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Looking for the best Paleo Chicken Tenders that also happen to be nut-free? This recipe uses a blend of flax seed, shredded coconut and tapioca to great a crunchy and delicious chicken tender that also happens to be gluten-free and easy to make! With instructions for both baking and pan-frying, these chicken tenders will make for a perfect quick dinner or meal prep that everyone will love!
Paleo Chicken Tenders without Nuts
We love using almond flour to make breaded chicken that are gluten-free and have a few recipes on the site using our trusty blend, but we know there are SO MANY people with nut allergies. We originally published this back in 2014, but we thought it was time to spruce up the recipe and photos so more of you can find these on our site! These Paleo Chicken Tenders are made completely without nuts but are still crispy and delicious! We use a blend of tapioca starch, ground flaxseed and unsweetened finely shredded coconut to get the crispiest golden-brown chicken tenders around! Serve it up with your favorite dipping sauce (we’re partial to honey mustard) and everyone is going to be happy!
We’ve included instructions for pan-frying or oven baking depending on your own needs and time.
- Chicken Tenders (or boneless skinless chicken breast sliced into tenders)
- Tapioca Starch
- Ground Flaxseed
- Unsweetened Finely Shredded Coconut
- Salt, Pepper and Spices
Two Ways to Cook Them
We’ve given you two different ways to cook them: either pan-fry or bake in the oven. They both take roughly the same amount of time to make, but we are partial to pan-frying them. They are obviously more crispy this way! If you do bake them, be sure not to skip the step of using the parchment paper and to lightly grease them. Using the parchment paper prevents the chicken from sticking to the sheet pan
Tips for Working with Gluten-Free Breading
Over the years, one of the most common complaints we’ve received when it comes to working with paleo and gluten-free chicken breading is that the breading falls off. Truthfully, we really haven’t had that happen to us during our years of making them, and I think the reason why is that we treat these delicately while breading and while cooking.
The biggest tip we can give for pan-frying is to make sure you use enough oil, and also don’t flip the chicken before it is ready. This tip doesn’t just apply for this chicken tender recipe, but generally speaking, if a piece of meat isn’t fully cooked when you try to flip it, it can stick! So just test one and make sure it easily comes off the pan before flipping. If you’ve found it stuck, let it cook longer before you try to flip it. Also, we’ve found using a thin spatula works best to flip these instead of a pair of tongs, that way there is less chance of breaking the coating.
And a tip if you are baking, don’t skip the parchment paper! It’s essential to make sure these don’t stick to your baking sheet. Make sure to coat the pan and the breading with a bit of oil (we’ve found a spray oil to work the best here) to ensure nothing sticks.
Sides to serve with these nut-free chicken tenders:
- Roasted Potato Wedges (pictured here)
- Healthy Cole Slaw
- Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes (Paleo + Vegan)
- Oven Roasted Vegetables
Looking for other chicken recipes? Check these out:
- Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- Buffalo Chicken Tenders (Keto)
- Crispy Buffalo Chicken Bites
- The Best Baked BBQ Chicken Breast
- French Onion Chicken Bake
Paleo Chicken Tenders
- 1 lb. chicken tenders or boneless, skinless breasts sliced into tenders
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup ground flaxseed
- ½ cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
- 3 tablespoons tapioca starch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Olive oil to fry or bake
- Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.
- In a shallow container whisk together eggs with a big pinch of salt and pepper
- In a separate shallow container, whisk together flaxseed, shredded coconut, tapioca, salt, pepper, garlic and paprika.
- Dip sliced chicken into the egg, then dredge in flour mixture, being sure to coat it evenly. Repeat until all chicken is coated. Make sure to handle the chicken delicately to not disturb the coating.
To Pan Fry:
- Heat oil over medium heat In a large skillet. Once hot cook chicken in the skillet, in batches, for 3-4 minutes on each side depending on how thick your chicken is. Cook until chicken is crispy and golden-brown and cooked through. Place on towel to drain excess oil and serve.
To Oven Bake:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lightly spray or brush the sheet tray with oil. Place the chicken on the sheet tray and lightly spray or brush with oil.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Serve immediately.