Crispy Chicken Fingers – Gluten, Egg & Dairy Free

Crispy Chicken Fingers - Gluten, Egg & Dairy Free at The Happy Housewife
By contributing writer Tessa

I am not sure what it is about chicken fingers and nuggets that kids go nuts over, but the vast majority of kids seem to relish in this simple meal!  When we first had to cut out so many foods, I had to get pretty creative with my homemade version of healthier chicken nuggets.

Whether gluten is a problem for you or not, there are loads of fun breading options out there (all of which could be subbed one to one in this recipe):

  • Homemade bread crumbs – Keep the end pieces of any dry crumbly gluten-free bread, such as the heels.  I have used some baking mishaps here too.  Just whir the bread chunks in a high powered blender or food processor, and you have fresh bread crumbs ready to go.  Just be sure to store them in the freezer because the moisture is still in them and they will mold.
  • Crunched up gluten free cereals –  Use cereal such as Rice Chex, Rice Crispies, or corn flakes. Crunch them up by hand (inside a bag) or in a food processor.
  • Your own simple flour & spice mix - Any all-purpose gluten free flour will do, but I usually prefer brown rice, sweet rice, or regular rice flour for breading.
  • Crunched up gluten free crackers 
  • Store bought gluten free bread crumbs - These are super expensive generally, which is why I avoid them.


Crispy Chicken Fingers - Gluten, Egg & Dairy Free at The Happy Housewife

If you would like to see a pan-fried version using Rice Chex, check out my Panko Crusted Chicken!

Crispy Chicken Fingers - Gluten, Egg, & Dairy Free
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 4
  • 1 pound boneless chicken (thighs or breasts), cut into desired pieces
  • 1 cup unsweetened milk substitute
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Tabasco (optional)
  • 2 cups gluten free breadcrumbs (see options above)
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 1-2 tablespoons Salt-Free Cajun seasoning OR 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika (If your seasoning contains salt, omit the extra salt below, and use half the amount of Cajun seasoning)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons oregano or thyme
  • Allowed butter, oil, or cooking spray
  1. Create a pseudo buttermilk by mixing your milk of choice with the apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. (You can sub regular buttermilk if you like.)
  2. Mix the 'buttermilk' salt , and Tabasco together in bowl or Ziploc bag large enough to accommodate your chicken.
  3. Add the chicken and brine for 1-2 hours
  4. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Combine all the breading ingredients and remove the pieces from the brine, dredging each piece and pressing down for a thorough coating.
  6. Place coated pieces on a greased cookie sheet.
  7. Lightly spray the top of each piece with cooking spray so that the breading is lightly moist., or drizzle some melted butter or oil over each piece.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes until crispy and golden brown. How long this takes will depend on your chicken piece size.
Brining is a great step for adding flavor to otherwise bland meat pieces. You could forgo the brine and just dip the chicken in the buttermilk for a quicker version.

This general technique can be used with any food such as shrimp or drumsticks.

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25+ Back to School Breakfast Ideas

With school started up again, mornings are much busier than they are during the summer. I find that it helps to have a breakfast plan, which often includes having breakfast foods in the freezer or making it the night before so it’s ready to go in the oven in the morning. Here are over 25 breakfast ideas to help you with back to school mornings.

25+ Back to School Breakfast Ideas at The Happy  Housewife

Waffles, Pancakes & French Toast

These breakfast foods can be made ahead and frozen. See my tips for freezing pancakes and waffles (the tips would apply to French toast too).


Granola, Bars, and Other

Egg Based



This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Jif Almond & Cashew Butter $200 Giveaway!

Have you tried Jif Almond and Cashew Butters yet? If not, you need to pick up a jar next time you are at the grocery store.

A few weeks ago I made this delicious gluten free chocolate chip cookies cashew cookies. So good!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cashew Cookies | The Happy Housewife

If you don’t have a sweet tooth (I think there might be three of you out there) you can spread Jif® Almond & Cashew Butters butters on your favorite snack or even add to a smoothie.

Today I’m giving away an awesome prize pack from Jif® that contains the following:

  • Jif Almond and Cashew Butters

  • $200 Visa/American Express Gift Card

  • Jif notepad

  • Recipe Cards using Jif® Almond & Cashew Butters

I highly recommend whoever wins this giveaway make the Almond Oatmeal Breakfast Bites from the recipe card. They are delicious and a great fast food snack!

To enter this giveaway leave a comment sharing how you would enjoy Jif® Almond or Cashew Butter. Giveaway ends September 12, 2014. 

Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.

This post is a sponsored partnership with Jif®.  All opinions and sticky fingers are my own.  

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Apple Butter Stuffed French Toast

Apple Butter Stuffed French Toast at The Happy Housewife
By contributing writer Andrea Green

French toast is one of my favorite breakfasts to make. Adding apple butter to make Apple Butter Stuffed French Toast makes this French toast taste just like fall.

My oldest daughter does not like eggs. French toast is my way of sneaking an egg in because it seems that after having an egg at breakfast, they don’t get hungry again as quickly. Have you found that?

When you stuff your french toast with apple butter, you don’t need to add any maple syrup on top. I did shake a little powdered sugar over the top to make it look pretty. But trust me, it is plenty sweet without it.

You’ll get an extra boost of fall flavor by adding apple pie spice to the egg batter. If you don’t have any on hand, it is easy to mix up a batch of homemade apple pie spice. Or, to be really simple, just add some cinnamon.

I like to use whole sweeteners in my recipes, so I use maple syrup in the batter. Feel free to substitute sugar if that’s what you have on hand.

Apple Butter Stuffed French Toast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (may substitute sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 8 slices bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • ¼ cup apple butter
  1. In a shallow bowl or pie plate, whisk together milk, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla and apple pie spice.
  2. Place 4 slices bread in egg mixture and allow to sit for 1 minute before turning over and soaking the second side for 1 minute.
  3. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add soaked bread and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side.
  5. Remove bread and cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining 4 pieces of bread.
  6. Spread 4 slices of bread with apple butter then top with remaining 4 pieces. Serve warm.

Are you a french toast fan?

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