These Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders are perfectly crispy on the outside, and tender and juicy on the inside. I recently had to get on the AIP diet, which I won’t get into in this post, but part of what I’ve had to do is eliminate gluten. I had to find ways to make some of my favorite foods but in a healthier, gluten-free way. Well, these chicken tenders do not disappoint! Absolutely delicious. Do not let the fact that they are gluten-free keep you from trying them. I know you will love them!
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These tasty tenders are AIP compliant, as well as Paleo. You are in for a delicious treat when you make these! And if you like spicy things, I recommend making a batch of my Sriracha Mayo to dip these in! In this post, I will let you know everything you need to make these Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders, as well as give you some tips for making sure they are perfect. I will also walk you step by step through the process of making them.
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Tips For Perfect Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders
- Marinate the Chicken Tenders for at Least 20 Minutes: This is key for juicy tenders. We tried marinating them for less and they just weren’t as juicy. 20 minutes is the minimum I recommend, but you can marinate them for an hour or two if you have time.
- Set a Timer: I like to set a timer when I place the tenders in the oil. This way, I make sure all the tenders come out the same perfect shade.
- Use a Thermometer: I always recommend using a meat thermometer to make sure your chicken’s internal temperature is at least 165 degrees. Ideally, you’ll remove the chicken from the skillet as soon as it reaches this temperature. That way, you’ll get the juiciest chicken possible.
Ingredients for Gluten-free Chicken Tenders
This recipe for Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders is easy and only requires a few ingredients. Below you will find the full list of ingredients as well as my recommendations for each.
- Chicken Tenders: You will need two pounds of chicken tenders. I like to buy organic chicken tenders.
- Cassava Flour: You will bread the chicken tenders with cassava flour. Cassava flour has been one of my favorite discoveries! It’s perfect for making tortillas, and of course, it’s amazing for breading chicken! I have used two brands so far with great success. Otto’s and Bob’s Red Mill have both been awesome. For this recipe, I used Bob’s Red Mill Cassava Flour. May sound silly, but I particularly LOVE the way Bob’s Red Mill bags seal! So satisfying and perfectly closed.
- Pickle Juice: Yes, you read right! You will need pickle juice to marinate the chicken tenders. I LOVE these Grillo’s Pickles, and the tenders came out amazing using their juice to marinate. I highly recommend them. They taste like a real dill pickle with nothing extra and unnecessary added. The ingredients are great, and AIP compliant. I have seen them at Kroger, Whole Foods, H-E-B, Target, and Costco. You’ll need the juice from one 32 oz container.
- Avocado Oil: We now use avocado oil for most of our cooking. I recommend a high-quality oil like Chosen Foods or Primal Kitchen (Get 10% Off By Using Code: ONEHAPPYHOUSEWIFE). Avocado oil is a much healthier alternative to most other oils, and it’s neutral in flavor which makes it perfect for cooking and baking.
- Seasonings: All you need for this recipe is salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. That’s it.
How To Make Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders
Gluten-free chicken tenders are a great meal option for families looking for a gluten-free alternative to fried chicken. Here I will walk you through step-by-step instructions on how to make them. From marinating the chicken to making the gluten-free breading, I’ll show you everything you need to know. So, let’s get started.
Step 1: Gather The Ingredients
Start gathering the ingredients. Here’s exactly what you’ll need:
- Chicken Tenders: 2 pounds, thawed
- Avocado Oil: 1 cup
For marinating the chicken:
- Pickle Juice: 2 cups
For the gluten-free breading:
- Cassava Flour: ½ cup
- Garlic Powder: 1 tablespoon
- Onion Powder: 2 teaspoons
- Kosher Salt: 1 ½ teaspoons
Step 2: Marinate The Chicken
Add the chicken tenders to a medium-sized mixing bowl and cover with the pickle juice. The tenders should be fully submerged in the juice. Allow the tenders to marinate for at least 20 minutes but I’d recommend that you soak them for closer to 2 hours. The longer you soak them, the better they’ll be. I don’t recommend any longer than 2 hours but if you’re soaking for any longer, you’ll need to place them in the refrigerator.
Step 3: Make Gluten-Free Breading
Add the cassava flour, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt to a shallow dish or bowl and whisk the ingredients together until they are thoroughly blended.
Step 4: Bread The Chicken
Remove each chicken tender from the pickle juice and gently shake off any excess juice. Place each tender in the gluten-free breading and roll and flip it in the breading until it is completely coated on all sides. Then, place the coated tenders in a dish.
Step 5: Heat The Oil
Add the avocado oil to a large skillet and heat it over medium-high heat until it begins to glisten, and ripple.
Step 6: Fry The Tenders
Carefully place 3-4 chicken tenders into the hot oil. Cook for about 3 – 4 ½ minutes, or until golden brown, and then flip the tenders. Cook for another 3 – 4 ½ minutes, or until the other side is golden brown.
Tip: Cooking Times
The cooking time will vary between 3 and 4 ½ minutes depending on how hot the oil is and how many tenders are added to the skillet. For example, adding 3 tenders to the skillet will require less cooking time than adding 4 tenders. It’s important to use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165° F before removing it from the skillet.
Tip: Juicier Chicken
If you can remove the chicken from the skillet as soon as it hits 165°F and let it rest for a few minutes it will be super moist and juicy.
Step 7: Remove The Tenders From The Skillet
Once they have cooked to a golden brown on both sides and reached temperature, carefully remove the tenders from the skillet and place them on a paper towel lined serving dish or a wire rack. This will help to remove any excess oil. Repeat with the remaining tenders.
Tip: Crispier Chicken
Draining the chicken on a wire rack will result in crispier chicken.
Step 8: Serve & Enjoy Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders
Now that you have made your Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders, it’s time to enjoy them! Serve them with your favorite gluten-free dipping sauce on the side and dig in. I hope your family loves this recipe as much as mine does. Bon Appetit!
Here are some essential prep tools, utensils, and appliances I used to make this recipe.
Appliances & Cookware
These are the appliances and cookware that I used to make this recipe:
Prep Tools & Utensils
Here are the prep tools and utensils that you’ll need:
Substitutions for Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders
I know you will have questions about substituting ingredients in this recipe. Below are the questions you’re probably going to ask me, so I’ve answered them for you ahead of time. If you have any other questions I haven’t answered below, please leave them in the comments section at the bottom of this post.
can I use another flour?
While I only tested these gluten-free tenders using cassava flour, you can use almond flour instead. I’d go with an almond meal for best results. I do insist that you try cassava flour if you have a chance. I’m loving it!
can I add more spices?
You can definitely add more spices to the flour before breading the tenders. I wanted to keep these AIP compliant, so I didn’t use pepper or any spicy seasonings. You can add whatever seasoning you’d like, and you can even use the spicy pickle juice if that’s your thing!
can I use another oil?
I highly recommend using avocado oil. It has a high smoke point which makes it perfect for frying chicken, it’s neutral in flavor, and is a much healthier option than other oils. My next recommendation would be coconut oil. If you must though, you can use a different oil to fry these gluten-free chicken tenders.
Common Questions About Making Gluten-free Chicken tenders
will the tenders taste like pickles?
No! I was concerned about this at first, but I taste no pickle flavor in these. The pickle juice makes the tenders incredibly juicy and delicious.
I don’t eat gluten-free. will I still enjoy these chicken tenders?
That’s a resounding YES! We have never eaten gluten-free and I’m a super fan of chicken tenders, so these had to be perfect! The fact that they are gluten-free chicken tenders should not stop you from trying them.
what can I serve with these chicken tenders?
Oh goodness, so many possibilities! If you want to keep it strictly gluten-free and healthy, I recommend serving these with a side of Air Fryer Roasted Broccoli and a delicious salad. My kids enjoy them with mashed potatoes, french fries, macaroni and cheese, and really whatever else we have available. They love the chicken tenders so much that they want to start eating them as soon as they come out of the pan. I’ve listed some favorite sides below for you as well.
Marinate the chicken longer for juicer results.
IT’S YOUR TURN TO MAKE THese gluten-free chicken tenders!
Did you make this Guten-Free Chicken Tenders recipe yet? I think these tenders are incredibly delicious and you will love them! Let me know in the comments section below when you make this recipe and how much you enjoyed it.
5-Star Rating: If you loved your Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders, I’d appreciate it if you could give this recipe a 5-star rating to show how much you loved it.
MORE Chicken RECIPES
Looking for more easy chicken recipes? Here are some that I know you’ll love:
Need a side dish? If you’re looking for a perfect complement for this recipe, then try one of the following:
- Frozen Sweet Potato Fries In Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Waffle Fries
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese with Cream of Mushroom Soup
Gluten Free Chicken Tenders
Juicy Marinated Tenders Coated In Gluten-Free Breading And Pan Fried
- 2 pounds chicken tenders 12-14 tenders, thawed
- 1 cup avocado oil
- 2 cups pickle juice
for the Gluten-Free Breading
- ½ cup cassava flour
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- Marinate Tenders: Add the tenders to a medium-sized mixing bowl and cover with pickle juice. Allow tenders to soak for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours. The longer, the better.
- Make Breading: Add cassava flour, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt to a shallow dish and mix using a whisk until completely blended.
- Bread Chicken: Remove the chicken tenders from the pickle juice and gently shake off any excess juice. Place each tender in the cassava flour mixture, rolling and flipping to cover completely. Place the coated tenders in a dish.
- Heat Oil: Add the avocado oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat until it begins to glisten, and ripple.
- Fry Tenders: Carefully place 3-4 chicken tenders into the hot oil. Cook for about 3 – 4 ½ minutes, or until golden brown, then flip. Cook for another 3 – 4 ½ minutes, or until golden brown. Using a meat thermometer, ensure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165F.
- Remove Tenders: Carefully remove tenders from the oil and place in a paper towel lined serving dish or on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining tenders.
- Serve immediately.