Easy and grain-free paleo popcorn chicken! Lightly coated and pan fried in coconut oil, perfect for an appetizer, snack, or main course! Paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, and Whole30 approved.
These Grain Free Paleo Popcorn Chicken recipe is courtesy of Michelle Smith from her new cookbook, The Whole Smiths Good Food Cookbook: Delicious Healthy Recipes for All Year Long.
Do you know what today is?! Besides Thursday and the day you need to make paleo popcorn chicken?! 😋
It’s the start of football season! College started last weekend and the NFL starts tonight. The only reason I know this is because the Eagles are on tonight and Michael was glued to the TV last Saturday watching the JMU game.
Don’t get me wrong, I like football and know a pretty decent amount about it, but I don’t follow it as much as I used to. But one thing I do love about football is the food that comes with it!!
I mean who doesn’t like finger food, appetizers, and chips and dip?! And healthy popcorn chicken fits the bill perfectly. This paleo popcorn chicken reminds of the real deal – like Chick-fil-a recreation good. And the recipe is all thanks to Michelle Smith and her new cookbook The Whole Smiths Good Food Cookbook: Delicious Healthy Recipes for All Year Long.
The book is full of whole food recipes from breakfast, to snacks veggies, condiments, and even desserts (over 150 recipes!). AND it’s the first ever certified Whole30 cookbook!! How freaking cool!
Not all the recipes are Whole30 approved (there are 75 Whole30 recipes), but it is a great mix with food freedom recipes to help you live your best life after the Whole30.
Each recipe is labeled either as paleo, Whole30, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, or nut free. Michelle also goes over food freedom, kitchen staples and tools, and kids and food. If you are looking for fun, healthy, family friendly, whole food recipes, this is food is it.
And I’m so happy to be sharing a paleo and Whole30 recipe from it with you guys!
How to make Paleo Popcorn Chicken (Whole30)
You might be skeptical when you hear the word paleo with popcorn chicken followed by it, but don’t let it fool you. This popcorn chicken is the real deal. Crunchy on the outside, tender in the middle, and the perfect size for dipping! Better yet, the ingredient list is super short! What you will need:
- chicken breast or tenders
- almond flour
- tapioca flour
- coconut oil
To make the popcorn chicken, it’s as easy and dicing up chicken breasts or tenders and going down an assembly line. I used tenders as they are easier to cut. First you mix together your dry ingredients and whisk your eggs in separate bowls.
Second, bread the chicken by dipping it into the egg mixture and then the dry mixture, making sure to fully coat it. Next, heat up a large cast iron or nonstick pan with coconut oil. Finally, once the pan is hot, work in batches and fry the chicken until golden brown and crispy.
You are left with perfect bite size pieces of healthy popcorn chicken!
What to serve with Healthy Popcorn Chicken
The possibility are endless!! Sauce is my thing – I eat it almost every meal and it just adds so much flavor to things. You can totally change up this popcorn chicken recipe just by using a different sauce.
- 6 Whole30 sauce that aren’t mayo
- Spicy honey mustard (not Whole30)
- BBQ sauce – homemade or store bought
- ranch – homemade or store bought
- buffalo sauce or hot sauce – homemade or store bought
- chipotle mayo
Can you eat chicken tenders on Whole30?
While this popcorn chicken is Whole30 approved, if you feel like it is a ‘food with no brakes’, it should probably not be included in your Whole30. You want to create and work on having the best relationship with food. In other words, eating popcorn chicken mindless to bring back those comfort food feelings is not how it works.
They are a perfect food freedom recipe if they aren’t the best decision during your Whole30 though!
Kids or adults, this recipe will please everyone. Make them for a fun dinner, an appetizer for a get-together, or a game day party. I promise no one will know they are grain free!
You could make them for meal prep too. Either eat them cold or heat them up when you are ready to eat. Michael and I ate them over a few days – no complaints from him a few days in. I mean, why would you complain about eating popcorn chicken!?
If you love this recipe and want more like it, make sure to check out the The Whole Smiths Good Food Cookbook: Delicious Healthy Recipes for All Year Long – it’s filled with amazing food freedom, paleo, and Whole30 recipes for the whole family!
More Easy Paleo Recipes
More Paleo Chicken Recipes
Paleo Popcorn Chicken (Whole30)
- Season the chicken with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, tapioca flour, remaining salt, and the paprika. Pour the beaten eggs into a shallow bowl.
- Dip the chicken in the egg, letting the excess drip off, then roll into the flour mixture to coat. Set aside.
- In a large cast iron or non stick skillet over medium heat, melt the coconut oil, working in batches, fry the chicken until the crust is a light golden brown and the meat is cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Once cooked, place the chicken onto a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle lightly with salt.
- Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce!
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