• Appetizers + Snacks | Main Dishes
  • Baked Chicken Tenders

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    Simple and delicious, these oven baked chicken tenders are cooked to crispy perfection. Great to serve as a fun appetizer with your favorite dips, or as part of the main meal for an easy weeknight recipe.

    healthy oven baked chicken tenders served with honey mustard sauce on a black plate

    There is nothing better than some crispy chicken tenders, and because these are oven baked rather than deep fried, you can feel great about enjoying them.

    Coated in seasoned panko breadcrumbs, they come out so crispy and perfectly juicy. They make for a great sharing appetizer for game day, or serve them up with your favorite sides for a well balanced main meal.

    Be sure to check out my Buffalo Chicken Dip and BBQ Chicken Wings too!

    dipping chicken tenders in honey mustard sauce

    Why you will love this recipe!

    • Healthier: If you love crispy fried foods, but don’t love deep frying, these are a great alternative. Still super flavorful, but made with no oil, these tenders are low in saturated fat and high in protein.
    • Kid-friendly: Kids of all ages adore these homemade chicken tenders, even your picky eaters will love them!
    • Make ahead: These chicken fingers can be prepped ahead of time and are freezer friendly too!

    Ingredients for baked chicken tenders

    • Breadcrumbs: Use panko breadcrumbs for the crispiest coating. In a pinch, you can use fine breadcrumbs, but they won’t be as crunchy.
    • Seasonings: Parsley, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder.
    • Chicken tenders: Chicken tenders are found behind the breast of the chicken. They taste the same as breast meat but are more tender and juicy.
    • Eggs: The tenders are dipped in the beaten egg so that the breadcrumbs stick to them and form an even coating.
    chicken tenders ingredients

    How to make this baked chicken tenders recipe

    • Preheat the oven to 400 F to brown the Panko breadcrumbs.
    • Add panko breadcrumbs to a parchment-lined large baking sheet and spread out in an even layer. Bake for 2 -3 minutes, then stir breadcrumbs, and then bake for 2-3 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown. (Watch them closely so they don’t burn.) Immediately, remove breadcrumbs from the oven and add them to a small bowl. Add parsley, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder to the bowl, and toss to combine. Increase oven temperature to 425 F.
    • In another medium bowl, add eggs and beat lightly.
    • Pat chicken tenders dry, and season with salt and pepper.
    • Add tenders to beaten eggs allowing excess eggs to drip off, then add to the bowl with panko mixture. Coat each chicken tender with seasoned panko, then transfer it to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining tenders.
    • Lightly spray tenders with cooking spray if desired, and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown and chicken is cooked through.
    process shots of making chicken tenders in the oven

    Can you make these with chicken breast?

    If you can’t get hold of chicken tenderloins, you can make this recipe with breasts instead. Just slice the breasts into strips and follow the recipe as is. Tenders are the muscle that is found behind the breast, it isn’t a very active muscle which is what makes them tender. If you use breast, they will still be delicious, but not quite as juicy.

    Gluten-free breading

    You can use gluten-free breadcrumbs or gluten-free panko, finely chopped almonds or pecans. For this baked chicken tenders recipe, you don’t need to use flour when breading the chicken tenderloins.

    How do you make crispy chicken tenders in the oven?

    Browning the panko breadcrumbs before dredging the chicken helps to get the outsides super crispy and adds a nice golden brown color to the oven-fried chicken tenders.

    Another way to get the crispiest chicken tenders is to bake them on a rack over a baking sheet. This allows the hot air in the oven to circulate all around.

    close up shot of crispy chicken tenders on a plate with dipping sauce

    Can you make this breaded chicken ahead of time?

    You can bread the tenders up to a day in advance and keep them covered in the fridge until you are ready to cook. You can also freeze them before cooking and then cook them right from frozen for an easy bite. Once breaded, freeze the tenders solid on a baking sheet before transferring to a container or freezer bag and they will keep well for up to 3 months. You can then bake from frozen at 450F for around 30 minutes till cooked through.

    What to serve this with

    These healthy baked chicken tenders can be serve with a variety of sauces and your favorite easy sides or salads. Try them with:

    Dipping sauces

    Sides:

    healthy chicken tenders baked in the oven with dipping sauce

    TIPS FROM NELI’S KITCHEN

    Recipe Notes and Tips for the Best Baked Chicken Tenders

    • Make sure you brown the panko breadcrumbs before breading the chicken tenders with it. Baking the panko breadcrumbs really gets the tenders nice and crispy, it’s worth the extra couple of minutes! Browning them ensures you get that nice golden color and broiling at the end is not required. When broiling them you risk burning the chicken if you don’t watch them really carefully.
    • Try mixing up the seasonings with different dried herbs and spices.
    • Any leftovers of baked chicken tenders will keep well for up to 4 days in the fridge and can be reheated in the oven at 350F for 10 to 15 minutes till heated through.

    More Chicken Recipes

    If you loved this baked crispy chicken tenders recipe, be sure to try these other reader favorites:

    Baked Chicken Tenders

    Simple and delicious, these oven baked chicken tenders are cooked to crispy perfection. Great to serve as a fun appetizer with your favorite dips, or as part of a main meal for an easy weeknight recipe.
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Total Time 35 minutes
    Servings 4 servings
    Calories 318kcal

    INGREDIENTS

    INSTRUCTIONS

    • Preheat the oven to 400 F to brown the panko breadcrumbs.
    • Add panko breadcrumbs to a parchment lined large baking sheet and spread out in an even layer. Bake for 2 -3 minutes, then stir breadcrumbs and then bake for 2-3 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown. (Watch them closely so they don’t burn.) Immediately, remove breadcrumbs from the oven and add them to a small bowl. Add parsley, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder to the bowl, and toss to combine. Increase oven temperature to 425 F. Add oven safe wire rack to top of baking sheet, and set aside.
    • In another medium bowl, add eggs and beat lightly.
    • Pat chicken tenders dry, and season with salt and pepper.
    • Add tenders to beaten eggs allowing excess eggs to drip off, then add to the bowl with panko mixture. Coat each chicken tender with seasoned panko, then transfer it to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining tenders.
    • Lightly spray tenders with cooking spray if desired, and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown and chicken is cooked through.

    TIPS & NOTES

    • Make sure you brown the panko breadcrumbs before breading the chicken tenders with it. Baking the panko breadcrumbs really gets the tenders nice and crispy, it’s worth the extra couple of minutes! Browning them ensures you get that nice golden color and broiling at the end is not required. When broiling them you risk burning the chicken if you don’t watch them really carefully.
    • Try mixing up the seasonings with different dried herbs and spices.
    • Any leftovers of baked chicken tenders will keep well for up to 4 days in the fridge and can be reheated in the oven at 350F for 10 to 15 minutes till heated through.

    NUTRITION

    Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 191mg | Sodium: 685mg | Potassium: 717mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg
    Course Appetizer, Main Course
    Cuisine American
    Keyword chicken tenders recipe, crispy chicken tenders, oven baked chicken tenders
    Did you make this recipe?

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