Many of us still hold a special place in our hearts for that childhood favorite: chicken nuggets! It’s hard to not love something so yummy but unfortunately, any pre-made or pre packaged foods like chicken fingers usually are made with lower quality cuts of chicken, deep-fried and packed with fat. YUCK! No one wants that!
So I give to you the HEALTHIER version of chicken tenders. This is the “grown-up”, healthier version of a childhood favorite. Not only do these nuggets taste amazing but they will be perfect to make WITH the help of your kids. Get them in the kitchen learning how to not just cook at a young age but learning the importance of healthy foods like proteins and veggies. Make a couple batches at once and have for dinner tonight but also go ahead and store some for the weekend or playdates ahead.
Breaded Chicken Tenders
- Parchment paper
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
- 8 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, divided use
- 1 tsp. dried parsley
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- 1 dash sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. finely chopped lemon peel (lemon zest)
- 4 cloves finely chopped garlic
- ¼ cup butter (preferably grass-fed), melted
- 1 lb. raw chicken tenders
- 1 Tbsp. lemon pepper seasoning, salt-free
- Preheat oven to 400º F.
- Line large sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place flour on a medium plate. Set aside.
- Combine bread crumbs, 6 Tbsp. cheese, dried parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper powder in a small bowl; mix well. Transfer to a plate. Set aside.
- Combine lemon juice, lemon peel, garlic, and butter in a medium bowl; mix well. Put aside ¼ cup of lemon juice mixture.
- Dip each chicken tender in flour, completely coating, then lemon juice mixture, then bread crumbs; coating each evenly on all sides. Place chicken on prepared baking sheet. (Discard any lemon juice mixture that has been used with raw chicken.)
- Sprinkle with lemon pepper.
- Bake for 10 minutes, turn chicken tenders.
- Top chicken with lemon slices if desired. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.
- Drizzle chicken with remaining 2 Tbsp. lemon juice mixture right before serving.
Try out this yummy dinner favorite tonight and let me know how you like it! Feel free to share what sides you incorporated with your dish as well. I did a green bean medley but broccoli, mixed veggies or even a side salad would be great with this! Enjoy!