Golden crunchy baked chicken tenders are mouthwateringly delicious and easy to make at home! These baked chicken tenders are a healthier option than their greasier siblings fried up in a pan. Battered in Panko bread crumbs and shredded coconut (or shredded parmesan cheese), these chicken fingers are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Served with a side of homemade honey mustard sauce, they’re absolutely heavenly!
Ingredients for Golden Crunchy Baked Chicken Tenders
Fabulous breaded chicken tenders start out with a simple marinade: boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, garlic powder, lemon juice, and olive oil. Ingredients for the flour base: all-purpose flour, sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried parsley, and dried basil. Eggs and a bit of water are needed for the egg wash. Ingredients for the breading include the following: Panko bread crumbs, sweetened shredded coconut or shredded parmesan cheese, and melted butter.
Baked Chicken Tenders Recipe
A time-saving tip is to buy your chicken breasts already cut into strips. Here’s how to make chicken tenders: begin by rinsing off the chicken strips and patting them dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle the pieces of chicken with salt, pepper and garlic. Place the chicken tenders in a large Ziplock bag along with lemon juice and olive oil. Massage the bag of chicken to evenly disburse the marinade. Allow the chicken tenders to marinate for 45 minutes to 2 hours. NOTE: If you allow the chicken to marinate longer than two hours, the acid in the lemon juice will start to break down the texture of the chicken – something we don’t want to happen!
How to Make Chicken Tenders
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. In a quart-sized Ziplock bag add the Panko bread crumbs, shredded coconut (or shredded parmesan cheese), and the melted butter. Shake and massage the plastic bag to evenly disburse the butter. Transfer the bread crumb mixture to a small baking tray, spreading the crumbs in a thin even layer. Bake the crumbs for 5-6 minutes max, stirring the crumbs half-way through the baking process. Keep a close eye on the crumbs so they don’t burn. I’ve found that pre-browning the crumbs is essential to this baked chicken tenders recipe. Otherwise the coloring of your cooked chicken fingers will be pale or beige rather than truly golden and crunchy!
Directions for Oven Fried Chicken Tenders
Pull out three shallow bowls. In the first bowl add the flour and spices: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried basil, and dried parsley. Mix well. Crack the eggs into the second bowl and whisk them along with a small amount of water. Place the browned Panko bread-crumb mixture in the third bowl.
How to Assemble Homemade Chicken Tenders
Piece by piece, roll the marinated chicken tenders in the first bowl with the flour and spices. Flour them up really well, then shake off any excess flour. Again working with single pieces of chicken tenders, transfer the chicken strips to the second bowl with egg wash. Thoroughly coat each piece. Place the chicken tenders in the Panko bread crumb mixture and bury them deep within the crumbs. Press, press, press on the crumbs to give each of the chicken fingers a nice thick coating. Transfer the breaded chicken tenders to a baking tray lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Final Stage of Baked Chicken Tenders Recipe
Bake your chicken tenders in a 450 degree oven for 6-8 minutes on the first side. Then using a pair of tongs, flip the chicken fingers over and bake for another 6-8 minutes. The total cooking time is 12-16 minutes. Serve your gorgeously golden, crunchy chicken tenders with a side of homemade honey mustard sauce or your favorite BBQ sauce. These chicken strips are so darn yummy!
What you’ll love most about this easy baked chicken tenders recipe is how versatile it is! When plated on a nice dish with a fresh-parsley garnish these beautiful chicken tenders can be a fancy appetizer. When served in a restaurant-style plastic basket these chicken fingers have a festive vibe that’s perfect for backyard gatherings and tailgate parties. On Super Bowl Sunday chicken fingers make a fabulous appetizer that really delivers in both taste, appearance and fun!
Here’s my yummy homemade mustard sauce recipe!
ESSENTIAL KITCHEN TOOLS FOR MAKING BAKED CHICKEN TENDERS
Golden Crunchy Baked Chicken Tenders
NGREDIENTS FOR MARINADE
- 1.5 pounds raw chicken tenders (boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips)
- Sea salt
- Black pepper, freshly ground
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
INGREDIENTS FOR FLOUR BASE
- 1 + 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 + 1/8 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly-ground
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
INGREDIENTS FOR EGG WASH
- 3 large eggs
- 1 + 1/2 teaspoons water
INGREDIENTS FOR BREAD CRUMB MIXTURE
- 2 + 1/4 cups Panko bread crumbs
- 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut (or shredded parmesan cheese)
- 4 tablespoons melted butter, slightly cooled
STEP #1 - MARINATE THE CHICKEN STRIPS
Rinse your chicken strips and pat them dry with paper towels. Sprinkle all sides of each chicken piece with sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper and garlic. Transfer the chicken to a large zippered plastic bag and add the lemon juice and olive oil. Massage the plastic bag to make sure all pieces of chicken are covered in marinade. Allow the chicken tenders to marinate for 45 minutes to 2 hours.
STEP #2 - BROWN BREAD CRUMB MIXTURE
Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees. Add the Panko bread crumbs, shredded coconut (or shredded parmesan cheese) and melted butter to a quart-sized zipper bag. Shake and massage the bag to distribute the butter evenly throughout the crumb mixture. In a flat even row, lay the crumbs down on a small baking tray. Bake in the oven for a total of 5-6 minutes maximum, stirring the crumb mixture half way through. The crumbs should be a nice golden-brown color.
STEP #3 - TAKE OUT THREE SHALLOW BOWLS
BOWL #1: Add the flour and spices (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried basil, and dried parsley). Mix well.
BOWL #2: Whisk together the eggs and water.
BOWL #3 Add the pre-browned Panko bread-crumb mixture to this bowl.
STEP #4 - DIP & ROLL THE CHICKEN STRIPS
DIPPING BOWL #1: Working piece by piece, begin by rolling the chicken tenders in the flour mixture. You want each chicken strip to be well floured. Gently shake off any excess flour.
DIPPING BOWL #2: Again working with single pieces of chicken, roll the chicken strips in the egg wash. Thoroughly coat each piece.
DIPPING BOWL #3: Bury the chicken tenders deep within the bread crumb mixture and press, press, press the crumbs into the chicken fingers to make sure each piece is thickly coated.
BAKING TRAY: Transfer the breaded chicken tenders to a baking tray lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Space the chicken fingers out a bit so they're not touching.
STEP # 5 - 450 DEGREE OVEN
Bake the chicken fingers for 6-8 minutes on the first side. Then using a pair of tongs, flip the chicken fingers over and bake for another 6-8 minutes.
STEP # 6 - SERVE & ENJOY
Serve your golden, crunchy chicken tenders with yummy homemade honey mustard sauce or your favorite tangy BBQ sauce. Enjoy!
Courses Lunch, Snack, Dinner, Party
CRISPY GOLDEN BAKED CHICKEN TENDERS > PIN IT TO PINTEREST
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MORE SUPER BOWL APPETIZERS
Below is a delicious collection of the best Super Bowl appetizers!
BAKED CHICKEN TENDERS RECIPE > YOUR THOUGHTS
What are your favorite Super Bowl appetizers? What do you think about this baked chicken tenders recipe? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!