Easy Chicken Fingers Recipe: Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tenders

January 7, 2010 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

The benefit of cutting back on fried foods and bad fats is something we can all understand, but knowing and doing are two very different things. Let’s face it, fried food can be a hard habit to break, especially when you have kids who want chicken nuggets and they want them for every meal. To help my family continue to transition from bad food without facing rebellion, I use this incredibly simple recipe when we have that drive thru craving. These chicken tenders are baked instead of fried. Even so, the crunch of the toasted pecans is extremely satisfying, and the strips remain juicy.

Recipe: Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tenders


  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes


For the chicken:

  • 1/3 c. flour
  • Srinkling of salt and pepper
  • 2 lb. chicken tenders
  • ¼ c. honey
  • ¼ c. spicy brown mustard
  • 1 c. finely chopped pecans

For a dipping sauce:

  • ¼ c. honey
  • ¼ c. spicy brown mustard


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Fill a shallow plate with the flour and a second one with the pecans. Mix the salt and pepper into the flour.
  3. Put the honey and mustard in a bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Roll the chicken tenders in the seasoned flour until they have a thin, dry coating.
  5. Dip the floured chicken tenders in the honey and mustard combination, shaking off any excess.
  6. Roll the chicken in the pecans, making sure to get an even coating.
  7. Place the strips an inch or so apart on a cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes.
  9. While the chicken cooks, mix the second batch of the honey and mustard for dipping.

Tips, Tricks, and Tweaks

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut lengthwise into thirds can substitute for the tenders.
  • Line your cookie sheet with foil to make cleanup easier.
  • Let the chicken strips rest for just a minute or two after pulling them out of the oven so the pecans can become wonderfully crunchy. If you dive in right away, they might seem slightly chewy because the nuts’ natural oils haven’t had a chance to recede back into them yet. Plus, the strips will still be really hot and you’ll burn your tongue.
  • Make sure that you don’t use the same honey mustard mixture that you dipped the raw chicken into as a dipping sauce!

Entry filed under: Avoiding Food Ruts, Healthy Eating, Recipes. Tags: , , .

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