Paleo Chicken Fingers in Cauliflower Bread Crumbs: Low Calorie – Low Fat Recipe

paleo chicken fingers in cauliflower bread crumbs

Paleo Chicken Fingers in Cauliflower Bread Crumbs (Origin)

Cauliflower bread crumbs are my solution to “breading” Paleo chicken fingers.  Commonly, those following a Paleo diet dredge tenders in ground nuts or coconut, to avoid grains.  Many people are allergic to nuts, and they are high in fat & calories.  I know that under this diet, practitioners are rarely calorie counters, but I wanted something that was nut free and low in fat & calories.  With the current popularity of cauliflower pizza, I figured, why not try making cauliflower breading, after all I adore roasted cauliflower.

cauliflower bread crumbs

I considered a few different ways of drying out the cauliflower, but in the end I decided that low temperature oven roasting would provide the most flavor, and not require any equipment which my readers may not have on hand.  The only drawback is that the roasting takes about an hour this way.  The flavor it imparts is well worth the wait though.

Paleo Chicken Fingers in Cauliflower Bread Crumbs (Results)

These Paleo Chicken Fingers coated in Cauliflower Bread Crumbs, while a bit time consuming to make, require only a few readily available ingredients. The crust was not particularly crunchy, but I did find  the umami flavor it added to be quite pleasant.

The recipe is gluten, grain, nut & soy free, as well as being low fat and low calorie.  Making a double batch of the crumbs, and putting some aside would make weeknight preparation more feasible.

paleo chicken fingers

I ate the cauliflower crumb crusted chicken fingers over a simple salad, and topped with a small amount of dressing and some crumbled blue cheese.   While the chicken is Paleo, the commercial dressing I topped it in definitely is not.  There are also varying schools of thought in the Paleo community, when it comes to dairy & produce from the nightshade family (tomatoes), so don’t use this last image as a template for a Paleo meal.  I actually do not follow the Paleo diet, but do agree with it’s focus on obtaining daily calories through nutrient rich foods.  

Paleo Chicken Fingers in Cauliflower Bread Crumbs Recipe
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Serving size: 2 tenders
  • Calories: 180
  • Fat: 3
  • Carbohydrates: 8
  • Fiber: 4
  • Protein: 30
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup buttermilk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 lb. chicken tenders
  • oil for misting (or melted solid fat for light basting)
Cauliflower Crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees (300 if using convection).
  2. Rice the florets of the cauliflower, using a grater or in food processor.
  3. Spread out on a non-stick baking sheet. Do not apply thickly, the cauliflower needs plenty of room to breathe.
  4. Bake for approximately 1 hour, turning about every ten minutes, so the tiny bits don't burn. The cauliflower should just lightly brown and dry out considerably (end volume will be about ⅓ what you started with)
Chicken Fingers
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Beat egg and buttermilk together.
  3. Dredge the chicken tenders in the egg wash, then in the cauliflower crumbs. Pat lightly to ensure sticking, and lay out on a baking sheet.
  4. Mist the cauliflower coated chicken fingers with a Paleo friendly oil, or lightly baste with a melted solid fat.
  5. Bake for 15-16 minutes.



    • Robin Gagnon says

      I was kind of surprised no one has been doing this since the cauliflower pizza seems pretty popular.

  1. says

    Wow, never knew you could turn cauliflower into bread crumbs. I have to give this one a try!

    • Robin Gagnon says

      I wasn’t so sure how it would work out, but they were quite tasty.

  2. says

    This sounds delicious. I am always on the hunt for low calorie & low fat recipes, so I will definitely have to try this one.

  3. Mary Beth Elderton says

    Wow! I can not wait to try the cauliflower breading!

  4. says

    This sounds delicious and like a great way to sneak some extra veggies on my kids too.

    • Robin Gagnon says

      It only came to me, because I didn’t feel like trying to make pizza with it. But did want chicken fingers. Necessity is the mother of invention they say…lol

  5. says

    I have never heard of cauliflower bread crumbs before. This recipe looks amazing! I am so eager to try it.

    • Robin Gagnon says

      I don’t know that anyone’s made them before… or at least blogged about it. Couldn’t find any online.

    • Robin Gagnon says

      While I’m sure someone has done this before. I couldn’t find any online, so it’s not like you’ve been out of the loop or anything…lol.

  6. says

    I can’t have nuts so I definitely have to try this! They look so good!

  7. says

    I’m amazed… I just would never have thought to use cauliflower as bread crumbs! Never. This sounds so delicious, too!

  8. says

    Like I’ve said before not a fan of cauliflower, but I would definitely give this a try. I have a weakness for chicken fingers, haven’t had them in a long time due to calories. This may be my answer!!

  9. says

    I’m skeptical about the cauliflower, but those pictures are making my mouth water. I have to try it.

  10. says

    Cauliflower is so versatile. I want to try this and cauliflower rice too.

  11. says

    That looks absolutely delicious! Thanks so much for linking up to Inspire Me Wednesday.

  12. says

    I need to try this sometime. It’s a great way to add a little extra veggies to the kids food.

  13. says

    What a great idea using cauliflower! Can’t wait to try this!

  14. erin says

    So can you make the “breadcrumbs” and store them in the freezer or do you have to use them right away?

    • Robin Gagnon says

      I have not tried freezing them yet, but if you put them in a sealed baggy that you squished the air out of I’d think they would handle it well. The crumbs aren’t really crispy anyway, but you want them to stay as dry as possible so they maintain the other properties of crumb. Next time I make a batch I will freeze some and report the results, since you are not the 1st person who has asked about this. Please let us know how it works out for you.

  15. Femke says

    This looks great. I love making cauliflowerrice so I’m def going to try this. But I would not use (butter-)milk in a Paleo recipe. Dairy is not Paleo. Bet you can use only eggs as well.

    • Robin Gagnon says

      I actually prefer them over breadcrumbs in recipes such as meatloaf. Better flavor and only adds to the moistness.

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