The Perfect Breaded Chicken Tenders: A Mouthwatering Oven Recipe

When it comes to comfort food, few things can compete with the delightful crunch and tender juiciness of breaded chicken tenders. Whether you are looking for a quick weeknight dinner or planning a party menu, these oven-baked chicken tenders are guaranteed to please everyone’s taste buds. In this comprehensive guide, we will dive into the food science, culinary details, selection, cleaning, preparation, tips, variations, doneness checks, recipe, and how to avoid common pitfalls like overcooking or undercooking. So let’s roll up our sleeves and embark on a journey to create the perfect breaded chicken tenders!

Understanding the Food Science of Breaded Chicken Tenders

To truly master the art of breaded chicken tenders, it is essential to understand the food science behind this delectable dish. When chicken is breaded and oven-baked, it undergoes a series of chemical reactions that transform the humble poultry into a crispy, flavorful delight.

Key Ingredients:

  • Chicken Tenders: Chicken tenders, also known as chicken fingers or strips, carry a delicate and juicy texture that works perfectly for this recipe. These boneless, skinless slices of chicken breast are readily available at most grocery stores.

  • Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs play a crucial role in creating the signature crispy coating of breaded chicken tenders. Opt for panko breadcrumbs for an extra crunch, and consider adding seasonings like garlic powder, paprika, or dried herbs to elevate the flavors.

  • Eggs: To bind the breadcrumbs to the chicken, eggs act as the crucial adhesive. Whisk the eggs thoroughly before coating the chicken to ensure an even distribution of breadcrumbs.

Selecting and Cleaning the Chicken Tenders

Selecting Chicken Tenders:

When choosing chicken tenders at the grocery store, look for tenders that are similar in size and thickness. This will ensure even cooking and a uniform texture. Additionally, select tenders that are free from bruises, cuts, or discolorations, signifying their freshness.

Cleaning Chicken Tenders:

Before starting the preparation process, it is vital to clean the chicken tenders properly. Rinse them under cold water to remove any potential impurities or bone fragments. Pat them dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture, which will allow the breading to adhere better.

The Preparation Process: Coating the Chicken Tenders

breaded chicken tenders

Now that we have covered the necessary groundwork let’s move on to the exciting part – the preparation of the chicken tenders!

Preparing the Breading Station:

To create a streamlined breading process, set up a breading station with three separate bowls. In the first bowl, add flour seasoned with salt and pepper. In the second bowl, whisk the eggs together until thoroughly combined. Finally, in the third bowl, place the breadcrumbs, optionally mixed with desired seasonings.

Tips and Tricks for Perfectly Breaded Chicken Tenders

breaded chicken tenders

Achieving the perfect texture and flavor in your breaded chicken tenders requires attention to detail and a few expert tips. Let’s explore some tried and tested suggestions that will elevate your dish to new heights!

Tip 1: Double Coating for Extra Crunch

For an extra crispy exterior, consider using the double-coating technique. After dipping the chicken tenders in the egg mixture, coat them once again in the breadcrumb mixture before placing them on a baking sheet. This double coat will enhance the crunchiness.

Tip 2: Refrigerate Coated Chicken Tenders

Before baking the chicken tenders, chilling them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes can help the breading adhere better and prevent it from falling off during cooking.

Tip 3: Cooking Spray for a Golden Finish

To achieve a beautiful golden brown color on your chicken tenders, lightly spray them with cooking oil or non-stick cooking spray before baking. This will promote even browning and enhance the overall appearance.

Tip 4: Elevating the Flavor

Experiment with various seasonings to tantalize your taste buds. Consider adding a hint of smoked paprika for a smoky undertone, or cayenne pepper for a touch of heat. Don’t be afraid to get creative with different combinations!

Baking the Breaded Chicken Tenders to Perfection

oven baked breaded chicken tenders

Doneness Checks:

To ensure that your chicken tenders are cooked to perfection and safe to consume, it is essential to perform doneness checks. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165°F (74°C) using a digital meat thermometer.

Avoiding Overcooking and Undercooking:

Overcooking will result in dry, tough chicken tenders, while undercooking poses a potential health risk. It is crucial to find the perfect balance. Baking the chicken tenders at 375°F (190°C) for approximately 15 to 18 minutes will yield juicy, tender chicken, with a crisp and golden coating.

A Classic Breaded Chicken Tenders Recipe

oven baked breaded chicken tenders

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for – the recipe for classic breaded chicken tenders!


  • 1 lb (450g) chicken tenders

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 2 large eggs, whisked

  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs

  • Cooking oil or non-stick cooking spray


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking.

  3. Set up the breading station with three bowls: one with flour, salt, and pepper, one with the whisked eggs, and one with the breadcrumbs.

  4. Coat each chicken tender in flour, then dip it into the egg mixture, ensuring it is completely coated.

  5. Transfer the tender to the breadcrumb bowl and coat it evenly with breadcrumbs, pressing gently to ensure adherence.

  6. Place the breaded tenders onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving some space between each tender.

  7. Lightly spray cooking oil or non-stick cooking spray over the tenders for a golden finish.

  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes until the chicken tenders are cooked through and the breading is crispy and golden.

  9. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool slightly before serving.

Variations to Spice Things Up

If you’re feeling adventurous or looking to add some variety to your breaded chicken tenders, consider these exciting variations:

Cheesy Tenders:

Mix shredded cheese, such as cheddar or mozzarella, into the breadcrumb mixture for an ooey-gooey twist.

Spicy Hot Tenders:

Add cayenne pepper, chili powder, or your favorite hot sauce to the breadcrumb mixture to create a fiery kick.

Herb-Crusted Tenders:

Incorporate dried herbs like oregano, basil, or thyme into your breadcrumb coating for an aromatic and herb-infused flavor profile.


Congratulations! You have embarked on an extensive journey into the world of breaded chicken tenders. From the essential food science to selection, cleaning, preparation, and cooking techniques, you are now armed with all the information you need to create mouthwatering chicken tenders that will impress anyone who takes a bite.

With our fully formatted and in-depth article, you are now well-equipped to shine in the kitchen and elevate your culinary skills. So go ahead, gather your ingredients, don your apron, and delight your friends and family with the tantalizing aroma and unbeatable taste of homemade breaded chicken tenders.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Enjoy the process, experiment with different variations, and soon you’ll discover your own signature twist on this classic comfort food. Happy cooking!

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  • FAQS On Breaded Chicken Tenders Oven Recipe

    What Temperature Should I Preheat My Oven To For Cooking Breaded Chicken Tenders?

    It is recommended to preheat your oven to 375°F before cooking breaded chicken tenders. This will ensure that the chicken is evenly cooked and crispy.

    How Long Should I Cook Breaded Chicken Tenders In The Oven?

    The cooking time for breaded chicken tenders in the oven can vary depending on the thickness of the chicken and the type of breading used. On average, it takes about 20-25 minutes to cook breaded chicken tenders in a preheated oven.

    Can I Use Frozen Chicken Tenders For This Recipe?

    Yes, you can use frozen chicken tenders for this oven recipe. However, make sure to thaw them completely before breading and cooking to ensure even cooking.

    How Can I Make Sure The Breaded Chicken Tenders Are Crispy And Not Soggy?

    To achieve a crispy texture, it is important to use high-quality breadcrumbs and coat the chicken evenly. Additionally, make sure to place the chicken tenders on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet in the oven, allowing excess moisture to drip off.

    What Type Of Dipping Sauce Goes Well With Breaded Chicken Tenders?

    Some popular dipping sauces for breaded chicken tenders include honey mustard, ranch, BBQ sauce, and ketchup. You can also get creative and make your own dipping sauce by mixing mayonnaise, mustard, and honey for a tangy and sweet flavor.