Oven baked crumbed chicken tenders on a tray
Appetizers

Easy Oven-baked Chicken Tenders

Cooks in 35 minutes Difficulty Easy 0 comments

While typically associated with deep-frying, there’s a healthier alternative that doesn’t sacrifice taste or texture to enjoy one of the most beloved appetizers: Oven-baked chicken tenders!

Chicken tenders, those golden-brown strips of succulent meat, are a perennial favorite among food lovers. Over the years, the demand for healthier food options has surged, and baked chicken tenders have emerged as a satisfying solution.

By swapping out deep-frying for baking, you can enjoy the same crispy exterior and juicy interior while reducing the calorie and fat content.

Oven-baked Chicken Tenders are Air-fryer Friendly

That’s right folks. For those lucky ones who own an air fryer (like my dad!), you can use it instead of an oven!

Remember to turn it halfway to get all sides golden. You can omit the oil, as air fryers are famous for this!

Remember to also check that the internal temperature of your chicken is 165°F (74°C). If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can peak in one of the pieces and ensure the meat is not pink! When the meat is not pink, that’s when it’s ready.

Less oil in Oven-Baked Chicken Tenders

Baked chicken tenders offer a host of nutritional benefits compared to their fried counterparts. They are a rich source of lean protein, essential for muscle development and repair.

These delectable treats also provide essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin B6, niacin, phosphorus, and selenium. With fewer calories and less saturated fat, they can be part of a well-balanced diet.

Add in your variation!

One of the joys of baked chicken tenders lies in their adaptability to various flavors and seasonings. Whether you prefer classic herbs and spices, zesty marinades, or tangy sauces, the possibilities are endless.

Experiment with combinations like garlic and parmesan, honey mustard, buffalo-style, or even a hint of smoky barbecue!

Cooking Techniques for Oven-Baked Chicken Tenders

To achieve crispy, golden-brown perfection, a few key techniques are worth noting.

First, start with a well-seasoned breadcrumb or panko coating to add texture and flavor.

Then, flip the tenders halfway through cooking to achieve an all-around crunch. Remember, internal temperature is crucial: Aim for 165°F (74°C) for juicy, fully cooked chicken.

Fun Facts about Oven-Baked Chicken Tenders

  • Chicken tenderloins, also known as chicken tenders or chicken fingers, are the small strips of meat attached to the underside of chicken breasts.
  • Chicken tenders gained popularity in the 1990s as a finger food option, particularly in fast-food chains.
  • The term “chicken fingers” is believed to have originated from the concept of eating them with your hands, resembling the shape of human fingers.
  • Baked chicken tenders are a hit with kids and adults alike, making them a versatile dish for family meals, parties, and game day snacks.
  • With their delicious taste and healthier profile, oven-baked chicken tenders have become a favorite among fitness enthusiasts and those looking to make mindful dietary choices.

Give this recipe a shot!

My easy oven-baked chicken tenders offer a healthier twist on a beloved classic. By opting for baking instead of deep-frying, you can enjoy guilt-free indulgence without compromising on taste and texture.

From their rise in popularity to their nutritional benefits and versatility in flavor, these crispy delights have secured a special place on menus and in home kitchens worldwide.

So go ahead and savor the wholesome goodness of baked chicken tenders, exploring the array of flavors and techniques that make them an irresistible treat.

Oven baked crumbed chicken tenders on a tray

Easy Oven-baked Chicken Tenders

Straightforward seasoning for its base. Feel free to extend its flavor by adding your own variations of seasoning!
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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Baked
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 182kcal
Author: Micah Alvord
Cost: $20

Equipment

  • 1 baking tray

Ingredients

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs, preferably panko
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 package chicken tenders
  • neutral oil such as vegetable oil, etc.

Seasonings for flour

  • 4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder

Instructions

  • Add the flour to a plate and add in the seasonings for flour. Mix seasoned flour with a fork.
    1 cup flour, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tbsp garlic powder, 4 tsp salt
  • Add the eggs into a big bowl and beat with a fork.
    3 beaten eggs
  • In another big bowl, or shallow dish, add your breadcrumbs. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.
    1 cup breadcrumbs, preferably panko
  • Wash your chicken tenders with water and pat dry with paper towel.
    1 package chicken tenders
  • Preheat oven to 450°F / 230°C. Alternatively, you can use an air fryer at 400°F / 200°C.

Coating the chicken tenders

  • Cover chicken tender with flour. (Dipping it in flour first will help the egg stick onto the chicken.)
  • Then, transfer the chicken and dip coat it in egg.
  • Then, transfer the chicken and lay it on the bed of breadcrumbs. To coat it, heap breadcrumbs over the top until it is fully covered and it sticks on. Avoid twisting and turning it around the breadcrumbs as the coating can sometimes slide and slip off.
  • If desired, place parchment paper on your baking tray.
  • Place the chicken tenders on the baking tray. Once assembled, drizzle your neutral in a zigzag fashion. You don't need to use a lot. Just enough to loosely drizzle around the baking tray.
    neutral oil such as vegetable oil, etc.
  • Cook for about 7 – 8 minutes, turning once halfway. Use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature is 165°F / 74°C before removing it out of the oven. If you don't have a meat thermometer and it seems still uncooked, then cook for a few minutes longer (total time ~8-12 minutes, as this depends on how thick your chicken tenders are and how hot your oven actually gets).
  • Serve with your sauce or dip of choice. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 2439mg | Potassium: 96mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg

Perfect Pairings Suggestion

Consider pairing this with an Easy Green Bean Casserole! Simple, straightforward, filling, and overall delicious!

Oven baked chicken tenders and green bean casserole on a plate

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