe fits a variety of needs! It’s completely nut-free, Whole30, paleo, and low carb.
Tips + Tricks
- You can mix together the flour and spices ahead of time and store it in an airtight container. It will make dinner easy and you’ll be ready to roll!
- If you want a little more heat, add an additional 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika.
- If you don’t have smoked paprika, just swap it out for regular paprika or chili powder.
- When cooking the chicken tenders, don’t overcrowd the pan. It will allow the tenders to get crispy, and they’ll cook up faster.
- To prevent your fingers from becoming coated in egg and flour, hold the chicken tender by the tip with one hand.
Stocking the Pantry
For this recipe in particular, I recommend Otto’s Natural’s Cassava Flour and Primal Kitchen Foods Ketchup. I personally use Thrive Market for most of my pantry needs like coconut flour and avocado oil. For a complete list of my recommend pantry items and what I use in my home, check out my Baking and Cooking Resources Page.
Other Recipes You’ll Love
- Easy Mini Meatloaf
- Chicken Broccoli Cauliflower Rice Casserole
- 15-Minute Egg Roll in a Bowl
- Sheet Pan Chicken, Sweet Potato and Broccoli
- Thai Chicken Coconut Curry
- 2 lbs chicken tenderloins
- 2 large eggs (or 3 medium eggs), whisked
- ½ cup cassava flour
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- Primal Kitchen Foods ketchup, for serving
- Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl.
- Add the cassava flour, coconut flour, and spices to a large bowl and mix well.
- Dip each chicken tender into the egg wash, then dip each tender into the flour mixture and coat both sides. Transfer the coated chicken tenders to a clean plate.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat (a cast-iron or stainless steel skillet will work best for crispness). Add 3 tablespoons of avocado oil to the pan.
- Once the oil is hot, place the chicken tenders in the pan. Fill the skillet as space allows. Do not overcrowd the pan as it will help the tenders cook evenly and become crispy. Cook the tenders for 5 minutes. Using tongs, turn each tender over and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.
- Remove the chicken tenders from the pan and set them aside. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons avocado oil to the pan and cook the remaining chicken tenders.
- Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce, ketchup, or mustard!
If you make these paleo chicken tenders, come back and let me know what you thought in the comments below!