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Baked (Extra Tender!) Chicken Tenders 🍗 gluten free & keto

That’s right, these gluten free and keto chicken tenders are, well… extra tender! Plus, they’re baked rather than fried (i.e. essentially mess-free!).

Freshly baked keto chicken tenders with chives
(Baked!) Gluten Free & Keto Chicken Tenders

Gluten Free & Keto Chicken Tenders

Extra Tender!

Crispytender, and flavorful-to-boot! These baked low carb chicken tenders, marinated in sour cream and an awesome spice mix, are a real gold mine.

Plus, they’re easy-peasy! The chicken is baked for a mess-free and more hands-off approach.

Just try and marinade the chicken overnight– it’s a game changer. For any poultry dish really, always aim for an overnight marinade for best-tasting results (or at least 2-3 hours).

Pork rind coating for the keto chicken tenders
(Baked!) Gluten Free & Keto Chicken Tenders
Freshly coated unbaked keto chicken tender on a rack
(Baked!) Gluten Free & Keto Chicken Tenders

The Coating

This keto ‘fried’ chicken uses a ‘breading’ rather than a batter. And I love pork rinds (i.e. chicharrones!) more than anything for it. Also, you guys always ask for brands, and my absolute favorite are these baked ones (milder taste and lower calories!).

Plus, they’re the perfect balance between fat and protein with zero carbs (i.e. a keto dream come true!). But before you freak out, there is no after taste whatsoever. More like a wonderful crisp texture and amazing flavor.

Also note that I prefer to crush it by hand to leave the pork rinds more flakey than powdery (think panko!).

Other than that, you’ll want to marinate the chicken in sour cream (with a touch of vinegar and spices). Then you’ll do three layers (almond flour, egg and pork rind blend) for the ultimate coating.

And while these are super awesome served up with our marinara sauce, you can also go a little bit naughty and do ‘fried’ chicken and waffles! Be sure to serve it up with maple or sugar free syrup (love Lakanto’s!) and our (1g net carb!!) light and airy keto waffles. A truly awesome marriage of flavors!

Freshly baked keto chicken tenders with chives
(Baked!) Gluten Free & Keto Chicken Tenders
Gluten Free & Keto Fried Chicken and Waffles 🍗 #keto #ketodiet #lowcarb #glutenfree #healthyrecipes
Gluten Free & Keto Fried Chicken and Waffles 🍗 #keto #ketodiet #lowcarb #glutenfree #healthyrecipes

Freshly baked keto chicken tenders with chives

(Baked!) Gluten Free & Keto Chicken Tenders

Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked chicken tenders, gluten free chicken tenders, keto chicken tenders
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Marinating Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 376 kcal

These gluten free and keto chicken tenders are, well… extra tender! Plus, they’re baked (i.e. essentially mess-free!).

Oh, and if baking with cups rather than grams is your thing, just click on US Cups for an instant conversion.

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Ingredients

For the marinade

  • 500 g chicken tenderloins or chicken breast sliced lengthwise into 2/3" / 1.5cm thick slices
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic ran through a press
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • kosher salt to taste

For the coating

Serving suggestions

Instructions

  1. Rinse and pat dry your chicken pieces. Set aside. 

  2. In a large bowl suitable for marinating, mix together the sour cream, vinegar, poultry seasoning, garlic, freshly ground black pepper and season to taste. Add in the chicken, cover with cling film and marinate in the fridge for at least two hours (though preferably overnight!). 

  3. Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C. Line a rimmed baking tray with aluminum foil and place a rack over it. Brush with olive oil or cooking oil of choice. 

  4. You will need three bowls for the three coatings. In bowl 1, place your almond flour (or more crushed pork rinds). In bowl 2, whisk your egg with sour cream. And in bowl 3, mix thoroughly together the crushed pork rinds, Parmesan cheese, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, freshly ground black pepper, cayenne and season to taste with salt (will vary quite a bit depending on the saltiness of your pork rinds). 

  5. Dip your chicken pieces one at a time in the almond flour, followed by the egg, followed by the pork rinds mixture. Place in the prepared baking tray. 

  6. Roast your chicken for 25-30 minutes until fully cooked (i.e. no longer pink and the juices run clear).  Serve right away (though they're also surprisingly good cold too!).

Recipe Notes

*You guys always ask for brands, and my absolute favorite are these baked ones (milder taste and lower calories!). I also prefer to crush them so they end up more flakey rather than powdery (think panko!). 

Keep in mind that you can decrease the carb count even further by substituting the almond flour with more pork rinds (or even some whey protein). Though taste and texture was optimal with the flour. 

Nutrition Facts
(Baked!) Gluten Free & Keto Chicken Tenders
Amount Per Serving
Calories 376 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 148mg49%
Sodium 677mg28%
Potassium 494mg14%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Protein 46g92%
Vitamin A 535IU11%
Vitamin C 1.5mg2%
Calcium 125mg13%
Iron 1.6mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

40 comments

  1. Lise Anderson says:

    Wow — these were amazing! They far exceeded my expectations! I will be making these weekly. They were super good dipped in homemade keto thousand island dressing — mix together:
    1 /2 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
    1 /4 cup G. Hughes sugar free ketchup
    1 clove garlic, pressed
    1 teaspoon onion powder, or 1 small (70 g/7.5 oz) white onion, minced
    Salt and pepper

    Thanks again!

  2. sue says:

    These were so good! I made them for dinner. Definately let them marinade over night. This recipe will become a regular in my household. I used osiogo cheese instead of parmesan. So yummy. I have a photo but I dont know how to upload it.

  3. Cat says:

    Love these so much! The pork rinds produce a perfect crispy “fried chicken” crust that is to die for. It is delish as written. And easy to adapt if you want to make a few changes.

    My regular, non keto, fried chicken tender recipe marinade was buttermilk with a chipotle pepper, so I tossed a chipotle into the sour cream mixture (or homemade Greek yogurt if I don’t have any organic sour cream on hand) and blended it in the Nutribullet. OMG! It was like eating my original fried chicken tenders but better! I did omit all the spices and herbs, except the salt and pepper, for this version.

    I’ve also used the marinade recipe as written and added some nutritional yeast to the pork rinds for a more cheesy flavor. And from time to time I just coated the marinade tenders with the pork rind mixture and skip the almond flour and egg part. They are still amazing!

    These are in a regular rotation in my house and everyone loves them, even the non keto peeps. I personally think the leftovers are even better straight out of the fridge with no reheating necessary. Just so yummy!

    I know I’ve said it before, but thank you soooo much Paola! You make keto life so much easier and tastier!

  4. Mary White says:

    This recipe sounds great, but I’m “American”; we didn’t learn grams. Maybe make “American” recipes with lbs/oz.? I know… we’re backward. Or stubborn.

  5. April says:

    By far the BEST Keto fried chicken recipe I’ve ever tried!
    I am keeping this recipe in my arsenal for sure! Thank you!

  6. Susie says:

    Hi Paola, do you have a recipe the Poultry Seasoning. I have all the ingredients but don’t know how much of each I should combine. Thanks

  7. Tania says:

    These are the best chicken tenders ever! I followed the recipe to a T minus the pork rinds because we eat kosher… so slightly less crunchy I imagine… but still so delicious! Is there anything else I could use other than pork rinds? Thank you in advance!

  8. Emma says:

    Hi! Loved this just like I’ve loved everything else I’ve made from your recipes! You’re making this whole keto thing so much yummier! I had a hard time with the crust on the rack side sticking, so I ended up with a half-breaded chicken tender 🙂 I sprayed generously with olive oil first. Any ideas?

  9. Audrey says:

    If I have to buy from a grocery store, do you have a brand of pork rinds that you like? Pork rinds freak me out haha, so I have no clue of what kind to get. Thanks.

  10. Wisknitcat says:

    These are ridiculously amazingly good!! Everyone in my family all of whom are non-keto loved them. I’m the only keto person and I am thrilled to be able to finally have a breading recipe that’s keto and crispy!! Better than the redults I used to get with a standard flour and bread crumb recipe. YAY!

  11. Wisknitcat says:

    Hi can I use chicken thigh strips instead of chicken breast for a better keto fat protein ratio? Any adjustments needed in the recipe to keep crisp?

  12. Elizabeth says:

    I made these this evening and they are ridiculously good. These are the best chicken tenders I’ve ever tasted! Excellent recipe – I’ll have to share it with my keto group!

  13. Ceci says:

    These were ridiculously delicious. Better than any chicken tender I’ve had. My husband, who doesn’t do keto, even loves them. For sure making them again. Thanks for the recipe 😁😁😁

  14. Erin says:

    Hi there. Great site. I don’t eat pork. Is there any other possible substitute you can think of to get a crisp? Thanks!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Erin! Check out the fish tacos on the site, they’re lightly fried with whey protein- that’s also a great sub (albeit different) xo!

  15. Amanda says:

    I just made this for my non-keto family, and it was a huge hit. They are easy to make, and deliver a great crunch. Your instructions are clear, and the end result is a delicious dish I plan to put into regular rotation. The overnight marinade is definitely the way to go. Thank you for creating wonderful recipes that keep me inspired and having fun in the kitchen!

  16. Ana Barbara says:

    What kind of sour cream do you use? I find it easily in Baja California but I haven’t found it in Mexico City.

    Thanks for the help!

    • Paola says:

      You have to check out Flor de Alfalfa (also the butter!)- SO GOOD! They sell it in City Market or Green Corner. They’re getting they’re organic license, but overall they have good products (aside from they’re cheese, they’re tasteless) xo!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Beva! In all honesty I haven’t found an equivalent dairy free marinade for these guys (I’m mostly DF too). Keep in mind that eggs aren’t dairy xo!

  17. Martha says:

    And for us not allergy people you can omit the flour! I put the chicharrones in the food and processer and pulverize them! I then use the crushed ones as a coat. Been doing this for years! Chicharrones also come in spicy. No need to add spices. Throw in some sesame seeds!

    • Paola says:

      Definitely can sub the almond flour Martha (it’s also stated in the notes!). The one thing I don’t agree on is buying the spicy chicharrones- they generally have sugars and unwanted additives (plus, spice mixes are ALWAYS better homemade in my opinion!) xo!

    • Paola says:

      Not in my experience (you’re adding spices etc too). The flavor profile compliments the chicken beautifully xo!

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