For the record, I love grains. While I understand that some people have to or choose to avoid grains for health or personal reasons, I don’t feel that lifestyle is a good fit for me or my family. We eat a mostly plant-based diet, and a wide variety of wholesome grains is an essential part of it.
However, I love experimenting with different ingredients, and am grateful that the grain-free movement has helped introduce a whole new spectrum of “flours” with so many different flavor and nutritional profiles. From coconut flour to hazelnut flour to garbanzo bean flour – I’ve been nerding out in the kitchen like a mad scientist 😉
I also love that I can still nourish my friends who don’t eat grain foods with delicious dishes made from tasty grain-free alternatives. No matter what kind of eating lifestyle a person follows, I want to be able to cook for them!
One of very favorite grain-free alternatives is almond flour. When you find a good one (Bob’s Red Mill is my pick, for both quality and texture), almond flour is nutty, light and versatile. I frequently use it in baked goods – even if it’s just swapping out 1/4 or 1/2 cup of regular flour for almond – because it adds a deeper flavor as well as healthy fat, protein and fiber.
Recently, I decided to try almond flour in a savory setting with these crispy Baked Chicken Tenders.
And friends, the result was delicious! My kids – who aren’t big meat eaters – gobbled these up and asked for more.
Though this recipe calls for Parmesan cheese, you can easily make these Chicken Tenders dairy-free by substituting coconut flour or finely shredded coconut for the Parmesan cheese. Any way you make them, I hope your family loves them as much as mine did!
- 1¼ pounds chicken tenders, cut diagonally in half or lengthwise)
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbsp water
- 1½ cups almond flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp black pepper (optional)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then pour the olive oil on it and spread around with your fingers or a brush.
- You'll need 3 shallow bowls for the chicken prep. In one of them, crack and beat the eggs with 1 Tbsp water.
- Place the grated Parmesan cheese in the second bowl. In the third bowl, combine the almond flour, paprika, onion, garlic, salt and black pepper.
- Dip a chicken tender into the Parmesan cheese (just a quick dip - no need for it to be completely covered). Next dip into the egg bowl, then finally into the almond flour mixture, making sure to cover completely. Place on the baking sheet.
- Repeat this process with all the chicken pieces.
- Bake tenders for 8 minutes, then turn and bake another 7-8 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
- Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before serving.
- Serve with ketchup, BBQ sauce, ranch or alongside any cooked or raw veggies.
This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill, a brand I’m proud to work with and love supporting. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog and the brands that make it possible!