If you’re looking for something fun and delicious for dinner, this recipe is it! Done in under an hour, full of flavor, and gluten-free, it’s as easy as it is healthy and delicious! You can even make this dairy-free if you use dairy-free cheese or even nutritional yeast in place of the Parmesan. These gluten-free Italian chicken fingers are cooked in the oven, so there’s minimal fuss (although if you want to pan-fry them first, it works just as well!). It’s a fuss-free, healthy, delicious and quick weeknight meal!
I actually struggled with the name a bit. When I was developing this recipe, I had in my head more of a chicken Parmesan, but then didn’t go through with the whole melty cheese thing (which you could certainly do). So, because it’s a chicken Parmesan without the Parmesan, and because I decided to use chicken strips instead of full breasts, I settled on “Italian” chicken fingers.
This dish takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, plus you can prep more of the meal while the chicken fingers are in the oven. My favorite way to serve this is with a mixture of zucchini/squash noodles and regular gluten-free noodles, but really, it’s a very versatile dish that can go with a salad or roasted veggies or spaghetti squash or whatever you feel like eating!
A note about the coating: I use almond flour when I make these at home. Almond flour does get crispy, but not as crispy as regular flour. If you really need that crispy-ness, you can use a gluten-free flour (or a regular flour, if gluten is not your concern). Also, baking versus pan-frying, as I mentioned above. I love the idea of simply sticking something in the oven and letting it do the work so I don’t have to, especially on busy weeknights. And spraying the bottom and the top of the chicken with something like coconut spray also helps crisp things up. However, pan-frying will get the chicken fingers a bit crispier. I just pan-fry until golden and then finish in the oven until cooked through!
- 1 package of chicken strips
- 1 egg
- 2 cups of tomato sauce of choice
- 1 cup of flour (almond, gluten-free, regular)
- ½ cup of finely grated Parmesan
- 1 Tbsp. Italian herbs
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. pepper
- ¼ tsp. to ½ tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 375° and line a sheet pan with either foil or baking paper and spray with cooking spray, such as coconut oil spray.
- Crack and egg into a shallow bowl and beat lightly. Combine the flour, Parmesan, Italian herbs, garlic powder, pepper, and salt in another shallow bowl and mix to combine.
- Dip a chicken strip first into the egg, letting the excess drip off, then dip it into the flour mixture until coated. Place on the sheet pan.
- Place the mixture in the oven and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the coating is golden brown and the chicken is cooked all the way through.
- Remove from the oven and pour over the tomato sauce. You can also add cheese at this point if you’d like a topping of cheese. Place the strips back into the oven for five minutes, or until sauce is heated through and cheese is melted, if using.
There you go! Simple, delicious weeknight meal you can make it no time! If you make this recipe, let me know how you serve it—with pasta, or a salad, etc. I’d love to know!
‘Till next time!