Parmesan Crusted Chicken Tenders

When I started the FASTer Way To Fat Loss®, I thought low carb days were going to be a true struggle… but come to find out, they are my two favorite days of the week! I have found so many new recipes that we love and live on week in and week out. One of those: these parmesan crusted chicken tenders. I found a similar recipe on Pinterest for pork chops, but we’re much more chicken people around these parts, so I adapted the recipe (and the spices) to what we love to taste. You can certainly change up the spices, and even the amounts, to suit your taste buds as well.

Additionally, we try to do gluten-free and dairy-free as much as possible and when it’s conveniently found. A few weeks ago, we found VeggieCheese brand grated parmesan and have been using that for this recipe, in place of the regular grated parmesan. But neither the dairy-free cheese, nor the gluten-free breadcrumbs, are a must for these tenders.

The very best thing about these chicken tenders is they don’t feel like a “healthy” version of anything. They get a good crust on them and they’re moist and delicious. We love putting leftovers (if there are any) on top of salads or in wraps. And on regular macro days, we like to pair them with baked sweet potato fries for a guilt free “cheat meal.” A quick and easy weeknight meal that’s 100% sure to please even the pickiest eaters in your house.

Preheat your oven to 350º. You’ll be quickly pan “frying” these tenders in just a tiny bit of olive oil to ensure they get that crust on them. On a large plate, or shallow pan, combine 1/3 cup of grated parmesan (regular or non-dairy) with 3 tablespoons gluten-free breadcrumbs, garlic powder, dried parsley, smoked paprika, pepper, and a pinch of salt. Mix these ingredients well with a fork and “level off” to making coating your chicken a little easier. Coat each chicken tender well in parmesan-bread crumb mixture. I usually flip each tender several times over into the mixture, patting it to ensure there’s a good coating sticking to each piece. Some pieces are especially temperamental to cover. For these, I will sprinkle the mixture over the top and press the mixture into the chicken. The coating does not need to be especially thick, but you do want to cover each piece evenly.

In your favorite skillet, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Once heated, add chicken tenders to hot oil, careful not to crowd the pan. This may have to be done in batches. Cook chicken tenders for 3 minutes on each side, or until brown.

You should only need to turn the tenders one time. NOTE: they will not be cooked all the way through. You may need to add a tiny bit of oil back to the pan if you are doing multiple batches. Remove the tenders from the skillet and place tenders in shallow 9×11 baking dish. You’ll want to bake the tenders in a 350º oven for 10-12 minutes until fully cooked. If you’d like a slightly more defined “crunch,” broil your tenders for just a few minutes. Be careful and watch them closely, they can burn quickly.


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