Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders + Sweet & Spicy Sauce

Get ready for the tastiest gluten-free chicken tenders ever! We marinade the chicken tenders in buttermilk and spices to get the flavor going. We add more spices to Pearson Farm Pecan Meal, along with freshly grated parmesan, and then just add a drizzle of oil to bake! We get the chicken ready the night before, so that when we get home from work, all we have to do is grab a bag of the pecan meal, spices and parmesan, and your family will be reaching for these tasty chicken tenders in about 30 minutes!

This post is sponsored by Pearson Farm

But this recipe is not just for gluten-free chicken tenders! We also made up a great dipping sauce! Our spicy peach dipping sauce is made with Pearson Farm Peach Pepper Jelly! Of course, we could dip the chicken tenders in the jelly by itself, cause it is just that good! But, we mixed it with mayonnaise, dijon, sour cream and pickle juice for a fabulous creamy dip!

Pearson Farm Pecan Meal is gluten free, keto-friendly, and never cross contaminated with other tree nuts.  Once you try it, we know it will become a pantry staple, especially for nut allergy sufferers and those avoiding grains. Since Pearson Farm Pecan Meal consists of finely ground pieces of our Signature Pecans, the depth and complexity of flavor is unmatched.  Use Pecan Meal when breading fish or chicken, as a flour substitute, in smoothies and grain bowls, or as a thickener for gravy or oatmeal.

What you will need to make these Gluten Free Chicken Tenders:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Buttermilk
  • Garlic powder
  • Course pepper
  • Hot sauce
  • Parmesan
  • Pearson Farm pecan meal
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Chili lime seasoning

What you will need to make the peach pepper dipping sauce:

Gluten free pecan crusted chicken tenders on a blue plate with a peach dipping sauce, celery and a striped napkin

Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders with Peach Pepper Dipping Sauce

These chicken tenders are made with pecan meal for a gluten-free snack!
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Course: Appetizer, entree
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, chicken tenders, gluten-free
Servings: 16 chicken tenders
Calories: 260kcal
Author: Bruce and Dina Miller


  • sheet pan
  • cooling rack
  • small bowl
  • Rimmed sheet pans


Ingredients for chicken tenders marinade:

  • 2 chicken breasts trimmed and sliced into strips
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon course pepper
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce we use Sriracha

Ingredients for the gluten-free breading:

  • 2 cups freshly grated parmesan
  • 2 cups Pearson Farm pecan meal
  • 1 tablespoon pepper course grind
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili lime seasoning

Ingredients for the peach pepper dipping sauce:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 ½ tablespoon peach pepper jelly
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle juice
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch pepper


Instructions for marinating the chicken:

  • Start by cutting the chicken breasts into strips, and then cutting those in half to form smaller tenders.
    2 chicken breasts
  • Add chicken to a heavy duty plastic bag. Pour buttermilk over chicken, and add garlic powder, pepper and hot sauce. Let marinade for at least 2 hours, but preferably all day, or overnight.
    2 cups buttermilk, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon course pepper, 1 tablespoon hot sauce

Instructions for making the pecan coating

  • In a bowl, combine the pecan meal, parmesan, pepper, garlic powder and chili lime seasoning. Mix with hand, or spoon to blend flavors.
    2 cups freshly grated parmesan, 2 cups Pearson Farm pecan meal, 1 tablespoon pepper, 1 tablespoon granulated garlic, 1 tablespoon chili lime seasoning

Instructions for preparing and baking the chicken tenders:

  • Pre-heat convection oven or air-fryer to 400 degrees. Prepare sheet pan by adding 2 layers of parchment. Add a grid to another pan and pull the chicken tenders out of the marinade to drain off excess buttermilk. Lightly salt the chicken.
    Pinch salt

Instructions for dipping the chicken tenders

  • Using the wet hand dry hand method, dip the chicken pieces into the breading. Use one hand (the wet hand) to grab the chicken and place in pecan cheese mixture. Use the other hand to cover with the breading and press in (the dry hand). Be sure to press the pecan mixture into the chicken, and turn over and do this again. Place pieces of coated chicken on the parchment lined sheet pan in rows. Do not over crowd the pan.
  • Drizzle a little bit of oil over each tender. Place tenders in oven for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and turn over the tenders. Bake for another 10 minutes, until golden brown. Let rest for a few minutes, then place on a serving plate. Serve with dipping sauce and celery sticks.

Instructions for making the dipping sauce:

  • Add mayonnaise and sour cream to a bowl. Add in the Pearson Farm Peach Pepper Jelly, dijon, pickle juice and pinch of pepper. Stir, and taste. Adjust spices, or add in more jelly, or juice.
    ½ cup mayonnaise, ½ cup sour cream, 1 ½ tablespoon peach pepper jelly, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons dill pickle juice, Pinch pepper


Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 819mg | Potassium: 250mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 432IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 206mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Love pecans? Give these other recipes made with Pearson Farm Pecans a try!

Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

Hi, we are Bruce and Dina Miller. We love to cook every night. We enjoy making a few healthy dishes, and also comfort food. We love crafting cocktails too! Come take a look, we would love to share our recipes with you.


  1. Sam Miller Reply

    5 stars
    So crunchy and tasty! Will make again

  2. Elizabeth Crissey Reply

    5 stars
    Perfection for a good gluten-free alternative!!

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply


      Right? I love how crispy the pecan meal makes these! And baked! So good!

      Thank you,

      Dina and Bruce

  3. Elaine & James Reply

    5 stars
    That crispy pecan meal coating sounds & looks AHmazing! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply

      Elaine and James,

      This truly was delicious! And we can’t wait to try the pecan meal on fish too!

      Dina and Bruce

  4. Tara Reply

    5 stars
    Oh yum! These chicken tenders sound absolutely fantastic with the pecan coating and paired with the peach pepper dipping sauce. So many wonderful flavors.

  5. Kristen Reply

    5 stars
    I made these for some friends who eat gluten free and they were a hit! That peach pepper jelly really took them over the top!

  6. Tayler Reply

    5 stars
    These chicken tenders were so delicious! And that sauce sent them over the top. My kids even loved them!

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply


      So glad you enjoyed them! We love the sauce too!

      Thank you,

      Dina and Bruce

  7. Andrea Reply

    5 stars
    The Peach pepper dipping sauce is an incredible accompaniment for these crispy and delicious chicken strips. I can’t wait to get to dipping.

  8. Dana Reply

    5 stars
    These turned out beautifully! Tender, juicy, and crisp. I made a bunch to freeze because my kiddo is a picky 4 y/o and this is a much better option than frozen tenders!

  9. Mahy Reply

    5 stars
    These chicken tenders are absolutely great! Filling easy recipe that is just what I have been looking for.

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