November 20, 2020

Pecan-crusted chicken tenders with cranberry ketchup

Serving platter of pecan-crusted chicken tenders with a bowl of cranberry ketchup.

Change-up your usual chicken tenders with these pecan-crusted chicken tenders that are dipped in a festive fall ketchup made with cranberries. 

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Chicken tenders (or strips or fingers) are always a popular choice for kids (and adults). Instead of your usual breading and baking or frying, try these ones that are coated in ground pecans with a hint of spices. The pecans add flavor and crunch to these baked chicken tenders.

And instead of regular ketchup or ranch, these pecan chicken tenders are dipped into a thick homemade ketchup where seasonal cranberries are the base. The cranberries add color, flavor, and give a festive feel to the whole meal. Plus, it pairs nicely with the pecans and chicken. 

The recipe is a modification of this blueberry ketchup. These fun fruit ketchup recipes can be used in many ways - on burgers, steaks, potatoes, and more.

This is a terrific meal for kids and the whole family. It's a great way to take things they are probably familiar with (ketchup and chicken tenders), and change them slightly to try out new flavors and textures. 

We ate these with waffle fries and corn, but mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, delicata squash sticks (also would go well dipped into the cranberry ketchup), salad, coleslaw, or others sides will all pair nicely with these. 

This recipe is part of #CranberryWeek and you can find more recipes at the bottom of this post. 

Plate of pecan-crusted chicken tenders.
Yield: about 4-5 servings
Author: Amy (Savory Moments)
Pecan-crusted Chicken Tenders with Cranberry Ketchup

Pecan-crusted Chicken Tenders with Cranberry Ketchup

Change-up your usual chicken tenders with these pecan-crusted chicken tenders that are dipped in a festive fall ketchup made with cranberries.


For the pecan-crusted chicken tenders
  • about 2 lbs. chicken tenders
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • about 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • olive oil, for cooking
For the cranberry ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries


For the cranberry ketchup
  1. In a small pot, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Stir in the shallot. Cook, stirring often, until it is softened, but not brown.
  2. Stir in the ginger, allspice, cinnamon, red pepper, black pepper, and a good pinch of salt. Cook for a minute and then add in the remaining ingredients and stir well.
  3. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cooking, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have burst and then mixture begins to thicken and reduce a bit, about 15-20 minutes. Do not boil for more than a few seconds or keep the heat high or it will be more jam-like.
  4. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a heat safe jar and let cool.
  5. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before using to help thicken it up.
For the pecan-crusted chicken tenders
  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. In a pie plate or other shallow dish, whisk the eggs and about 2 teaspoons of water. In another pie plate or shallow dish, add the flour.
  3. Pulse the pecans in a food processor until they are a fine meal. Pour into a third pie plate or shallow dish. Stir in the paprika, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and a couple grinds of black pepper.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil.
  5. Make an assembly line with the flour plate first, then the flour plate, the the pecan plate, and lastly the baking sheet.
  6. Dredge each chicken tender into the flour, shake well and then coat in the egg mixture letting any excess fall off back into the plate. Lastly coat each one in the pecan mixture and then place on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the chicken is ready to bake.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes and then carefully turn over each tender. Bake for another 8-10 minutes, or until the chicken registers at 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.
  8. Optional: broil for 1-2 minutes for added crunch and flavor.
  9. Serve the chicken with the prepared and chilled cranberry ketchup.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @savory_moments on instagram and hashtag it #savorymoments
Created using The Recipes Generator

I hope you give these chicken tenders and cranberry ketchup a try! Let me know in the comments below.

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Pecan-crusted chicken tenders and a bowl of homemade cranberry ketchup.

Check out these other chicken recipes: 

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Wraps

Cheese Doodle Chicken Tenders

Orange Chicken

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Ginger Chicken

Friday Cranberry Recipes


  1. You have me at that pecan coating!! And the cranberry sauce sounds just as great.

  2. The cranberry ketchup is interesting.

  3. Pecans and chicken are so good together. I'll bet this coating tastes amazing.

  4. Love the idea of cranberry ketchup! Never had it, or even thought about it. Gotta try this -- thanks.

  5. There's a Chup company that makes fruit ketchups. They're so delicious! I can't wait to try this one for the holidays.


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