Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Tenders

the finished baked chicken tenders on a white plate and served with a side of ketchup a

Baked chicken tenders come out crispy, crunchy and totally delicious every time. You can have juicy oven fried chicken tenders in less time than it would take you to drive to the closest fast-food restaurant. 

Post includes Weight Watchers points.

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Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Tenders are versatile and so easy to make! Delicious breaded chicken tenders cook up perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy inside.

These kid-friendly oven fried chicken tenders cook in about 20 minutes, so they are perfect on busy nights, make a great snack, and are the perfect finger food for game day and parties. You can easily alter this recipe to make a few or make a lot. 

Serve these baked chicken tenderloins with your favorite sides and a few dipping sauces for a tasty and healthy dinner option that the whole family will love. 

Why Make This Recipe

  • Oil Free – Yes, you can have crunchy baked chicken tenders in oven without oil.
  • Perfect for Parties – This easy family dinner recipe can be doubled or tripled, so you can serve these chicken tenders for game day or a party.
  • Easy – Just mix, dunk, coat and bake. In about 20 minutes, you have crunchy oven fried chicken tenders.
  • Kid-Favorite and Mom-Approved – When the kids love something that mom knows is healthy and inexpensive, everybody wins! 

Ingredient Notes

  • Chicken – Purchase chicken tenderloins or cut chicken breasts into strips.
  • Wet Batter – Combine eggs, mayonnaise and water to make a simple batter that will help the breading to stick and give the chicken lots of flavor. 
  • Flour  – Use an all-purpose flour.
  • Breadcrumbs – Panko will give you the crunchiest coating. You can use traditional bread crumbs if that’s all you have on hand. 
  • Seasonings – Combine paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper or sub in your favorite seasoning blend. 

What Are Chicken Tenders?

Chicken tenders are a kid-favorite and mom-approved protein, but what are they?

Tenderloins are specific sections of the chicken breast located close to the bone. If you purchase whole chicken breasts, this piece is often still attached, and you will see that it’s attached by a thin membrane. It’s part of the breast but considered the most tender portion.

Chicken tenderloins, also called strips, goujons, tenders, chicken fingers, fillets, and tendies, are that are come in a package are often more expensive than buying whole chicken breasts and slicing them yourself. 

How To Cut Chicken Tenders

  • Use a dedicated cutting board and a sharp knife.
  • Choose boneless, skinless chicken breast and trim off any excess fat.
  • Slice the chicken against the grain and cut it into strips of equal length and thickness. 
  • Wash your cutting board and knife with hot, soapy water. 

Ready to make this breaded chicken tenders recipe? Gather your ingredients and I will show you…

How To Make Oven Baked Chicken Tenders

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

  1. Prepare the wet batter and the dry ingredients in separate bowls.
  2. Dip the chicken into the wet mixture, then the dry mixture pressing lightly to help the breadcrumbs to stick.
  3. Place chicken onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.
  4. Brush or spray the tops with a little oil and bake in a preheated 400F / 200C oven for 15-20 minutes until they are golden and the chicken is cooked through. 

Pro Tips

  • Cut chicken tenders into equal-sized pieces so they cook evenly. 
  • Lightly toast the breadcrumbs in a dry pan for the crunchiest coating.
  • Press the chicken into the breadcrumbs to help the mixture adhere to the chicken. 
  • Spray the chicken lightly with oil for a golden-brown crust. If you skip this step, the chicken will still be crunchy and flavorful.
  • Always check for doneness with a meat thermometer. Chicken should reach 165F / 74C before removing it from the oven.

Delicious Variations

  • Dijon Mustard – Add a little dijon mustard to the wet batter for added flavor. 
  • Make Them Spicy – For hot and spicy baked chicken tenders, add a splash of hot sauce to the wet batter and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to the dry batter. 
  • Gluten Free – Use gluten-free flour or cornstarch instead of the regular flour and look for a gluten free breadcrumb or use unsweetened crushed rice cereal or chopped nuts. 

Prep And Storage

  • Prep Ahead – Make a bag of pre-seasoned breadcrumbs to keep in the pantry. Pour some in a bowl and be sure to discard any breading that comes in contact with the chicken. 
  • Store – Breaded chicken tenders can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheated in the oven.  
  • Freeze – Follow the handy tips below for how to freeze these;
    • Cool the baked chicken tenderloins and place them on a cookie sheet in the freezer. 
    • Freeze for 2-3 hours, then transfer the individual baked chicken strips to a freezer bag.
    • Freeze for up to 3 months.
    • To reheat, place frozen chicken on a cookie sheet and bake in a 450F / 230C oven for 18-20 minutes until heated through. 

FAQs

How Long To Bake Chicken Tenders?

These crunchy baked chicken tenders will cook in the oven in about 20 minutes, but you will need to test for doneness with a meat thermometer and adjust as needed.

How Do I Reheat Chicken Tenders?

Reheat baked chicken tenderloins in a 350F / 180C oven for about 5 minutes.

Can I Make These Gluten Free?

To make this recipe gluten-free, replace the wheat flour with a GF alternative such as cassava, cornstarch, or a cup for cup flour. Also, replace the breadcrumbs with gluten-free panko, crushed rice cereal, or finely chopped nuts. 

How Do I Air Fry Chicken Tenders?

Place chicken into a single layer in an air fryer that’s been preheated to 350F / 180C. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until the coating is crispy and the chicken is cooked through.

Serving Suggestions

More Recipes You May Like

Weight Watchers Points

There are 5 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.

Thank you for reading my baked chicken tenders recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice, and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Southern Recipes, and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog. 

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Oven Baked Chicken Tenders

These baked chicken strips are pefectly crispy outside and tender inside.

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time20 mins

Course: Dinner

Cuisine: American

Servings: 4

Calories: 567kcal

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400F / 200C, line a large baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

  • Whisk the eggs, mayonnaise and water together in a shallow bowl.

  • In a separate shallow bowl, whisk together breadcrumbs, flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper and onion powder.

  • Dip the chicken tenders, one at a time, into the egg mixture first, drain it, then add it to the breadcrumb mixture and press the breadcrumbs onto the chicken.

  • Place breaded tenders onto the prepared baking pan.

  • Spray the tops with olive oil or vegetable oil spray, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a light golden brown and the interal temperature is 165F / 74C.

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Notes

  • To cut chicken breast into tenders, slice against the grain and create strips of equal length and thickness. 
  • Lightly toast the breadcrumbs in a dry pan for the crunchiest coating.
  • Press the chicken when coating with breadcrumbs to help the mixture adhere to the chicken. 
  • Spray the chicken lightly with oil for a golden-brown crust. If you skip this step, the chicken will still be crunchy and flavorful.
  • Always check for doneness with a meat thermometer. Chicken should reach 165F/74C before removing it from the oven.
  • Storage – keep leftovers in an airtight container inside the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • There are 5 WW Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 567kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 239mg | Sodium: 1165mg | Potassium: 943mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 454IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 2mg

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