5 from 2 votes
A healthful, Whole30-compliant avocado and mandarin orange salad topped with crisp sesame-crusted baked chicken tenders and drizzled with a creamy mandarin-ginger dressing.
Sesame Crusted Baked Chicken Tenders with Mandarin Orange-Ginger Dressing
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
A healthful, Whole30-compliant avocado and mandarin orange salad topped with crisp sesame-crusted baked chicken tenders and drizzled with a creamy mandarin-ginger dressing. Recipe makes plenty of dressing – perfect for leftovers and quick salads. 


For best results, marinate chicken overnight or for at least 4 hours. Since the marinade and dressing share several ingredients, I found it easiest to prep both at the same time. Finally, a note on sesame seeds: though toasted sesame seeds can be purchased at the store, for optimal flavor, I recommend buying un-toasted sesame seeds and toasting at home.

Recipe Type: Dinner
Makes: 6 servings
Author: Elizabeth Stark
Ingredients
Chicken Tenders
  • 1 pound Shenandoah Valley Organic Farmer Focus Chicken Tenders
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos or soy sauce*
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced or grated ginger root
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt (*omit if using soy sauce)
  • 1 1/2 cups raw sesame seeds, available in the bulk bin of health food and specialty stores
Dressing
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, preferably mandarin oranges
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 teaspoons minced or grated ginger root
  • 2 teaspoons coconut aminos or soy sauce*
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (*omit if using soy sauce), plus more to taste
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salad
  • 10- ounces spring mix or greens of choice
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 4 mandarin oranges, peeled and broken into segments
Instructions
Chicken Tenders
  1. Arrange chicken strips in a wide, deep-sided dish.
  2. Whisk to combine coconut aminos or soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, ginger, garlic, garlic powder, red pepper, and white pepper. Add 2 teaspoons sea salt is using coconut aminos, omit if using soy sauce.
  3. Pour over chicken, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours.
  4. When ready to make the chicken, preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  5. In a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, toast sesame seeds 3 minutes, or until the first few pop and seeds are golden. Spoon into a a small 8 x 5-inch dish with deep sides.
  6. Using tongs, lifts chicken out of marinating liquid and allow a bit to drip off. Turn to coat with sesame seeds. Arrange sesame-crusted chicken tenders on a large baking sheet, allowing 2-inches between each tender. Bake 10 minutes, carefully flip, and bake 4 minutes more, or until tender reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Dressing
  1. Combine all ingredients except olive oil in the pitcher of a blender and pulse. Add olive oil and puree until mixture is smooth. Taste and add sea salt as needed.
Salad
  1. To assemble salad, toss greens with several tablespoons dressing, and layer with sliced avocado and mandarin segments. Arrange salad on plates and top each with 2 chicken tenders. Finish with another drizzle of dressing.