Healthy and delicious oven baked chicken tenders crusted with oats, hemp hearts, pumpkin and sesame seeds, flax, and chia.
My kid is a chicken tenders freak. She loves them and orders them quite often when we go out for dinner. I hardly ever buy them because the store bought ones are usually junk, nutritionally speaking, which is a shame because chicken is a wonderfuly lean protein. However, if you make them yourself, you have total control over the crust so you can make them taste good and be good for you, all at the same time.
A little while back, Debbie was in Costco looking for chicken tenders when she came across some that were breaded with seeds and other healthy tidbits. She got them even though she wasn’t sure how her family was going to react to them. They ended up really enjoying them and much to my surprise, even Jessica our chicken tender expert found them delicious. So Debbie figured we could make these even better with a bunch of healthy seeds and fresh herbs and make them crispy even while cooking them in the oven. She was right. Shes not just a pretty face folks. 🙂
Just as an FYI, Debbie says that its the rosemary that makes these so oven baked chicken tenders irresistible, but you could also use thyme if you have that on hand and it would probably be almost as good.
These oven baked chicken tenders could be made in a big batch and then frozen so that the kids can cook em up quick when they get home from school, or if you have a guest over for dinner and they have a picky eater in tow, or for any other time that you just need to get a healthy dinner on the plate stat! Bake them from frozen at 425 degrees for 20-25 mins so the coating doesn’t get soggy. We would also dab some melted coconut oil or dare I say butter, on top so they get nice and crispy. A good coconut oil spray would work perfect for that. Next time either Debbie or I make these we will be making a whole bunch and freezing them.
Just a couple suggestions… This coating could be used on pretty much any other meat too. Fish, pork chops, or pork tenderloin would be amazing! With the panko bread crumbs, this coating isnt gluten free, but if you are wanting a gluten free option, we would replace the panko with parmesan cheese. We haven’t tried it but we are going to for sure and we will let you know when we do.
If you have a little more of one ingredient and a little less of another, you can work with that. This recipe is pretty flexible which is another reason why we love it so much.
Do you have a chicken tender freak too? Give these oven baked chicken tenders a shot and let us know how they turn out.
Chicken Tenders with a Healthy Seed Crust
- 4-6 chicken breast
- 1/2 cup panko
- 1/2 cup large rolled oats
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp brown flax seed ground
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tbsp hemp heart seeds
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup coconut oil to fry with
- In the first bowl add the flour
- In the second bowl add the egg and beat with 1 tbsp water
- In the last bowl add the rest of the ingredient.
- Cut each chicken breast in 3 long strips.
- Then dip each strip in flour, then the egg wash and last in crumbs coat completely
- Repeat till all the chicken is coated.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt coconut oil in sauté pan on medium-high heat and add a bunch of the chicken strips and brown both sides of the strips, but don't over crowd the pan or the chicken will have a hard time browning.
- You might have do 2 batches or more.
- Throw all the browned chicken strips onto a baking tray and cook for 5 mins.