Inspired by Whole30 cashew crusted chicken, this almond-crusted baked chicken is full of amazing flavor. Naturally gluten-free, it’s also paleo, Whole30 and low carb. Use chicken breasts, tenders or cutlets, or even use thighs or pork chops! No sauce needed, this chicken is a favorite among the kids too! You can also serve with non-dairy ranch or homemade BBQ sauce!
I laughed when my husband said the other night that this almond-crusted baked chicken was his favorite of all the Whole30 meals I’ve made so far (and I’ve made a lot of meals, including pork and potato soup and homemade breakfast sausage and caramelized onions and swiss chard and sweet potato and apple casserole and oven-roasted hash browns).
I asked why, and he said his mom used to make baked chicken all the time when he was a kid. She used Corn Flakes or Rice Krispies. I remember it well because my mom used to do the same thing with Shake ‘n Bake!
Almond crusted baked chicken is like what your mom used to make when you were a kid, but it’s grown up and healthier. And it’s downright delicious!
Almond Crusted Baked Chicken
This recipe has quickly become a family favorite. It is great for when you want that nice crunch to your chicken, without all the icky stuff that’s in those seasoning bags.
Here’s what I love about this recipe:
- It doesn’t really matter if you use an egg wash. The chicken is crispy and DELICIOUS every time. So if you’re out of eggs, you can still make this recipe!
- The seasoned breading is DELICIOUS.
- Whole-30, low carb, and keto friendly.
- Versatile for chicken breasts or chicken thighs.
Ingredients for Almond Crusted Baked Chicken
This recipe is simple, and you likely have all of the ingredients in your pantry!
- Almond flour.
- Whole almonds.
- Paprika, Salt and pepper for seasoning. Necessary for flavor in this recipe. Trust me, you do not want to skip out on the seasonings. (You could sub in this poultry seasoning, seasoned salt, or even ranch dressing mix!)
- Egg wash. Water and/or milk work too!
How to Make Almond Crusted Chicken
Making almond crusted chicken is so easy!
- Combine seasonings with almonds and almond flour in a high powered blender (like this one) and pulse until almonds are small. (Don’t over-pulse otherwise you’ll make almond butter.)
- Dip chicken in the beaten egg wash and coat with almond mixture.
- Bake the chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper until golden brown and the juices run clear.
Can you make Almond Crusted Chicken in the air fryer?
I haven’t personally tried this but others have and the chicken still turns out great! You’ll need to adjust the cooking time as air fryers tend to cook faster than regular baking.
Can you make Almond Crusted Chicken tenders or chicken nuggets?
I’ve made this recipe with chicken breasts, bone-in chicken thighs, pork chops, and boneless skinless chicken thighs.
I really liked the boneless skinless chicken thighs best because they were so moist, but again, use whatever chicken you have on hand!
You can cut the chicken into smaller pieces, or tenders, but you’ll need to adjust the baking time to make sure you don’t overcook them.
Boneless chicken (or pork) will cook up pretty quickly, so I recommend putting this in the oven when everything else is about 15 minutes away from being done. I like to get the oven preheating, get the side dishes going and then prepare the chicken. It can sit ready to go, on the pan, for a while until it’s time to go in the oven.
Is Almond Crusted Chicken low carb or keto?
Yes! This recipe does not use breadcrumbs. I use almond flour and almonds, along with seasonings. It is low carb and keto-friendly! It is one of the recipes I discovered while on the Whole30 diet.
By the way… you can learn more about how we were able to eat on the Whole30 diet while on a budget here and read about our experience doing the Whole30 plan with our kids here.
Can you freeze almond crusted chicken?
Like most crusted baked chicken recipes, this doesn’t freeze well. Leftovers the next day, whether plain, added to a hash or chopped up in a salad, are very good. But this isn’t something you’ll want to make tons of to stash in your freezer for a quick meal later on.
(If you need some freezer meal ideas, I recommend freezing components since they’re the most flexible later. Things like Instant Pot whole chicken or 15-minute Italian meatballs or the very best slow cooker carnitas are perfect for the freezer. Then you can easily mix and match them with quick side dishes like cilantro-lime coleslaw or Instant Pot brown rice or root vegetable sauté.)
Sauce for Almond Crusted Chicken
Almond crusted chicken by itself is AMAZING but I understand if your people need a dipping sauce. Try any of these homemade sauces for a delicious twist to baked chicken:
- Secret Recipe Buffalo Wing Sauce
- Homemade BBQ Sauce
- Magic Thai Peanut Sauce
- Homemade Caesar Dressing
- Non-dairy Ranch Dressing
This recipe is featured in my FREE Budget-Friendly Whole30 Meal Plan!
Need more fast dinner ideas?
- Easy Weeknight Stir Fry
- Homemade Hamburger Helper
- 30-Minute Cashew Chicken
- Incredible Jamaican Jerk Chicken
- Homemade Pasta Primavera
Watch How to Make Almond Crusted Baked Chicken
Almond Crusted Baked Chicken
Inspired by Whole30 cashew crusted chicken, this almond-crusted baked chicken is full of amazing flavor. Naturally gluten-free, it’s paleo, Whole30 and low carb. Use chicken breasts, tenders or cutlets, or even use thighs or pork chops! No sauce needed, this chicken is a favorite among the kids too!
- Prep Time: 5 min
- Cook Time: 15 min
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 servings
- Category: Main Meals
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
- 1 – 1 1/2 lbs chicken (I recommend boneless skinless thighs)
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 2/3 cup whole almonds
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp water or milk
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place a cooling rack on top.
- Combine the almond flour, almonds, salt, paprika and pepper in a blender or food processor and pulse until the almonds are in small pieces (half a pea, or smaller), about 4-6 times. Make sure not to over-process, or to process for longer spurts, otherwise, the almonds will release their oils and you’ll make almond butter. Pour this into a shallow dish.
- In a separate shallow dish, crack the egg and add the water or milk. Whisk well.
- Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dip the chicken into the egg wash, turning to thoroughly coating all sides. Allow the excess to drip off and then place in the bowl with the coating. Turn the chicken and make sure all sides are coated. Place the chicken on the cooling rack and repeat this process with the remaining chicken.*
- Bake the chicken for 15-18 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Serve warm.
*If you run out of the almond coating, you can either make a small half-batch using the ratio of 2 Tbsp flour to 1 Tbsp whole almonds OR just sprinkle more almond flour into the bowl. I tend to do the latter since it’s easier.
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