Chicken tenders are one of the most popular food items in America -and they are not just for kids, adults love them too! If you want to see how to make chicken tenders at home without frying, check out this video.
My tender-loving family loves this recipe because the crust is everything you’d want on a chicken tender without frying, which means that now you don’t have to go out to eat to enjoy these!
This homemade recipe for chicken tenders is the perfect alternative to the frozen, pre-packaged tenders. They are made with real, unprocessed chicken, and you’ll have minimal cleanup because they are baked, not fried.
Recipes like this are what I use to create my family meal plans. Instead of starting from scratch, why not take out family’s favorite meals and recreate them into healthier versions?
Pair those recipes with a meal prep guide and done-for-you shopping list and parents can pull off mealtimes without a glitch. You’ll find them inside the MOMables Classic Meal Plan. Download a sample meal plan here.
How to Make Chicken Tenders
It couldn’t be easier to get these homemade chicken strips on the table! Let’s go through it step by step.
Preheat the oven to 400F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Set up
Set out three medium bowls. In the first bowl combine the white flour, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir to combine.
In the second bowl combine the whisked egg and minced garlic, stir.
In the third bowl combine the basil, paprika, Panko, and parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
Place the tenders in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, and finally the panko mixture making sure to evenly coat each piece.
Place the tenders on the sheet pan leaving enough room between each tender and bake for 15 minutes before flipping and baking for another 5 to 8 minutes or until the temperature reaches 165F.
Remove from the oven and allow the tenders to rest for 5 minutes. Grab your favorite dipping sauce and serve!
Making them Crunchy!
Thanks to the use of Panko breadcrumbs they are perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. What’s not to love?
Of course, you can use regular breadcrumbs if needed but Panko is great for adding extra texture and crisp without a lot of carbs or calories.
Making Homemade Chicken Tenders Gluten-Free
If you need a gluten-free recipe you can use 1:1 Gluten-Free flour and gluten-free breadcrumbs. I have an easy, gluten-free Panko breadcrumb recipe that would be perfect for these chicken tenders.
How to Freeze Homemade Chicken Tenders
It gets better! These homemade chicken tenders can be frozen before cooking by placing them on a parchment-lined tray, feezing them, and then transferring them to a freezer-safe bag.
Make sure to label the zip bag with the oven temperature and time (add about 2-3 minutes to cooking time if cooking them frozen) and you now have a recipe that yields leftovers for another meal.
Packing Homemade Chicken Tenders in a Lunchbox
Kids love chicken tenders and nuggets from the drive-thru for lunch so why not pack these in the lunchbox? Bake them the night before, making a few extra, and store them in the refrigerator.
To pack for a lunch, take them out of the fridge in the morning, pack into a lunchbox, and enjoy at lunch with a dipping sauce.
If eating lunch from home, you can reheat the tenders in the oven or toaster oven.
Dipping Sauce for Chicken Tenders
Speaking of dipping sauce, do you have a favorite? I’m partial to BBQ but there’s so many options when it comes to chicken tenders. Here are a few family favorites you can enjoy with this recipe as well as my homemade chicken nuggets.
Baked Parmesan Chicken Tenders
- 1 ¼ pounds boneless skinless chicken tenders
- ½ cup white flour
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 egg, whisked
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup Panko, or Gluten-Free Homemade Panko
- ⅔ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup marinara sauce, for dipping
- Trim the fat from the tenders.
- Preheat the oven to 400F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Set out three medium bowls.
- In the first bowl combine the white flour, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir to combine.
- In the second bowl combine the whisked egg and minced garlic, stir.
- In the third bowl combine the basil, paprika, Panko, and parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
- Place the tenders in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, then the panko mixture making sure to evenly and thoroughly coat each piece.
- Place the tenders on the sheet pan leaving enough room between each tender to ensure even cooking.
- Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes before flipping the tenders and cooking for another 5 to 8 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165F.
- Remove and serve with marinara sauce.