These easy 6-ingredient Baked Crispy Chicken Strips are perfect for a quick family dinner, tossed into a bacon ranch chicken salad or even used in a healthy hummus wrap for lunch!
After all is said and done, I could happily eat chicken strips with homemade honey mustard dipping sauce for the rest of my life. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, whateves.
Is that totally un-foodie of me, or what??
As much as I love trying new spices, recipes and foods, my inner 4 year old is still secretly and utterly in love with crispyety-crunchety chicken strips.
While most of the time I prefer the fried version, I mean who wouldn’t, I was determined to find a healthier baked version where I could get my chicken strip fix in while also serving a healthy dinner to the family.
The problem with baked chicken strips is that when they are baked flat on a baking sheet they never get super crunchy all the way around. Half of the strip is crunchy and half of it is soggy. That is a huge no-go in my book.
Enter the wire cooling rack.
When you elevate the chicken strips on the wire cooling rack, it makes the entire strip super crunchy all-the-way-around!
But we are not done yet.
We are also going to create a super crunchy coating for the chicken to live in – gluten free rice crispy cereal mixed together with some toasted sesame or sunflower seeds.
I have experimented with both toasted sesame seeds and sunflower seeds in this recipe and while they are both amazing, the sesame seeds have a more subtle crunch while the sunflower seeds produce a MAJOR crunch factor.
The sunflower seeds were Ellie’s and my favorite, while Parker preferred the sesame option. Of course the three of us couldn’t agree about one of life’s most important recipes.
Looks like I will be forever making both versions and having lots of leftovers for my breakfast/lunch/dinner the following day. I am completely cool with that.
Just in case you need some more meal inspiration, here are some more ways to devour these crispy chicken strips:
Super yummy salad for you – on top of a bed of salad greens with bacon chunks, feta, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices all drizzled with ranch dressing.
Wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla with a handful of spinach, shredded carrots and a spicy hummus spread.
In a de-constructed finger salad for toddler with red pepper strips, pineapple and/or mango chunks and cucumber slices with a tropical yogurt dipping sauce.
Chopped and stuffed into a whole wheat pita with sliced black olives, feta and a creamy cucumber sauce.
Crispy Chicken Strips (Gluten Free)
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken tenders
2 cups brown rice crispy cereal, gluten free
1/4 cup sesame or sunflower seeds*
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
Serve with Honey Mustard or Ranch Dressing
1. Preheat oven to 425 degree F. Line a baking sheet with a metal wire cooling rack.
2. In a small pan over medium heat, toast the sesame or sunflower seeds for 5-7 minutes until browned, stirring frequently. Place seeds on a paper towel or plate and let cool completely.
3. Cut the chicken breasts into strips or chunks, depending on preference.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and soy sauce.
5. Place the rice crispy cereal into a plastic bag or into a food processor and smash or pulse until cereal is about half of it’s original size.
6. In a second medium bowl, stir together the rice cereal, sesame or sunflower seeds, cumin, salt and pepper.
6. Piece by piece, take the chicken strips and first dip them into the egg mixture and then toss it into the rice cereal mixture, making sure to press the cereal firmly into the chicken to get a nice thick coat on it.
7. Take coated chicken and place onto the wire rack. When all the chicken pieces are coated and on the wire rack, spray lightly with an olive oil or cooking spray and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
8. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked all the way through. For a darker browned crust, place under the broiler for an additional 3-5 minutes, watching very closely not to burn them.
9. Let cool slightly, and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
Yield – 4 adult servings
Storage – store in an air-tight container in the fridge for a week
*You can use either sesame or sunflower seeds in this recipe. The sesame seeds create a subtle crunch while the sunflower seeds give a bigger crunch.