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Baked Chicken Tenders

Baked Chicken Tenders

These baked chicken tenders are coated in corn flake crumbs (or panko) and bake in the oven. They’re super crispy and so easy to make!

These baked chicken tenders are so easy to make and taste fantastic!

baked chicken tenders

They’re surprisingly crispy, since they’re baked in the oven instead of fried. I often find oven baked “fried” foods are disappointing and not quite crispy enough.

But these baked chicken tenders turned out very crispy. We even taste tested them beside some cooked in the air fryer, and there wasn’t a noticeable difference, which actually surprised me. I expected the air fryer ones to be crispier.

oven baked chicken tenders

That being said, we did not fry some in oil to see if those were crispier, but I was perfectly happy with how crispy these chicken fingers were, and I am definitely not a fan of chicken with soggy breading!

These baked chicken fingers are super easy to make and make the perfect appetizer or meal. We loved these, and they disappeared in no time!

baked chicken fingers

How long should chicken tenders bake at 375F?

Chicken tenders need to bake for 20-25 minutes at 375F. This does depend a little bit on the size of your chicken pieces though, so make sure to check the internal temperature of the chicken so you know that it’s done.

The chicken should be 165F at the thickest part. I have this instant read thermometer and love it. It reads the internal temperature in just a couple seconds.

oven baked chicken tenders

What does buttermilk do to raw chicken?

Buttermilk is slightly acidic, so it can be used to tenderize the meat. If you use a strong acid like lemon or lime juice, it will break down the meat after a few hours resulting in a mealy texture, but buttermilk isn’t acidic enough to do that.

Soaking your chicken tenders in buttermilk for a few hours before cooking them will tenderize the meat and result in better chicken tenders.

baked chicken fingers

How do you get breading to stick to chicken tenders?

It’s very easy to get the breading to stick to these chicken tenders. After soaking the chicken pieces, let the excess buttermilk drip off, and then dredge the chicken in flour. After it’s coated in flour, dip it in beaten egg, and then in panko or corn flake crumbs, pressing the crumbs lightly so that they adhere to the chicken.

I also spray the baking sheet with oil, as well as the tops of the chicken tenders before baking them. They always turn out very crispy this way.

baked buttermilk ranch chicken fingers

How to make Baked Chicken Tenders:

  • Don’t skip the marinating time in the buttermilk. It helps to tenderize the meat. Soak the chicken for at least 3-4 hours or overnight.
  • I’ve made these chicken tenders with both corn flake crumbs and panko breadcrumbs. Both are delicious and turn out very crispy so use your preference.
  • We love the sriracha ranch dip with these. It’s not overly spicy, but if that’s not your thing, any dipping sauce that you like with chicken fingers would be good here too.
  • I also have a recipe for Air Fryer Chicken Tenders if you prefer.

Here are some more great appetizer recipes for you:

buttermilk ranch chicken tenders
Yield: serves 4-6

Baked Chicken Tenders

baked chicken tenders

These baked chicken tenders are coated in corn flake crumbs (or panko) and bake in the oven. They're super crispy and so easy to make!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Marinating Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients

For the chicken tenders:

  • 1 1/2 pounds (700g) chicken tenders (or chicken breast, cut into strips)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons ranch seasoning mix, divided
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk or water
  • 1 1/2 cups corn flake crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese

For the sriracha ranch dip:

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ranch seasoning mix
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce

Instructions

For the chicken tenders:

  1. In a 9”x13” baking dish, whisk together the buttermilk and 1 tablespoon of the ranch seasoning.  
  2. Place the chicken tenders in the buttermilk mixture, making sure they are covered in the buttermilk.  
  3. Cover the dish tightly and refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  
  5. Lightly spray a cooking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  6. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the flour and the remaining tablespoon of ranch seasoning.  
  7. In a second bowl, whisk together the egg and milk or water.  
  8. In a third bowl, mix together the corn flake crumbs, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.
  9. Working with one piece of chicken at a time, let the buttermilk drip off the chicken and then dip it in the flour mixture, turning it to coat, and shake off the excess.  
  10. Then dip the chicken in the egg wash, and then the crumbs, turning it to coat both sides.
  11. Place the coated chicken on the baking sheet and repeat with all the chicken pieces.  Lightly spray the tops of the chicken tenders with cooking spray, and bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping once, or until they are cooked through and golden. The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165F.

For the dipping sauce: 

  1. In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk, sour cream, ranch seasoning, and sriracha, and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Notes

If you want to make your own Ranch seasoning mix, you can find a recipe for that here. If you want to use store bought ranch seasoning, 1 (28g) packet should be the right amount for the full recipe.

I’ve also made these chicken tenders using panko breadcrumbs instead of corn flake crumbs and they work very well that way too if you prefer.

Recommended Products

This post contains affiliate links from Amazon and ThermoWorks. As an Amazon Associate, I may receive a small commission from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1/6 recipe

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 309Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 1220mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 13g

Nutrition Information is estimated based on ingredients used and may not be exact.

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