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These Gluten-Free Fish Sticks Use a Surprising Ingredient

We've achieved the ultimate crispy gluten-free fish sticks with the help of a clever hack to replace traditional breadcrumbs.

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If you’re eating gluten-free, you might be experiencing a little FOMO when it comes to crispy, breaded foods like fish sticks or chicken fingers. And while it’s true that traditional bread crumbs are a kitchen staple, there are some great gluten-free alternatives out there to replace them.

In this recipe, created by our talented culinary nutritionist Beth Lipton, we use a surprise ingredient – crushed tortilla chips – to add crispy texture to these fish sticks. The beauty of tortilla chips is that you can choose the variety that suits you: a classic corn tortilla chip, a seasoned variety or even a grain-free tortilla chip if you are avoiding grains entirely. 

When using crushed tortilla chips as breading, do keep seasoning in mind. If you select a variety that is especially salty, you may want to adjust the seasoning of the recipe. When testing this recipe, we used Siete Foods Grain-Free Tortilla Chips, which are both gluten-free and Paleo-friendly. (For other creative ways to substitute for traditional breading, read What to Use Instead of Bread Crumbs.)

Here, we pair the fish with a quick chipotle lime mayo that works especially well with the Tex-Mex vibe we’re going for in this meal.

For a quick weeknight hack, try making these fish sticks in advance and freeze them in a single layer on a tray, then carefully transfer to an airtight container. Then, you can simply bake them from frozen when you’re ready to eat. 

Gluten-Free Fish Sticks with Chipotle-Lime Mayo

Prep Time
20 min
30 min



  • 1½ oz grain-free tortilla chips (such as Siete Foods)
  • ¼ tsp chile powder blend (aka chili powder)
  • 4 5-oz fillets white fish (halibut or cod), patted dry and cut into 2-inch strips
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp avocado or olive oil mayonnaise

Chipotle mayo

  • 3 tbsp avocado or olive oil mayonnaise
  • 1½ tsp avocado oil
  • 1½ tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp chipotle chile powder
  • ¼ tsp raw honey
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare fish: To a food processor, add chips and chile powder blend; pulse to the texture of breadcrumbs.
  3. Season fish with salt and pepper and lay on prepared sheet. Brush top of each strip with mayonnaise, then sprinkle crumbs evenly over each. Press the crumbs in lightly to adhere. Mist with cooking spray and bake for about 12 minutes, until cooked through and tops are crispy and lightly browned. For even more crispiness, broil for 1 minute, if desired.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare mayo: In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for chipotle mayo.
  5. Dollop chipotle mayo over fish or serve alongside.

Recipe courtesy of Paleo Magazine