Golden and crispy, grated Parmesan cheese makes an especially flavorful crust for these delicious keto chicken tenders.
It's an easy recipe, too, ready in about 30 minutes, making it appropriate for a quick weeknight meal.
As a mom, chicken tenders are one of the dishes I make quite often. After all, most kids love them. And when you become a parent, you quickly learn that the best strategy is to find recipes that both the kids and the grownups will appreciate.
That's why I really like these keto parmesan chicken tenders. They are very easy to make, and everyone enjoys them - even The Picky Eater. And for us, her parents, the parmesan coating makes things a bit more interesting in terms of flavor.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Raw chicken tenders: 1.5 lb. - this should come to about 12 pieces.
Dijon mustard: It's creamier and less vinegary than yellow mustard.
Spices: I use garlic powder and cayenne pepper.
Grated parmesan cheese: Make sure it's finely grated and not coarsely shredded. The finer it is, the better it will adhere to the chicken pieces.
Olive oil: I love cooking with this delicious oil. But if you'd rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead.
Making these keto parmesan chicken tenders is easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
- You start by pounding the chicken pieces thin with a meat pounder. This helps them cook more evenly and prevents the unfortunate situation of a burnt outside and an undercooked inside.
- Now, brush the chicken pieces with Dijon mustard and sprinkle them with spices. There's no need to add salt - the cheese adds plenty of saltiness.
- Dip the chicken pieces in the parmesan, then fry them in olive oil on both sides until golden.
The main challenge when making this recipe is that grated parmesan doesn't adhere to chicken as well as traditional coatings. The finer the cheese is grated and the drier it is, the better it will adhere.
My second tip is to make sure you use a nonstick skillet and a good one. If your nonstick skillet is five years old and scratched, the coating might stick to it and come off.
Frequently asked questions
When I stopped using breadcrumbs as coating, I experimented with several alternatives, including gluten-free chicken tenders, almond flour chicken tenders, and pork rind tenders. They are all excellent!
Golden, crisp, and very flavorful, grated Parmesan cheese makes an especially flavorful crust. It's one of those keto recipes that even people who are not on any special diet love because it simply tastes good!
You could try, but I haven't tried it myself. Try baking them on heatproof parchment paper in a 400F oven for 10 minutes per side, then check to see if they are done.
Not if you want this to be a low-carb recipe. Although parmesan coating by itself is a bit more fragile than a coating that also contains breadcrumbs, it does work, especially if you use very finely grated and very dry parmesan cheese.
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- You can use mayonnaise instead of mustard to coat the chicken pieces.
- Add more spices. Good candidates include onion powder and dried thyme.
- Cook the chicken in ghee or duck fat instead of olive oil.
You can serve these tenders with any side dish you would normally make! They are very versatile.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days.
The coating does tend to lose its crispness, though. It's best to reheat them in the oven, to regain some of that crispness. 15 minutes at 300°F should work. But the microwave works too if you're in a hurry.
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Keto Parmesan Chicken Tenders
- 1 ½ lb. raw chicken tenders (about 12 pieces)
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese (not shredded)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Place the chicken tenders between two layers of wax paper and pound them ⅛-inch-thin.
- Brush both sides of the chicken pieces with mustard, and sprinkle with garlic powder and cayenne.
- Place the Parmesan in a shallow bowl. Dip the chicken pieces, one by one, into the Parmesan and press to coat.
- Heat a nonstick double-burner griddle (or two large nonstick skillets) over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Brush with olive oil. Fry the chicken tenders until browned and cooked through (their internal temperature should reach 165ºF), about 3 minutes on each side.