These crispy and crunchy Macadamia Nut Crusted Chicken Tenders are coated in a delicious savory crust made from oats, macadamia nuts, Parmesan cheese and spices!
These Macadamia Nut Crusted Chicken Tenders are kid-friendly and delicious! With a little Hawaiian twist everyone will enjoy!
My family loves chicken tenders. Every time I make them they think it is the best meal ever!! Sometimes however I don’t feel like making the same chicken tender recipe over and over (I get bored very easily). So instead of making my “usual” recipe, I decided to switch things up a bit and make these Hawaiian inspired Crunchy Macadamia Nut Crusted Chicken Tenders. Trust me! No one was disappointed!!!
I put the oats into a food processor and pulse a few times. You don’t want to make them into powder, just a little chop will do. Raw and unsalted macadamia nuts also take a turn into the food processor. You want them to be finely chopped but not so much that they stick together and turn into a mush (or butter!). Both the oats and nuts are mixed with flour, Parmesan cheese and dried thyme.
I seasoned the chicken tenders with salt and pepper – besides the Parmesan cheese, there’s no other salty component in the oat/nut mixture so make sure you season the chicken well. I dip the tenders into the buttermilk and then roll them into the oat/nut mixture until well coated. Now they are ready to be pan fried.
These tenders are not deep fried but pan fried. Cook them in a skillet at medium heat. You don’t want to have the heat at high because that can cause the nuts to burn before the chicken is fully cooked. If you see that the coating is turning too dark too fast, lower the heat a bit.
It is also important to allow the chicken to cook on each side without moving them around. You don’t want that beautiful coating to come off the chicken – however, little bits always come off. No big deal!!
Once on a trip to Hawaii, we tried a similar dish in a restaurant. Instead of tenders they used whole pieces of chicken breast. My version uses only the tenderloin part of the breast, making these Crunchy Macadamia Nut Crusted Chicken Tenders perfect served as an appetizer and easier to eat and more fun for kids (and big kids at heart!)
Serve these Crunchy Macadamia Nut Crusted Chicken Tenders with a side of honey mustard, sweet and sour or duck sauce and enjoy! Trust me your family will love them too!
- You can serve these crispy tenders with this Mac and Cheese Carbonara or with some of this Mexican Green Chile Rice Casserole
- Love chicken recipes? Here are a few of my favorites:
Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken
Southwestern Chicana Chicken
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Crunchy Macadamia Nut Crusted Chicken Tenders
- 1 1/2 cups quick rolled oats
- 3/4 cups macadamia nuts, raw and unsalted
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 pounds chicken tenders
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil, for frying
- For dipping, honey mustard or duck sauce (optional)
- To make the coating, add the oats into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a flat container (I use a square pyrex).
- Put the macadamia nuts in the food processor and pulse until just finely chopped but not so fine that they will stick together. Add the nuts to the oatmeal
- To the oats/nuts mixture add the flour, thyme and Parmesan cheese. Mix to combine.
- Season the chicken tenders with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Dip the chicken tenders in the buttermilk and dredge in the oat mixture until well coated.
- In a large skillet heat the oil to medium heat. Add the chicken tenders and and cook turning once for about 3 - 4 minutes per side until golden brown, crispy and cooked through.
- Remove from the heat and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
- Serve with dipping sauce (optional but highly recommended!)