Super delicious Baked Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders with Creole Sauce is a tasty meal or appetizer! Chopped pecans and Panko bread crumbs make a crunchy crust on these healthy chicken tenders and they are baked, not fried. This makes these baked chicken tenders recipe super crispy, low-fat and low-calorie! Dip the tenders into the spicy Creole Sauce which adds an awesome twang to the tenders!
There are a few things I go to for dinner when I am in a hurry…which lately is almost every day! I want a quick tasty and healthy dinner for my family! These Baked Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders with Creole Sauce is on top of my go-to meals! Besides being delicious, these tenders are easy to prepare! I like to make the tenders in bulk so I always have a batch in the freezer! A big plus for me! Add in my Creole Sauce and hello delicious!
The combo of the Panko bread crumbs and pecans encrusted on the chicken add such amazing crunch and flavor! The tenders are first coated in seasoned buttermilk, which keeps the chicken super moist. Then into the Panko bread crumbs! These tenders are seriously addicting! The spicy Creole Sauce made with mayo, mustard, horseradish, and seasonings are both tangy and spicy! Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders and Creole Sauce are a home run!!
Can these Pecan Crusted Chicken and the Creole Sauce be made ahead?
You can prepare the baked chicken tenders ahead of time with the pecan crust and keep in the fridge well covered for 1 day and bake right before you are ready to eat. The creole sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance, kept well covered in the fridge.
I would like to double the batch and freeze the Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders, can I?
Absolutely, I always make these ahead and freeze the extras. I place the cooked chicken tenders on a baking sheet in the freezer for about 30 minutes so they won’t clump together when placed in a freezer bag. Then, place the chicken in quart or freezer safe bags. Label and date the bags. I use within three months. Reheat at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes.
If I do not have buttermilk in the fridge, how can I make DIY buttermilk?
An easy DIY Buttermilk is combining 1 cup regular milk any of these: 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, or (last resort because more expensive but works) 1 1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar. Let any of these sit in the milk for 5 minutes and the milk will curdle and you can use as buttermilk.
Try these easy healthy chicken recipes too:
Try these sides with these Healthy Chicken Tenders:
How to make Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders:
- Place the buttermilk and spices in either a large bag or bowl.
- Add the chicken tenders into the buttermilk and marinate at least a half hour to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray and set aside,
- Set three bowls up. In the first bowl, combine flour, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper.
- In the second bowl, add the egg and low-fat milk.
- To the third bowl, combine the ground pecans and Panko breadcrumbs.
- Remove the chicken tenders from buttermilk mixture, shake off excess buttermilk.
- Then place each piece of chicken in order of bowls, first flour mixture, shake off excess flour, egg wash, then into Panko breadcrumbs.
- Place the chicken on the baking sheet and spray the tops with non-stick spray and bake 10 minutes.
- Turn the chicken pieces over after 10 minutes and serve with Creole Dipping Sauce.
How to make the Creole Sauce
- In a medium bowl combine low-fat mayonnaise, yellow mustard, stone ground mustard, horseradish, apple cider vinegar, garlic and onion powder, and black pepper.
- The creole dipping sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, well covered.
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Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders with Creole Sauce
- 1 pound chicken tenders or chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup low-fat milk
- 2 egg whites or 1 egg, whisked
Pecan Panko Mix
- 1 cup ground pecans
- 1 cup Seasoned Panko bread crumbs
Prep the chicken
- If using chicken tenders, they can be cut in half if they are very large. If using boneless chicken breasts, slice and pound them to about 1 1/2 inches thick and slice into 2-inch strips. Set aside.
Make the Buttermilk Marinade
- In a plastic sealable bag or large bowl, add buttermilk, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt. Mix well and add in the chicken pieces. Seal bag or cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1/2 hour to overnight.
Assemble the Chicken Tenders
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or use a Silpat liner.
- Line three medium bowls up. The first bowl is the flour mix. Add and mix well flour, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt.The second bowl is the egg mixture. Add low-fat milk and egg and mix well. The third bowl is the pecan breading. Mix the ground pecans and panko bread crumbs to combine well.
- Dip each chicken piece in flour mix, shake excess flour off the chicken. Next, dip into egg mixture, shake off excess egg. Last, dip chicken into pecan crumb mix. Then place chicken on prepared baking sheet.
- Spray tops of each breaded chicken quickly with non-stick cooking spray. Place in oven on a center rack. Bake for about 10 minutes. Flip chicken, bake another 10 minutes. Chicken should be done. Ovens temps and size of your tenders vary, check the chicken to ensure they are cooked through.
Creole Dipping Sauce
- In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, yellow mustard, stone ground mustard, horseradish, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and salt. Mix well and check seasonings, re-season if needed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be made 3 days ahead.
- These tenders freeze really well. Make a double batch and freeze some for later.
- To heat frozen tenders, cover tenders in foil, reheat at 325 degrees until warmed through.
- Any nutritional data I provide is an approximation and actual dietary information can vary based on ingredients and portion sizes.