These crispy, golden brown chicken tenders are oven baked for a healthier take on a family favorite.
Why this recipe works
Chicken tenders also known as "chicken fingers" or "chicken strips" are a favorite of kids and adults alike. They're typically made from the tenderloin section of the chicken that is between the breast and the ribs. You can find these in most supermarkets or you can use chicken breasts and slice them into 1 ½-2 inch thick strips.
The deep fried version is on just about every restaurant menu, but I prefer to skip the frying in favor of healthier, oven baked chicken tenders that are just as crispy and delicious. They're really easy to make and can be on the table in around 30 minutes, so they're perfect for a quick weeknight meal.
- Chicken - I like to use tenderloins for these because the meat is so tender and delicious. Thick slices of chicken breasts will work too.
- Panko bread crumbs - These are the key to the crispiest tenders. Regular bread crumbs will work but will not have the same crunch.
- Seasoning - For this dish you'll need kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.
- Cooking spray - A light coating of cooking spray before baking helps the tenders crisp up and brown.
How to prepare the chicken
This recipe uses a three step breading process. You'll start by setting up a breading station using one small plate for the flour, a bowl with the beaten eggs, and another plate with a mixture of the panko bread crumbs and some Italian seasoning.
- Season the tenders with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, then take one and dredge in the flour.
- Next dip the chicken tender in the egg mixture.
- Finally, press into the panko mixture to coat all sides.
Set on a parchment lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken.
How to cook the tenders
Just before baking give the breaded tenders a light spray of cooking spray on all sides then bake in the oven at 425 degrees F. Cook for around 20 minutes until they are golden brown and cooked through. Serve them hot with your favorite dipping sauces.
You can also deep fry them or air fry them if you prefer. To deep fry heat oil to around 375 degrees F and fry the tenders for around 7-8 minutes until cooked through. To air fry preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees and, working in batches cook in a single layer for around 10-12 minutes until cooked through.
Other quick and easy chicken meals
- Chicken Marsala
- Chicken Enchiladas
- Sheet Pan Lemon Garlic Chicken
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- Cast Iron Roasted Chicken and Potatoes
Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Tenders
- 1½ pounds chicken tenderloins or chicken breasts cut into strips
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 large eggs beaten
- cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Set up a breading station with the flour on one plate, the beaten eggs in a bowl, and mix the panko bread crumbs and Italian seasoning on another plate.
- Season chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder then dredge in the flour, dip in the eggs, then coat with the panko crumbs and set on the lined baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining chicken. After they're all done spray them lightly with cooking spray.
- Bake for around 20 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.
* All nutrition information we provide are estimates based on third party calculators. We encourage you to calculate these on your own for accurate results.