Chicken tenders aren’t just for kids anymore, especially with this keto chicken tenders recipe! Chicken tenders are brined in buttermilk and then breaded in a crunchy cheese breading before getting baked to perfection. No eggs or pork rinds required! These grain free chicken tenders are just waiting to be dipped in your favorite sugar free ketchup!
What Do These Crunchy Keto Chicken Tenders Taste Like
These grain free chicken tenders are unique and delicious due to the cheese crisp breading! They are so so so good! The buttermilk brine makes the tough tenders soft and flavorful and the breading adds texture and seasoning. Even with a cheese breading, they aren’t overly cheesy. Dip them in your favorite sugar free ketchup or ranch dressing.
What Kind of Breading Is Used On These Keto Chicken Tenders
These keto chicken tenders are breaded in a mixture of almond flour and cheese crisps. Cheese crisps, which are just bits of cheese slowly cooked into a crouton texture, are the dominant ingredient in the breading. Because they are already crunchy, the cheese crisps provide a fabulous crunch on the chicken tenders as well as flavor.
Are These Keto Chicken Tenders Easy To Make
These tenders are absolutely easy to make! Just like my chicken nuggets, the breading will go on very smoothly after the tenders soak in the brine. There are no eggs required. You’ll simply mix the almond flour and crushed cheese crisps in a shallow plate, I like to use a pie plate, then press the chicken tenders into the mix until they’re well coated. Then you’ll bake them for a few minutes and that’s it!
Do I Have To Brine The Chicken Tenders First
Yes, the brine is a necessary step in this keto chicken tender recipe. Not only does the brine serve to break down the tough texture of chicken tenders, it adds flavor to the plain chicken. The brine also serves as a binder for the breading so that eggs are not needed. It is recommended to brine your chicken for a minimum of 3 hours but overnight is best.
Can The Buttermilk Be Substituted for Heavy Cream
Buttermilk may be used if you follow a ketogenic diet but it isn’t always something we have on hand in the fridge. You can read more about buttermilk in this post. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can add 1/2 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to 1/2 cup of heavy cream and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. When it curdles, it is ready to use.
What Kind Of Cheese Crisps Should Be Used
The recipe is written for cheddar cheese crisps but you can use other flavors. Parmesan, asiago, bbq, or everything seasoned crisps would also be delicious! No adjustments would be needed to the recipe if you use a different flavor.
Where To Buy Cheese Crisps
There are many different brands of cheese crisps on the grocery store shelves these days. I usually find them, at my local grocery store, in the salad condiment aisle. They are normally next to the croutons, bacon bits, etc. I also buy them at Costco or Sams. As long as the cheese crisps you buy do not have sugar, flour, etc. then the brand does not matter. Here are some available on Amazon:
How To Reheat These Keto Chicken Tenders
The best way to reheat these keto chicken tenders is in the oven or air fryer. I prefer to reheat them in the oven to get the best crispy crunch a second time. You could also use the broiler. If using an air fryer, here is a chart with time conversions that may be helpful.
Is There a Nut Free Alternative To Almond Flour In This Recipe
If you cannot use almond flour, then you may substitute it with crushed pork rinds. Do not use coconut flour as it will become soggy and icky. If you cannot use pork rinds, you may just replace the almond flour with the same amount of extra cheese crisps.
Crunchy Keto Chicken Tenders
For the Brine:
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the Tenders:
- 2 pound chicken tenders about 8 to 10
- 4 tablespoons almond flour
- 4 ounces cheese crisps
- Remove the tendons in the tenders by pressing a fork down against the tender while you hold the tendon with your fingers. It should slide right out.
- Place the tenders in a large mixing bowl. Cover with the buttermilk, paprika, and salt. Toss to coat the tenders. Cover and refrigerate a minimum of 3 hours, up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a rack and grease well with cooking spray.
- Crush the cheese crisps in a plastic bag or food processor. They should be broken up but not dusty.
- Transfer the crushed cheese crisps to a pie plate and add the almond flour. Mix with a fork.
- Press each chicken tender into the breading mixture making sure to coat them evenly. Place on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes, flip, and bake another 10 minutes. A tiny bit of breading may come off or stick, this is normal.
- Let cool 5 minutes before serving.