Baked Chicken Strips are an easy recipe for chicken tenders. Made with a crunchy panko breading and baked until crispy, these Chicken Tenders are juicy, flavorful, and ready in less than 30 minutes!
Make your entire family happy with these Chicken Fingers, especially when paired with Homemade Baked Fries. Made with simple ingredients, these baked chicken strips are not only delicious but much lower in fat and calories than fried chicken tenders.
My mom made homemade chicken fingers quite frequently for my family when I was a child. And they were a family favorite--one of the few meals that pleased all four of her picky kids.
Fast forward 30 some years, and I am making Chicken Tenders for my own two picky kids--and they, like their mom, love this simple meal.
These chicken strips are perfect! Thanks to a few pro-tips, they bake up to crispy perfection, while the chicken remains juicy and tender. And best of all, this kid-friendly meal is healthy, satisfying, and on the table in less than 30 minutes.
- Chicken Tenders: You can purchase tenders for this recipe, or use boneless, skinless chicken breasts that have been cut into 1-inch strips. If using tenders, be sure to clean off all fat and tendons from the chicken strips.
- Seasoning: It is crucial to season every layer of the breading on these chicken strips. I use my homemade seasoned salt as it is more flavorful than simply salt, but store-bought seasoned salt will work as well.
Secrets to Crispy Oven-Baked Chicken Tenders
- Use Panko Bread Crumbs. Panko gives chicken strips a crunchy coating that is reminiscent of a deep-fried restaurant chicken tender. They keep the coating light and crispy. While you can use traditional bread crumbs, the results will not be the same.
- Use a 3-step breading process. This means to dip the chicken into flour, then egg mixture, then breadcrumbs. This allows the breadcrumbs to adhere to the chicken evenly.
- Bake chicken strips on a baking rack. By placing the breaded chicken tenders onto a baking rack instead of directly onto a sheet pan, the air is able to circulate evenly around the chicken, allowing the breading to get crispy on all sides without flipping.
Step One: Prepare the Breading Station
- In a shallow dish, mix flour with seasoned salt.
- In a second shallow dish, mix together the eggs with additional seasoned salt.
- In a final shallow dish, mix together the panko bread crumbs with a bit more seasoned salt.
Step Two: Bread the Chicken Strips
- Place the chicken tenders into the flour mixture and flip to coat evenly in flour. Be sure to shake off excess flour. You only want the chicken to be dusted in flour. If it is caked in flour, the taste will not be pleasant and the breading may become gummy.
- Place the floured chicken strip into the egg wash and coat both sides. Shake off excess egg wash.
- Finally place the chicken strip into the bread crumb mixture and coat evenly, using your hands to help breadcrumbs to adhere to the chicken strip.
Step Three: Bake
- Place the breaded chicken tenders onto a greased baking rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
- Spray with a bit of cooking spray for a super golden exterior.
- Bake at high heat until browned and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
They are also delicious cut up and served on a salad or served on a bun for an easy crispy chicken sandwich.
How to Freeze Homemade Chicken Tenders
Instead of stocking your freezer with pre-made chicken strips, freeze a batch of these homemade chicken strips for a fast, wholesome meal.
- Place baked, cooled chicken strips on an oven sheet lined with wax or parchment paper.
- Place into the freezer until frozen solid. This will take an hour or two.
- Once frozen solid, transfer to a freezer-safe bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- To Prepare Chicken Tenders from frozen, place frozen chicken tenders onto a baking rack over a rimmed cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until warmed through.
Recipe Tips and Modifications
- Air-Fryer Instructions: Bread the chicken tenders as directed and spray with cooking spray. Preheat an air-fryer to 400 degrees and cook for 5 minutes on each side.
- Make Healthier: Use whole wheat flour and whole wheat panko bread crumbs in place of all-purpose flour and regular panko breadcrumbs for a serving of whole grains.
- Leftovers: Leftover Chicken Strips will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator. They are best warmed up in a 400-degree Fahrenheit oven for 5 minutes.
- Egg-Free Option: If you happen to have an Egg Allergy, dip your chicken strips into flour first, then something moist, like mustard, and finally panko.
More Kid-Friendly Meals
- Homemade Hamburger Helper
- 6 Pita Bread Pizza Recipes
- Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets
- Baked Ravioli Lasagna
I would love it if you tried this recipe for chicken tenders for you to leave a comment and review below.
Homemade Chicken Tenders
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- 1 cup flour
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup water
- 2 ½ teaspoons seasoned salt divided
- 2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
- cooking spray optional
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place an oven-safe baking rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Lightly spray with non-stick spray.
- Place flour and 1 teaspoon seasoned salt in one shallow dish and mix well.
- Whisk eggs and water together with an additional 1 teaspoon of salt in a second shallow dish.
- Place panko bread crumbs in a third shallow dish and mix with the remaining ½ teaspoon of seasoned salt.
- Trim off all fat and tendons from chicken tenders. Or if using boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips.
- Dip chicken into flour, tossing to coat. Shake off excess. Dip into the egg wash, and then finally into panko breadcrumbs, using your hands to help panko coat chicken strips.
- Place breaded chicken tenders onto the prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray with cooking spray to achieve a golden exterior.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
This post was originally published in August 2017 but has since been updated in January 2021 with a video and new tips. The recipe remains the same.