Healthy Chicken Tenders Recipe

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Wellness Mama » Blog » Recipes » Poultry Recipes » Healthy Chicken Tenders Recipe

Chicken tenders (or fingers, take your pick) are a kid (and adult) favorite, at least at our house. As with all of our favorite foods, I’ve found healthier alternatives to the traditional versions as we’ve adopted a healthier diet.

Can Chicken Tenders Be a Health Food?

The first step to making fried chicken healthier is to use healthier chicken. I wrote extensively about the importance of choosing excellent protein sources in this post. The gist of it is, if the animals that you’re eating are healthy, your food will be healthier too. Chicken is an important source of B vitamins, minerals, and iron. Since I don’t have a great local source I usually order mine from Wellness Meats or Butcher Box.

The second step is to use healthier breading ingredients. Since our family usually avoids most grain products, I use seasoned almond flour to coat the chicken for these chicken fingers. It gives the chicken a nice nutty flavor, without sacrificing the crispiness essential to fried chicken.

The third step is to use a healthy fat source for frying. I prefer not to use peanut oil or canola oil, so I usually use tallow (rendered beef fat) or coconut oil. Both contain healthy fats and have a high smoke point, making them excellent for frying.

All the Ways to Enjoy Homemade Chicken Tenders

Most obviously, chicken fingers are meant to be dunked in a delicious sauce and eaten just like that. My family’s favorite dipping sauce is homemade honey mustard. But since I make a lot of my own condiments, we’ve tried a lot of different combinations and enjoyed them all. Try:

You really can’t go wrong!

The other excellent way to enjoy chicken tenders is chopped up and tossed on top of a salad. Using them in a salad lets me combine the veggies and protein all in one dish, so I don’t have to worry about cooking separate sides.

I specifically designed my Spring Salad with Berries to be topped with homemade chicken strips and drizzled with honey mustard dressing. It’s pretty delicious.

If your family loves traditional chicken fingers, give this healthier version a try! I promise, it’s easy and delicious and you won’t be disappointed.

Healthy Chicken Tenders Recipe

Delicious chicken fingers made with healthy almond flour for a grain-free, gluten-free, healthy meal that kids and adults both love.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Calories 386kcal
Author Katie Wells





  • Turn the oven on warm and place a baking sheet inside it.
  • Cut the chicken into strips or nuggets.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and water.
  • Add the chicken strips, mix well, and set aside.
  • In another bowl, mix together the almond flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Heat the tallow or coconut oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, remove the chicken from the egg mixture and dredge it in the almond flour mixture.
  • Place the chicken in a single layer in the pan of heated oil.
  • Cook 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Remove from pan and place on the warm baking sheet in the oven while additional batches are cooking.
  • Continue cooking chicken until it is all done.
  • Once everything is cooked, sprinkle with additional salt and pepper and serve with honey mustard sauce.


Nutrition Facts
Healthy Chicken Tenders Recipe
Amount Per Serving (3 chicken fingers)
Calories 386 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 190mg63%
Sodium 519mg23%
Potassium 670mg19%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 45g90%
Vitamin A 171IU3%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 82mg8%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


If you don’t like to fry foods (or just don’t want the mess), you can modify the recipe by breading the chicken as you would to fry, and just placing on a well-oiled baking sheet and drizzling with olive oil before baking. Bake at 400°F for about 25 minutes.

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Ever made a healthy version of chicken tenders? Share below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


56 responses to “Healthy Chicken Tenders Recipe”

  1. Ann Avatar

    Hi! Sounds delish! Can you use pastured lard instead of tallow or will it taste different? I always thought lard gave a more neutral flavor than tallow would. Thanks!

  2. Kelly Avatar

    This recipe was great… I used avocado oil and ghee. I also added fresh Parm cheese and onion powder and minced dried onion and it was really great!!!

    Wish it had nutritional information.

    Worked well for Keto diet

  3. kerri Avatar

    is there an equivalent replacement for almond flour? my duaghter has a nut allergy. Thanks!!

  4. Molly Gamborg Avatar
    Molly Gamborg

    5 stars
    Oh my word, these were so delicious!! My preschooler had seconds, DH and I both loved it, too. I will definitely make it again when I’m craving fried/decadent-tasting food. I ended up using 1 egg & 3/4 cup of almond flour for 1 lb. of chicken, and I fried them in about 2-3 Tbsp. of olive oil (just for those counting macros as I am). The almond flour stuck to the chicken perfectly.

  5. Laura Avatar

    5 stars
    I made these the other day for the first time and my kids and I both loved them. Great recipe!

  6. Brittanie Avatar

    5 stars
    Made it tonight and it was amazing. Used prob about a cup of coconut oil and added some cayenne and paprika. My kids are very very picky eaters, so excited to find a healthy recipe that they loved! Next time I just need to make a double batch to freeze for quick dinners. Thank you!

  7. Jodi Avatar

    I don’t get what I did wrong. Everybody is saying how good it came out. But mine did not come out like the picture. The almond flour would not stay on the chicken. Most of the chicken was bare and then I had chunks of almond flour.

    1. Rochel Avatar

      4 stars
      About the ‘breading’ falling off, it can help to redip in eggs before frying

  8. Rach Avatar

    I just made these with coconut flour instead of almond flour and cumin instead of garlic (just for a change up) and they were AMAZING! Thanks for the recipe.

  9. Linnette Avatar

    I’m new to this world of healty eating. I have found that I am sensitive to eggs. In the recipes you make can you use an egg substitute instead of eggs? Is there even a good healthy egg substitute out there? Thanks I hve a lot of learning to do!

  10. Todd O Avatar
    Todd O

    5 stars
    These were fantastic! My pregnant wife even liked them! And she hasn’t eaten any of the healthy stuff I’ve made recently. I added a dash of cayenne and cheated with a little bit of panko crumbs as well. I also baked them instead, on 400 for 10-12 minutes (I made mine nugget sized).

  11. Stephanie Avatar

    I’m cooking these as I type and they’re coming out perfectly! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I have nephews who come over on the weekends and it’s so hard to find meals that are both healthy and kid-friendly. I’m so excited!

  12. Kellie Avatar

    Hi Katie,
    I have a large family and would love to make up very large batches(like monthly) and freeze them. Do you have any freezing/storage suggestions? Thanks!

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