Easy Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders

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What is Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders

Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders are a delicious and healthier chicken dish. In this preparation process chicken tenders are coated with a seasoned breadcrumb mixture and then baked in the oven until they are crispy and golden brown. The use of the oven instead of deep-frying reduces the amount of oil needed, making it a lighter and less messy option.

Here’s a simple recipe for Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders


  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Cooking spray (olive oil or non-stick)


1/ Marinate the Chicken

  • Place the chicken tenders in a bowl and pour the buttermilk over them.
  • Let the chicken marinate in the buttermilk for at least 30 minutes, or you can refrigerate it for a few hours or overnight for more flavor.

2/ Preheat the Oven

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).

3/ Prepare the Coating

  • In a shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.

4/ Coat the Chicken

  • Remove each chicken tender from the buttermilk, letting the excess drip off.
  • Dip the chicken into the breadcrumb mixture, making sure to coat each side evenly. Press the breadcrumbs onto the chicken to adhere.

5/ Place on Baking Sheet

  • Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and lightly coat it with cooking spray.
  • Arrange the coated chicken tenders on the wire rack.

6/ Bake

  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the coating is golden brown and crispy.

7/ Serve

  • Once done, remove from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
  • Serve the oven-fried chicken tenders with your favorite dipping sauce.

Enjoy your delicious and healthier oven-fried chicken tenders!

Tips and Tricks for Making Perfect Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders

Marinate in Buttermilk

  • Marinate the chicken tenders in buttermilk before coating them.

Seasoned Breadcrumb Mixture:

  • Create a flavorful coating by adding a variety of seasonings to the breadcrumb mixture. This can include garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper.

Preheat the Oven:

  • Ensure your oven is fully preheated before placing the chicken tenders inside.

Use a Wire Rack:

  • Place a wire rack on the baking sheet. Elevating the chicken tenders allows hot air to circulate around them, promoting even cooking and crispiness on all sides.

Lightly Coat with Cooking Spray:

  • Lightly spray the coated chicken tenders with cooking spray before baking.
  • Arrange the chicken tenders on the baking sheet without overcrowding. This ensures that each piece has enough space for the hot air to circulate, preventing sogginess.

Flip During Baking:

  • Flip the chicken tenders halfway through the baking time. This ensures even browning on both sides.

Check for Doneness:

  • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. It should reach 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s fully cooked.

Serve with Dipping Sauce:

  • Prepare a tasty dipping sauce to complement the flavors of the chicken tenders. Popular options include honey mustard, barbecue sauce, or ranch dressing.

Experiment with Coatings:

  • Get creative with coatings by incorporating different herbs, spices, or grated cheeses into the breadcrumb mixture for added flavor.

Let Them Rest:

  • Allow the oven-fried chicken tenders to rest for a few minutes before serving.

Some Common Mistakes To Avoid

Skipping the Buttermilk Marinade:

  • Skipping the buttermilk marinade can result in less flavorful and less tender chicken. Take the time to marinate the chicken for better taste and texture.

Not Preheating the Oven:

  • Preheat the oven before placing the chicken inside. Starting with a hot oven helps achieve the desired crispy texture.

Using Dull Breadcrumbs:

  • Ensure your breadcrumbs are fresh and not stale. Using dull breadcrumbs can result in a less crispy coating.

Overcrowding the Baking Sheet:

  • Avoid overcrowding the baking sheet. Overlapping or overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking and a soggy exterior.

Forgetting the Wire Rack:

  • Using a wire rack allows air to circulate around the chicken, promoting even cooking. Skipping the rack can result in a less crispy bottom.

Skipping the Cooking Spray:

  • Lightly coat the coated chicken tenders with cooking spray before baking. Skipping this step may result in a less crispy coating.

Not Flipping Halfway Through:

  • Forgetting to flip the chicken tenders halfway through the baking time can lead to uneven browning. Flip them to ensure both sides get crispy.

Not Checking Internal Temperature:

  • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. Undercooked chicken can be unsafe, and overcooking can lead to dryness.

Using Too Much Oil or Butter:

  • While oven-frying is a healthier option, using too much oil or butter in the coating can negate the health benefits. Stick to a light coating.

Not Letting Them Rest:

  • Resist the temptation to dig in immediately. Let the chicken tenders rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute and keep the meat moist.

Not Experimenting with Seasonings:

  • Experimenting with different seasonings can enhance the flavor of your chicken tenders.

Overlooking the Dipping Sauce:

  • A good dipping sauce complements the flavor of the chicken tenders. Don’t overlook this extra touch for added enjoyment.

Nutrition Facts


The nutritional content of oven-fried chicken tenders can vary based on specific ingredients and portion sizes. However, here’s a general idea of the nutritional profile per serving (assuming a standard recipe and serving size)

Nutrition Facts for Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders (per serving, approximately 4 ounces):

  • Calories: 250-300 kcal
  • Protein: 25-30g
  • Carbohydrates: 15-20g
    • Dietary Fiber: 1-2g
    • Sugars: 1-2g
  • Fat: 10-15g
    • Saturated Fat: 2-4g
    • Monounsaturated Fat: 4-6g
    • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2-3g
  • Cholesterol: 70-90mg
  • Sodium: 500-700mg


  • The actual nutritional content can vary based on factors such as the specific brand of ingredients, the amount of coating applied, and the exact size of the chicken tenders.
  • Using leaner cuts of chicken and opting for whole wheat breadcrumbs can contribute to a healthier nutritional profile.

Enjoy Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders at home.

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