Paleo Chicken Fingers

January 16, 2012 in Categories: by

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chickenfingers1What kid doesn’t like chicken fingers?  I’ve experimented with a few different techniques, trying to find one that yields a nice “breading” while being easy enough to tackle for a meal mid-week.  My kids like this seasoning mix, but if yours is super sensitive to spice, you might want to leave out the coriander and cumin.  Or maybe add your favorite spice instead!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 16-18 minutes

Serves:  4


1.    Preheat oven to 425F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.    Combine almond meal with spices on a plate or shallow dish.  Place beaten egg in a separate shallow dish.
3.    Dry chicken with paper towel.  Dip in egg then dip in almond meal mixture, coating all sides.  Place on baking sheet.  Repeat until all chicken tenders are coated.
4.    Bake for 16-18 minutes, turning once in the middle of baking, until completely cooked (interior temperature should read 180F).

Do you need help finding any ingredients?  Check out  Important Pantry Items for the Paleo Baker.



I have no trouble finding it in the Gluten Free section of the baking aisle at our local grocery store. May be easier to find in some areas than others though.

Trader Joe’s has an inexpensive raw, natural almond meal in their baking aisle. You can also make almond meal by pulsing whole, raw almonds in a food processor or blender. I think a mortar and pestle would work too, if you’re patient!

Thanks for the reply! I’ll try it with almond flour, since that is what I have on hand. If they turn don’t out very well, I’ll get some meal. This recipe looks too, too awesome not to try a few times! 🙂

Just made these tonight and they are fantastic! Better than any nugget we have tried at home using traditional bread crumb recipes. And browner, which makes them look better, too. Thank you!

I’ve made these twice now and my family LOVES them. My only changes: used almond flour instead of almond meal (that’s what I had on hand) and subbed garlic powder for the coriander and cumin. They look fantastic and taste great, too What an easy, wonderful recipe. Thank you, thank you!

Schnitzel is a popular staple in my home. Just this year I started using a recipe like this for chicken, pork and even beef. (beef wasnt a huge hit.) Almond meal is so, so, so good! My kids are almost done hating me for not letting them eat homemade pizza all the time.

Just made these for an office party and they are awesome! I am sure they will be a hit tomorrow, now I just have to keep husband out of them until the morning. Thanks!

Thank you for such an easy recipe that my picky daughter and husband actually like! I love that my daughter will actually ask for these and it gets her to eat some meat 🙂

This recipe looks YUMMY!! I am not able to eat almonds…what would you recommend using instead of almond meal or flour. I have noticed that several of your recipes call for the use of those ingredients.

I think ground pumpkin seeds would be really yummy. You could also do a custom mix of your favorite nuts and seeds. I do have lots of recipes using almond meal and almond flour, but my more recent recipes tend not to (since I can’t eat almonds myself).

I used coconut flour and coconut oil (can’t have almonds or eggs) and they turned out sortof “powdery.” With the egg and almond flour are they more crispy? I still loved them, but my kids were not sold. Any ideas for other substitutes? Thanks!

I made some for dinner tonight and my husband and I loved them! We had them with honey mustard dressing and they were amazing! Thanks for posting…am very inspired by your recipes!

I made them omitting the cumin, ’cause we are not so used to it…. they were really tasty 🙂 We ate it with sun dried tomato dip!

My family loved these! I wasn’t so sure that they would be a hit since the spice combination was a little different than they are used to, but was a hit.. I doubled the recipe and the four us ate them all.

My kids hate new things. I have seen many versions of paleo chicken fingers but they usually involve frying, which I prefer not to do. A friend of mine shared this site and I was in a pinch so I tried these. I was worried because my kids don’t really like spices much…but these were awesome! I love them and my kids asked for seconds, which NEVER happens!

These were great!!!! My kids loved them as did us adults! I’m pretty sure they beat any others…paleo or not! Will be on our “Make frequently” list!

Is there a flour substitute for almond flour or meal? I’m trying to get everyone switched to paleo cooking but we have a nut allergy in our family and it seems hard to make these recipes without any type of nuts.


I was determined to make these tonight when realized I was out of almond meal. So I used oat flour and they were delicious. My husband is making another batch as I write because he liked them so much!

This looks so yummy. Any ideas for what to use in place off the egg? Unfortunately, I can’t eat them 🙁 Thanks for all that you do and your dedication to this site!

I have made a similar recipe that uses olive oil instead of egg. The breading is a bit weaker, but if I flip them gently with a fork instead of tongs, I get good results. We leave out the coriander and cumin and use a little garlic powder and onion powder, however I may have to try this version for a twist. Thanks for the idea.

Thank you so much for this recipe! I used garlic powder instead of the spices and added parmesan cheese into the mix. My kids loved it and it tasted like a cheat meal to me 🙂 Will be making these a lot!

I’m just working on getting my family to eat Paleo. I have two toddlers who are extremely difficult to get them to eat. Mostly too busy, but often picky. They did ok with these tonight, I thought they were very good, however, I noticed that no one talked about “crunch”, mine didn’t really seem to get a good crust. Thoughts? maybe that is just how they turn out but I figured I would ask. Thanks for the recipes!

I have made this twice and each time when I take it out of the oven to flip the pieces over, there is a lot of liquid/ water released by the chicken that I have to soak it up with paper towels before placing it down again. They seemed dry to me before I dipped them in the egg and almond meal mixture. They were fresh, not frozen chicken breasts. They would have been soggy and wet if I didn’t soak it up but turned out good. Any idea why that is happening?

I had the same problem as Elizabeth with the extra fluid coming out during baking. I just lived with it. These did not come out crunchy like a chicken “nugget” but they did turn out like a nice breaded piece of chicken. I used whole boneless/skinless thighs to make this. Everyone in my family REALLY liked them! Oh, and I added a bit of finely shredded coconut to see if that would help with the crunchiness, which it didn’t. The taste of the seasonings was right on, we loved it.

I’ve done something similar on my own. I used arrowroot powder to coat the chicken before egging and crusting it with almonds. It seemed to work really well to coat everything evenly.

These are absolutely amazing!!! i am using sweet smoked paprika and turkey and well I am waiting for my second batch of the week to cook. I made these for lunch a few days ago and by dinner they were gone.

Are there any items that need to be substituted while using the AIP? I just started so eggs are being avoided at the moment. What about the flour, is almond flour/meal or coconut flour allowable while following AIP?

I used Trader Joes almond meal and “Chicken Tenders” as cut up by Golden Plump. These turned out great! I’m going to experiment with various spices next time. Perhaps Asian inspired with garlic and ginger!

I have to say this is an AWESOME recipe! My 8-yo daughter has become so picky and is very particular when it comes to chicken. I didn’t think she would like the spices, but she LOVED the flavor combination. I planned to take the leftovers for my lunch the next day, but she wanted them. I just made another batch for her to have for tomorrow’s lunch with some asparagus. Huge fan of finger food! Thank you for sharing the recipe!

When I make mine I bake mine . But I put mine on a rack that sits on the baking dish, that way both sides get cooked and crisped at the same time and no need for flipping… Plus it cooks faster

Dee can you post a link for the rack you use so I can see what it looks like and where to purchase? I have made these once but didn’t have the paprika….they were still good….going to make them again.

I’m not Dee, but I put a cooling rack that fits in a cake style pan or cookie sheet. See if that works for you–good luck!

Thanks for all the great information. I am just getting started with switching to a Paleo Lifestyle. So I know I will be around your site a lot.

Such a hit! My son must have eaten 5 or 6 strips, clearing everyone else’s plates after we were too full to eat any more 🙂

Mine seem to turn out paler than the picture, and aren’t quite crisping up, more like soft breading. I use celery salt, garlic powder and paprika, so maybe that’s the difference in color? Any other tips?

There’s a non-paleo recipe I’ve made a couple times (that even my husband loves!), could probably easily be converted to paleo (I made it before ever even hearing of paleo so I didn’t try). You first dip the chicken in flour/salt/pepper mix, then into egg with a couple dashed of hot sauce, then coat with breadcrumb/spices mix and cook just as your recipe.
I’m definitely gonna try this one!

I have just been diagnosed with Diabetes 2. I am trying to find things I CAN eat without the carbs that my doctor has told me I can NO longer have. What is PALEO? A friend of mine had gastric bypass this last summer, and she sent me your recipe for your Paleo Chicken Fingers. Almonds are one of the few nuts that I CAN have. Can’t wait to try this. Any other suggestions so I can eat healthy, without loosing all my favorite dishes?

Made them for watching the Super Bowl… so happy to have found this recipe. Loved by all. Left over made a great addition to salad! I used Bobs Red Mill almond meal/flour and mixed with a few other spices. Loved, loved, loved!

Hi…yes, finely crushed pork rinds are what I use. I add my own spices and very little salt as the pork rinds are salted. You can get spicy ones, too. I marinate the chicken in buttermilk overnight then (depending on my mood I guess) I either roll in the “breading” right from the marinade or make an egg.milk mixture then roll in the crumbs. I saute in olive oil or ghee..or a combo of both. Their crispiness can vary depending on your personal preference of pan frying or baking. So good!

Sarah has not prepared this recipe without eggs. However, if you read the comments (search the page for the word “egg”) you will see a few comments and replies about making this recipe without eggs. All of Sarah’s Auto Immune Protocol (AIP) recipes are egg-free, you can view them here: The Paleo Approach Cookbook will be available in August and will contain over 100 AIP recipes. You can learn more about the book here: — Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

I was reading the back of my flax meal package and it said you could add water to a certain amount (directions on the package) and it can replace eggs in a dish! I’ve actually just used flax as a simple crust and baked my chicken strips and the whole family seems to enjoy it. Hope that helps. ^_^

I make these fairly frequently without egg. I dip them in water and the almond flour sticks to it (and other types of meat) perfectly.

Made these for the first time tonight. They were awesome though I’d like them to be a bit more crisp.

Step daughter asked/proclaimed: “How did you make the chicken fingers – they’re awesome.”

Made these with coconut flour because I ran out of almond flour. They didn’t get very crisp, but spraying on coconut oil helped. Would using almond flour make a difference?

Did anyone make a batch and put it in the freezer? How did that go?
I was thinking to skip the oven part and freeze them right after frying them. I would then put them in the oven whenever I take them out of the freezer. Thoughts?

According to our children these are: “WAY better than the restaurants and WAY better than chicken nuggets! YUMMY MOMMY! Can we make these again? ”

THANKS For another great recipe!!!

My chicken fingers don’t get golden brown like yours do in the picture, is it because I use almond flour rather than almond meal? Mine tend to stay a pale tan color that isn’t very appetizing.

Whenever I bread chicken with almond flour it doesn’t brown up like your beautiful picture, what am I doing wrong? Or what do you do to get your chicken fingers to brown up like the photo? Thanks!

Mine didn’t brown up and go crispy. the flavour was awesome so def want to make again but they were soggy. not sure what i’ve done wrong?

These sound amazing! I hope the kids like them because it’s really hard to get them to try anything but the regular flour and sugar meals because we used them for so long.

Just wondering, what do you think about baked pork skins? We grind them through a food processor then do a tapioca dip, egg dip, pork skin dip to bread our chicken tenders. Deep fry in coconut oil. They turn out crispy on the outside and juicy inside. That has been our go-to when we are craving crispy chicken!

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