These Baked Chicken Tenders are so crispy and crunchy, you won’t believe they aren’t fried! What’s my secret? Read on to find out!
Baked Chicken Tenders
When I say “Baked Chicken Tenders” are you picturing a soggy, breaded piece of chicken with parts of the breading falling off? Well, think again!! These chicken tenders are so crispy and crunchy you are going to think they came straight out of a fryer. There are a few things that make these tenders stand out:
- Panko Breadcrumbs: These breadcrumbs are a GAME CHANGER. Do NOT use regular breadcrumbs for this recipe. They just won’t work. Panko breadcrumbs come from Japanese cuisine and they are much flakier and crispier than traditional breadcrumbs.
- Batter: Instead of dredging the chicken in egg and then flour, I mixed the two together and made a batter. This not only simplifies the preparation, but the batter binds the breadcrumbs to the chicken so much better than any other way I have tried.
- Cooking Oil: One of the most important steps when making this recipe is to spray the tenders with cooking oil right before you put them in the oven. This helps to make them even more crispy!
- First, place the breadcrumbs on a cookie sheet. Spray lightly with cooking oil. Toast the breadcrumbs for 3-5 minutes at 400 degrees. Move them from the cookie sheet into a bowl.
- Then, trim and de-vein your chicken tenders. If you are using chicken breasts, cut them to the desired size.
- Next, make your batter. Combine the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, flour, salt, and pepper.
- Dredge the chicken tenders in the batter until they are evenly coated.
- One by one, take a chicken tender and roll in in the breadcrumbs. Lightly press the breadcrumbs in so they stick better. Place a wire rack on a cookie sheet and put the tenders on top of the rack. This helps both sides of the chicken to cook evenly. Top with salt and pepper to taste, and spray lightly with cooking oil.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. DO NOT overcook! You want the outside to be crispy and the inside to be super juicy and tender.
- Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce!
To Dip or Not to Dip
Is that even a question?? If you know me at all, you know I am ALL about the condiments. I would dip everything in something if I could. So, of course I have to have something delicious to dunk these chicken tenders into! Try one of my favorites!
How to Make Baked Chicken Tenders
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Spread panko breadcrumbs evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking oil.
- Toast the breadcrumbs for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Move from the baking sheet into a bowl. Leave the oven on to bake the tenders.
- Trim and devein the chicken tenders. Set aside.
- Combine egg, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, flour, salt and pepper to make the batter.
- Add the chicken tenders to the batter and stir until the chicken is coated.
- Set a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.
- One by one, press the chicken tenders into the breadcrumbs until all the sides are coated. Place chicken onto the wire rack. Repeat until all the tenders are coated.
- Sprinkle tenders with salt and pepper and spray lightly with cooking oil.
- Bake for 15 minutes - do NOT overcook!
- Serve immediately with the sauce of your choice.