No. 310: Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders

We are on a whole foods kick over at the McC household. I'm staying away from anything processed. Wine doesn't count:)

Well, honestly, I have had a few spoonfuls of Jif extra crunchy peanut butter here and there ... I can't help it. Not to start a debate here, but if we had creamy pb in the house I wouldn't have such a problem. The crunchy stuff is just the best.

But 99 percent of the past two weeks I have been good, I swear.

What I can't believe is how full, content, satiated and happy I feel when I plan my meals ahead of time. I know exactly what I'm going to eat and when, so there are no bad choices. It's awesome.

What's also been fun is finding new recipes that celebrate this type of eating (nothing processed, limited dairy, whole wheat only). These chicken tenders sounded too good not to try.


1 pound chicken breast tenders (or you can use boneless, skinless breasts and slice your own tenders)
2 large slices whole wheat bread
3/4 cup whole pecans
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons honey

To make

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Take a cookie cooling rack (one that is oven safe!) and place it over the top of a baking sheet that is coated in foil. Spray the cookie rack with cooking spray.

In a food processor, finely chop bread and pecans until mixture is the consistency of breadcrumbs. Pour breadcrumb mixture in a shallow dish. In another dish, combine Dijon mustard and honey and stir with a fork.


Coat each chicken strip in honey-mustard mixture, then roll in pecan-breadcrumb mixture. Place on the rack.


Bake chicken at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until strips are cooked through and the crust is golden brown. Serve alongside or add to your favorite salad.

The results

First of all, I can't believe I have been buying honey-mustard sauce or hoarding packets of it from restaurants for the past ten years. It's so flipping easy to make (you are probably shaking your head at me right now for not realizing this sooner). And now I can control how much sweetness and what ingredients are included. Huzzah!

final strips

But I digress from the point, which is that this is SUCH a good recipe. The sweetness of the honey-mustard marries perfectly with the nuttiness of the breading. You don't feel at all like these are too heavy, just sweet and light and delicious.

Close up of tenders

I was also super impressed that the breading actually stays on the chicken! That is my biggest annoyance about baked chicken recipes. Not an issue here. The fact that these only took 30 minutes from start to finish to make is an added bonus.

Your whole family will rave if you put these on the menu, even little ones.

I'm adding these to our list of favorites and will hands down be making them again.

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Amelia McCormick

Kansas girl transplanted to Asheville, North Carolina. Smiler, lover of great food and wine, facilitator, runner, storyteller, wife, optimist, and mother of sweet twins:)

Asheville, North Carolina