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  • Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers Recipe (Gluten-Free)

    Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers are gonna knock your socks off!

    Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers Recipe | stupideasypaleo.com

    Steph’s note: Give a hearty welcome to my guest blogger, Cassy from Fed & Fit. Cassy is a quadruple threat: She has mad kitchen skills, is an ace behind the camera, gets her sweat on at CrossFit and is one of the nicest folks you’ll ever meet.

    On her blog Fed & Fit, Cassy brings approachable yet flavor-packed recipes with her signature step-wise photography that always leaves me drooling on my keyboard. I’m super excited to introduce you to her today! Make sure to make these Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers and go follow her on social media…you won’t be disappointed. Scroll down for the printable recipe.

    Oh my word…I’m on Stupid Easy Paleo! I just adore Steph, and you know what? I adore you, too. I adore you because you’re here, you’re a part of the Real Food movement, and you probably have a thing for crispy chicken fingers. All reasons we can be great friends.

    The Inspiration for This Recipe

    Crispy buffalo chicken fingers and I go way back. Once upon a time, I was a student at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX and I LIVED off of buffalo chicken fingers from a lovely little dining establishment called Wings ‘n More.

    While my health was rapidly declining, I was rapidly falling in love with comfort foods. Since going Paleo about 4 years ago, I gave up those delicious little strips of perfectly spicy, salty, gooey, but still miraculously crunchy chicken wonders. I gave them up plus the fries and ranch dressing that went with them.

    Like a message was sent to me from above, I woke up one morning with the conviction a Paleo version MUST exist in this world. It needs to happen for you, for me, and for all those 20-something college students who think the gluten-coated, MSG-dusted, filler-fed restaurant chicken is their only option.

    How to Make Gluten-Free Chicken Fingers

    This Paleo-friendly crispy buffalo chicken finger is made possible by my good friend, the pork rind. Sometimes called chicharrones, sometimes called cracklins, pork skins are a crunchy, light, fluffy chip made by frying pork skin in it’s own rendered fat. They make for an occasional crunchy treat or can substitute as breading!

    In an effort to create that reminiscent thick buffalo breading, I crafted a hybrid between my famous Paleo buffalo sauce and an egg wash.

    Keep scrolling for my step-by-step photo instructions, tips and tricks.

    I also recommend you check out my Paleo-friendly ranch dressing! Crispy buffalo chicken fingers and ranch dressing are a match made in heaven. Just saying.

    How to Make Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers

    Our recipe starts with about one pound of (ideally, pastured) chicken strips.

    Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers Recipe | stupideasypaleo.com

    Next up, the buffalo egg wash! Crack two eggs into a bowl. Now add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Then, add the juice of one lemon. Now, add the garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.

    Now you get to choose your level of spice! For HOT add 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper, add 1 teaspoon for medium, or add ½ teaspoon for mild. I opted for medium.

    Got all your ingredients loaded up?

    Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers Recipe | stupideasypaleo.com
    Whisk until well combined and set aside while we focus on our crunchy breading.

    How to Select Pork Rinds

    The most important thing to remember when you’re buying pork skins is to read the label. You want to make sure the ingredients only read, “pork and salt.” Avoid bags with anything else listed.

    Measure out about 5 cups of pork skins into a gallon-sized plastic bag.

    Smash ‘em up! You’re also welcome to pulse the pork rinds in a food processor for a few minutes but A) I like to avoid washing more dishes than necessary and B) think smashing things is fun and therapeutic.

    Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers Recipe | stupideasypaleo.com

    Once they’re mostly broken up, pour them in a bowl.

    Make sure your oven is set to 400°F (204°C) and grab all your components!

    Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers Recipe | stupideasypaleo.com

    Dip each chicken strip in the buffalo sauce. Make sure it’s well-coated. Then, lay it in the breading. Pull it out when the crunchy pork goodness has it all covered up.

    Lay the strips on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Pop them in the oven for about 25 minutes or until cooked through.

    Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers Recipe | stupideasypaleo.com

    Ta-da!

    Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers Recipe | stupideasypaleo.com

    What to Serve These Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers With

    I recommend you plate with some crunchy vegetables and a side of Paleo-friendly ranch dressing.

    Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers Recipe | stupideasypaleo.com

    20 Paleo Super Bowl Recipes | stupideasypaleo.com

    Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers Recipe

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Chicken, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Whole30
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 25 minutes
    Total Time: 45 minutes
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 374 kcal
    Author: Cassy Joy Garcia

    These crispy buffalo chicken fingers are made possible by using crunchy, light, fluffy pork rinds as the perfect substitute for breading!

    Print

    Ingredients

    • 1 lb chicken strips
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 1 lemon juiced
    • 2 tsp garlic powder
    • 2 tsp onion powder
    • 2 tsp paprika
    • 1 tsp cayenne pepper for MEDIUM hot 2 tsp for HOT or 1/2 tsp for MILD
    • 1 tsp kosher salt or sea salt
    • 5 cups pork rinds crumbled

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
    2. Whisk the eggs, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, onion, paprika, cayenne and salt together in a medium bowl.
    3. Dip each chicken strip into the buffalo egg wash then lay in the pork rind breading, coating both sides.
    4. Place breaded strips on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until cooked through.
    Nutrition Facts
    Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers Recipe
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 374 Calories from Fat 144
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 16g 25%
    Saturated Fat 5g 25%
    Cholesterol 187mg 62%
    Sodium 809mg 34%
    Potassium 552mg 16%
    Total Carbohydrates 5g 2%
    Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
    Sugars 1g
    Protein 49g 98%
    Vitamin A 18.5%
    Vitamin C 20%
    Calcium 4.3%
    Iron 9.2%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

    Pin this Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers recipe for later!

    Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers | StupidEasyPaleo.com

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    58 thoughts on “Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers Recipe (Gluten-Free)

    1. I’m not sure I can get a good version of pork rinds where I am…but this gave me a good idea for buffalo chicken fingers with almond meal! And that ranch dip looks so good- and doable!

      1. I found a local brand that was just pork and lard. No extra ingredients. You could even make your own if you’re ambitious.

    2. Sorry, I may be a little late, but is there anything else you recommend besides pork rinds, if I can’t find anything healthy enough?

    3. This is the first comment I’ve ever made on a food blog. I’ve been testing a few recipes across NomNomPaleo and PaleOMG and they deserve a good number of comments too. However, PaleOMG sent me over here. I’ve tried many times to make a “healthy chicken finger” but have had no luck. Almond meal is too dry and thick IMO and I’m not a fan at all. I thought this recipe would be a similar letdown. I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO WRONG.

      I’ve never had a pork rind so I didn’t know what to expect. I thought they were always incredibly gross looking and really didn’t know what they were my entire life (I’m 28). Picked up a package (Fried Pork Skins & Salt) at my local grocery store. Popped one out of the bag and tasted it. Tasted like Styrofoam, I can’t imagine eating these as snack. I’m sure the ones doused in artificial flavors are much better. Either way, I put them in a bag and started to smash, I used a mallet to be sure they were crushed. I had also purchased a package of Chicken Breast Tenderloins, you know the long skinny strips? I thought about using this but decided to put my mallet back to work. I whacked them a couple of times and while they looked a bit thin they were looking much more like chicken strips. I dunked them in the sauce, placed them in the bowl of pork rind dust and immediately onto parchment.

      In the oven they went! I was a bit concerned as it didn’t mention if I needed to flip or not. I decided to flip with about 5 minutes left. I might try placing them on a cooling rank next time, although it does entail extra cleaning. Either way, the result was far better than I ever expected. These should be served at bars, ballparks or anywhere you find chicken fingers. DELICIOUS. I can’t say it enough. This has made the top tier of Paleo recipes. If you have kids, make these right now.

      Using a mallet to better shape my fingers from tenderloins really improved the meal in my opinion. I think it help the cooking process as well. Additionally, this meal takes like 10 minutes to prepare and a maximum of 25 minutes to cook. While the rinds aren’t exactly healthy, I was surprised that they weren’t terrible for you. I will always keep a pack of chicken tenderloins and pork rinds available as you can whip this up in no time.

      You’re a genius and thank you for this recipe! If you haven’t made this, try it. You won’t be disappointed.

    4. Thank you for sharing this recipe!! I have been looking for something like this for quite some time and usually if I found something that was similar, there was a huge ingredient list and lots of steps and well…. that turns me off. This is fantastic, looks simple and affordable and will give me the crispy chicken strips I’ve missed. You are awesome Cassy, thank you!

    5. Cassy,
      This recipe sounds amazing… but I gotta ask you where did you find those pork rinds?? I looked at two of my local supermarkets today to no avail. I know others have asked but I’m just curious which ones you are using?
      Thanks!
      Matt

      1. Hmmmm. Good question. I’m not really sure what you could use that wouldn’t interfere with the flavor. Cassy may have some suggestions. My husband also has an egg sensitivity so I just skip the breading and stuff for him.

    6. Yep. These are amazing. I simply used Franks Hot sauce since i was in a hurry, but they were perfect. Yummo. Thanks!

    7. I just made these and they are quite good! Finally a paleo breading that is crispy! This will b my go to breading for all my breading needs! The possibilities are endless. Casey is a genius!!!
      Steph your site rocks!

    8. So . . . I totally loved this! My very picky kids did too!!! Whoo hoo! Roasted some veggies at the same time and voila! Dinner! YUM!!!

    9. i enjoyed these. they have a nice crunch and great flavor. definitely going to add this into my chicken rotation when i get bored.

    10. Happy face…although I am not convinced that pork rinds actually fit into Whole30 paleo…I love this recipe! I am doing Whole30 now and I really needed a recipe that is different from the norm. However, I was in a big hurry and I substituted all of your spices for Frank’s Hot Sauce. It worked out fine. Yours probably had better flavor though. Thanks for thinking outside of the paleo box. 🙂

    11. Instant family favorite!!! These are awesome and leave behind the best “pan crunchies”! Thank you for sharing such a simple and delicious recipe. I can’t wait to make them again.

    12. I came across your site looking for simple whole 30 recipes, and OH MY GOODNESS this recipe was amazing! I was hesitant of the pork rind “smell” and how it would taste after baking, however it melted into the chicken and seasoning perfectly. Super tasty and definitely going to make again!

    13. These are so amazing!! Do you by any chance have the macro break down for These little gems?? Thank you!! You’re the best!

      1. Justin, I recommend entering the information into My Fitness Pal for a macro breakdown. We have a plugin that’s supposed to do this for us automatically but frankly it sucks, and it’s really inaccurate.

    14. Oh my word! These are fantastic! Way better than the regulars even. My kids scarfed these down and asked for more but too late..my non paleo husband had beat them to it! Thank you for the awesome recipe!

    15. Well, I had what I thought was a motley assortment of stuff in my fridge and no idea what to make for dinner. Thank you for saving me a trip to the grocery store! This turned out SO GOOD. It’s also the first time I’ve breaded anything with pork rinds. I think the almond flour is going to be taking a backseat to this for a while, lol. I served it with a side of creamed spinach and I’m stuffed. Thanks so much again for the recipe! Can’t wait to try out more! 🙂

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