How to Make Paleo, Gluten-Free Chicken Fingers (That Don’t Suck)

Chicken fingers are a classic dish loved by the young, the old, and the drunk-at-3am-on-a-Saturday alike. And while no one’s gonna sit here and deny how yummy the greasy, fried, straight from a vat of oil breed of chicken fingers are, there are healthier versions of this favorite that you don’t have to feel bad about eating for lunch, or dinner, or sober. And while some healthified chicken finger recipes are dry, bland, or just generally unsatisfying, we think we have a winner here with these almond crusted chicken fingers. The lack of flower and grain in the breading means fewer calories, and the natural fat in the almonds will keep the chicken moist, without having to add any butter or oil. Oh, and that means it’s also both gluten free and paleo –you know, if you’re into that kind of thing. And of course, the fact that these are baked, not fried, means your arteries will thank you. But thankfully, your taste buds will as well. In fact, it’s almost unfair to call this dish a “healthy version” of chicken fingers, it really is a yummy dish in it’s own right.

Now, of course, you can’t just have your chicken fingers plain –so let’s whip up a quick honey mustard sauce. It makes the dish extra tasty, not to mention this it’s better for you than the typical salt, refined sugar, and preservative packed ketchup. Win/win/win.

Check out the video below to learn how to make these tasty, crispy, almond-y chicken fingers. Can’t go wrong with a food you get to dip, amarite?

Chicken fingers breaded with almond meal, baked, and dipped in homemade honey mustard sauce are a quick, easy, and guiltless take on the traditional version. And if you’ve got any kiddos hanging around looking at you hungrily (wait, they need to eat every single day?), this is a great dish that’s sure to please and that you can feel good about serving.

Ingredients

  • Almond flour (or almond meal)
  • Chicken breast
  • Eggs
  • Spice mix –cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder (or whatever spices you like)
  • Stone ground mustard
  • Mayo
  • Honey

Steps

1. Put the almond meal and eggs in two separate large bowls.

2. Add the spice mixture to the almond meal, stir to completely mix it in.

3. Cut the chicken breast into whatever size pieces you want.

4. Place a chicken strip in the eggs and completely coat it.

5. Place the egg-coated chicken strip in the bowl of almond meal, cover it completely.

6. Repeat until all the chicken strips are breaded.

7. Place all the chicken fingers on a baking sheet and bake at 325° for 20-30 minutes.

8. Combine the mustard, mayo, and honey in a bowl to make the dipping sauce.

9. Remove your baked almond crusted chicken fingers from the oven, dip ’em, and eat!

How’d your crispy, crunchy almond chicken fingers turn out? Let us know in the comments below. Oh, and did you try out any other yummy spice combinations?

Lauren is a New York based actor/singer/writer. She is a graduate of the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University as well as the College of the Holy Cross. She’s a fan of beer, pasta, and academic establishments with unnecessarily long titles. Find her on stage, or online– she’s there often.

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