Macadamia-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Chipotle Ranch Dipping Sauce

Macadamia-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Chipotle Ranch Dipping Sauce

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4-6
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Prep Time

20 minutes
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Cook Time

25 minutes

Chicken tenders are one of the most popular foods many Americans consume on a daily basis. Restaurant or frozen store-bought chicken tenders usually contain ingredients that we’d be better off leaving behind. Our Macadamia-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Chipotle Ranch Dipping Sauce is a healthy homemade version of chicken tenders that is gluten free, dairy free, and oil free (baked, not fried!). You’ll feel good about serving these chicken tenders to kids of all ages.

With the combination of protein from the chicken and healthy fats from macadamia nuts and coconut milk, our tenders are very filling. When buying chicken, we always recommend organic, pastured chicken, if possible. Seek out humanely raised birds from local farms in your area. Macadamia nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats and coconut milk contains medium chain triglycerides that may support heart health by lowering cholesterol.

We use avocado mayo for our Chipotle Ranch Dipping Sauce because it’s made with avocado oil (instead of other inflammatory oils like canola) and eggs. Smoky chipotle peppers contain antioxidants and are a good source of vitamin A. Rosemary is a delicious savory herb with many health benefits — it’s anti-inflammatory, supports the immune system, and is helpful for digestion.

Ingredients

Macadamia-Crusted Chicken Tenders

  • 1 ½ pounds chicken breast, thinly pounded and sliced 
  • ⅓ cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 5oz raw macadamia nuts
  • ¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot flour 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Avocado oil spray (optional)

Chipotle Ranch Dipping Sauce

  • ½ cup avocado mayo, store bought such as Primal Kitchen
  • ¼ cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon dried chipotle powder 
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary 
     

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. In a medium bowl, add the chicken along with the coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, and mustard. Mix and set aside while making the macadamia crust.
  3. Add the macadamia nuts and rosemary to a food processor. Pulse until nuts look slightly bigger than bread crumbs. 
  4. Transfer onto a large plate and add the almond flour, arrowroot flour, onion powder, and sea salt. Mix everything together carefully.
  5. Coat chicken tenders by placing one piece at a time into the macadamia breadcrumb mix (pressing, flipping, and pressing again), then transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat the process until all pieces are coated. 
  6. Top chicken tenders lightly with avocado oil spray before transferring to the oven (optional).
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, carefully flip each piece, and continue baking for 10 more minutes. After baking, for a crispy and brown coating, set oven to broil to reach your desired color for 1-2 minutes.
  8. While the chicken is baking, make the Chipotle Ranch Dipping Sauce by adding all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisking until smooth.
  9. Remove the tenders from the oven and serve immediately along with the dipping sauce.   

Preheat the oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a medium bowl, add the chicken along with the coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, and mustard. Mix and set aside while making the macadamia crust.

Add the macadamia nuts and rosemary to a food processor. Pulse until nuts look slightly bigger than bread crumbs. 

Transfer onto a large plate and add the almond flour, arrowroot flour, onion powder, and sea salt. Mix everything together carefully.

Coat chicken tenders by placing one piece at a time into the macadamia breadcrumb mix (pressing, flipping, and pressing again), then transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat the process until all pieces are coated. 

Top chicken tenders lightly with avocado oil spray before transferring to the oven (optional).

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, carefully flip each piece, and continue baking for 10 more minutes. After baking, for a crispy and brown coating, set oven to broil to reach your desired color for 1-2 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, make the Chipotle Ranch Dipping Sauce by adding all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisking until smooth.

Remove the tenders from the oven and serve immediately along with the dipping sauce.   

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