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Gluten Free Chicken Tenders Recipe

These quick and easy gluten free chicken tenders are always a hit at my house. What’s not to love, especially since they’re naturally gluten free?

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Dipping a chicken tender into honey mustard sauce.

Kids who don’t eat chicken fingers are few and far between. Unfortunately, Little Miss can’t eat many commercially prepared chicken nuggets and chicken fingers because they add dairy in the breading. And some of the ingredients I read on some of the packages….

Suffice it to say that I’m much happier making the chicken fingers on my own these days — assuming that I can find the corn flake cereal that doesn’t have any spurious ingredients, that is!

Are corn flakes gluten free?

Corn flakes can be gluten free, depending on the brand. Kellogg’s Corn Flakes are not gluten free, as they contain malt, which contains gluten.

While many of the Aldi cereals are gluten free (their rice cereal, for example), their corn flakes are not gluten free as they also contain malt. If you do not react to malt, then you are set.

However, if you are celiac or react to malt, be sure that you use a gluten free corn flakes cereal for this recipe. Thankfully you have several to choose from.

Nature’s Path Corn Flakes are gluten free, and why I usually use the traditional version, the honey’d version works, too.

Barbara’s also offers gluten free corn flakes, and Nestle also makes a gluten free corn flake cereal that is probably one of my favorites.

Alternatively, you can use Corn Chex, which are gluten free, as they do not contain malt. The texture is not quite the same, however.

How long do chicken tenders bake in the oven?

The length of time you want to bake chicken tenders varies by the thickness of your chicken. If you make homemade chicken tenders from refrigerated chicken, it should take 12 to 15 minutes.

This is for fairly thin tenders that are about three quarters of an inch wide. If you make your chicken tenders thicker, they take longer to bake.

If you bake chicken tenders from frozen, they also take longer to bake. Note that most commercially prepared chicken tenders are already cooked before they are frozen, so they don’t take as long to bake as they would were they raw.

What kind of chicken should I use for homemade chicken tenders?

For homemade chicken tenders, I use chicken breasts that I cut into the appropriate size. This is the cheapest and most effective way to do so.

You can also purchase chicken tenderloins that are already cut into the proper size for you, but those cost more than traditional chicken breast most of the time.

Chicken tenders work best with white meat, so chicken thighs are not ideal for this purpose.

How do I get my chicken tenders crispy?

When the chicken sits and cooks on a baking sheet, it can easily get soggy on one side. There are two easy fixes to this.

My favorite, and the easiest solution, is to have a wire rack that fits inside your baking sheet. This elevates the chicken so it can cook on all sides and not sit on a solid surface that can trap and retain moisture.

I use the wire rack for everything from making bacon roasted Brussels sprouts to lemon broccoli to bacon wrapped dates and so much more.

The other solution is to remove the tray from the oven halfway through baking and flip each of the gluten free chicken tenders. That ensures that each side has a chance to cook, and it definitely helps create crispy chicken tenders.

What is the best way to crush corn flakes?

When I crush corn flakes, the easiest way is to pulse them in a food processor. This lets you quickly and easily get them into small crumbs with minimal effort.

However, many people do not have a food processor or don’t want to clean it for such a small job. In that case, use a heavy duty gallon size freezer bag.

Remove as much as as possible from the freezer bag, then use a rolling pin to crush them. Pick up the bag to turn it over and ensure to get all the flakes as you go.

When you have only a little cereal left, you can also use the bag the cereal comes in, as that is a sturdy enough bag that it can take the sharp edges of the flakes without creating holes that leak corn flake pieces everywhere.

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If you don’t have a rolling pin, you can squish the bag with your hands, use a meat mallet, or even use one of your canned goods from your pantry.

How to Make Gluten Free Chicken Tenders

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

If your chicken is not uniform, place it between to pieces of plastic wrap, and gently pound it with a meat mallet or a rolling pin to ensure it is an even thickness. Be gentle to avoid tearing the meat, and don’t pound it thin like a cutlet, just until it’s even.

Cut the boneless skinless chicken into 3/4 inch strips. Set them aside while you prep the rest of the breading components.

Be sure to practice safe poultry handling, and wash your hands after each portion where you handle the raw chicken.

If you have a wire rack that fits inside your baking sheet, place it onto the jelly roll pan. If not, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

The wire rack helps air circulate on all sides of the homemade chicken fingers so they bake more evenly. This helps them stay crispy all around.

Place the corn flakes into a zip top bag and remove as much air as possible. Use a rolling pin to crush them into small pieces or smash by hand.

Corn flakes crushed in a black bowl.

In a shallow dish, combine the egg, honey, and mustard. In another shallow dish, stir together the corn flake crumbs, salt, and pepper.

Set up your work station with your chicken in one dish, the egg wash next to it, the corn flake mixture next to that, and your baking pan at the end.

Chicken finger setup with stations.

One by one, dip the chicken into the egg mixture, then roll the piece in the crumb mixture to coat evenly.

Your goal is to have one “wet hand” and one “dry hand” as you do this. I use my right hand to dip the chicken into the egg wash, then I transfer to using my left hand to coat the chicken.

This keeps my hands cleaner and prevents glops of mushy corn flakes from forming either on my hands or in the bowls on my station.

Coating chicken in crushed corn flakes.

Arrange the chicken strips on your prepared baking sheet. They should not touch, as you want air to circulate around them.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Close up of a gluten free chicken tender dipping into honey mustard.

If you have any leftovers, let them cool to room temperature, then place them in an airtight container. Store the container in your fridge for up to three days.

Save this recipe for gluten free chicken tenders to make again!

Dipping a chicken tender into honey mustard sauce.

Gluten Free Chicken Tenders

Yield: 12 chicken tenders
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes

These homemade chicken fingers are a snap to make and naturally gluten free. They're a perfect dinner for kids but tasty enough for adults, too.


  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 cup corn flake cereal, well crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash pepper
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Cut chicken into 3/4 inch strips.
  3. Combine the egg, honey, and mustard in a shallow bowl.
  4. In another shallow dish, stir together corn flake crumbs, salt, and pepper.
  5. Dip chicken into the egg mixture, then roll in crumb mixture to coat evenly.
  6. Arrange chicken strips on a baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.


  • Let leftovers cool to room temperature, then place in an airtight container to store for up to three days in the fridge.
  • Use wire racks that fit inside your baking sheet to elevate the corn flake chicken fingers and let the air circulate to have them bake more evenly.
  • For more tips, be sure to reach the full article.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 200Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 298mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 29g

This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition as a courtesy. If you need exact values, please calculate yourself.

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate the recipe above and save it on Pinterest so you can find it to make again and again. Leave me a comment to let me know what you think about it, too!

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Shirley @ gfe

Thursday 29th of September 2022

FYI, regular corn flakes cereal (i.e., Kellogg's) is not gluten free. It contains malt, which is a form of barley and contains gluten. For this recipe to be gluten free, you'd have to use a brand of corn flakes that is gluten free.

Thanks, Shirley

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