chicken tenders on a plate

Baked Chicken Tenders

Easy to make and quick to eat breading-free chicken tenders are a great way to add protein, flavour and colour to any meal. Without breading, they are gluten, paleo and keto free and easy to freeze and defrost (once cooked). There is no risk of breading going soggy, but it’s still packed with flavour and beautiful, natural texture of chicken.

Baked Chicken Tenders


  • 1kg of chicken breast or thighs, beaten out and flattened.  
  • 1 teaspoon paprika 
  •  ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  •  ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  •  ½ teaspoon sea salt 
  •  ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  •  1 teaspoon of oil; coconut, avocado or olive oil


1. Put all spices onto a plate and mix together 

2. Line a baking tray with baking paper, large enough to sit tenders a few centremetres apart 

3. Dab, flatten and slice chicken breast or thigh pieces, keeping them even for cooking time  

4. Roll chicken tenders in spices. If the spice is struggling to stick, you can add a small amount of oil to the chicken, toss and then roll in the spice mix until they are all evenly covered.

5. Place chicken tenders 1-2 cm apart, so that they are not overlapping. This will allow the chicken to bake, rather than to steam in the juice of the other chicken. Cook for twenty minutes or until the chicken is browned, and the inside is opaque and white.

Chicken thigh is a much fattier, darker meat and tend to have more moisture. Chicken breast is leaner as a white meat, and more common. Either meat works depending on availability and what you're looking for in your meat. If you are going to transition this recipe into a slow cooker recipe, where the recipe is cooked slowly over a longer amount of time, chicken thighs are a preferable meat as they take a little longer and there's less risk of overcooking.