Pan-Fried Chicken Tenders (Dairy and Gluten Free) Easy Paleo Recipe (2024)

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This recipe was updated in the summer of 2020.

Easy Pan-Fried Chicken Tenders Recipe

Pan-Fried Chicken Tenders (Dairy and Gluten Free) Easy Paleo Recipe (1)

Chicken Tender Spice Blend

There aren’t any quantities on the ingredients, like the garlic, for this gluten-free chicken, because it’s more of a how-you’re-feeling-at-the-moment kind of recipe. But we’ve found this particular blend of spices to be just right, so make sure you use them all.

  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper

Skillet Chicken Tenders

The easiest way to season the chicken is to do one side before you add it to the skillet, put them in the skillet, seasoned side down, then season the other side while they’re cooking on the frying pan. Less mess and all the spices stick to the chicken tenders and not to the plate.

Ingredients Needed (full recipe below)

  • 12 Chicken Tenders
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Ghee or Grass-Fed Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Avocado Oil

How long to cook chicken tenders on the stove?

To cook chicken tenders on the stove, you will need to heat some butter and avocado oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once the butter and oil is hot, add the chicken tenders to the pan and cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side, or until they are cooked through and golden brown. Timing will depend on the size and thickness of your chicken tenders, so be sure to cut into the thickest part to be sure it is no longer pink and is cooked all the way through. You can also test this with an instant-read or meat thermometer. The internal temperature of cooked chicken should be 165ºF.

Cooking with Avocado Oil

Cooking them in the combination of ghee (or butter if you’re so inclined) and avocado oil gives you some really great fats without sacrificing flavor. Avocado oil is perfect for cooking at high temps and has a very mild flavor that doesn’t overpower foods, so if you haven’t made the switch to avocado oil yet, do it now. You won’t regret it.

Chicken Tender Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Pan-Fried Chicken Tenders (Dairy and Gluten Free) Easy Paleo Recipe (5)
  • 1/2 cup Paleo Lime Mayo, or Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Mayo
  • 2 Tbsp Yellow Mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 1/2 Tbsp Fresh-Squeezed Lemon Juice

If you want the detailed recipe on the honey mustard sauce, click here.

Pan-Fried Chicken Tenders (Dairy and Gluten Free) Easy Paleo Recipe (6)

Easy Pan-Fried Chicken Tenders {grain-free; dairy-free}

Yield: 12 tenders

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

These fast and easy chicken tenders are kid-approved. Delicious all on their own or cut up in a salad, they make the perfect lunch or dinner.


  • 12 Chicken Tenders
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Ghee or Grass-Fed Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Avocado Oil
  • Honey Mustard Dip, -or-
  • Ranch Dressing, (use this dip option for Whole30 compliance)


  1. Rinse chicken tenders and pat dry.
  2. Sprinkle each herb/spice onto one side of the chicken tenders individually. How much you use is up to your personal preferences. We prefer to go light on the onion and garlic powders and heavy on the rest.
  3. Heat the ghee/butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken, seasoned side down. Once you add them to the skillet, don't move them. Cook until the edges turn opaque and white, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. While the chicken is in the skillet cooking, season the other side of them.
  5. Once the edges are white, flip the chicken tenders and cook on the other side for another 3-5 minutes, or until completely cooked through and no pink remains. Thinner tenders will take closer to 3 minutes, while thicker ones will take longer.
  6. Remove from the skillet and serve hot with a side of Honey Mustard or Ranch dipping sauce.
  7. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. To reheat, add some more ghee/butter and oil to a skillet, slice the tenders into bite-size pieces, and pan-fry until crispy and heated through.

Addition Serving Suggestion

  1. Once cooked or reheated, the sliced tenders make the perfect topping for any mixed green salad. Drizzle with the Hot Bacon Honey Mustard Dressing or regular Honey Mustard Dressing for a hearty meal.
Nutrition Information

Yield 12Serving Size 1 tender
Amount Per ServingCalories 174Total Fat 13gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 26mgSodium 533mgCarbohydrates 8gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 7g

Nutrition is calculated by a third party and may not be 100% accurate

Pan-Fried Chicken Tenders (Dairy and Gluten Free) Easy Paleo Recipe (2024)


What is in vegan chicken tenders? ›

Ingredients: Water, wheat flour, vegetable oil (corn, canola and/or sunflower), soy protein isolate, wheat gluten, rice flour.

How to cook Perdue gluten free chicken tenders in air fryer? ›

Preaheat Air Fryer to 350°F. Place a single evenly spaced layer of frozen tenders in the basket. Heat for at least 6 minutes or until internal product temperature reaches 165°F. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

How many Weight Watcher points is a chicken tender? ›

These tasty, easy to make Chicken Tenders are 3 SmartPoints per generous portion.

What is a good substitute for chicken nuggets? ›

Vegetable nuggets: These are made from mashed vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and corn, and are often baked or grilled instead of fried. Turkey or chicken burgers: Grilled or baked patties made from lean meat are a healthier alternative to fried burgers.

What is the difference between chicken tenders and chicken tenderloins? ›

Chicken tenders are beloved by everyone from ages two to 92, and that's because they're juicy and flavorful, but still lean. Tenderloins are found under either side of the breastbone, and, just like chicken breast, this thin sliver of meat is low in calories and high in protein.

What are the ingredients in Simply Smart gluten-free chicken tenders? ›

From the Package


How many carbs are in gluten-free chicken tenders? ›

Golden Platter Gluten Free Chicken Tenders (2.5 pieces) contains 7g total carbs, 7g net carbs, 8g fat, 16g protein, and 165 calories.

Are Perdue chicken tenderloins gluten-free? ›

Our Perdue Harvestland Fully Cooked, Breaded, Gluten-Free whole muscle tenderloins are made with only all-natural chicken, raised on a 100% vegetarian diet with no animal by-products and No Antibiotics Ever! These breaded tenders are crunchy and bakable making gluten free a possibility in any operation.

Is it OK to eat chicken tenders on a diet? ›

While fried chicken tender can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet, it's important to be aware of the potential drawbacks. Consuming excess fried chicken fingers or tenders may lead to higher cholesterol and sodium levels, increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Can you eat as much chicken as you want on Weight Watchers? ›

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts

They are essential fats the body can't produce on its own. Although Weight Watchers encourages people to eat lots of chicken breast, the American Heart Association says it's still best to enjoy chicken and fish in moderate doses.

What is the best meat to eat on Weight Watchers? ›

Chicken is one of our members' top tracked foods and it's easy to see why—white meat poultry is delicious, satisfying, and has less cholesterol and saturated fat than meats like beef, pork, and lamb.

What are vegan tenders made of? ›

Water, Faba Bean Protein, Breading (Wheat Flour, Rice Flour, Salt, Corn Starch, Pea Proteinᵗ, Canola Oil, Wheat Gluten, Paprika, Spices, Dextrose, Leavening[Sodium Acid Phrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate], Sugar, Sunflower Oil, Dried Onion, Dried Garlic, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavors), ...

What is vegan chicken made of? ›

Vegan chicken is more sustainable, and healthier, and it's made primarily from plant-based products. These include vital wheat gluten, soy protein, pea protein, tofu, and jackfruit, which are rich in protein, calcium, fiber, and sodium—making the substitutes a perfect supplement for real meat.

What does vegan chicken contain? ›

Although components vary, certain materials are commonly used in meat and meat-free chicken products. These include water, wheat flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and other spices. The main difference is that plant-based chicken is usually made from soy protein and wheat gluten instead of animal flesh.

What are beyond chicken tenders made of? ›

What's in Beyond Chicken Tenders? Like all of our products, Beyond Chicken Tenders are made of simple, plant-based ingredients with no GMOs, 0mg of cholesterol per serving, and no added antibiotics or hormones. The protein comes from the faba bean, a nutrient-packed legume crop.

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