Oven Baked Chicken Tenders


This big-batch recipe makes 12 servings (36 tenders), so you get several meals from one cooking session.

Chicken Tenders
Photo: Greg DuPree
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
3 to 12 batches of tenders

There are many benefits to making a freezer-aisle staple like chicken tenders at home: You control the ingredients, and it's fun to master the classic three-step breading process of flour, egg, and breadcrumb coating. (If you're really ambitious, make your own breadcrumbs, too.) Cooking these in the oven instead of the deep fryer gives this finger-food staple a healthy twist, and panko bread crumbs makes for an extra-crispy exterior that doesn't get soggy when sitting out. Just before serving, whip together the quick-and-easy, three-ingredient, creamy, honey-mustard dipping sauce, and you'll never reach for store-bought again.

Once you get the hang of it, use this breading method for a variety of meats and vegetables, and for dishes like our Baked chicken Parmesan, Cornmeal-crusted mozzarella sticks, or Fried green tomatoes.


  • Nonstick cooking spray 

  • 3 pounds chicken tenders or skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch-thick strips

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard 

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • 4 large eggs

  • ¼ cup whole milk

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 4 cups Panko breadcrumbs, divided 

  • ½ cup mayonnaise

  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard

  • 3 tablespoons honey 


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray. Season chicken with salt and pepper.

  2. Whisk flour, paprika, ground mustard, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. In another large bowl, beat eggs and milk.

  3. Melt half the butter in a large skillet over medium. Add 2 cups Panko and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a shallow baking dish. Repeat with remaining butter and Panko; transfer to baking dish. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper.

  4. Working in batches, dredge tenders in flour mixture, shaking off excess. next, dip in egg wash, letting excess drip off, and then coat with Panko, pressing to adhere. Bake or freeze.

  5. To bake one batch: Place 12 tenders on prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden on undersides, 6 to 8 minutes. Spray tenders with cooking spray, flip, and cook until golden and crisp all over, 6 to 8 minutes more. Stir together mayonnaise, Dijon, and honey. Serve with tenders.

  6. To freeze: Arrange uncooked tenders in a shallow baking dish with parchment paper between layers. Freeze until solid, about 2 hours. Transfer to resealable freezer bags and freeze for up to 1 month.

  7. To bake from frozen: Place frozen, unthawed tenders on prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden on undersides, 12 to 15 minutes. Spray tenders with cooking spray, flip, and cook until golden and crisp all over, 12 to 15 minutes more.

To air fry, cook at 400 F for 10 to 15 minutes and shake halfway through.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

400 Calories
16g Fat
30g Carbs
31g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 400
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 154mg 51%
Sodium 548mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 31g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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