Paleo Keto Fried Chicken Tenders {Dairy Free | Gluten Free Options}

Paleo Keto Fried Chicken Tenders

These Paleo Keto Fried Chicken Tenders are da bomb-diggity!! 🙂 Prepare yourself for tender, juicy, and flavor-packed chicken tenders that make a rockstar addition to any meal!

Whether or not you’re following the paleo or keto guidelines, you’ll want to try this delicious fried chicken! Thanks to an overnight coconut milk marinade and the perfect blend of spices, these paleo and keto friendly fried chicken tenders are sure to become a favorite!

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Paleo Keto Fried Chicken Tenders

In order to have the best paleo keto fried chicken tenders, make sure to let your chicken soak at least 6 hours in the milk mixture before cooking (preferably overnight) to allow all the flavors to fully develop! This step helps you get the juiciest chicken tenders possible!

Check out my notes following the recipe for suggested variations too! 🙂

5 from 1 vote
Paleo Keto Fried Chicken Tenders
Paleo Keto Fried Chicken Tenders
Ingredients
  • 1.5-2 lbs Chicken Thighs or Chicken breasts with thigh meat cut into small tender strips
  • 1 13.5 oz Can Full-Fat Organic Coconut Milk
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • ½ tsp Paprika
  • ¼ tsp Italian Seasoning
  • tsp Sea Salt
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • *Coconut Oil for Cooking
Dry Coating:
  • 2 Cups Almond Meal or flour of choice, see notes in blog post
  • ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper Powder
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Dried Minced Onion
  • 2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper Freshly Ground
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tsp Nutritional Yeast optional
Instructions
Prepare Chicken:
  1. In resealable plastic bag or sealable container, combine coconut milk and marinade spices until blended and smooth. Coconut milk separates in the can so you’ll want to make sure it is mixed well to create a thick, rich milk.
  2. Using fork, poke uncooked chicken tenders on all sides to allow greater permeability. Place chicken in milk mixture, shaking sealed container to completely coat chicken. Allow chicken to soak overnight or at least 6 hours before cooking.
Cooking Directions:
  1. In an 8”x8” pan with deep sides, combine dry coating ingredients with a whisk.
  2. Using tongs or a fork so that you don’t wipe off the coconut milk coating, roll each coconut-milk coated tender in the flour mixture. Fully coat and proceed with either skillet frying or baking directions.
  3. *If frying in a cast iron skillet, heat 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil (enough to coat the skillet well) over medium heat. Place tenders carefully in hot skillet, frying on each side until golden before flipping (about 5-8 minutes). When tenders are golden on both sides and chicken is cooked through, place tenders on a plate covered with a paper towel to cool for a couple minutes before serving.
  4. *If baking, preheat oven to 375f. Lightly grease raised baking sheet (with rack for better crisping) with coconut oil. Place coated tenders on pan and lightly mist the top of the tenders with coconut oil spray or other oil if extra crispiness is desired. Bake for about 20 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and cooked through. For a darker crust, turn oven to broil for a minute or two before taking out of oven (watch chicken carefully to avoid burning). Allow to cool for a couple minutes before serving.
Enjoy plain or with your desired dipping sauce!
    Paleo Keto Fried Chicken Tenders
    Serve with salad and sweet potatoes or keto cauliflower mash for a fabulous fried chicken dinner!

    Variations:

    1. Flour: Use almond meal for a low carb and grain-free recipe. However, I’ve also made this recipe (using the same spices, marinade, and cooking method) with Namaste Gluten-Free Flour and it turned out fabulous! This is a good option for my friends that are allergic to tree nuts and cannot do almond flour. I haven’t tried using coconut flour yet, but that would probably work great as well!
    2. Coating: Want a little extra “crunch” on the crust? Consider adding some Gluten-Free Panko Crumbs or crushed almonds to the dry coating mixture! (I’ve even seen shredded coconut used for a toasty outer layer!)
    3. Dipping Sauces: Whipping up your favorite dipping sauce really takes these tenders to the next level! (however, my sister informed me that these juicy chicken tenders are totally fabulous sans sauce!) Consider trying an avocado lime aioli or garlic chipotle sauce!
    Paleo Keto Fried Chicken Tenders

    I love to make a large salad and top it with a couple chicken tenders for an amazing fried chicken chop salad. You could also pair these with our Easy Lefse Norwegian Flatbread as a side dish for instance! 😀

    Finally, I hope your family enjoys these paleo keto fried chicken tenders as much as mine does!! Please like and share! Also, please comment below with any questions or comments.

    Bon Appetit!

    XOXO Abigail

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    12 Comments

    1. Reply

      Susan

      03/17/2020

      These sound delicious. I’m looking forward to trying out this recipe over the next couple of days. I think I’ll definitely serve them with an avocado lime aioli dipping sauce. Thank you!!

      • Reply

        Dave

        03/17/2020

        Thanks Susan!

    2. Reply

      Heidi

      03/17/2020

      These look so good, and I love that they can be baked instead of having to fry them. Will be adding them to my meal plan for next week. Thanks.

      • Reply

        Dave

        03/17/2020

        Thanks Heidi!

    3. Reply

      Jill McDonough

      03/17/2020

      WOW! I cannot wait to try this recipe. I also LOVE that you have so many suggestions for variations. I want to try them as well. Thanks for this great post!

      • Reply

        Dave

        03/17/2020

        Thanks Jill, Enjoy!

    4. Reply

      Andrea M Kephart

      03/17/2020

      These look delicious! Saving & Sending the Recipe to my Sister now so we can make soon! Cheers!

      • Reply

        Dave

        03/17/2020

        Thanks Andrea, Enjoy!

    5. Reply

      Gillian

      03/17/2020

      Sounds great. I like the way you gave some variations!

      • Reply

        Dave

        03/17/2020

        Thank you Gillian!

    6. Reply

      Cyndy

      03/17/2020

      5 stars
      My kids loved these. I made the delicious dipping sauce for myself and they added BBQ sauce to theirs. I would love to make these again and put them on top of my salad for lunch!

      • Reply

        Dave

        03/18/2020

        Cyndy, I’m so glad your family enjoyed them! Thank you for letting us know!

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