These gluten-free, Keto, Paleo AND Whole30 Everything Bagel Chicken Tenders are about to rock your world! These crisp, juicy and "everything bagel" seasoned chicken tenders will surely become a weeknight family favorite!
Is it just me or is "everything bagel" seasoning good on literally everything? That stuff can do wrong. If you're not familiar with it, let me quickly catch you up to speed. You know all of that stuff on an everything bagel that makes an everything bagel the best bagel? Yeah, well it's all of that stuff bottled up and ready to be sprinkled on all of the things. You can find it at Trader Joe's, Costco, Aldi and Lidl or if you're feeling extra, you could make it.
Are Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders Healthy?
"Gluten-free" doesn't necessarily mean "healthy." Would purchasing a bag of frozen gluten-free chicken tenders and throwing them in the air fryer be quicker? Well yeah, but the ingredients in a lot of frozen gluten-free products are a bit sketchy and hard to pronounce. With a little TLC, these chicken tenders come together in no time. They are breaded in a carefully crafted mixture of real food ingredients including dairy-free nut milk, almond flour, clarified butter (ghee), milled flax seed and seasonings. Nothing sketchy about it. Let's dive further into the ingredients, shall we?
What is the Best Grain-Free Flour for Chicken Tenders?
If I'm being completely honest, this recipe was a real b*tch to develop. I was determined to use cassava flour, but with a lot trial and plenty of error, I gave up and switched to almond flour. Alas, perfection. That being said, I love using almond flour to bread chicken. Grain-free flours aren't always cooperative when it comes to breading things, but almond flour always seems to step up to the plate when the rest of the Paleo flours fall short. I also love it because it checks off many of the dietary lifestyle boxes - Keto, low carb, Paleo and Whole30. In short, almond flour is the real MVP.
Ingredients for Keto, Paleo & Whole30 Chicken Tenders
I carefully selected each ingredient so that the recipe would work for the Keto kids, Paleo people and Whole30ers (you're welcome). Here's what you'll need!
- 1 Egg
- 2 tablespoons Nut Milk - I used cashew milk, but any nut milk will do.
- 1 tablespoon Ghee - which you could totally swap out for butter if you're down with the dairy.
- ½ cup Almond Flour
- ¼ cup Everything Bagel Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 pound Chicken Tenderloins or Chicken Breasts - If using whole chicken breasts, be sure to slice them lengthwise into ½ inch thick strips.
- Cooking Spray - I used a coconut oil spray, but any cooking spray will do. Be sure to check the ingredients if you have any dietary restrictions.
Prepping Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders for the Air Fryer or Oven
Whether you'll be cooking the tenders in an air fryer or baking them in an oven, follow these instructions to prepare them:
- Preheat your air fryer or oven to 390 degrees. While preheating, start preparing the egg wash and dry breading mixture.
- You'll need three medium bowls. In the first bowl, whisk together the egg, nut milk and ghee until well blended.
- In the second bowl, stir together the almond flour, everything bagel seasoning and paprika. Dump half of that mixture into the third bowl.
- To bread the chicken, dredge each piece through the egg wash followed by the breading mixture until evenly coated (shaking off any excess). Place each piece on a clean plate.
- When the first bowl of dry ingredients becomes saturated and too clumpy to adhere to the chicken, discard and move onto the fresh bowl.
Making Chicken Tenders in an Air Fryer
There's not much in oven can do that an air fryer can't do better (except for maybe baked good). Hand breaded foods and an air fryer are a match made in home cooked heaven. Air frying generally takes less time than cooking foods in an oven. I'm not sure what sort of sorcery goes down in an air fryer, but magic definitely happens. Air fried food actually tastes fried. It's mind boggling. Here's how to make these tenders in an air fryer.
- Spray preheated air fryer basket with cooking spray to keep the chicken from sticking. Working in batches, place the breaded tenders in the basket in a single layer (far enough apart so that they're not all crammed together). Spray the top of each tender with cooking spray until the breading is visibly saturated (so like spray liberally).
- Air fry for 6 minutes, turn each tender over, spray the opposite side with a decent amount of cooking spray and air fry for an additional 6 minutes. Sprinkle to taste with extra everything bagel seasoning and ENJOY! 🙂
Baking Chicken Tenders in the Oven
No air fryer? No worries. They're just as scrumptious baked in the oven. Here's how it's done.
- For easier clean up, line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Place the breaded tenders on the baking sheet and spray with a generous amount of cooking spray.
- Bake for 8 minutes in preheated oven, flip each tender, spray the opposite side with cooking spray and bake for 8 more minutes. Sprinkle to taste with more everything bagel seasoning and DIG IN! 🙂
How simple was that?! SO SIMPLE and you can have them ready in under 20 minutes. They're the absolute best! All of the crave-worthy flavors of an everything bagel without the carbs but with all the protein! Serve them with your favorite sugar-free ketchup or dairy-free ranch for the ultimate in healthy comfort food!
PIN NOW! DO THE THINGS LATER!
You've made it this far! Yay! I have a good feeling that you're going to love these recipes as well, so why not check them out while you're here?!
- The Best Ever Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
- Air Fryer "Rotisserie" Chicken
- Air Fryer Homestyle Potatoes
- Air Fryer Onion Rings
- Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
- Air Fryer Crispy Curly Fries
Everything Bagel Chicken Tenders | Air Fryer & Oven Instructions
- 1 whole egg
- 2 tablespoons nut milk almond or cashew
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- ½ cup almond flour
- ¼ cup everything bagel seasoning
- 2 tablespoons milled flax seed
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 pound chicken tenderloins or chicken breasts sliced lengthwise into strips
- cooking spray
- Preheat air fryer or oven to 390°. While preheating, prepare egg wash & dry breading.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together egg, nut milk and ghee until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, stir together almond flour, everything bagel seasoning, flax seed and paprika until well combined. Reserve half of the breading mixture in a separate bowl.
- One at a time, dredge each piece of chicken through the egg wash and then press into the breading until evenly coated. Shake off any excess and place in a single-layer on a clean plate.
- When the first bowl of breading becomes too clumpy to stick to the chicken, move onto the second bowl of reserved dry breading.
Air Fryer Instructions
- Spray preheated air fryer basket with cooking spray to avoid sticking. Working in batches to keep the chicken from touching and sticking together, place breaded chicken tenders in a single-layer in basket and spray with cooking spray until the breading is visibly saturated.
- Cook for 6 minutes, flip each tender, spray opposite side with cooking spray and cook for 6 minutes more. Repeat with remaining tenders. Sprinkle with additional everything bagel seasoning to taste before serving! Enjoy!
- Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray. Place breaded chicken tenders on baking sheet and spray with cooking spray until the breading is visibly saturated.
- Bake for 8 minutes in preheated oven, flip each tender, spray opposite side with cooking spray and bake for 8 more minutes. Sprinkle with additional everything bagel seasoning to taste before serving! Enjoy!
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