Healthy Fried Chicken Tenders {Picky-Eater Approved!}

What mom isn't looking for the perfect “picky-eater-proof" recipe for a fresh and easy dinner?

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This is the topic of discussion OFTEN in our {FREE} FRESH Start Club as we help each other find solutions daily! This recipe is a life-saver & so EASY - takes just a couple ingredients and only 20-30 minutes to prepare, start to finish.

This Healthy "Fried" Panko Chicken recipe can also be cooked ahead of time, refrigerated for up to a couple days, and reheated (or even served chopped cold!) for a great-tasting quick dinner solution the picky eaters in our lives will actually LOVE and eat!

Here's how to make Healthy Fried Chicken Tenders for your family!


  • 1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Tenderloins (or handcut tenders)

  • 1 package (about 1.5 - 2 cups or so) of panko breadcrumbs

  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

  • salt and cracked pepper

  • olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Line a baking sheet with foil.

3. Place the panko breadcrumbs in one shallow dish, stirring in the Italian seasoning, and pour the almond milk in another shallow dish.

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4. Set a medium fry pan on medium-high heat and thinly drizzle olive oil over the pan.

5. Once oil is heated, begin dredging the chicken tenders in the almond milk, then immediately in the breadcrumbs. Shake off any excess crumbs from the tenders, then place carefully in the hot pan.

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6. “Fry” the tenders for only 1-2 minutes per side, then place them on foil-lined baking pan.

7. Once all tenders are “fried” crispy (they won’t be cooked through, this step is to give them the “fried” taste only!) place the pan into the pre-heated oven.

8. Bake for about 6-8 minutes, or until cooked through. (Time will vary with difference in ovens.)

9. Once cooked, serve plain or with low-sugar or homemade dipping sauces, and alongside ANY veggie dish!

Nutrition Note: By using almond milk, we've eliminated dairy in this recipe. This healthy fried chicken recipe can EASILY be adapted to be gluten free as well by using gluten free crumbs.


*~*FRESH Prep Tip*~* This dish also works as a great protein center to pre-bake, then refrigerate and use later in the week over salads, in pasta dishes or served with creative and tasty sauce combinations, like in our Orange Chicken Chutney recipe OR our popular Spinach Chicken Parmesan recipe.

After you've added this recipe to your repertoire, let us know how you use it…as a piece of a delicious and simple meal, or served alongside tasty FRESH sides. We’d love to hear your ideas!

What do you think?

Does this healthy fried chicken recipe sound kid and picky-eater approved to you?

Remember, you can very easily make up a double batch and refrigerate this healthy version of fried chicken pieces for future dinners too. Batching cook or prep-cooking is one of the favorite tools of cook-at-home healthy-minded folks. 

In our FRESH Start Club, we share tips and strategies for getting through our super busy lives with our sanity intact WHILE ALSO meeting our healthy-living goals. There is a big difference between struggling alone and having a winning team on your side!

Join our growing, vibrant, encouraging exclusive and FREE group today!