Chili Lime Chicken Tenders (Whole 30, Paleo, Keto)

(Last Updated On: September 1, 2020)
Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Share or Save For Later

Chili Lime Chicken Tenders

All my recipes on this site are gluten-free, and these Chili Lime Chicken Tenders are no exception. We replace traditional flour with almond flour or almond meal. This also makes these tenders, Whole 30, Paleo and Keto friendly. The spice from the chili and the citrus from the lime packs a flavor punch into every bite. However, what really puts these Chili Lime Chicken Tenders over the edge is the super simple sriracha lime aioli! I hope you give it a try because it’s mouthwatering good!

Want Simple Healthy Recipes Sent Directly To You?

No Spam in our recipes or your email. On the 15th and 30th of the month you'll get our best new recipes delivered right in your inbox. Subscribe below, unsubscribe anytime

Ain't Nobody Got Lime For That

Ain’t nobody got time for long weeknight dinners, with lots of cleanup. That’s where these Chili Lime Chicken Tenders come in. They are cooked up super quick in the air fryer or oven, with just a few ingredients. The sriracha lime aioli (which is just a fancy way of saying mayo based sauce)  is the real cherry on top of this dish. You can also throw a bag of frozen veggies in the microwave, or a quick side of my Cilantro Lime Rice or 15-minute Simple Sesame Roasted Asparagus and now you have a complete meal from fridge to table in under 30 minutes. What’s better than that? 

Need some inspiration for other meals that are perfect for busy nights? Try my Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash Casserole, Buffalo Turkey Meatballs or Pineapple Shredded Chicken. 

lime slices black surface

What Makes This Dish Keto, Paleo and Whole 30 Friendly?

I usually take a minute to explain what makes each recipe on this site fall into the dietary categories so my readers a better idea of what each diet is about. Keto is a diet focused on keeping the body in a state of ketosis. In this state, the body starts to burn fat for fuel. You do this by consuming under a certain number of carbs per day, typically 20G or less. Chicken breast have 0 carbs. The almond flour has approximately 3Net Carbs per quarter cup. All the other ingredients have 0 carbs, making this a very keto friendly dinner. 

Both Whole 30 and Paleo diets focus on eating whole foods that are minimally processed, avoiding any inflammatory ingredients, like gluten, grains, dairy, and legumes. Traditional chicken tenders are breaded with breadcrumbs and flour both which contain gluten. The Almond Flour is a great Whole 30 & Paleo friendly replacement. All spices are fruits are allowed in unlimited quantities. Not all mayo is compliant because they contain ingredients like soy and canola. But I highly recommend Primal Kitchen Avocado Mayo, which is both Paleo and Whole 30 approved. Some people say Sriracha is not allowed on Whole 30 or Paleo so you can substitute a drop of a compliant hot sauce for a similar dipping sauce. 

chili lime chicken tenders gluten free paleo whole 30

Nerdy Health Stuff

I love limes! My favorite dessert is probably a good slice of key lime pie. I will squeeze fresh lime or lemon in water any chance I can get, because why not? The citric acid found in citrus fruits can help speed up your metabolism and burn extra calories. Limes are also loaded with vitamin C. One lime contains about 20% or your recommended daily intake. Did you know you can also use lime juice on your face to treat pimples? Check out this article for all the instructions. 

Most people associate Citrus with vitamin C, but did you know that chili powder also contains lots of Vitamin C? That’s just one of the many benefits of this spicy little powder. Capsaicin, the main component of peppers that determines their spiciness, has all kinds of health benefits. It can rev up your metabolism, help fight inflammation and even help release endorphins. Which are your feel-good hormones. Add that spice to your life 🙂 

What Ingredients Do You Need?


  1. Almond Flour
  2. Egg
  3. Chili Powder
  4. Lime Juice
  5.  Olive Oil
Optional Dipping Sauce
  1. Mayo
  2. Sriracha or hot sauce (for whole 30/paleo)

How To Make It

  1. Marinate your chicken by tossing it in the pesto. Heat the olive oil and garlic in the pan. 
  2. Add chicken to the pan, cook for about 5 minutes. 
  3. Add the veggies, continue to let cook. 
  4. Serve over cauliflower rice. 

That Simple!!!

Helpful Equipment and Ingredients (Directly From Amazon)

My Ninja Air Fryer that I LOVEEEEE
Whole 30/Paleo Compliant Mayo
Essential Kitchen Tongs!

What Are Some Good Sides?

I always include sides to serve with my main dish, however this dish is kind of like a meal and side in one. However Dave and I do a very simple side salad every night and that was perfect. 

  • A simple side salad. Almost every night with dinner we have a very simple of spring mix, salt pepper and a dressing of apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Simple, easy, low calories and helps keep you full. 
  • Cauliflower Rice (Fresh or frozen)
  • Cilantro Lime Rice
  • Simple Sesame Roasted Asparagus
red and green chili peppers

Tips, Recs, Subs

  • To give these Chili Lime Chicken Tenders, we add the fresh squeezed lime juice right to the egg, which will give it just the right about of subtle flavors. If you want a little more lime, use a Microplane, and add some zest to the almond flour mixture. You can also add extra lime zest to the chicken once it’s out of the air fryer or oven.
  • If you want it a bit spicier, add some extra chili powder. 
  • The Sriracha Lime Aioli is a must for this dish! Aioli is just fancy for a mayo-based sauce. But it’s insanely simple and only 3 ingredients. You won’t regret making this dipping sauce, because it’s THAT good! I LOVE this primal kitchen Paleo approved mayo. Since it’s paleo, you know it’s made with minimally processed healthy ingredients. You can swap out a paleo approved hot sauce instead of the sriracha if you wanted.
  • If you don’t have an air fryer, you can also bake these tenders at 450 for 15-20 minutes.
  • If you are not sure if the chicken is done cut into it to make sure there is no pink or get a reading of 165 on a meat thermometer.

Save Chili Lime Chicken Tenders

Chili Lime Chicken Tenders pinterest pin mostly clean eats

Other Whole 30/ Paleo Recipes You'll Enjoy

whole 30 paleo salsa chicken
2 Ingredient Salsa Chicken
Instant pot buffalo chicken close up
Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken
whole 30 paleo cauliflower hummus
Paleo/Whole 30 Cauliflower Hummus
Chicken Primavera
chili lime chicken tender fork plated

Chili Lime Chicken Tenders

Easy gluten free chili lime chicken tenders, cooked perfectly in the air fryer with minimal ingredients
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American


  • Air Fryer (or baking sheet)


  • 1-1/12 Lbs Chicken tenderloins or breasts meat cut into strips
  • 2 Eggs Whisked
  • 1 Lime Juiced and 1 tablespoon of lime zest
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • Olive oil spray or 1 tablespoon evenly distributed in the air fryer basket.

Sriracha Lime Aoli Dipping Sauce

  • 3 Tablespoons Mayo
  • Squirt of Sriracha
  • Juice from 1/2 small lime


Chicken Tenders

  • Preheat air fryer for 5 minutes at 390. *See tips below for oven instructions. Pour almond flour onto a plate, add chili powder and mix well. Option to add extra lime zest to this almond flour mixture. In a separate bowl whisk the egg, and add the lime juice.
  • Generously salt and pepper the chicken. Coat the chicken in the egg wash, transfer to the almond flour plate. Flip chicken over so it is coated well. Coat the air fryer with a spritz of oil, or add a drop of oil and use a paper towel to coat the basket evenly.
  • Cook chicken at 390 for 5 minutes, give the basket a shake to toss, Cook for 6 more minutes. Take out of the basket and serve.

Sriracha Lime Dipping Sauce

  • Combine all ingredients, mix well.


Danielle's Tips

*To cook in the oven preheat to 400 and bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. 
Keyword air fryer, chicken, chili, lime

Hungry For More?

Share or Save for Later.

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Subscribe For Recipes and More

No Spam in our recipes or your E-mail. EVER! That's our promise to you. Unubscribe at anytime


    • Me too chicken tenders are one of my childhood faves! I Was happy I could make a healthier version to enjoy as an adult. Thanks for stopping by the blog and commenting. Let me know how you like them! 🙂

Thoughts about this post? Let me know