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Make truly crispy baked chicken tenders with this simple technique. The secret to these crispy chicken tenders is to coat them first with homemade buffalo sauce then dredge them in toasted panko breadcrumbs. Crispy baked tenders are all about double toasting the breading!! 

Crispy Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders served

I’ve been on the hunt for awhile now for a way to make truly crispy buffalo chicken tenders in the oven. After the success of these crispy Baked Buffalo Wings, I thought, “How hard can it be to make crispy tenders?” It was harder than I thought.

How to Make Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tenders

A little perseverance and a genius tip from a fellow blogger led to these truly crispy, juicy Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders with that addictive spicy buffalo kick. But before I tell you how to make these beauties, I want to tell you (and show you) what NOT to do.

As you can see I thought I had a winner in hand – to the point of photographing it. But then I took a bite. Hello soggy breading. Problem #1: the breading wasn’t crunchy enough to start with. That’s where the genius tip from my friend Nagi of Recipe Tin Eats came in. Genius Tip: toast the panko crumbs BEFORE you use them to bread the tenders.

failed attempt at recipe

Problem #2: I’d coated the tenders in buffalo sauce after baking, a mistake. This time I made the butter and hot sauce mixture part of the egg dip and voilà! – all of the flavor without making the breading soggy. And baking the tenders in the upper third of the oven on an oven safe cooling rack ensures that all sides get crispy.

chicken tenders baking
Dipping Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders into blue cheese dip

These make perfect party or football watching fare, with blue cheese dip of course!

More Delicious Party Food

Crispy Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders

5 from 13 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Calories: 287
Servings: 6 chicken tenders
Truly crispy baked buffalo chicken tenders with simple blue cheese dip – perfect party fare! I love to serve cold and crunchy carrot and celery sticks with this too.

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce such as Frank’s Red Hot or Cholula
  • 1 small clove garlic minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound chicken breast tenders

Simple Blue Cheese Dip

  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbled
  • 1 small clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • milk for thinning
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Spread panko breadcrumbs in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake 3 to 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer to shallow plate immediately to keep them from continuing to cook. Stir in kosher salt.
  • Place an oven-proof cooling rack inside the rimmed baking sheet and spray or brush with oil to keep tenders from sticking. (If you don’t have an oven-proof cooling rack, just line the baking sheet with parchment paper)
  • Increase oven temperature to 425°F.
  • Meanwhile melt butter in a small saucepan and transfer to a bowl. Whisk hot sauce into butter to cool it down.
  • Whisk egg and garlic together in a shallow bowl. Add butter and hot sauce mixture and whisk to combine.
  • Spread flour on a shallow plate for dredging.
  • Pat tenders dry with paper towels. Dredge one tender in flour and shake to remove excess. Dip in egg mixture and lift to let excess drip away. Then dredge the tender in toasted panko crumbs, patting crumbs down to be sure they adhere. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tenders.
  • Bake tenders at 425°F for 15 to 18 minutes until breading is crisp and chicken is cooked through but still juicy.
  • Serve with Simple Blue Cheese Dip (recipe below)

Simple Blue Cheese Dip

  • Add blue cheese, garlic and sour cream to a medium bowl. Using the back of a fork, smash blue cheese crumbles into sour cream until flavors have melded. Stir. Add milk, a teaspoon at a time to thin to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Notes

  • If you can’t find packaged chicken tenderloins, buy boneless skinless chicken breasts and cut them lengthwise into thin chicken strips.

Nutrition

Calories: 287kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 790mg | Potassium: 372mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 475IU | Vitamin C: 8.6mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 1.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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50 Comments

  1. Jena says:

    5 stars
    Wow this was delicious. They were very crispy on the outside and you could hear the crunch. We will definitely make this again, but might add some more hot sauce for an extra kick.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Hi Jena! So glad you enjoyed these. Thanks so much for coming back to let me know.

  2. Amy says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! I’m from the Buffalo area, so I am a bit of a chicken wing snob (LOL). Made this recipe for yesterday’s Bills game. Everyone loved it! Outstanding!!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      I love it! I’m so glad these tenders were a hit, Amy. Thank you for coming back to let me know.

  3. Karen E says:

    5 stars
    Best ever! The pre- baking of the bread crumbs is genius and works every time. This is definitely my go to recipe!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      I love to hear that, Karen! Thank you for coming back to let me know.

  4. Robin Gilbert says:

    5 stars
    The absolute best!!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Thanks so much, Robin!

  5. Deborah Keller says:

    5 stars
    Wow! We just polished off a big pan of these chicken tenders in the first 15 minutes of Super Bowl LV! Tender, flavorful and crispy, as promised. I added a teaspoon of Sambal Oelek for an extra kick. Mm mm mmm. Thanks for another winner.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      aww…my pleasure, Deborah! I’m so glad that you enjoyed these.