These crispy and crunchy baked keto chicken tenders are so darn good, no one will know that it’s low carb! Made with just 5 ingredients, they are healthy, easy, and can be made in the air fryer!
Almond Flour Chicken Tenders
Crispy chicken fingers bring me back to my childhood. Whenever we’d go out for dinner, my go-to order would always be chicken tenders with fries and if it wasn’t on the menu, let’s just say a tantrum would follow.
They weren’t just reserved for dining out though. My mom used to make a healthy version at home, baking them instead of frying them, and would use a homemade bread crumb. Since going keto, I’ve loosely adapted her recipe and come up with a version that will give fast food shops and restaurants a run for their money!
Why these keto chicken tenders will be your new favorite chicken recipe-
- 5 ingredients. Besides basic seasonings, this recipe needs just 5 ingredients to come together.
- Baked, not fried. These tenders are perfectly crispy and crunchy on the outside but are 100% baked. No excess oil or calories needed.
- Air fryer option. If you own an air fryer, you can use that instead and cut the cooking time in half.
- Kid approved. Make this for your little ones and pair it with some homemade french fries for the ultimate fake away dish!
The secret to the perfect keto chicken tender recipe is to use a combination of almond flour and keto bread crumbs for the coating- This gives it a light yet crispy ‘batter’ that bakes beautifully and gives you that glorious crunch that we love!
How do you make almond flour chicken tenders?
- Almond flour– Blanched almond flour or superfine almond flour is preferred, but almond meal can be used.
- Keto bread crumbs– A low carb alternative to traditional bread crumbs, these keto ones use crushed pork rinds and act like the real thing! If you don’t have any on hand, you can double the amount of almond flour.
- Italian seasoning– Also known as Italian dried herbs. It’s a mix of basil, oregano, sage, and rosemary.
- Salt and pepper– To taste.
- Eggs– Whisked eggs to dip the chicken tenders in to hold onto the almond flour mixture.
- Skinless chicken tenders– You can easily find these in the meat aisle of the grocery store or a butcher. If you can’t find them at the stores, you can use slice chiken breasts into tenders.
Start by mixing together the dry ingredients into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, add the eggs and whisk them together. Moving quickly, dip each chicken tender in the whisked eggs, then dip them in the almond flour mix, ensuring both sides are well coated. Repeat the process until all the chicken tenders have all been ‘breaded’.
Now, place the breaded tenders on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160C. Remove them from the oven and serve immediately.
Can I use an air fryer?
You can use both an air fryer or a non-stick pan to cook these chicken tenders.
- Air fryer chicken tenders– Grease an air fryer basket and add a single layer of the breaded chicken tenders to the bottom of it. Cook at 200C/400F for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Repeat the process until all the tenders have been cooked.
- Pan fried chicken tenders– Add 2 tablespoons of oil into a non-stick pan and place it over medium heat. Once hot, cook the tenders for 6 minutes on both sides and until they reach an internal temperature of at least 160C.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Be sure to shake off excess flour when dipping the chicken tenders in them, to ensure they don’t clump up when baked.
- If you use all almond flour, add 1/2 a teaspoon of salt to compensate.
- For a spicy kick, add a teaspoon or two of smoked paprika and/or cayenne pepper to the crumb mixture.
Storing, freezing, and reheating keto chicken tenders
- To store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.
- To freeze: Place cooled tenders in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- Reheating: Either microwave for 30 seconds or if you’d like them crispy, reheat them in the oven.
What to serve with low carb chicken tenders
More keto chicken recipes to try
Frequently Asked Questions
The only keto friendly foods at KFC are grilled chicken and green beans. Everything else contains breading and/or other carbs which would kick someone outside of ketosis.
The fried chicken used in Chik Fil A’s sandwiches is not keto, as they are heavily breaded. You can enjoy one of their grilled chicken sandwiches minus the bun.
No, panko bread crumbs are not keto approved. However, keto bread crumbs are a fantastic alternative.
Keto Chicken Tenders (Truly crispy!)
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg.
- Add a chicken tender into the egg wash then dip it in the dry ingredients, ensuring both sides have been coated in the 'breading'. Repeat the process until all the chicken has been coated.
- Bake the chicken tender for 20 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 160C, flipping halfway through.
- Remove them from the oven and serve immediately.
Air fryer instructions
- Prepare the chicken as instructed.
- Add them in a single layer to an air fryer basket. Air fry at 200C/400F for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.