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Baked Chicken Tenders

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!

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

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!

Baked chicken tenders on baking sheet.

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.
Chicken tenders soaking in buttermilk in glass bowl.

How to Make Chicken Tenders in Oven

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Dipping Sauces

Don’t forget the sauces! We love dipping our homemade chicken tenders in any of the following:

Breaded chicken tenders ready to bake on pan.

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:

Crispy chicken tenders with parsley on top.

More Delicious Chicken Recipes

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crispy chicken tenders with parsley on top

Oven Baked Chicken Tenders

5 from 12 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 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Marinate Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

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

Optional: Chopped fresh parsley

    Instructions

    • 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. 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.

    Video


    Notes

    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 

    Nutrition

    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

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