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


  • Khatri Shaheen

    Hey there, I'm Shaheen Khatri! Let me introduce you to Food Fusion Journey, my little online haven. I'm the creative force, author, and voice behind this culinary adventure. This whole journey began as a laid-back hobby just over two years ago, way back in 2020, during the lockdown era. At that time, I was juggling my responsibilities as an HR professional, working remotely from my cozy home in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, where I reside with my husband.

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