These Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders are made extra crispy with panko breadcrumbs and garlic butter.  Crazy delicious, juicy and easy chicken dinner that’s baked not fried. 

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chicken tenders on a plate with broccoli

Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders

My love for chicken tenders runs deep, and I’m not afraid to say it! It might be a dish that’s typically found on the kids’ menu, but I have no shame in ordering a big plate of chicken tenders at any time! 

I mean, what’s not to love about them, they are crispy, tender, and full of amazing flavor! The only downside is that I’m forced to limit my intake because of the unhealthiness of deep-fried food. That’s why I LOVE this recipe for crispy baked chicken tenders! 

It allows me to get my fix of crispy chicken without involving any frying! After careful testing, and trying all the tips and tricks, I’ve perfected this recipe so it checks all of the same boxes as regular chicken strips, so you can forget the unhealthy restaurant orders and get the same great taste from your own kitchen!

baked chicken on a plate

Are Baked Chicken Tenders Healthy? 

While the coating on these chicken tenders adds more calories to the dish, it’s still a healthier alternative to traditional deep-fried breaded chicken tenders you would find at a restaurant. 

So, if you’re looking to keep a perfect diet, this recipe might not be for you, but if you’re looking to clean up your weeknight dinner choices just a little, then you’ll love this healthier baked chicken tenders recipe!

garlic butter

How To Make Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders

(full printable recipe at the end of this post)

My motto is that making dinner at home should never be more hassle than it’s worth. I strive for recipes that are easy to throw together, that the whole family will love, and this baked chicken recipe is just that! 

Simply start by preheating your oven and prep your baking sheet with foil, and cooking spray and set aside. While the oven preheats, you will mix the bread crumbs and salt in a shallow bowl or plate, and set aside.

Next up, you’ll cut the chicken breasts into tenderloin strips and pat them dry, then spread the prepared garlic butter on both sides of the chicken tenderloins. Once covered in the garlic butter, coat the chicken by pressing each side into bread crumbs and place on your foil-lined pan.

Lastly, spray the top of the chicken tenderloins with no-stick spray and bake until the proper internal temperature has been reached, then turn the oven to broil and continue baking until the coating is a light brown. 

how to make bread chicken tenders

Can I Use Chicken Breasts Instead of Tenderloins?

If you don’t have any chicken tenderloins on hand, you can always use chicken breasts instead. The raw chicken tenderloins are actually the same as chicken breasts, they are just pre-cut into smaller portions. 

You should still be fine with the same cooking time if you prepare the recipe with chicken breasts, as long as you pound the breasts to an even thickness.

chicken tender with a bite missing on a plate with broccoli

Tips For Making Perfectly Crispy Baked Chicken

  • Opt for panko breadcrumbs The airy light texture of panko is lighter, flakier, and cooks up more crispy than regular breadcrumbs. Regular breadcrumbs consist of a finer crumb and aren’t as flaky as panko. They also absorb more cooking oil than panko does.
  • Don’t forget to broil at the end! Letting the chicken cook on broil for the last few minutes is what gives it that extra crispy texture. Skipping this step will give you a softer coating. 
  • To keep the crispy texture when eating your chicken tenders left over, don’t microwave. The microwave makes the chicken tough and turns the coating to mush. Instead, throw them in the oven on broil for about 5 minutes, or until heated through. 
baked chicken tenderloins

Make It A Meal With These Amazing Side Recipes!

Easy Pull Apart Garlic Rolls – Easy, fast and absolutely addicting!  A can of biscuits turns into delicious, flaky, buttery garlic rolls in just a few simple steps. Making these rolls the perfect complement to any meal.

Sautéed Green Beans – full of flavor. Made with crispy bacon, minced garlic, and fresh green beans they are ready in 15 minutes, making it the perfect side dish for any weeknight dinner

Simple Italian Salad – Pairs perfectly with any Italian meal. It’s quick and easy and rivals any restaurant. Pair it with cheesy garlic bread to really complete your meal!

Baked Parmesan Risotto Recipe – Creamy, cheesy and oh so easy. This oven-baked version of the favorite Italian rice dish requires hardly any stirring making it convenient enough for any night of the week. Serve as a side or entree.

Cheesy Baked Tomatoes – The perfect way to take advantage of all the juicy summer tomatoes with melt-in-your-mouth mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Tools Used To Make Crispy Chicken Tenders

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Aluminum Half Sheet Pan

This is my favorite sheet pan to use. I have about 4 I use in my kitchen pretty much every time I bake anything that needs a baking sheet. They are perfect oversized pans!

Shallow Severing Bowls

These shallow bowls are perfect for serving any food you don’t want to fall off the sides of a plate. I love using for making a chicken and rice bowl with this baked chicken recipe! 

Heavy-Duty Aluminum Foil

I always opt for heavy-duty foil over regular, so I never have to worry about ripping when making recipes with heavier ingredients. Not to mention, the easy clean-up that comes with cooking with foil!

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chicken tender photo collage
chicken tenders on a plate with broccoli

Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders

Yield: 12 tenderloins
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

These Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders are made extra crispy with panko breadcrumbs and garlic butter.  Crazy delicious, juicy and easy chicken dinner that's baked not fried. 


  • 4 Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts (or 12 chicken tenderloins)
  • 1 Cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 Cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

Garlic Butter

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (or garlic powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning


  1. To make garlic butter: Combine butter, cheese and seasonings in a small bowl, mix until well blended and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375° F and line a large baking sheet with tin foil and give it a good coat of no-stick spray.
  3. Mix bread crumbs and salt in shallow bowl or plate, and set aside.
  4. Cut chicken breasts into tenderloin strips (I often buy chicken tenderloins already cut), pat dry.
  5. Spread garlic butter on both sides of chicken tenderloins.
  6. Coat chicken by pressing each side into bread crumbs and place on foil-lined pan.
  7. Spray the top of the chicken tenderloins with no-stick spray (this helps it to brown)
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, then turn oven to broil and continue baking for 5-8 minutes or until coating is a light brown.
  9. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 2 tenders
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 425Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 872mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 31g

Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used.

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chicken tenders piled on a plate