These baked chicken tenders are perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. A family-favorite recipe that’s simple, delicious and ready in just 30 minutes!
When it comes to family-friendly recipes, you can’t go wrong with chicken tenders! My kids absolutely love them and request them often. Some other family favorites are meatball subs, chicken pot pie, sloppy joes and classic spaghetti and meat sauce.
These homemade chicken tenders are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. They are a family favorite and my kids request them weekly! Plus they’re baked instead of fried and you really can’t taste the difference.
I love how quick and easy it is to make this recipe. Done in 30 minutes! That’s faster than it would take you to leave your house and go pick up take out. Such a simple, fast and delicious recipe to make for lunch or dinner!
The trick to perfectly baked chicken tenders
- Soak chicken in milk: If you want super tender and juicy chicken, make sure to soak the meat in milk or buttermilk for at least 15-30 minutes prior to baking. The enzymes in the milk help break down the protein in the meat, creating a super tender result. The longer it soaks, the more tender it will be.
- Well-coated with breading: For a crispy and perfectly breaded result, it’s important that the tenders are well-coated with the flour/panko mixture. I love to add the breading to a large zip top bag, then add the chicken and shake. This ensures that the tenders are fully and evenly coated.
- Double coat for extra crispy: While the first coat makes them crispy, there’s always an option to double coat the meat so that it’s extra crispy. Simply dunk the chicken in the milk right after the first coat and then re-coat with the breading again. You’ll need to double the breading mixture if double coating your tenders.
How to make chicken tenders in oven
- SOAK. Soak the meat in milk or buttermilk for at least 15-30 minutes prior to baking. While it’s soaking, preheat the oven to 425°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Then brush with butter.
- COAT. Place the flour, bread crumbs and spices in a gallon zip top bag and shake to combine. Then add the tenders and shake until evenly and well-coated.
- BAKE. Place breaded tenders on prepared baking sheet. Then bake in oven for 10 minutes. Flip and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, depending on how thick they are.
Don’t forget the sauces! We love dipping our homemade chicken tenders in any of the following:
More helpful cooking tips
- Feel free to add extra seasonings to the breading mixture, like Italian seasoning, garlic powder or a dash of paprika.
- If you don’t have tenderloins on hand, you can slice a chicken breast into strips. I’d recommend using a meat mallet to help tenderize the breasts, since they usually aren’t as tender. This will also help ensure they aren’t too thick.
- Don’t overcook or they won’t be as tender. Remove from the oven as soon as they reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
- If you aren’t serving them right away, place back in the oven at 170°F to keep warm and crispy until serving.
Favorite sides for serving
We love serving these oven baked chicken tenders with any of the following sides:
- homemade french fries
- oven roasted vegetables
- baked potato wedges
- sweet potato fries
- mac and cheese
- green beans
- parmesan roasted carrots
More delicious chicken recipes:
Oven Baked Chicken Tenders
- 1 pound chicken tenderloins
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 3 Tablespoons melted butter
Optional: Chopped fresh parsley
- Soak the chicken in milk for 15-30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with butter.
- Place the flour, crumbs and seasoning in a gallon zip top bag. Then add the chicken and shake until well coated.
- Place chicken on prepared baking sheet. Then bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Flip and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, depending on how thick they are. Double check with a meat thermometer to make sure they have reached 165°F. Don't overcook or they wont be as tender.
- Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate. Serve immediately, or place back in the oven at 170°F on a wire rack until ready to serve to keep warm and crispy.
- 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1-2 Tablespoons mayo
- 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
- S&P to taste