Monday, April 8, 2013

Almond Chicken Tenders

Like many families chicken tenders are a favorite in our house.  You can dress them up, chop them up or eat them plain.  They make an easy snack lunch or dinner and are always a hit with the kids.

Every few weeks I try to make a large batch to keep in the freezer.  I am not very consistent about making them and having them available, but when I do it is always a wonderful treat to open the freezer and find them there.  Especially when I haven't thought about dinner, it's 6:30 and everybody is starving and grumpy.  

I usually use the same basic recipe for the coating - bread crumbs and a mix of Italian seasoning.  Tasty, but nothing fancy and to be honest I get a little tired of having the same old things in the freezer all the time.   When those ho hums set in I often look for some inspiration to change things up and for me inspiration for change often comes from the Secret Recipe Club.  This month my inspiration came from Melissa at a Fit and Spicy Life.  Her blog is filled with a wonderful assortment of recipes, fitness tips and wine - the perfect trifecta.

Melissa's recipe for Almond Chicken Fingers is a delicious change from our typical tenders and will definitely be a regular item in the freezer.   They are moist, flavorful and work in a variety of dishes - they were delicious in an Asian chicken salad and just as tasty with a little honey mustard dipping sauce

 I made one change to Melissa's recipe, only because of what was available in my pantry.  I didn't have enough whole almonds, so I roughly chopped what I had and then used some almond meal flour to finish the coating mixture. The chopped almonds provided a wonderful texture while the almond meal gave the tenders a nice thick coating.

The other change I made was in process, I like using coating trays - mainly because my kids love to help, getting thick messy fingers is very entertaining for them - but you can also use the dip and shake method as Melissa does, it's all preference.  

Almond Chicken Tenders

2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into tenders
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 eggs
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup almonds, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups almond meal flour
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400.  Lightly oil (or spray) a cooking sheet.
In a small bowl beat eggs, almond milk and mustard together, set aside.  In a large bowl combine chopped almonds, almond meal, salt and pepper.  Dip a chicken tender first into egg/milk mixture then into the dry mixture.  Place coated tender on baking sheet, repeat with remain tender.  Place tenders in a single layer with space between each piece. 
Bake 20-25 minutes, depending on thickness of chicken.  Using tongs flip chicken pieces half way through baking time.

And if you are in need of a little change and inspiration check out the rest of the SRC


  1. What a delicious way to use almond meal. That's way better than any chicken mcnuggets.

  2. I wouldn't have thought to use almonds/almond meal as a coating for chicken. I need to try this!

  3. What a great way to make chicken tenders a little more interesting. My girls would love this.


  4. I love adding dijon to anything!

    Unfortunately my post missed the blog hop due to tech issues… is the link as I'd hate for people to miss seeing Aly's recipe and her wonderful blog -

  5. YUM! I'll have to try this. I have some almond flour and almonds on hand.

  6. What a great recipe! Yes, my boys do love chicken tenders, but I rarely make them. I might have to change that this week...with your recipe. Thanks for sharing with the SRC.

  7. So glad you liked this! I have those same Pampered Chef trays and they were great for making these.

    1. the pampered chef trays have been one of my best investments, we use them all the time.

  8. chicken tenders are the best! what a great crunchy coating :)