Why get take out when you can make a much better (and healthier!) version at home? These Homemade Baked Chicken Tenders make a fantastic easy weeknight dinner!
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Check out some of my other chicken recipes:
I was kind of excited when I got a request from a reader for a chicken fingers recipe. Because I live in a home with a super picky husband and two young kids who's tastes in food change every hour (or so it seems!) I never know how a new recipe will go over. But I knew that a baked chicken tenders recipe was bound to be a hit, and I was right!
I did quite a few tests on this recipe, to get the flavor right where I wanted it to be. Ultimately it was the addition of the ranch seasoning that really took it to the place I wanted it to be. Panko bread crumbs make give these a nice crispiness, without the need for frying. You end up with homemade chicken tenders that are tender on the inside with a subtle crunch on the outside.
Tips for making Baked Chicken Tenders
- Before breading I like to season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste for a little extra flavor.
- When cutting the chicken, try to cut them into uniform pieces so that they cook evenly.
- For optimal crispiness, place a baking rack onto the lined sheet pan. This allows them to crisp up on both sides without the need for turning them. If a baking rack isn't available, you can turn the chicken tenders halfway through.
- They are finished just before they hit an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Be sure to let them rest for a couple minutes before serving.
Frequently asked questions about making chicken fingers
- What cut of chicken do you use? I like to slice up boneless skinless chicken breasts, but you can also use chicken tenderloins to eliminate the cutting.
- How long do you cook chicken tenders for? For around 15 minutes until just about cooked through and then give them a couple minutes under the broiler to crisp them up a little more.
- What do you use to dip the chicken tenders? It's totally up to you. I prefer BBQ sauce or honey mustard. My husband is all about ranch dressing and my daughters love tomato ketchup.
- How do you make baked chicken fingers crispy? Before baking I spray them with some olive oil cooking spray. I also use a baking rack to crisp both sides and finish baking the last couple minutes under the broiler.
- How long do chicken fingers last? 3-4 days covered in the refrigerator.
- Can you reheat them? Yes, they'll come out best in the oven but you can also use the microwave.
Make it a meal!
A few great recipes to round out and complete this meal would be:
Homemade Baked Chicken Tenders
- Cooking spray
- 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Kosher salt to taste
- Ground black pepper to taste
- ½ cup flour
- 2-3 large eggs beaten (start with two and beat a third if needed)
- 1 ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
- 2 Tablespoons ranch seasoning
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a sheet pan. Top it with a baking rack if you have one and spray the baking rack (or pan) with cooking spray.
- Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and cut into equal size slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- In 3 shallow bowls, place the following: flour in the first, beaten eggs in the second and in the third stir together the panko bread crumbs, seasoned salt and ranch seasoning until fully combined.
- Dredge each chicken piece in flour and tap off the excess.
- Then submerge each chicken piece in the egg making sure it's fully covered before gently tapping of the excess.
- Finally, cover each chicken piece in the panko mixture. Once fully covered carefully tap off the excess and place onto the baking rack or pan so they're not touching.
- Bake for 15 minutes and then turn the oven onto broil couple of minutes to brown (watch them carefully- you want them to brown, not burn). If not using a baking rack, flip the chicken tenders midway through the cooking time. Serve immediately with your dipping sauce of choice.
If you tried this recipe please comment and rate it 🙂 I love hearing your feedback and answering your questions! And if you make this please tag me on Instagram with @thelifejolie so I can share it <3
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