10 Best Chicken Tenders Recipes

baked coconut tenders with strawberry mango salsa

Brian Woodcock

Whether you call them tenders, fingers, nuggets, or strips (it turns out there are subtle differences), no one can deny that breaded boneless chicken makes for a delicious and comforting finger food. What’s less well known, however, is that they’re not just dinner ideas for kids. Chicken tenders are easy to make at home, cook quickly, and can be paired with all kinds of grown-up flavor profiles for a satisfying meal that is both easy to eat and incredibly happy-making.

Looking for chicken recipes to make at home? Forget the deep fryer. With a light breading and a baking rack to let air circulate (or use our air fryer tips), you can make tenders that are just as crispy and, well, tender as what you’d find in a restaurant, but that are a lot less greasy, and without the mess that comes from having to deal with all that oil.

But the real reason to go homemade is because you get to spice them any way you want. If restaurant chicken tenders all tend to be rather bland, homemade tenders can sing with all kinds of flavor. Looking for tropical flavor? Use coconut flakes and whip up a fruit salsa. Rather go Tex-Mex? Roll your chicken in tortilla chips and chili powder. Looking for something a little more Pan-Asian? Try 5-spice powder and sesame seeds. Below, find recipes for all those, plus more. Once you see how easy (and delicious) homemade chicken tenders can be, you may never want to order them at a restaurant again.

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1

Cornflake Chicken Tenders with Potatoes and Peas

2

Baked Coconut Tenders with Strawberry-Mango Salsa

3

Tortilla Chicken Tenders With Corn Salsa

4

Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders with Five-Spice BBQ Sauce

5

Crunchy Chicken Fingers with Coleslaw

You can likely make these easy tenders—coated in potato chips and paprika, then baked—with ingredients already in your pantry.

Get the recipe.

SHOP MIXING BOWLS

6

Chicken Tenders With Roasted Potatoes

7

Baked Honey Chipotle Chicken Tenders

Use this glaze to spruce up frozen chicken tenders, or make your own from scratch. Either way it adds a little kick, and a ton of flavor.

Get the recipe from Brown Sugar.

SHOP BAKING RACKS

8

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

One of the fastest and smartest ways to get crispy chicken tenders without all the fat is in an air fryer!

Get the recipe at Jo Cooks.

SHOP AIR FRYERS

9

Easy Baked Chicken Tenders

The trick to making these baked tenders taste extra crispy is putting a dash of oil into the breading.

Get the recipe at Simple Joy.

SHOP FOOD PROCESSORS

10

Hawaiian Oven Baked BBQ Chicken Tenders

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