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Thursday, March 5, 2020

Low Carb Baked Chicken Tenders

A guilt-free chicken tender that is super low carb!
These baked chicken tenders are easy & kid friendly.

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Who doesn't love a chicken tender?

Especially kids, they love the darn things.  And I have to admit a few nights back we went to a local restaurant and they looked so good on the menu that I even ordered the adult verstion!  Very unlike me, but for whatever reason I was craving tenders.

My middle daughter will order them EVERY SINGLE TIME.  My other two will branch out.  They are basically the American meal for good reason.  Crispy and crunchy on the outside, super tender and juicy in the middle.

low carb baked chicken tenders #sweetsavoryeats #lowcarb #chickentenders

A few weeks back a friend mentioned making homemade chicken parmesan, but making it low carb.  I was intrigued!

Then I literally ran into that "low carb breading" at Costco last week.  It was fate in the making.  So I grabbed a big bag of pork rinds....yes, I said pork rinds and threw them in my cart.  Now, this is something I would not eat on their own.  Just not my cup of tea, but I had good feelings about turning them into a chicken finger breading.

I tested it....and it worked!

low carb baked chicken tenders #sweetsavoryeats #lowcarb #chickentenders

They are naturally super crunchy and very low carb {pretty much no carb} so it only seemed that they would work, right?

I combined them with parmesan cheese and seasonings in my food processor, pulsed them into fine crumbs and got to work breading the chicken tenders.  The key to breading anything is dipping the meat into a "wet bath" first {otherwise the breading will not stick}.  I did this with milk and ranch dressing {more flavor in my opinion, versus just egg}.

This batch makes 15 chicken tenders and are baked!

Just 25 minutes in the oven and a few minutes to cool and you've got dinner {or lunch!} ready to go.  I served these with my highly rated and popular homemade honey mustard dressing.  

Please make that stuff, it's incredible.

low carb baked chicken tenders #sweetsavoryeats #lowcarb #chickentenders

Oh, a special note.  You'll notice the recipe calls for just 3 oz of pork rinds.  That doesn't sound like a lot, but it is a lot!  The huge bag I bought at Costco was 7 oz total, so I used almost half the bag.  Pork rinds are just light and airy and take up a lot of space.

I ended up making my breading in two batches, just because my food processor isn't huge and it worked fine.

I can't wait to hear how you like these!  And how your kids like these!

Low Carb Baked Chicken Tenders

Low Carb Baked Chicken Tenders
Yield: 15
prep time: 20 Mcook time: 25 Mtotal time: 45 M
These homemade chicken tenders are low carb and full of flavor! No guilt eating these. Perfect for dipping in your favorite sauce or chopped up on salads.


  • 3 oz pork rinds, pulsed to crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing


How to cook Low Carb Baked Chicken Tenders

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cover a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.  Gently spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together the pork rinds, cheese and seasonings until fine crumbs.  Pour this mixture into a shallow pie plate.
  3. In another shallow pie plate whisk together the milk and ranch dressing.
  4. Using one hand dunk the chicken tender into the milk/dressing, coating all sides and then drop it into the breading.  Using your other hand roll the chicken tender multiple times to generously coat the surface.
  5. Repeat this process with all 15 chicken tenders and place on the greased baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly golden brown and firm to the touch.
  7. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
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