Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders


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These Chicken Tenders are crispy, well seasoned, and so simple to make. Serve them with your favorite dipping sauces for an easy dinner or tasty appetizer.

chicken tenders stacked on a plate with a dish of honey mustard

Chicken tenders, also known as chicken fingers or chicken strips, are one of my family’s favorite easy dinners. For one, finger foods are always fun to eat, especially when you dip them in homemade honey mustard or BBQ sauce. And there’s no resisting the crispy crunch of these homemade chicken tenders.

You’ll love this oven baked chicken tenders recipe because it’s both easier and healthier than fried chicken tender recipes. But not to worry, these chicken tenders are every bit as delicious!

dipping a tender in honey mustard

Crispy Chicken Tenders

Since the best part of oven baked chicken tenders is the crispy coating, let’s talk about how to make these chicken strips deliciously crispy.

  • Use panko breadcrumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs to coat the chicken. Since panko crumbs are larger, they give the breaded chicken a crispier coating.
  • Bake them on a wire rack set atop a rimmed baking sheet. This allows air to circulate all around the chicken. If you don’t have an oven-safe wire rack, you can bake the tenders directly on the baking sheet. In this case, I recommend flipping them over halfway through the baking time to allow both sides to get crispy.
  • Broil for the last few minutes of the cook time or bake an extra minute or two until the coating is browned. Chicken tenders don’t dry out as easily as boneless chicken breasts can, so it’s ok to bake them a few extra minutes to make the outsides extra crispy.

Ingredients

Here’s an overview of the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe. Yes, this is a short, simple ingredient list! The components come together into what my kids have named, “The BEST chicken tenders!”

ingredients for chicken tenders recipe

  • All-Purpose Four: You can substitute whole wheat flour if you prefer. Coating the chicken in flour first helps the egg mixture to stick to the chicken.
  • Eggs and Water: These make the “glue” that helps the crispy breading to stick.
  • Seasonings: Paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper give these tenders the best flavor. This seasoning mix is pleasing to both adult and children’s tastes.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: Don’t substitute regular breadcrumbs. The results will not be as crispy if you do.
  • Chicken Tenders.

How to Make Chicken Tenders

Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.

  1. Start by gathering three wide, shallow dishes. Pie plates, wide bowls, or even square baking dishes all work well.
  2. Place the flour in one dish. In the second, mix together the eggs, water and seasonings. Put the panko in the third dish. dish with eggs and seasonings
  3. Coat the chicken in the flour. coating chicken in flour
  4. Dip in the seasoned egg. dipping in seasoned egg
  5. Coat with panko. coating chicken in panko bread crumbs
  6. Place the chicken on a wire rack set on top of a rimmed baking sheet. 
  7. Bake tenders at 425° F for 16-18 minutes. Tenders are done when they register at least 165° F on an instant-read thermometer and are lightly browned.

baked chicken tenders on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet

Serving Suggestions

I like to serve a few dipping sauces with the chicken tenders. Try my favorite honey mustard recipe, BBQ sauce, ranch dressing or ketchup.

On the side, you can go the classic route and serve French fries or sweet potato fries. For a healthy side dish, I like to add some roasted broccoli, roasted cauliflower or sweet potatoes

Chicken Tenders Recipe Tips

  • You’ll get about 8 tenders per pound. You can scale this recipe up if desired. Leftover tenders freeze well after baking. Store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat in the oven at 375° F until hot.
  • Instead of using tenders, you can slice boneless chicken breasts into strips. This can be a more budget-friendly option.
  • To avoid having the breading stick and clump on your fingers, you can use one hand for wet and the other for dry when dipping the tenders. Or use tongs to dip the chicken in the flour, egg and bread crumbs.
  • I find that mixing the seasonings into the egg mixture, rather than in the flour, helps to better coat the chicken with seasoning.
  • You can stir 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese into the panko, if desired.

More Easy Chicken Recipes

Find all of my chicken recipes here.

Chicken Tenders

These Chicken Tenders are crispy, well seasoned, and so simple to make. Serve them with your favorite dipping sauces for an easy dinner that the whole family will love.
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword baked chicken tenders, chicken fingers, chicken strips, chicken tenders
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time33 mins
Servings 5 servings
Calories 391kcal

Ingredients

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour (or whole wheat flour)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 2 pounds chicken tenders

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 425° F. Place an oven-safe wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. (If you do not have an oven-safe wire rack, you can bake the chicken right on the baking sheet. See note below.) Spray the rack or baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • To prepare the breading on the chicken, you will need 3 wide, shallow bowls, dishes or pie plates. In one dish, place the flour. In the second dish, beat together the eggs and water. Then, to the dish with the beaten eggs, add the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper and mix with a whisk or fork until well combined and no clumps of spices remain. In the third dish, place the panko bread crumbs.
  • Coat the chicken first in the flour, then in the egg mixture, and finally in the panko. Place chicken on the prepared baking rack/sheet.
  • Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until cooked through to at least 165° F and lightly browned. If desired, you can turn on the broiler during the last few minutes of cooking to help crisp the coating on the chicken even more. Serve with dipping sauces, as desired.

Notes

  • If you don't have an oven-safe wire rack, you can bake the tenders directly on the baking sheet. In this case, I recommend flipping them over halfway through the baking time to allow both sides to get crispy.
  • You'll get about 8 tenders per pound. You can scale this recipe up if desired. Leftover tenders freeze well after baking. Let the cooked tenders cool and then store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat in the oven at 375° F until hot.
  • Instead of using tenders, you can slice boneless chicken breasts into strips. This can be a more budget-friendly option.

Nutrition

Serving: 3tenders | Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 214mg | Sodium: 891mg | Potassium: 801mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 592IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 3mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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