Paleo “KFC” Chicken Tenders.

Paleo “KFC” Chicken Tenders.  <Gluten/Grain/Egg/Dairy Free>

Heres the deal. This chicken is ridiculous. RIDICULOUS. It was one of those things that made me yelll out "OMG!!!!!" after having a taste test. The coating is so crispy and crunchy- while the meat is tender! And the flavor.. I just need you to make these. You'll understand.

Since eggs give me joint pain so bad that I can't move for 2 days.. I found a new way to go about making my crispy tenders. I made a batter out of starch and milk- and added the hot sauce and butter for incredible flavor. It thick and holds the breading perfectly.

The beauty of this recipe is that unlike the KFC version its made from real food and its not actually fried. Its better in so many ways!

Paleo “KFC” Chicken Tenders.


  • 1 lb Chicken Thighs, cut into strips
  • Wet mixture
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce (I use Franks Original Hot Sauce)
  • 5 Tbs Butter (Dairy or Nondairy)
  • 1 Tbs Starch (Tapioca, Arrowroot or Potato Starch)
  • 5 Tbs Milk (Dairy or Nondairy)
  • Breading
  • 1/2 Cup Tapioca (Or Arrowroot or Potato Starch)
  • 1/2 Cup Blanched Almond Flour
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl combine wet mixture ingredients and heat until thickened in the microwave (1-2 minutes) or on the stove top in a sauce pan. If using the microwave whisk liberally as soon as you remove the bowl. If using the sauce pan- whisk continually while it thickens.
  3. In another bowl combine breading ingredients.
  4. Drop chicken strips into wet mixture and then heavily dredge in breading mixture; place on foil lined baking sheet. Repeat until all chicken strips have been coated. Drizzle chicken with a little oil.
  5. Place chicken in oven for 35-40 minutes; chicken will be golden brown and cooked through!


To make this recipe NUT FREE- use homemade Sunflower Seed Flour instead of the Almond!



Brittany Angell

113 comments | Leave your own

  1. Lynn Paul

    Holy cow, thighs!! Sound excellent! Bless you, dear food maker!

  2. Jen

    This may be a dumb question, but I’m new at this…arrowroot flour ok? When you say arrowroot I just want to be sure it’s flour and not some unknown to me ingredient. Thanks!

  3. Sheryl

    Woohoo, making these tomorrow! We cant use almond flour and to quote from your 2nd book, “Sorghum flour is the unsung hero of gluten free baking”, soooo I was wondering if it would work instead ~ :^)

  4. Leah Shaw

    By any chance, have you tried it with firm tofu? I’m a vegetarian 🙂

    1. Dawnne

      I made this recipe with tofu, and it turned out amazingly good! Just do it!

  5. Sora

    So this looks awesome but I’m doing the Lurong paleo challenge in sept and tapioca powder isn’t allowed. ( I know, super strict) I’m assuming there is no chance I can omit it? : ). Btw. I love you. Your blog is my new favorite. Seriously

  6. Bobbie

    Can almond flour be bought already blanched or is there something I have to do to blanch it?

  7. stephanie

    The picture alone knocks me off my feet. I cannot believe it is not fried or battered with gluten. If this recipe is anywhere near the quality of your waffle recipe, I will bow down to your culinary genius-ness! I actually should be bowing down anyhow, because I have become addicted to your paleo waffle recipe. I omit the sugar & use it for EVERYTHING! I so missed a decent sandwich bread & now I am sandwich crazy. Thank you!

  8. Dawn

    Does the almond flour have to be blanched? I currently only have regular almond flour/meal.

  9. Gilda

    Brittany, your recipes are wonderfully awesome and mouthwatering. I was wondering if I could substitute something else for the hot sauce; hubby and I are not into spicy food. Can you suggest something please.

  10. Nancy

    Hi Brittany – I am trying to stick to the Paleo diet as much as possible. I was wondering what a non-dairy butter alternative would be? Thanks in advance for your help!!

  11. Cindy

    can you suggest a substitute for the hot say anyway? My hubby can’t have nightshades, and the hot peppers in hot sauce are part of that family 🙁

    1. Cindy

      * oops! I meant “hot sauce” lol

      1. Lauren

        If it were me subbing out the hotsauce, I think I might use buttermilk (or something similar that’s non-dairy, if you can’t have dairy), to make up for the liquid. No idea how it would work, but at least it’s an idea of something you can use that’s not a nightshade.

  12. Lynn C.

    Hey! What is that lovely looking dipping sauce? And do you have a recipe for it? Thanks.

  13. Aimee

    Does it have to be thighs or can it be chicken breast tenders?

    1. Jeanne Goddard

      I used boneless, skinless breasts (all I had on hand) and they were DELISH! The wet dredge really kept the meat from dying out, I think. 🙂

  14. Joyce

    Can you just use chicken tenders? Thanks for the delicious recipes!

  15. Veralyn

    The picture is incredible! To get that kind of texture without frying is awesome!! I have a bad reaction to almond flour generally avoid all nut flours. Would any flour work with this recipe?

  16. Teresa

    So very very very good! Thank you so much!

  17. Anna

    For the non-Americans out there, who live in countries where hot sauce is some sort of x rated movie, how would you replace it? Tomato sauce could be a right guess?

  18. Diedre

    I don’t have any hot sauce on hand, but I did make a spicy BBQ sauce that I have left overs…I’m going to try it! Yum can’t wait! Thanks!

  19. Stef

    I tried this recipe and I didn’t get the breading quite right. It didn’t brown right.

  20. Betsy

    Made this the other night and it was DELISH!! However, while cooking, the liquid basically melted in a puddle around the chicken, so it was not coated at all on the bottom. It was coated enough to still enjoy it, but I want mine to look like yours. How????? LOL

    1. Lusea

      Did you and the others, with the same problem, ever get a reply from Brittany?

  21. Amy

    These are A-MAZING! Yum. I made them first with the hot sauce as recipe calls for. Yum! The best. However I don’t tolerate nightshades. :(. So the second time I substituted raw apple cider vinegar. Success!!! They weren’t as flavorful, but a very close second, and my joints are much happier. I also had issues both times with breaking not staying in place. :(. But scrumptious, indeed!!

    1. Amy

      “breading” not staying in place. 🙂

      1. Mirandroid

        My liquid coating got really gloppy so it was difficult to coat the chicken with it. The breading liquefied around the chicken too. Oh well. Tasted good, but it wasn’t the pretty or crispy chicken I was craving.

    2. Tabitha

      Tried the ACV for my spice averse kids and had trouble with the breading sticking on toward the bottom. I will try again by getting the excess wet mix off before dredging and maybe cut the starch back a little. Thanks for the idea. The ACV gave it a little zest without heat. The original recipe is crazy awesome so I’m sticking with that for all the grown ups.

  22. Naomi

    This chicken was SO good. I literally ignored all the sides I’d slaved away to make and just ate chicken! I used the leftover wet and dry to dip thick tomato slices and baked them. I bet zucchini would be super too. BTW – I have a low allergy to almond flour so I used hazelnut and it worked just fine. Good job Brittany, thanks for sharing!

    1. Jeanne Goddard

      Oooh! What a great idea with the veggies! Gonna try that!

  23. Tara Q.

    Hi Brittany,

    I, too, has serious problems with the breading. The wet batter was really thick, and the dry bragging gooped really thick around, a lot sliding off. When baking, all my tenders were in puddles of liquid. 🙁 They also were totally glued to the foil. The interior consistency is like the inside of an aloe plant. I used tapioca and real milk and butter, of that helps at all?

    I did use the rest of the liquid to make a sort of casserole with chicken chunks, onion and potato!

    1. Jeanne Goddard

      Try using parchment instead of foil – no sticking.

  24. Tara Q.

    Goodness, I need to proof my posts.
    Has= had
    Bragging= breading
    Interior= interior breading consistency

  25. Luisa

    Thank you for this recipe! I had to omit the hot sauce because I made these for my little boy. Besides that, I followed the recipe exactly. I have tried different recipes and he won’t eat any so I keep having to buy the frozen gluten free tenders at the store, which are ok but they still have corn which I am trying to avoid. My son has sensory issues so he will only eat foods with some crunch to them. Anyway, I used chicken breast because I couldn’t find things so understandably that would immediately make them a little drier.
    I separated two batches. One went in the oven and the other I pan fried in some ghee and coconut oil.
    The batch that came out of the over was a bit “powdery” I believe it was the tapioca flour, because it also looked burnt instead of browned on some areas due to the flour.
    The batch that I pan fried was a success! the chicken was so moist and it was crunchy! I did place it on paper towels after taking it out of the pan to absorb extra fat. My son liked both of them and ate two strips! (if you know what sensory issues are you would be excited too lol). I will try chicken thighs to make them in the oven next time and the hot sauce for the adults 🙂 Thanks again for sharing your recipe.

  26. Luisa

    lol. I meant to say I couldn’t find “thighs” not “things” lol

  27. Cassidy @ Cassidy's Craveable Creations

    Made these tonight and you are right, they are RIDICULOUS! Thank you so much for the great recipe 🙂

  28. Aimee

    I made these last night using chicken breast tenders (short on time to cut up thighs…). These lil miracles tasted wonderful!!! I liked the way the wet mixture clung to the chicken and the dredge mix really sticks well. I did find as I went on with the dipping and dredging my fingers got a little coated themselves. I wondered if there was a better way but I continued on my merry way. My chicken strips didn’t look as good as this picture but what mattered was the taste and I will definitely make these again!

  29. Tabitha

    At risk of sounding like a tween …”OMG! You are right these are amazing!”
    I’ll have to cut the pepper or try the ACV vinegar idea for my wimpy kids, but my husband and I are all over this one. Unblanched Almond meal/flour worked fine. Thank you thank you thank you!

  30. Carrie

    These we great my 12 year old girl loved them also. I bought one regular sized package of chicken thighs not sure how much was in it but I had way more chicken than dry breading so I just soaked the rest of the chicken in the liquid mixture and then cooked it up in a skillet and had it over salad it was still great. The breaded ones I cooked on a wire rack on a covered cookie sheet cause I read some reviews about pooling liquid. Turned out great. Love them and it was worth going to buy thighs as I prefer them to white meat.

  31. lisa

    You really nailed it with the recipe! I have never had breaded and baked chicken that tasted so good! That includes recipes with gluten flour!

  32. Heather

    Can I use coconut milk?

  33. Juana

    Do you wear a cape? Because I think you should. You are a foodie super hero to those of us who have food allergies (gluten & corn) & the spouses who eat healthy in support but holy he’ll crave KFC. THANK YOU!!!

  34. marceline judith

    thank you for the wonderful recipe, Brittany! this also works great with mushrooms, btw 🙂

    -Luisa: it also works great with sweet and spicy sauce which is mild, I can’t really handle hot sauce myself so I made a mixture with my asian spicy-sweet hot sauce (which is also slightly sour) and add a dash of pure chilli sauce to keep the heat. I also added cayenne pepper to support the heat. I can’t handle food which is too spicy myself, so trust me this mixture also tastes great.

  35. Pam

    Just made this and it is SO AMAZING!!!! My kids (aged 6 and 4) DEVOURED them!!! YUMMMYYYYYY!!!!

    1. Pam

      Oh fyi, I added a tsp each of garlic powder and onion powder, mmm! Just trying not to eat the whole tray 🙂

  36. David D

    Made these tonight with breast tenders. Omitted the hot sauce in the wet mix, because my daughter can’t handle spicy stuff. Should have sub’d in some water or something, but otherwise they were fantastic! Had the plantain fries (which were also a big hit) and a small salad. Still full, 3 hours later. Thanks! I can’t wait to try some more ideas.

  37. Melisa

    These look amazing! I make fried chicken tenders that are really good but hate the frying part. I can’t wait to make these for my kids. 🙂

  38. paleo moxie

    Perfect!! Excellent texture. Perfect for the kids. I used an atomic hot sauce though and I thought I was going to die, and I love spicy food! So watch that haha.

  39. Courtney Cox

    HEY miss Brittany!!! i just made these (a trial run for my little’s bday party in a month) and it bombed so hard i don’t know what i did! >.< i followed the recipe to the letter and the batter gelatanized into this gross blob so i made another batch and now the tenders are in the oven and the coating is melting off of them! help! i used arrowroot as my starch 😀 hope this helps i'm not sure how to start trouble shooting! thanks in advance!

  40. Crystal Rediske

    Going to try these tomorrow and attempt to cook a batch for freezing to eat later. Do you think that would work out alright? Have you tried?

  41. Bethany Petri

    Made this tonite for the chicken in a no grain chicken parmesean meal. I used spaghetti squash for a noodle substitute. I also ran out of almond flour, and added some pecan flour. Another adjustment I made was instead of hot sauce (for the kids portion, I left it in for ours), I used Cindy’s Kitchen Sundried tomato and balsamic vingarette sugar free marinade. Everyone loved it!

  42. Friday Schtuff | FROM MY PLATE

    […] – KFC Chicken Tenders w/ […]

  43. I Crossed the 21DSD Finish Line | FROM MY PLATE

    […] – KFC Chicken Tenders and Wholly Guac with chopped raw […]

  44. Brooke Mcdougal

    Hmmm I had the same weird thing happen. I used potato starch for both of the starches. The flavor was amazing. But the mixture kind of just melted and the bottom totally burned (probably my oven) anyway, is their a particular starch that you recommend for this recipe or are they totally interchangeable? I’m going to try again regardless because they still tasted amazing! 😀

  45. Paleo "KFC" Chicken Tenders

    […] Paleo “KFC” Chicken Tenders […]

  46. Crystal

    This is THEE best paleo recipe that I’ve tried so far!!! I made it last night and although I know that I made it and that I did in fact bake it… As I ate it, I had to keep reminding myself that I did NOT fry it! My cousin ate some too and she thought that I had fried it since she didn’t see me make it! This recipe is a SLAM DUNK! I made it along with waffle cut sweet potatoes fries! Thank You and I will become a member VERY soon!

  47. Linda

    On the chicken tenders, what can I use besides the hot sauce? I just don’t like hot sauce. Thank you

  48. Recipes Roundup | Primal in the 'Peg

    […] for online recipes, I discovered this recipe for paleo KFC chicken tenders over the holidays and have made it several times since… […]

  49. Becca Totzke

    this looks really good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)):):):):)

  50. Jamie Kuo

    I just made this and am eating it now. Wow! Delicious. You are, by far, my favorite food blogger. Thank you so much!

    For anyone out there interested, I only had Sriracha, so I used 2 Tbsp and it is perfectly spicy. Also, I had 1.5 lb of thighs, so I doubled the dry mix (wet mix was enough) and it was the perfect amount. In addition, I used unsweetened flax milk and Earth Balance natural buttery spread and tapioca flour.

  51. Kayleigh

    Oh my goodness. I love these. I just made them and I’m not sure what it is, but they really do taste just like KFC. Thank you so much for experimenting.

  52. Alicia

    I didn’t read through every comment up above so maybe the breading questions were already answered…but I made 2 batches back to back tonight & the first group had breading-melting-off issues but the second batch did not. And the only difference was quite by accident I got busy after melting\stirring together & cooking the wet mixture the second time around & it was pretty cooled off by the time I got around to dipping the chicken in it. I thought this would end up being a problem but actually the end result was breading that stayed put. So maybe knowing that will help someone else out there. 🙂

  53. Crystal Robinson

    I already made (and posted about) the chicken a few weeks ago and yesterday, I made “KFC” pickles! Delicious! Thank You!

  54. April Estes

    Out.Of.Control. So tasty. Thank you so much for this recipe. I feel like my paleo life is now complete!

  55. BreAnna

    First Brittany Angell recipe I’ve tried and these were INCREDIBLE! My husband couldn’t get over them and neither could I. They were so crispy and had the perfect flavor. I will definitely be trying more recipes. Thank you!

  56. Janice

    Made these tonight and everyone loved them. I had a few of the same issues as some of the comments. My wet mixture was very thick and gloopy. Also, the batter kind of pooled around the chicken and stuck really badly to the foil, as someone mentioned above. (But the melted parts actually tasted great to peel off the foil and eat later!) The dry coating didn’t slide off, though, so I guess it was just the wet coating melting.

    I will definitely make them again, scraping off some of the wet mixture on the side of the bowl, and using parchment, or greasing the foil. It was hard to remember they are paleo. Oh yes…I used Arrowroot flour for the starch, and I DO NOT like hot sauce, but decided to try it because someone said that it doesn’t add heat, just flavour, and that is absolutely correct. Delish!

  57. Christina Dwyer

    Wow I couldn’t stop eating them.

  58. Keri

    SOOO Yummy!!! Thanks, again, for another wonderful recipe! 🙂

  59. Crystal Robinson

    I reeeally hope that you will be able to respond to this post… I was wondering if you think that this coating would do well with whole thighs and drumsticks? I don’t want to waste my time/food if it will just end up being a big mess. I really want to try it out though since the coating did so well on the nuggets and pickles… P. S. You’re recipes are amazing and i’m slightly obsessed with your website… the best paleo/gluten free site around!

  60. Amy

    Hi Brittany!

    Just wondering if I could sub the Almond Flour with Coconut Flour (it’s what I have on hand). Has anyone tried this recipe with Coconut flour? If so, what were your results? I’m excited to try these! They look really yummy!

    Thanks! 🙂

  61. ray

    hey im new to the whole paleo world and first want to thank brittany for welcoming me with open arms and all the wonderful recipes. now this might a not so smart question but isn’t paleo dairy free? if not what kind of dairy (milks and cheeses)may i use

  62. Amy

    Using this recipe on calamari tonight. Can’t wait.

  63. ...Crafty Coin...

    […] Chicken Strips + Sweet Potato […]

  64. Beth

    My dear, you have created a monster! A pregnant, hormonal, junk-food craving monster. Well, I guess you are feeding the monster 🙂 I used a chipotle hot sauce, and have not only used chicken, but now fish, and plantains, and the next one… with zucchini! I’m in food perfection heaven! Your recipes never let me down!

  65. Christy

    ive made this a few times (delish! Thank you for helping to satisfy my kfc craving!) –but I keep having the same issue, the batter keeps sliding nearly off the chicken while baking. Have you encountered this, and how did you fix it? Thanks so much!

  66. Samantha

    Loved this!!! My boyfriend and I made it for dinner tonight and had to keep up with our self control not to eat the leftovers so we have lunch for tomorrow! Thank you so much for sharing your amazing recipes!!! (:

  67. BreAnna | Crafty Coin

    We LOVE these at our house. They are so crispy and flavorful. I’ve tried them both with chicken thighs and breast, and although both work, the thighs definitely keep them moist and tender! I also sub cashew flour (just grind whole cashews in a food processor) because it’s cheaper for me than almond flour. I always recommend these! Thanks for a great recipe 🙂

  68. Paleo Angel Chicken | Paleo Recipes

    […] Paleo "KFC" Chicken Tenders. – Brittany Angell […]

  69. Toheba

    These are AMAZING! I used tenderloins because that’s all I had, but wow! Thank you.

  70. Carrie

    My daughter and I love these. They are a regular thing at our house and she doesn’t like chicken but she loves these. A couple of things I do to make life easier on myself is i put parchment down on a cookie sheet then spray a wire rack with oil and then put it on top of the parchment and cookie sheet. It makes clean up easy. Also I double the recipe for the breading because the amount listed is way to short for me in my experience. The amount of wet is just fine. I put all the dry in a gallon freezer bag and drop the wet strips in the bag in small batches and do them shake and bake style..again easy clean up. I give them one last spray with oil and in the oven they go..perfect.

Leave a Reply


Hey Everyone!

Please bear with me, I'm almost ready to unveil the new Club Angell, so in the mean time, if you have any trouble, just hang tight, I'll have it up and running by Monday!

Thank you!