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Baked Chicken Tenders

Dinner is easy with these baked chicken tenders that are ready in 30 minutes! Coated in Panko breadcrumbs, they are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

I love 30 minute meals! More meals that both kids and adults love include my classic spaghetti and meat sauce, crescent chicken rolls and sloppy joes!

Homemade chicken tenders on white plate with ranch.
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Oven Baked Chicken Tenders

When it comes to family-friendly recipes, you can’t go wrong with baked chicken tenders! My kids absolutely love them and request them often. Some other family favorites are these meatball subs, baked BBQ chicken recipe and chicken pot pie.

These homemade chicken tenders are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. They are a family favorite and baked instead of fried. I love how quick and easy it is to make this chicken breast recipe for a simple, fast delicious lunch or dinner!

Baked chicken tenders on baking sheet.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Chicken tenderloins: These are actually different than the breast although if you don’t have tenderloins you can cut chicken breast into thin pieces.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk tenderizes the meat as well as helps the coating adhere.
  • All-purpose flour: For the breading.
  • Panko breadcrumbs: Homemade breadcrumbs work as well, they just won’t be as crispy.
  • Seasonings: Seasoned salt, salt and pepper.
  • Cooking spray: Spray tenderloins with cooking spray to help them get crispy in the oven.


  • Feel free to add extra seasonings to the breading mixture, like Italian seasoning, lemon pepper seasoning, garlic powder or a dash of paprika.
  • Dry ranch seasoning works, too just like in my baked ranch chicken!
  • 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.

How to Make Baked Chicken Tenders

Chicken tenders soaking in buttermilk in glass bowl.
  • 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.
Breaded chicken tenders ready to bake on pan.

Tips for 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.
  • 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, add the chicken and shake.
  • 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.
  • Avoid overcooking. 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.
  • Keep warm. If you aren’t serving them right away, place back in the oven at 170°F to keep warm and crispy until serving.

Dipping Sauces

Don’t forget the sauces! Just like baked chicken wings we love dipping our homemade chicken tenders in the following:

Favorite Sides for Serving

We love serving these oven baked chicken tenders with any of the following sides:

Crispy chicken tenders with parsley on top.

Other easy chicken recipes we love include these baked chicken thighs, baked lemon pepper wings or this parmesan crusted chicken recipe!

More Delicious Chicken Recipes

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crispy chicken tenders with parsley on top

Oven Baked Chicken Tenders

5 from 14 votes
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Author: Jamielyn Nye
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!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Marinate Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6



  • 1 pound chicken tenderloins
  • ½ cup (113 milliliters) buttermilk
  • 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (80 grams) panko crumbs , see notes
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • spray olive oil

Optional: Chopped fresh parsley


    • In a large bowl, soak the chicken in buttermilk 15 to 30 minutes.
    • Move the oven rack one spot up from the center position. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
    • In a gallon zip-top bag, toss together the flour, panko, seasoned salt, salt, pepper, and parsley, if desired. Using tongs, transfer the chicken, reserving the buttermilk, to the bag. Shake until well coated.
    • Remove the chicken and dip in buttermilk once more. Return to the bag and toss in the flour mixture to coat. Repeat process with remaining chicken.
    • Place chicken on the wire rack. Spray lightly with olive oil. Bake 10 minutes. Flip and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 165°F. Don't overcook or they wont be as tender.
    • Turn the oven to broil for the final minute of cooking to get an extra-crispy texture. Watch closely so they don't burn. Remove from the oven when golden brown.
    • Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Serve immediately, or return to a wire rack in a 170°F oven to keep warm and crispy until ready to serve.


    Bread crumbs: To get your chicken tenders more of a golden color, place the bread crumbs on a pan and spray with oil. Bake 3 minutes or until golden and then set aside for dipping.
    Dip: Here’s a quick recipe for honey mustard. All you need to do is whisk together these 4 ingredients.  
    • 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 1-2 Tablespoons mayo
    • 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
    • Salt & Pepper, to taste 


    Serving: 2tenders | Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 1345mg | Potassium: 351mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 57IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Main Dish
    Cuisine: American

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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