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These healthy baked chicken tenders are so easy to make! Totally delicious they are perfect for picky eaters. You can make them with boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts. Make a large batch and keep them in the freezer for those nights when you don’t feel like cooking.
When it comes to chicken tenders, I used to think they had to be deep-fried to be delicious. Needless to say, they weren’t a normal occurrence around here, after all eating deep-fried chicken every night is not the healthiest habit. However, when trying to make our beloved chicken fingers healthier I found a way to make them in the oven.
These chicken tenders are baked yes, but they taste just like the deep-fried ones. They are super crunchy, so flavorful, and have an incredibly beautiful golden brown color. They are also super quick and easy to make and that’s always a plus when it comes to healthy recipes for busy parents.
How to Make the Best Healthy Baked Chicken Tenders
- Start by toasting, or prebaking, the breadcrumbs: I know it may seem like an extra step but this only takes around 5 minutes and creates that super beautiful, intensely golden crust that adults and kids love. Totally worth it!
- Marinate the chicken tenders in a flour, egg, spice mixture for around 20 minutes: This marinade not only packs your chicken with a lot of moisture and flavors but it makes the process of coating your chicken so much easier. Instead of needing to dredge it in eggs, then butter, then breadcrumbs you just transfer it from your marinade to the breadcrumbs in a simple, clean, and mess-free step.
Prefer Plain Baked Chicken Tenders?
If you prefer a bland option for kids, you can use plain bread crumbs and cut the spices to make the perfect plain baked chicken tenders. Use their favorite dipping sauce like ketchup, barbecue sauce, or ranch to round out the dish.
Can You Freeze Chicken Tenders?
What I love the most about this recipe is the fact you can freeze the chicken tenders before baking them!
Once you have coated the chicken in breadcrumbs, transfer them to a baking pan and place in the freezer for 2 hours. Then transfer all the tenders to a freezer-friendly bag. You can keep them frozen for around 3 months.
Ready to bake them? Just take them straight from the freezer to the oven and bake for around 45 minutes.
Liked This Recipe?
Make sure to also check out these chocolate chip oatmeal muffins that are perfect for picky eaters too!
Healthy Baked Chicken Tenders
- 1 Cup breadcrumbs
- ½ Tsp paprika
- ½ Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Egg
- 1 Tbsp mustard
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 Tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tsp onion powder
- ½ Tsp Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Pound chicken breast or thigh sliced
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl combine olive oil, paprika and breadcrumbs. Transfer to a baking pan and bake for 5 minutes or until golden.
- Meanwhile, prepare the marinade. In the same bowl you use to mix the breadcrumbs, whisk together the egg with mustard, flour, olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Add the sliced chicken and cover with plastic wrap. Marinate for 30 minutes.
- Dredge the chicken into the breadcrumbs, pressing to make sure every side is completely coated. Transfer to a baking pan and take to the oven.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Flip the chicken and bake for 5 more minutes.