Juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside, Crunchy Baked Chicken Tenders are a simple, delicious dinner recipe that the entire family will love!
Any time I want dinner to be a surefire hit with the kids (and, let’s be honest, the adults), I know that I can call upon trusty homemade chicken nuggets. But sometimes I just don’t feel like cutting and dipping all of those little chunks of chicken. So I take a slight shortcut and make Crunchy Baked Chicken Tenders instead!
When I’m on my game and thinking ahead, I like to quickly brine my chicken tenders in a salt water solution before breading and baking. This guarantees juicy, flavorful chicken, which is a perfect complement to the crunchy panko breadcrumb coating. Brining is a totally optional step, but it does make a difference.
I keep the seasonings simple — garlic salt and pepper. And after the chicken tenders are baked to perfection, I broil them for the last couple of minutes, which results in a nice, golden-brown topping.
This recipe is so easy and not at all fancy, y’all, but it makes for one of my family’s favorite meals. I usually pair Crunchy Baked Chicken Tenders with a side of Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce, a pot of Stovetop Mac & Cheese, and a crisp green salad drizzled with Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing. We might even split a couple Snickerdoodle Mug Cakes for dessert.
Say it with me friends! Comfort food, comfort food, comfort food.
So if you’ve got a package of boneless, skinless chicken pieces hanging around your fridge with no meaningful purpose in life, slice ’em into tenders, coat ’em with panko, and bake ’em up! Take it from me…your family will be licking their plates and singing your praises. 😉
Crunchy Baked Chicken Tenders Recipe
Crunchy Baked Chicken Tenders
- 1 quart water
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast tenders
- 2/3 cup all-purpose OR whole wheat flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 eggs
- Splash of milk
- Hot pepper sauce, like Tabasco, optional
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
- Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce, for dipping (optional)
- Brine chicken by measuring water into a gallon-sized freezer bag. Stir in kosher salt until dissolved and add chicken tenders. Seal baggie, lay in baking dish, and refrigerate for 15 minutes to 1 hour.
- Measure flour into a shallow bowl. Stir in 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste.
- Crack eggs into another bowl and beat with a splash of milk. Season with a few dashes of hot pepper sauce, if desired.
- Measure panko breadcrumbs into a third bowl. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt and pepper, to taste.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Drain the salt water from the chicken tenders; rinse chicken with cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Dredge one chicken tender in flour, evenly coating it on all sides. Shake off the excess flour and dip the tender in egg. Then dredge it in panko breadcrumbs, patting the crumbs into both sides. Lay the chicken on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining tenders.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through. If desired, broil for 1 to 3 minutes (watching carefully) until golden brown on top. Serve with desired dipping sauce.
Combine 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons honey (plus more to taste, if desired), 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
More Chicken Dinner Winners
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Taco Baked Chicken
- Greek Chicken Pasta Salad
- Slow Cooker Thai Chicken with Peanut Sauce