Crunchy Chicken Fingers

Crunchy Chicken Fingers with Pesto Dip: Less than 250 Calories!

April 21, 2023

This Crunchy Chicken Fingers with Pesto Dip recipe gets devoured wherever you take it! Classic chicken fingers may be a favorite, but leave behind those oil-soaked chicken pieces for protein that’s packed with nutrition! Stretch out that protein dollar by flattening out the chicken, making more servings.

Crunchy Chicken Fingers with Pesto Dip

Recipe byAnnessa Chumbley


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (or chicken breast tenderloins)
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk (or nonfat plain yogurt) 
  • 1 box baked whole-wheat crackers (look for a kind where the ingredients are simply whole wheat and salt; such as Whole Food's 365 Woven Wheat Crackers, or low-fat Triscuits)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Take each chicken tenderloin and cut into large bite-sized pieces (appetizer size). Salt and pepper chicken pieces. Place all chicken pieces into a large bowl and mix in buttermilk. Marinate 10 minutes.  (Or, place chicken between two tightly sealed pieces of plastic wrap.  Flatten chicken to 1/4 inch pieces using a heavy-bottomed pot or mallet.  Then cut into bite-sized pieces).  
  3. Meanwhile, pulverize box of crackers along with garlic powder in a food processor or blender until crumbly (you can also use a zip-top bag and rolling pin to crush the crackers). Pour the cracker crumbs out onto a plate or bowl. Take each chicken piece out of the buttermilk and coat in the cracker mixture. Repeat for the rest of the chicken.
  4. Lay cracker-covered chicken pieces on to a baking sheet coated in nonstick cooking spray, and sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top.
  5. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until juices run clear. If desired, turn oven to low broil for 1-2 minutes to toast top of chicken bites. Remove from oven and let cool. 

Nutritional Info

Calories 200; Carbohydrates 19 grams; Fat 3 grams, Protein 23 grams

Pesto Dip

Cottage cheese can easily be blended down to made a calcium and protein-   filled dip, and no one will know it was once cottage cheese in a previous life!


  • 1 1/2 cup low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon milk, skim, 1%, or soymilk
  • 1 packet pesto seasoning (such as Knorr’s ®)


  1. Mix all ingredients into food processor or blender until smooth. If dip seems too thick, smooth out with a splash more milk. Serve with Crunchy Chicken Fingers.

Nutritional Info 2 Tablespoon Serving

Calories 25; Carbohydrates 2 grams; Fat 0 grams, Protein 4 grams

Check out more recipes from Annessa on ObesityHelp!



Annessa Chumbley, RD, is a bariatric dietitian and her website "Annessa Nutritionist" provides inspiring nutrition information to the bariatric community and general public. She enjoys getting the community healthy through nutrition segments on Indianapolis' FOX 59 Morning News, and 93.1 WIBC called "Power Up Your Week!", as well as a local healthy cooking show.

Find more recipes from Annessa!  
Recipe Disclaimer: If you have specific dietary restrictions, allergies or a nutrition plan that you are following, make sure to read the ingredient list prior to consumption. All information on is intended for informational purposes only. The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional. Please contact a medical professional with any questions and concerns.