Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders have all the crunch of traditionally fried counterpart, but less fat and calories. Added Bonus, they're simple to throw together and are make-ahead and freezer friendly!!
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Spring is busy.
The end of the school year approaching means that my attendance is required at no less than 2,764 events (i.e. carnivals, talent shows, field days, field trips, parties, etc.). Don't get me wrong.. I LOVE it. But... school activities + soccer schedule (x2) means that we aren't spending much time eating dinner as a family these days.
Recipes like Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders (easy, fast, make-ahead and freezer friendly) are essential. This week I made a huge batch of these guys (4 lbs. to be exact) and served them for dinners and snacks throughout the week. I also froze a good amount of them because I have no doubt that next week isn't going to be any less busy. By having them available on a platter in the fridge, along with Chipotle-Peach BBQ Sauce and Simple Honey Mustard (recipe in notes down below) I was able to have a quick dinner option available for those nights when we had -20 minutes between each scheduled event.
The recipe is relatively simple. Season chicken tenders, dredge in flour, toss in egg mixture and finally... add a simple crunchy coating. Bake and serve. Told ya it was simple.
The secret ingredient to the crunchy outer layer is possibly going to shock you just a bit.. I used potato chips. This ingredient can be a little tricky if you're trying to stick to whole-food ingredients, but I recently discovered Luke's Organic Potato Chips. The ingredient list is short... potatoes, oil and salt and they are AMAZING (<-- not sponsored). I'm sure there are lots of similar brands that offer the same thing. Just check the ingredient list and make sure you recognize All. The. Things.
I just tossed the chips, whole-wheat flour and paprika into the food processor and pulsed until I had a fine crumb. Seriously... the chicken tenders are as crunchy as they would be if fried. You gotta try this one!
Time Saving Tips and Tricks:
Prep: This recipe is definitely prep-ahead friendly. I often prepare the egg mixture and the potato chip coating a day or 2 in advance. I then store them in the refrigerator in a covered container. It makes whipping up these crispy baked chicken tenders a total cinch!
Make Ahead: Yep. It's one of my favorite things about this recipe. Who doesn't love chicken tenders hanging out in the fridge when you need a quick snack or lunch option? They lose a bit of their crunchiness, but you can bring it back by baking them in the oven until warmed through (400 degrees). That said, I usually just throw them in the microwave or eat them cold over a salad.
Freezer: Yes! I often double the recipe, serve half for dinner and then freeze the remaining half to serve on a night that I don't have the energy to cook. No need to thaw, just pop them into the oven at 400 degrees until warmed through and crispy.
Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 9 servings 1x
- Category: Quick Dinner
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders have all the crunch of traditionally fried counterpart, but less fat and calories. Added Bonus, they're simple to throw together and are make-ahead and freezer friendly.
- olive oil spray
- 4 cups wavy potato chips (I used Luke's Organic)
- 1 ½ cups flour, divided
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 large eggs
- 1 TBS dijon mustard
- ⅓ cup half and half (or milk)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 lbs. raw chicken tenders
- Heat oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking tray that has been placed on top of a baking sheet with olive oil spray. (Don't skip this.. chicken will stick).
- Outer Layer: Into the bowl of a food processor add chips, 1 cup of flour and paprika. Pulse until a fine crumb forms. Pour into a medium size bowl or container and set aside.
- Egg Mixture: To a medium size bowl or container add eggs, dijon mustard and half and half. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- Dredging Flour: To a third bowl or container add the remaining half cup of flour and season liberally with salt and pepper. Mix until fully incorporated and set aside.
- Season chicken tenders with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour mixture, followed by the egg mixture and finally the outer layer (chips/flour). Place chicken tender on top of sprayed baking rack. Repeat until all chicken tenders are coated.
- Once chicken tenders are arranged on the baking sheet, spray the top with olive oil spray (this keeps the chicken tenders from tasting "powdery" once cooked).
- Bake for 22-27 minutes (times will vary depending on the size of your chicken tenders), or until the center is no longer pink.
- Baking chicken on a baking rack allows the air to circulate and results in crispy chicken!
- If you don't have a food processor, you can put ingredients into a plastic bag and beat it with a rolling pin until a fine crumb forms.
- Homemade honey mustard is simple, just mix equal parts honey and yellow mustard.
- Prep-Ahead recipes are my all time favorite! Join the BRAND NEW Simply Sissom Community Private FB Group and let’s meal prep together! Each week I share an exclusive recipe in the group via FB Live that is REALLY simple and make-ahead friendly. Join us!
- Interested in more Whole30 meal prep ideas? Follow Simply Sissom on Instagram. I share all my meal plans and behind the scenes prep session videos on Instagram stories.
- Want to prep 5 whole-food meals for a family of 4 in just 45 minutes? Check out my new program, Savvy Mama Meal Prep: Quick and Easy. Use code SMMP50 to save 50%.
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What exactly is a baking rack? Also if i freeze and recook (like tyson chicken strips) will they be dry and gross?
Bailey Sissom says
Hi Rebekah.. a baking rack is just a rack that looks like a cookie cooling sheet, but is oven proof. I linked to the one I use in the post. I don't find the chicken strips to be dry and gross after being reheated, I hope you don't either!!!!