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Gluten Free Crispy Chicken Tenders…Easy, Healthy, and Fast

Gluten Free Crispy Chicken Tenders

An idea that started from a passion of helping others to feed their families healthy gluten-free and allergy-free meals has somehow officially turned into a full-time labor-of-love.  And as I have tackled the challenge of creating my blog and iPhone application, it has occurred to me how easy it can be to fall in to a rut of making less-than-stellar meals instead of  the healthy fare that my family is used to.  In spending every spare minute working on my project (‘spare’ meaning the moments in between pick-ups and drop-offs, laundry and grocery shopping, play-dates and field trips, snack time and meal preps…okay you get the picture), when dinner time rolls around, I am pooped.  I know that I am absolutely no different than any other hard-working mother out there, but now I laugh at myself as I look back at the time when I thought it was just so hard to juggle being a Stay-At-Home Mom while working on a Master’s Degree in Nutrition.  Now I have added another child and a new endeavor into the mix and I secretly find myself longing for the extra hours in those days when I thought I had it oh-so-tough.

Do not get me wrong.  One of my favorite things to do is to create wonderful meals for my family.  But when I am spent at the end of the day and have used up all of that energy that I would normally pour into those  delectable spreads, I need to switch modes and go back to my quick mainstays that are easy, healthy, and fast!

This is a recipe that my kids adore (as does my husband).  It is the gluten free and healthier version of a chicken nugget and one that is requested often.  Frankly, I think my kids love it when I make my quick-and-easies versus my laborious-and-fancies.  Although they will eat both, I find that I do not have to utter those wonderful words of encouragement (“Just three more bites, okay two, alright – one more bite!”) near as often when I turn to my recipes that get dinner on the table in a timely manner.



1 lb: organic chicken tenders

¼ cup: mayonnaise (For Egg Free version: use either Spectrum Light Canola Mayo, Vegenaise, or, use Cybele Pascal’s recipe for an egg-free, soy-free, dairy-free vegan mayonnaise) I have also successfully made this with plain yogurt (dairy and dairy-free) instead of mayo

1 tbsp: fresh lemon juice

2 cups: Gluten Free Rice Chex (processed to very fine crumbs) OR, you can use an equal amount Glutino (or any gluten free) Crackers or pretzels (processed to fine crumbs) as suggested by Shirley of gfe-gluten free easily

2 tsp: Italian Seasoning

1 tsp: garlic salt

1/2 cup: Parmesan cheese – optional (For Dairy Free version: omit the Parmesan cheese entirely or use 3 TBSP Parma! Vegan Parmesan, though beware that this is NOT Nut-Free)


1.   Preheat Oven to 425°F.

2.   Mix lemon juice and mayonnaise together in a shallow bowl.

3.   Place cereal crumbs, garlic salt, Italian Seasoning, and Parmesan Cheese in another shallow bowl.

4.   One-by-one, dip tenders into mayonnaise-lemon mix to lightly coat chicken.

5.   Then place tenders in cereal/seasoning mixture until coated and place on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

6.   Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Gently flip each one, so as not to remove the breading, and bake an additional 8 minutes.

7.    Serve with your favorite sides and dipping sauce.  I usually serve this with my organic Fingerling potatoes (diced small, tossed in olive oil, garlic salt, and Italian Seasoning and roasted at 425 degrees for 35 mintues) and a big hearty salad.

  1. On June 23, 2010 gluten free easily said

    Those look and sound totally delicious, Kim. Homemade chciken tenders/nuggets are really quite easy; I make several versions myself. After all my gf years, my husband still forgets they are homemade and raves over them each time. I don’t make them that often, but probably would if Son was still home. Even at 22, he likes chicken tenders. 😉 I can’t eat any of the General Mills products without a reaction, so I’d probably use cracker crumbs for your recipe. BTW, are you part of Carrie’s 30 Days of Quick and Easy Meals event? This recipe would be so good for that. 🙂

    Last, isn’t it amazing how much a labor of love can take out of you? I always think I just need a few more hours in the day. LOL


    • On June 23, 2010 Kim said

      Thanks so much, Shirley!! Good point about the General Mills products. I have a friend who also reacts strongly to all of them. I think that I will go and add, per your suggestion of course, that you can use the Glutino crackers as well, for those that might be sensitive. I have used the Glutino Crackers and the Glutino pretzels processed to crumbs in my meatloaf muffins that I make and they add such a yummy flavor! Another post, another day. lol
      I had not signed up for Carrie’s 30 Days of Quick and Easy Meals. Did not know if she still needed anyone!
      It is amazing how much time something you are passionate about can take up. I have been working really hard at trying to not let it affect my time with the kids. Tricky! :0)

  2. On June 25, 2010 Jenny said

    These look great, going to have to try them…with a little honey mustard sauce.

    • On June 25, 2010 Kim said

      Mmm! Honey Mustard is one of our favorite sauces with these! I make my own that my kids would eat with a spoon if I let them!

  3. On June 27, 2010 Quick Easy Meals said

    Yeah. Honey mustard is my favorite too. I use to make this often for my kids.

  4. On August 2, 2011 susan said

    I had trouble with the coating coming off. I used fat-free mayo. Any thoughts?

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