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Baked Paprika Parmesan Chicken Tenders layered on a plate.

Paprika Parmesan Chicken {Baked or Air Fryer}

Make low-carb, kid-friendly Paprika Parmesan Chicken in the oven OR air fryer using our easy NO-MESS tricks. Freeze them BEFORE or after cooking.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 395kcal



  • 2 pounds chicken tenders, nuggets or breasts
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup Parmesan cheese finely grated
  • 2 Tablespoons flour unbleached all-purpose, white whole wheat or almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper


  • Lightly whisk an egg in a large bowl. 
  • Add chicken to the bowl and turn to coat with egg. Set aside.
  • Place the remaining ingredients into a separate large bowl or oblong-shaped container with a lid. Seal and shake to combine contents.
  • Lift chicken tenders into the bowl with the breading ingredients, allowing excess egg to drip from chicken before adding it to the breading bowl. 
  • Seal the bowl tightly and gently turn the bowl to coat the chicken with the breading mixture. Do this in batches, if necessary.

To Bake in the Oven

  • Preheat oven to 375 °F.
  • Place breaded chicken tenders on cooling rack sprayed to prevent sticking. Place the cooling rack on top of a baking sheet.  If there is breading leftover, gently press it over the chicken tenders.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and reaches 165 °F in the center of the largest piece. Enjoy!

To Cook in an Air Fryer

  • Preheat Air Fryer for 3 minutes at 375 °F with the crisper plate in place.  
  • Place chicken tenders or nuggets on the crisper plate in a single layer. The chicken should not overlap and have space surrounding each piece so that air can easily circulate during the cooking time. We did not need to oil the crisper plate for this recipe. If necessary, use a mister with olive oil to coat it. Aerosol sprays, like Pam, are not recommended for most air fryers.
  • Return the basket to the air fryer and cook at 375 °F for 15-20 minutes, turning pieces over with silicone tongs halfway through and checking for doneness periodically. Cook time will vary based upon the thickness of the chicken and the type of air fryer used.  
  • Check chicken frequently to see how things are progressing. Pause air fryer and pull out the basket. Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 °F. The best way to check is to lift out the largest piece of chicken and stick a temperature probe in the side. If you don't have a probe, then cut the chicken in half to see if it is cooked through and no longer pink.
  • Remove chicken from air fryer with silicone tongs and enjoy!


Please scroll up for more details and process shots!
Expert Tips and Notes:
  1. To make ahead and freeze, prepare the chicken tenders, but don't cook them. Freeze in a single layer in a baking tin. Cover and store for up to 2 months for best results. Or transfer to a plastic bag once frozen.
  2. Chicken can be cooked from frozen, add about 10 minutes and check to be sure chicken is no longer pink and reaches correct internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Use almond flour for SBD Phase 1.


Calories: 395kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 149mg | Sodium: 511mg | Potassium: 323mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 677IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 2mg