These light and airy oven-fried chicken tenders provide a crunchy texture that isn’t fried and pairs perfectly with spicy mustard and sweet BBQ sauce for dipping.
When my husband and I lived in Boston, we loved getting together with friends and family for dinner at Not Your Average Joe’s, a local restaurant chain. My Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders with Panko is my healthier version of their famous Mustard Crusted Chicken. Light, fluffy, and airy – panko is my go-to ingredient whenever I need a crispy, crunchy crust without gallons of oil. Dijon mustard adds flavor, spice, and tang with minimal added calories. Bake at a high temperature on an elevated cooling rack and you are well on your way to a diet-friendly chicken dinner the whole family can enjoy!
- Chicken: Chicken tenderloin work best, but you can also use chicken breasts or thighs and cut them into strips of your liking.
- Dijon mustard: Tangy, sharp, and a little spice to coat the chicken and help the panko breading to stick.
- Garlic: Adds some aromatic, nutty undertones to the chicken strips.
- Panko: A kind of Japanese bread crumb that is fine, light, and fluffy and helps to make food crispier.
- Olive oil: Helps to bind the panko mixture together and stick to the chicken tenders.
- Paprika: Adds a bit of depth to the flavor profile of the chicken with the sweet and peppery notes.
- S&P: Salt and pepper seasons and enhances the flavors of the dish.
How to Make Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders with Panko
Start your oven-fried chicken tenders by making your panko mixture. Add the panko breadcrumbs to a large dish.
Season with some kosher salt and black pepper.
Then add the paprika.
And a drizzle of olive oil.
Mix it all together with a fork or whisk until fully combined.
Then put your dijon mustard in a small bowl, and coat your chicken tenders well on both sides.
Once coated in Dijon mustard, place in the panko mixture and coat generously.
Continue this process until all tenders are coated.
Then lay your chicken tenders onto an elevated wire rack on a prepared baking sheet and toss them in an oven at 475 until crispy and golden-brown, about 12-15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool, then serve alongside your favorite dipping sauces and enjoy your Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders with Panko!
- Make it gluten-free. Panko can be bought gluten-free, or you can use matzo meal.
- Spice things up. Do you like spicy chicken? Add some cayenne seasoning to the panko mix!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are my chicken tenders not crispy?
Don’t go easy on the coating! Make sure they’re generously dipped and coated to be crispy.
Do chicken fingers freeze well?
Yes they do! Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 3 months!
Can I make these in an air fryer?
Yes you can! Just set your air fryer to 425 and cook for around 12 minutes.
More Kid-FRiendly Meals
- Cheeseburger Meatloaf Muffins
- Beef Stir-Fry with Rice Noodles
- Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Tuna and Peas
- Sausage Pesto Pasta with Caramelized Onion and Peas
- Baked Chicken Taquitos
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An easy and family-friendly meal in 20 minutes or less, my Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders with Panko are the perfect dinner for any weeknight.
No fork required.
Oven Fried Chicken Tenders with Panko
- Pre-heat oven to 475 and lay a metal cooling rack flat on top of a baking sheet. Spray cooling rack with non-stick spray and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine mustard and garlic. Using a small brush, gently "paint" the chicken strips with the garlic mustard.
- In a shallow bowl, use fork to combine panko, salt, pepper, olive oil and paprika. Working in batches, add mustard coated chicken to the panko mixture and press to evenly coat all sides. Place panko covered chicken strips on metal rack lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until browned, turning once halfway through.
- Serve with BBQ or dipping sauce of choice.