Skip the fast food and opt for these deliciously spicy homemade blackened chicken tenders! They’re low-carb, keto-friendly, and super quick & easy to make! These tenders are the right amount of spicy and perfect for dipping! Try them out today. If you’re a fan, feel free to try my Blackened Shrimp Sheet Pan Fajitas (one pan meal!), Blackened Ranch Dressing or even my Keto Blackened Catfish.
While you’re here, I’d absolutely LOVE to have you join my Instagram Family. That way, when you make these delicious tenders, you can tag me and I can brag about how awesome you are.
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My husband Terrance and I have been on this keto journey for a while now. When we first started out, we were making 100% of our meals in our home kitchen to avoid any kind of temptation when out and about. Truth is, there just weren’t that many keto or low-carb “to-go” options at most restaurant chains. I mean, how many bun-less burgers can one consume? For the record though, I love a good bun-less burger.
Honestly, our “on-the-go” keto plan used to be to just pick up some jerky from the closest convenience store until we could make it back home to cook. That made for some long days at times, as you might imagine.
Since then, tons of restaurants have capitalized on specialized diets and added compliant foods to their menus. Many popular chains have options for: gluten free, Whole30, Weight Watchers, and of course vegan and vegetarian. As we become more and more cognizant of calories, nutrition, and overall healthy lifestyles, it’s kind of cool to see how companies look to keep up.
Popeye’s Blackened Tenders
Listen, I’m not going to pretend that I don’t enjoy Popeye’s blackened tenders. They taste good, and for a five piece order, there’s only 3 grams of carbs, excluding any sides or drinks.
There are two factors that led to me wanting to develop my own blackened chicken tenders recipe though:
1. You’ll notice that I said they’re good – not great. Yes, when I’m in a jam they will do just fine, but I find their recipe to be inconsistent depending on which location I visit. Sometimes they’re spicy, sometimes they’re not. The texture and seasoning can be a bit…off at times.
2. It’s just not financially sustainable to be trying to maintain a steady fast food habit. I don’t think any of us really want to do that anyway, even if we could. There’s just something way more satisfying about a home cooked meal. The lower cost per serving definitely doesn’t hurt.
To be clear, this is my own recipe. I make no claims to know the actual ingredients that Popeye’s uses for their recipe. What I will say is that they taste very similar, and they’re just damn good. So, let’s get into it.
How to make Copycat Popeye’s Blackened Tenders
For starters, I make my blackened tenders in a large cast iron skillet. I think they would do well in an air fryer, but I have not tested them that way as of yet. I set the oven to 350 °; I start the tenders on the stove and finish them in the oven. I start with about 2 pounds of chicken breast tenderloin. This makes enough for two people to enjoy for about two meals; 4 servings.
I take all of the spices and whisk them together in a small bowl or plate. You can use more or less quantities of the spices depending on your heat tolerance level.
Next, I add the all of the spices (chili powder, kosher salt, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, black pepper) as well as the chicken, to a large freezer bag, and give it a good shake until all of the chicken is evenly coated. You’ll need to do a little working and massaging to get everything evenly distributed, so don’t be afraid to get handsy.
In my large cast iron skillet, I add a tablespoon of either extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil – I’ve tested with both and they both work. I heat the oil for 2-3 minutes.
Once the oil is hot, I place the chicken in the skillet and allow to cook for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until they develop of good sear.
Finally, I place the skillet in the oven for 10 minutes to allow the chicken to finish cooking internally.
These tenders are seriously good! They can be served:
- Dipped in ranch dressing
- Atop a salad
- In wraps and sandwiches
- All by themselves, because they’re that delicious.
Also, if you’re in the mood for another “blackened” recipe, then try my blackened catfish. It’s the stuff dreams are made of.
That’s all folks, save yourself some coin and skip the drive thru! You won’t regret it.
Try it out and let me know what you think. Don’t forget to tag me when you make them.
Can’t make this recipe right now? Pin it to your favorite Pinterest board for later!
Skip the fast food and opt for these deliciously spicy homemade blackened tenders!
- 2 tsp Sea Salt
- 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 2 tsp Chili Power
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1-2 tsp Black Pepper
- 2 lbs Chicken Breast Tenderloin
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl or on a plate, use a whisk to mix all seasonings together into one seasoning blend (blackened seasoning).
- In a large freezer bag, add seasonings and chicken; shake and massage until all tenders are coated with seasoning.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet for 2-3 minutes over medium-high heat.
- Place the tenders in the skillet and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until a nice sear develops.
- Transfer skillet to oven, and allow chicken to cook for an additional ten minutes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 420Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 193mgSodium: 1343mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 71g