These baked chicken tenders are coated in breadcrumbs, spices and parmesan cheese, then oven baked to golden brown and crispy perfection. A lighter take on the classic chicken fingers that tastes as good as the deep fried version.
I love to recreate some of my family’s favorite restaurant dishes at home, including homemade french fries, corn dogs and this ultra crispy baked chicken tenders. My kids ask me to make this recipe almost every week, it’s just that good!
Every time we go out to eat, one of my daughters orders chicken fingers. I decided to try making my own baked chicken tenders as a substitute, and it’s been a big hit with the whole family.
How do you make baked chicken tenders?
Start by creating the crispy coating, which is a blend of panko breadcrumbs, Italian style breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and spices. Dip each chicken tender into seasoned flour, then into egg. Finally, roll each tender in the breadcrumb coating. Place the chicken tenders on a sheet pan, then drizzle with butter and bake until crispy and golden brown.
Tips for the perfect baked chicken tenders
- Chicken tenders are sometimes called chicken tenderloins, and can be found with all the other types of raw chicken in the meat department. If you can’t find chicken tenders, you can also use chicken breasts that have been cut into strips.
- I use a blend of breadcrumbs because the Italian style breadcrumbs add a lot of flavor, but the panko crumbs add that fabulous crispy texture we’re looking for.
- These baked chicken tenders will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them in the oven or in a toaster oven until they’ve crisped back up.
- You can serve these tenders as-is with a sauce, or offer them on top of a salad or pasta. You can also top your baked tenders with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese to make an easy chicken parmesan.
What is the difference between chicken tenders and chicken nuggets?
Chicken tenders are breaded pieces of the chicken tenderloin, which is a part of the breast. Chicken nuggets can be made from any cut of chicken, and are either chunks of meat, or various parts of the chicken meat that are pressed and formed into nugget shapes.
This recipe is fabulous as-is, but you can absolutely change it up to customize the flavors to your tastes.
- Protein: This coating works well with strips of fish to make fish sticks. You can also use cubed chicken breasts to make nuggets instead of tenders.
- Coatings: Use 1 cup of breacrumbs, then add other flavors with an additional cup of crushed cornflakes, cheese crackers, pretzels, or nuts such as pecans.
- Dips: While ketchup is a traditional side for chicken tenders, change things up by offering chipotle mayo, ranch, blue cheese dressing, tzatziki sauce, BBQ sauce or honey mustard.
Once you try these baked chicken fingers, you won’t give the deep fried version a second thought. This is a versatile, flavor packed dish for both kids and adjults!
More chicken recipes to try
Baked Chicken Tenders Video
Baked Chicken Tenders
- 1 1/4 pounds raw chicken tenders
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper plus more to taste
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons butter melted
- cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray.
- Place the flour in a medium bowl along with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine.
- Place the eggs in a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of water and whisk until smooth.
- Place the Italian breadcrumbs, panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Stir to combine.
- Dip each chicken tender in flour, then coat in egg, then roll in the breadcrumb mixture.
- Repeat the process with all the chicken, and place the tenders in a single layer on the sheet pan.
- Drizzle the melted butter over the tenders, then spray the chicken with cooking spray.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes or until coating is golden brown and chicken is cooked through. If you prefer a darker coating, you can broil the chicken for an additional 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.