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Keto Fried Chicken Tenders

These keto fried chicken tenders are proof that eating keto doesn’t have to be for only those on a keto diet.

In fact, these delicious gluten-free chicken strips are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, and even kid-friendly. 

I mean what more can you ask for? Say goodbye to Chick-fil-A tenders and hello to a low-carb fried chicken tender recipe that will fool everyone’s tastebuds and you’ll be proud to serve.

I pride myself on creating recipes that the whole family can enjoy and still meet the macros for those doing a ketogenic diet. After all, busy families shouldn’t have to be creating different meals just to please everyone.

Although I am calling these keto chicken tenders, they can easily be chicken nuggets by just slicing the tenderloins into smaller pieces. Making them perfect for kids and adults to love.

As a fan of fried chicken, you should also try our keto chicken and waffles recipe, which is simply divine! And also check out our keto chicken recipes for more delicious options.

Keto Fried Chicken Tenders

Keto fried chicken tenders served on white plates
Keto Fried Chicken Strips

Stop missing fried, crispy chicken strips while doing keto with a recipe that is flat our delish and won’t have you worrying about consuming too many carbs. 

You can enjoy fried foods while doing a ketogenic diet, the key is the type of coating “breading” the food will have and the quality of oil it’s fried in.

As far as oils are concerned I like using refined coconut oil, that has a neutral flavor, avocado oil, or even quality lard. One of the best reasons to make your own chicken tenders is that you know exactly what’s in them. 

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Serve them as a meal or even as an appetizer. The truth is, you can’t go wrong with a recipe that comes together easily, is packed with flavor, and is considered healthy.

How To Make Keto-Friendly Chicken Tenders

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I like marinating my chicken tenderloins for at least 30 minutes in a mixture of heavy cream, a little hot sauce, salt, and pepper, and apple cider vinegar.

It’s my version of buttermilk and it produces a moist tender chicken each and every time. 

After the chicken has had time to marinate, it’s time to prepare your gluten-free chicken coating and egg wash.

The easiest way is to have two bowls, one with the egg wash and the other with the dry ingredients you will use to coat your chicken.

Then it’s just a matter of rinsing your chicken and patting it dry before dipping it into the egg wash. Once the chicken gets coated with egg it’s then 

I have included options for you to cook these three ways. You can fry them, bake them and you can even cook these low-carb chicken tenders in an air fryer. All three methods are in the recipe card notes. 

Keto chicken tenders served on a wooden board
Keto chicken tenders served on a wooden board

Keto Fried Chicken Gluten-Free Coating

As far as the no-bread coating goes, I used a combination of parmesan cheese, almond flour and coconut flour, and spices.

Using both types of flour as well as the parm cheese is the secret to these being not only delicious but also gives them the perfect crunchy texture.

The use of Parmesan cheese is an essential part of this coating. Not only does the cheese make the coating extra crispy.

Once the heat causes the cheese to melt and then it sets it adds that extra crunch we all expect from a great fried chicken recipe. 

I know some people make their coating using pork rinds or just almond flour but I find that it does not hold up as well in the frying process and it certainly does not crisp up the same.

I came up with this trusty coating very early in our keto journey, back in 2014, when I wanted to make healthier chicken nuggets for my then-young, picky son.

Ingredients Needed

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The following are all the simple ingredients you’ll need. Note that the full printable recipe card is at the bottom of the page.

Chicken Marinade

  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Tabasco hot sauce, to taste
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt

Keto-Friendly Chicken Coating

  • Finely milled almond flour, measured and sifted
  • Coconut flour
  • Finely grated Parmesan cheese, the kind that comes in a tub container
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Eggs for egg wash

Serve these fried keto chicken strips with sugar-free BBQ
or even Honey Trees Sugar-Free Honey!

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I sure hope you will give this recipe for keto-friendly chicken tenders a try. Once you do, make sure you remember to tag us on  Instagram and Facebook, and Pinterest

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In case you don’t know we have two books for you, Essential Keto Bread and Essential Keto Desserts both inspired by your requests over the years. It’s our prayer these keto cookbooks will help make keto a delicious breeze for you.

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Randy and I came to the keto diet looking at it from a Christian perspective, it’s the filter we choose to see from.

When we decided to combine our Christian faith and the keto diet, we did so in hopes of finding lasting transformation.

To say we needed God’s intervention is putting it mildly. When we followed the Holy Spirit’s lead to embrace the ketogenic diet and combine it with our faith, we got on the path to real transformation. 

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Keto Chicken tenders served on a white rectangle plate

Keto Fried Chicken Tenders

Yield: 15
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Frying Time: 6 minutes
Additional Baking Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 11 minutes

These keto fried chicken tenders are proof that eating keto doesn't have to be for only those doing a keto diet. In fact, these delicious gluten-free chicken strips are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, and even kid-friendly. 



    Fried Keto Chicken Tenderloins Instructions

  1. Rinse and pad dry your chicken tenderloins. Using a meat mallet place your chicken between two pieces of cling wrap and gently flatten. Then slice each in half for tenders or in 1 1/2 inch pieces for chicken tenders. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix the heavy cream, hot sauce, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. This will be the marinade for the chicken pieces.
  3. Add the chicken to the bowl and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to overnight.
  4. After the chicken has marinated make your chicken coating.
  5. Set two medium-sized bowls for the coating. In one bowl add all the dry ingredients and combine well. In the second bowl whisk the two eggs for the egg wash.
  6. Dip your chicken tenderloins one at a time in the egg wash, followed by the dry coating.
  7. I double coat my chicken tenderloins by dipping them a second time in the egg wash and coating. Shake off any excess before frying.
  8. Preheat some vegetable oil in a skillet to medium-high heat and cook both sides of the chicken until lightly brown. You will want to fry your chicken in two or three batches. The oil may need to be changed if the oil gets too murky from the coating.
  9. Place the chicken tenders on a baking sheet and lightly cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes until fully cooked.


If you prefer to bake the chicken tenders do so in a preheated 375-degree oven and lay the chicken on a parchment-lined baking pan and drizzle the top of the chicken with 2 -3 tablespoons of melted butter. Be sure the chicken tenders are not touching so that they can crisp up evenly. The chicken will bake for 20-25 minutes depending on the size and thickness of your chicken pieces.

You can also cook these low-carb chicken tenders in an air fryer. To do so set the temperature to 375 degrees and cook the chicken tenders for about 15 minutes. I also recommend you add a couple of tablespoons of melted butter to the bottom of the air fryer.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 3 chicken tenders
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 495Total Fat: 30.3gSaturated Fat: 14.6gCholesterol: 201mgSodium: 735mgCarbohydrates: 9gNet Carbohydrates: 4.5gFiber: 4.5gSugar: 0.2gProtein: 42.3g

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