Dinner, Gluten Free, Healthy, Meat/Poultry, Sheet Pan, Snacks and Appetizers, Winter

Healthy Seed Crusted Chicken Tenders with Maple Sriracha Dipping Sauce

These seed crusted chicken tenders are a delicious twist on your traditional breaded chicken. Coated in three different types of seeds and oven baked until toasted and crunchy. Served with a spicy maple sriracha dipping sauce, they make for the perfect family friendly weeknight meal. Another great thing about these seed crusted chicken tenders is that they don’t have a traditional breading, so not only are they healthier but also naturally gluten free and allergy friendly!

pumpkin seed crusted chicken

Because I’m allergic to eggs and dairy, I feel like I never really got the full chicken nugget experience as a child. I couldn’t have McDonald’s or even the basic frozen aisle chicken tenders, but my mom did occasionally buy these breaded chicken cutlets that she’d defrost in our toaster oven for nights when my parents went out. I’d always eat them with ketchup, frozen corn and lima beans. Looking back, that may have been kind of a weird combo but it was fine dining as far as I was concerned.

When I first made these seed crusted chicken tenders they totally reminded of what I used to eat as a kid, only so much more flavorful! I just love how toasted and crunchy the seeds get in the oven, and paired with that amazing maple sriracha yogurt sauce. So good! They’re also super easy and come together in about 30 minutes!

healthy pumpkin seed crusted chicken

Instead of a traditional breading, this recipe for seed crusted chicken tenders calls for mayonnaise which helps keep them super well, tender. Chicken tenders have a tendency to dry out when baked in the oven, which is why I stayed away from them for a while before I figured out this trick. Because I’m a dairy free, I used a vegan mayonnaise made with avocado oil, it’s healthier and tastes great, but normal mayonaise would work too!

For the maple sriracha dipping sauce, I like to use an unsweetened coconut yogurt to keep it dairy free, but again, normal plain yogurt will also work.

Tips for making seed crusted chicken tenders

  • When coating the chicken tenders, I like to use one hand to dip them in the mayo mixture and the other hand for the seeds. This just helps keep things a little neater.
  • If your oven has a convection setting, turn it on to help toast the tops of the tenders. Alternatively, broil them for the last 3 minutes of cooking. Watch them closely! Seeds burn easily.

More healthy dinner ideas

Pumpkin Seed Crusted Chicken Tenders with Maple Sriracha Dipping Sauce

Recipe by Elaine S.Course: Dinner, Lunch, SnacksDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes

Coated with three types of seeds and baked until toasted and crunchy, these chicken tenders are a healthy, delicious twist on the classic and make for an easy, family friendly dinner or snack.

Ingredients

  • For the chicken
  • 1 lb chicken tenders

  • 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds

  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds

  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

  • 1 tsp oil

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use dairy free)

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 1 1/2 tsp maple syrup

  • For the maple sriracha dipping sauce
  • 1 cup greek or coconut yogurt

  • 1-2 tbsp sriracha (depending on how spicy you like it)

  • 2 tsp maple syrup

  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 375° F
  • In the bowl of a food processor, pulse seeds with oil until they are just coarsely ground, there should be a few still intact. This can also be done by hand by placing the seeds in a ziploc bag and using a rolling pin or wine bottle to gently tap them. Spread the seeds in an even layer across a sheet pan or large plate and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, paprika and maple syrup.
  • Working with tender at a time, dunk it in the mayo mixture, using a spoon to coat it fully. You want it to be just coated so the seeds will stick, but not dripping. Place the tender on the layer of seeds then flip around to coat the other side, pressing the seed mixture down gently with your fingertips.
  • Place the tenders on a sheet pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the seeds are golden brown.
  • To make the dipping sauce, stir together yogurt, sriracha, maple syrup and salt. Serve the chicken fresh out of the oven while still crispy.

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seed crusted chicken tenders

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