I love all things macadamia nut. I love them roasted and salted, dipped in chocolate, made into nut butter, or used as a crispy crust for for fish or chicken. These Macadamia Nut Crusted Chicken Tenders are a great example of the latter.
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We Recently Took a Trip to Hawaii…
And by “we” I mean 70 of us. No lie. My sweet mother in law wanted a huge family trip for her upcoming 83rd birthday celebration, and literally EVERYONE showed. Her children, grand children and great grand children all flew to Maui to celebrate her, and we happen to have photographic proof!
Not Only Did We All Show Up…
…but we got out of bed at 6am for family photos on the beach…no make up, and plenty of bed head. That’s how much we love this woman!
Maui, The Inspiration For This Recipe!
After returning home to Southern California with lots of macadamia nuts, I needed to come up with creative ways to use them. Which is how I came up with these tasty, crispy, chicken tenders.
Dip Them, Put Them On a Salad, or Dress Them Up!
You probably don’t need suggestions on what to do with these delicious bites of chicken, but I will still give them to you anyway.. I have no problem offering unsolicited advice. I love to dip these nuggets in my homemade ranch dressing…
…or serve them on top of my Chopped Chicken Salad (just leave the rotisserie chicken out of the salad recipe..obviously)…
…and sometimes I love to add sweet Butternut Squash ‘Fries’ on the side.
Paleo, Whole 30, and Keto Compliant!
And because I dip the chicken tenders in egg, and then dredge in macadamia nuts and almond flour, these nuggets are perfect for anyone on Paleo, Whole 30 or Keto eating plans!
The Recipe: Macadamia Nut Crusted Chicken Tenders (Paleo-Whole30-Keto)
Tips and what you need: a food processor or blender, almond meal, and a good pan.
Quick, easy, crispy and delicious! The best chicken tender recipe ever...bold claim, I know.
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders if you can't find tenders, slice boneless, skinless breasts 1/2" thick
- 1 1 /4 cups roasted salted macadamia nuts processed into meal
- 1 cup almond flour I use fine almond flour
- 2 large eggs whisked
- Sea salt
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
Sprinkle both sides chicken tenders with desired amount of sea salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, set aside
In a food processor or blender, process nuts until they resemble large bread crumbs (don't over process or you will have nut butter)
Pour processed macadamia nuts into a shallow bowl, add almond flour and use a fork to mix well
Crack eggs into another shallow bowl, whisk with 1 tablespoon water
Now, dip each tender into into eggs, then dredge in nut mixture until well coated, set aside
When all chicken is coated, heat a large pan (preferably cast iron or a stainless steel skillet) on high heat for two minutes
Add enough olive oil to pan so bottom is nicely coated
When oil is hot but not smoking, add chicken tenders (working in batches if needed) and cook 5-6 minutes a side, lowering heat when necessary. Chicken should be golden brown, crispy and cooked through when removed from heat. If you are working in batches, carefully use a paper towel to clean pan and add more olive oil to pan between batches. Serve!
MAY I PLEASE ASK A FAVOR?
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This looks like such a fun way to use up a surplus of macadamia nuts! Love the idea!
Chicken tenders is one of the best snacks for any occasion! Looks so delicious and crispy and I love the idea of adding macadamia to the crust!
Wow! Sounds like quite the matriarch for so many people to make a long trip like that. Quite a lucky lady your grandmother is, but I suspect you all feel like the lucky ones, right? This looks like a great chicken dish!
Hi Ben. Yes, I think we all feel lucky!
I love crusting my chicken with almond flour. Macadamia nuts have a more unique flavor than almonds so I bet this must taste yummy. Now I know the next coating to try the next time I am making this kind of chicken.
I am laughing bc I was just telling my son how much I enjoy the flavor of macadamia nuts yesterday (they were in a mixed nuts we were eating). This sounds delicious!
Timing is everything!
I can tell this is so delicious and crispy! Love that it’s low carb as well.
What a sweet photo, and a lovely MIL! Happy birthday to her! The chicken tenders look amazing Linda! So crispy! Definitely going to try these!
She is the best! Thanks Renee!
First of all, what an amazing and beautiful family you have. Those photos are priceless. Also, you make the most amazing meals. I’m always in awe of these gorgeous masterpieces that you come up with. These chicken tenders are so perfect and that golden crust!
Thanks Emily! I really appreciate that. I think you make gorgeous meals too!
I can’t even how amazing and special that family reunion must have been. And — oh the tenders, hello! My boys are going the go “nuts” for them!
Nice pun Jennifer! I always appreciate a food pun;)
These look So darn good! I love the nutty coating, and macadamia nuts are so luxurious and creamy!!
That golden nut covering swam past me in my Pinterest feed today!! Such a compelling photo of comfort food yumminess!!
Yeah for recipes passing you in Pinterest!
Ok, I definitely want to be in your family now! Y’all’s pics are adorable and you have a HUGE family! I also love how much like “real” chicken tenders these look, and I bet they taste better. I’m also a big fan of chicken tenders dipped in ranch, and your ranch looks divine.
Thanks Lindsey. I think you’d fit right in with our family, you look like me and you say y’all like my Texas born daughter in law!
Whoa that is an amazing birthday trip!! I love that your family did that!! And I’m also loving the macadamia nuts you used for this chicken! YUM
What a lovely simple meal. So healthy delicious and absolutely gorgeous!
Thanks so much!
Fabulous pics and such a huge family memory. Belated Happy Birthday to you MIL.. I bet she is still smiling — after all of that wonderful family time filled with tenderness..
The chicken looks SO good and I am sure that the macadamia crust transports the whole meal to another level! I must try this and your ranch dressing too.
Thanks carol! It was a fabulous trip and I think my mother in law enjoyed every minute!
Oh my golly…that golden crust. All the heart eyes! I’m so happy to find a chicken tender recipe that uses macadamia nuts, they’re just my absolute favorite. And…now I have to make those squash fries too! Thanks for the heavenly recipes!!
Thanks for the lovely comment Anna!
I love nut crusted chicken, and macadamia would make it even better, they’re so rich and delicious! That whole plate looks amazing with the chopped salad and fries, so much goodness!
Any idea on the macros on this? I had macadamia nut crusted one while in Kauai in March. I went back twice before I left. I’m eager to try this!
Sorry, I have no idea 🙁
Could coconut flour work as well?
Hi Danika, While I have not used coconut flour, I imagine it would work fine. If you make it using coconut flour, please let me know how it turns out. If it works well I will add it as an option:)