Healthy Diner-Style Chicken Fingers (!)

When I was in my early 20’s and going out on the town all the time, chicken fingers were always my late night diner food of choice. There’s just something about biting into a delicious, crisp, hot, juicy chicken tender smothered in ketchup that makes me swoon. I hardly ever eat them now, though, because a) I don’t often find myself in diners at 3 a.m. anymore (thank goodness), and b) Fried food isn’t usually worth it because it makes me feel like crap.

But then — last night, this happened:


Oh, yes. The chicken fingers were just as delicious as I remembered — but this time, they were healthy!


Healthy Diner-Style Chicken Fingers

(makes 3 servings)


  • 6 chicken tenders
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 3/4 C spelt flour (or whole wheat flour)
  • 1/8 C finely ground flaxseed (optional)
  • A few shakes each of salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 375.

1) In a small bowl, combine the egg and mustard. On a plate, mix the flour, flaxseed, and salt and pepper.



2) One by one, dredge the chicken tenders in the egg/mustard mixture, then in the flour mixture until fully coated (shake off any excess). Place the coated tenders on a cooking sprayed or nonstick baking sheet. 


3) Bake at 375 for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.


SO good. I enjoyed my chicken tenders with lots of ketchup and some roasted sweet potatoes and asparagus.



010 011

Even better? I have leftovers :) These chicken tenders will be great atop a salad for lunch today, I think!

I’m heading off to class and then spending the afternoon finishing up my take home Epidemiology exam. Definitely my least favorite class this semester — ugh! But today will be awesome because… tonight is the Walleyball playoff game! Heh. It shall be epic, as usual, and you know I’ll be back with a recap. (Check out my previous Walleyball posts, if you missed them — so fun!)

Have a wonderful day, friends!

p.s. If you have a minute, would you be so kind as to nominate fANNEtastic food as a blog you love in the Women’s Health magazine 2011 blog love contest? :)

Women's Health Blogs We Love


  1. 1

    THANKYOUTHANKYOU for this healthy chicken fingers recipe! I looooove chicken tenders but pretty much any fried food (whether it’s a few tablespoons of olive oil or full immersion in transfatty craziness) is off the books for me right now. I can’t wait to try this out once I’m off this meatless detox whatever-it-is that I’m doing right now, hahaha.

    PS – Totally nominated you! Feel like reciprocating…? ;)

  2. 3

    You’re nominated! ;) I think you would be great for it. And I certainly know I wouldn’t mind being included as well. LOL

    Also – we’re having something just like that for dinner tomorrow night. Now I’m excited!

  3. 5

    Totally nominated you, how could I not?? :)

  4. 7

    I love healthy chicken tenders…esp with a side of sweet potato fries! They make me feel like I’m 5 again…and really, who doesn’t need that from time to time?!

  5. 9

    Mmm, roasted asparagus is just so darn delicious. What a great meal you have here!

  6. 10

    You have me craving chicken fingers now!!! They look delicious. PS. I nominated you as well! :)

  7. 12

    I have made similar ones sans the mustard and added unsweetened coconut. I think the mustard would make my recipe much better if I can sneak it in without Adam noticing. I love chicken fingers :)

  8. 14

    oh man! Those look so bomb!!!

  9. 15

    I’ve never tried dredging in spelt or whole wheat flour and then baking…..sounds good! Thanks:)

  10. 16

    This reminds me of Shake n Bake chicken – we used to have that all the time growing up!

  11. 18

    So awesome, I nominated you! Good luck!

  12. 20

    those look delicious! I have made a similar recipe with bread crumbs..very good and my family loved it too!
    also, I am CRAVING sweet potatos haha

  13. 21

    Great recipe! I kinda want to try the same method with sliced tempeh…

  14. 22

    BWAHAHAHA Chicken fingers! Reminds me of your botched 21st bday request… “Chiskjfh Finalkjrgl;”… um, she means Chicken Fingers…

  15. 24

    Well, let’s just say if it wasn’t for Paul and I, you wouldn’t have! I don’t think you were going to find it yourself ;) Highlight of the night? Gotta be you proposing to me on the street ;)

  16. 26
    Lauren Setzer says:

    Hi Anne,

    I nominated you!! Lots of luck!


  17. 28

    It was a pleasure to nominate you, Anne.
    Your meal looks divine , although, I have never eaten ketchup on my chicken, I am willing to give it a try.

  18. 29

    I can’t wait to vegan-ify these!! Slash I am craving ketchup now..:)

  19. 30

    mmm, those chicken tenders look awesome! i can’t even remember the last time i had any form of chicken tenders. i miss them!

    i hated my epidemiology class in my nutrition program too. so boring. so much “x is associated with y in this study, but not in this study” blah blah blah…

  20. 31

    Those look super. Glad you found a formula to make them reasonably healthy! Well done, Anne!

  21. 32

    These look SO good. Did they actually get relatively crispy ala crappy diner fingers?

    I want to make these, stat. :)

  22. 34

    I’ve been making something similar since I found the recipe in the Williams Sonoma Healthy cooking cookbook. I use panko crumbs + whole wheat bread crumbs (and I’m excited about adding the ground flax), but instead of an egg I use a mixture of egg white and milk to dip the in. The coating doesn’t stay on AS well as the egg, but well enough. I also give each side of the tender a little light spritz of canola oil to keep the coating on and give it some crispiness.

  23. 35

    These sound yummy. I also second Lauren’s light spritz of canola oil trick. I’ve used that for healthier chicken fingers before and it works wonders in giving the edges a little bit of crispness. These definitely look craveable.

Speak Your Mind