This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Tender, juicy chicken fingers coated in crunchy toasted pecans. The flavor is amazing and they are faux-fried in the oven!

pecan crusted chicken fingers on a silpat baking mat

Chicken fingers, chicken tenders, chicken strips, whatever you call them is fine by me as long as you at least ONCE try them coated in crushed pecans.

Since the day I shot these photos two weeks ago, I’ve made pecan crusted chicken fingers for dinner 3 times. Part of it is me being lazy since they’re so simple and an even bigger part of it is because they are so damn good! Served with a little honey mustard, this dish is by far our favorite way to enjoy chicken finger tender strips.

Bonus: they’re baked, not fried. Yay.

pecan crusted chicken fingers on a cream plate

Since these pecan chicken fingers aren’t fried, it’s important to smother them in lots of flavor before going into the oven. This way, you won’t feel like you’re missing out by eating a healthier version. Start with some really, really good pecans. My favorite brand, and has been for years, is Diamond of California. My mom got me hooked on this brand. Rather than being sold in the snack aisle, these quality nuts are sold in the baking aisle. When it comes to cooking and baking, they’re the simply the best.

If Northshore nuts were US Weekly, they’d always be on the cover. (<– name that quote!)

Quality pecans… √

Coarsely chop the pecans– these will be your crust. Obviously. Not only will pecans be used for the crust, they will act as the “binder” for the crust. When it comes to oven-frying, you’ll usually have to coat your food in a little flour, then egg, and then whatever crust you’re using like Panko or crushed pretzels. The flour helps the egg stick, the egg helps the crust stick. Easy, right? Instead of using just plain flour (boring! no taste!) today, you’ll use ground pecans mixed with flour and some seasoning. You don’t want to grind/process the pecans too much or you’ll end up with greasy nut butter.

So, just a few pulses until they look like this:

2 images of coating in a white bowl with a spoon and a chicken finger in a bowl of coating

Dredge the chicken in this seasoned flour/pecan mixture, then the beaten eggs, then the coarsely chopped pecans. My best tip for coating is to use three separate bowls and both hands. 1 dry hand, 1 wet hand. In other words – use 1 hand to dip into the flour. Use the second hand to dip into the beaten egg. Use the first hand to coat in the crushed pecans. This will save you from losing your mind/washing your hands between each chicken finger. FYI: things may still get a little messy!

Now it’s time to bake. Baking is my preferred cooking method for pecan crusted chicken tenders. There is just no need for excess oil to take away from the fabulous toasted pecan flavor. Plus, healthy-ish. I choose to bake buffalo chicken fingers and bbq chicken fingers, too.

pecan crusted chicken fingers on a cream plate with a bite taken from one

So much pecan goodness!

pecan crusted chicken fingers on a cream plate

Chop these up and toss them onto a salad, eat straight up, enjoy with BBQ sauce or honey mustard, eat leftovers for lunch, etc. I have big plans to make these again for the big game next weekend. Maybe cut the chicken into little bite size pieces and serve with little toothpicks? Touchdown.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
pecan crusted chicken fingers on a cream plate with a bite taken from one

Baked Pecan Crusted Chicken Fingers

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: serves 3-4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American


Tender, juicy chicken fingers coated in crunchy toasted pecans. The flavor is amazing and they are faux-fried in the oven!


  • 1 and 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or tenders
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika*
  • 2 large eggs
  • chopped parsley for garnish, optional


  1. Set out 3 medium size bowls. Set aside. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat/parchment paper or coat heavily with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. If using chicken breasts, pound down and cut into strips. If using boneless, skinless chicken tenders (chicken tenders are the lean strips of meat found attached to the underside of chicken breasts – they can also be purchased separately.) – cut in half lengthwise. Set aside.
  3. Pulse 1/2 cup of pecan halves in a food processor or a blender until fine crumbs are formed. Be careful not to pulse into a nut butter, just a few pulses until they are ground up. See photo above in this post for a visual. In one of the medium bowls from step 1, mix the pecan crumbs with flour, salt, pepper, and paprika. Set aside.
  4. Pulse the remaining pecan halves into coarse crumbs– larger pieces than the ground pecans from step 3. Pour them into another medium bowl. Finally, whisk the 2 eggs until beaten in the 3rd medium bowl.
  5. Coat each chicken strip in the flour/ground pecan mixture, shaking off any excess. Then, dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then, generously roll in the coarsely chopped pecans, shaking off any excess. Place the chicken strips on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn each piece over and continue baking until the outside is crisp and the centers are cooked through, about 10 minutes more. Baking times may vary, just make sure yours are cooked through. If you like them more brown, bake longer. Careful, you don’t want to burn the nuts.
  7. Serve chicken fingers with a garnish of parsley, some honey mustard, and/or your favorite condiment. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. 


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Chicken fingers freeze well, up to 2 months. Bake frozen for about 18 minutes (flipping once) at 350°F (177°C).
  2. Spices: I love to use smoked paprika for added flavor – use your favorite seasonings if you do not have any on hand.

Keywords: baked chicken fingers, baked pecan chicken fingers

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I made these for dinner tonight. They were delicious! Mine didn’t turn out quite as pretty as yours because I ended up getting both hands all yucky trying to coat, dip, etc (even though you gave a great explanation of how to avoid doing that

    1. I’m super excited! My favorite is Pecan crusted chicken salad, and I have never cooked at home I’m excited to try the recipe. thank you!

  2. What do you do if you don’t have smoked paprika. How different is the taste going be?

    1. There just won’t be that subtle smoky flavor– the pecans are plenty flavorful, though, so your chicken finger will taste just fine.

  3. I’d like to start by saying that I love the addition of savory recipes to Sally’s Baking Addiction. This site is my typical go-to when I need a dessert and I think this recipe just became my go-to weeknight dinner for nights when I have no other ideas. I had been using another recipe for pecan crusted chicken which involved sauteing on the stove top – really a hassle, no big chunks of pecans, time consuming, and difficult to keep it from burning while cooking it through. This recipe is not the neatest or the fastest, but after tasting the results, I don’t think that matters one bit. When I first pulled them out of the oven I thought they might be dry and I was already thinking of how I might have to cook them next time at a lower temp. However, my husband had one bite and declared his love for this recipe and essentially forbade me from using my old one. Thanks for making your posts enjoyable and your recipes delicious!

    1. Thank you so much Rachael– for both reporting back about this recipe and for saying you enjoy my savory recipes. Happy you both enjoyed these chicken fingers!

  4. I made this for dinner tonight and it was a serious hit!! I replaced the 1/2 cup of finely ground pecans with Panko bread crumbs and served it with two dipping sauces. I will definitely be making this again.

  5. Made these for dinner last night and they were quite good! Thanks for the recipe!

  6. I just finished your Pecan Chicken and I just had to tell you how amazing it was!!!
    I put a few bits on a bed of coleslaw with chipotle dressing. I just loved it. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  7. Hi Sally:
    First off, I LOVE your food blog. Thank you for sharing so many great recipes. 

    I plan to make this maybe tomorrow night. But, I’d also like to make extra to freeze for nights when I have little time to cook (ok, ya, that’s most nights).  Do you coat the chicken and then freeze BEFORE cooking?  Then cook them directly from frozen?  Just confirming that I’m reading the directions correctly. Thanks a bunch. 

    1. I freeze them AFTER baking. Then I reheat them while their frozen (do not thaw)– as if they were frozen cooked chicken fingers bought from the store. Does this make sense?

  8. Anyone have suggestions as to what would be great side dishes for this? 

    1. I usually serve it with roasted vegetables and cornbread. A great mix of flavors, textures, and satisfying!

  9. Do you think I could use almond or coconut  flour instead of all purpose? I saw this recipe and fell in love, can’t have regular flour. If not what do you suggest as an alternative?

    1. Coconut or almond flour would be just fine for coating these chicken fingers.

  10. These turned out just like you said! Delicious! I put the chicken (I cut it in pieces after baking)  on a bed of baby spinach with chopped cucumber; red onion – sliced thin & mandarin oranges. I drizzled with a sauce/dressing made with equal parts of honey & spicy mustard. 

  11. These are such a favorite for the entire family! We love them chopped over a fresh salad! It’s our go-to dinner when we want something ‘light.’ Thank you for sharing!

  12. This recipe was a major fail for me. It’s in the oven right now and I’m sure it will taste good, but it doesn’t look good. I had problems with the first step and it went downhill from there. The flour/ground pecan mixture did not stick to the chicken. So I tried getting the chicken wet, first with water, then with egg. All I got was blobs of eggy-nutty lumps. As it is baking, nothing is sticking to anything! All the pecans are falling off the chicken. 

  13. Hi Sally, thanks for the great AND life-saving blog! I have made many many many of your recipes with great success. I am a picky eater but you were able to introduce me nicely to “making ahead meals” & on how to freeze & defrost ..etc. It is a definite life save for someone like me who insists to have healthy clean homemade meals on table daily but comes back super exhausted from long heavy 9 hours work if not more.

    Me , my hubby & even my loved meticulous mom we all are big fans of your carrot cake, banana bread & the list goes on. I have two questions regarding this recipe”:
    1)- When I tried to make it the covering/skin kept coming off while turning them halfway in the oven.. did I miss something? any tips?
    2)- Have you ever tried freezing them before baking? any tips? I am worries they will turn out dry after freezing them cooked.

    Thanks again for everything Sally.


    1. Hi Oda, I’m thrilled that you have been following along and have found recipes that you and your family enjoy! If your coating is falling off you can really press it on harder before putting it in the pan. Also chopping in smaller pieces can help. I freeze them AFTER baking. Then I reheat them while their frozen (do not thaw)– as if they were frozen cooked chicken fingers bought from the store. I hope this helps!

  14. These were delicious! I actually made them with no flour at all because I’m gluten free and didn’t have anything on hand to use in the place of all purpose flour and it worked out just fine. Will definitely be making these again soon.

  15. What do you recommend for re-heating these amazing chicken tenders from the fridge? I don’t want to dry them out. 350 degrees for 10 mins?

    1. Hi Tracy! You can simply reheat in the microwave or in a 350F oven for few minutes until warmed.

  16. Yummy moist. Stretches one piece of chicken to 4 servings. I drizzled lightly with honey after plating. Sooo good. Second half will go over salads tomorrow.

  17. I have been keeping my eye peeled for a recipe like this.
    Do you think it would be ok if I drizzled honey over each piece and then bake them in the oven?

    1. Hi Dawn, you can certainly give it a try! They’d be delicious dipped in honey afterwards, too.

  18. These are delicious and will become a regular dish in my house, along with the walnut chicken recipe!