Baked Italian Chicken Tenders

Baked Italian Chicken Tenders - chicken strips lightly dipped in butter and dredged in a mixture of Italian spices and bread crumbs then baked to crispy perfection.  A flavorful recipe that can be made in under 30 minutes!

A large plate of Baked Italian Chicken Tenders garnished with a sprig of rosemary next to a glass of red wine and a candle on a wooden table

Chicken tenders are an actual part of the chicken. They are the little strips of meat that are attached to the underside of a chicken breast. You can make your own tenders by taking a boneless, skinless chicken breast and cutting it lengthwise into pieces about 1/2-inch thick or you can purchase chicken tenders already packaged from your grocery store.

Why This Recipe Works

  • This is the best baked chicken tenders recipe I've found. Tender and juicy strips of chicken surrounded by a crisp, flavorful crust.
  • We love the Italian spices in the coating and baking with the spices helps seal in the flavor and give the chicken tenders a crisp golden crust.
  • They perfect for snacking, lunch, or dinner.
  • The chicken is baked, not fried.
  • The tenders cook in less than 30 minutes.

Ingredient Notes

See recipe box for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  • Bread crumbs: Use store-bought or homemade bread crumbs. If you don't have access to breadcrumbs, you can leave them out altogether or use any of these substitutes:
    • Rolled oats: Pulverize the oats in a blender or food processor and then add an additional ⅛ teaspoon of salt, if you find it necessary, in addition to the seasonings recommended in the recipe.
    • Cereal: A classic cereal choice is crushed corn flakes which will yield a crispier coating.
    • Potato chips or pretzels: Since these are pre-seasoned, you might not need to add as much salt.
    • Crackers: Crushed Saltines or Ritz crackers are great choices.
  • Parmesan cheese: Freshly grated is best.
  • Spices and seasonings: Dried basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Chicken tenders: Use 2 1/2 pounds of tenders.
  • Butter: I recommend using salted butter to dip the chicken pieces in before dredging in the bread crumb mixture.

How To Make This Recipe

  1. In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  2. Dip the chicken strips in the melted butter, then dredge them in the bread crumb mixture.
  3. Place strips on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 400 degree F oven.
Three vertically stacked photos showing how to make chicken tenders - Dipping tender in egg wash, coating tender with bread crumbs, three tenders placed on a baking sheet

Expert Tips

  • I keep a bag of frozen chicken pieces in the freezer at all times. I'll keep either chicken breasts, thighs, or strips. They're great to have on hand when I need to make dinner quickly. Since you keep them in the freezer, they last for months.
  • Since they're baked in the oven, these chicken tenders are healthier than fried. Yes, they are dipped in butter but it helps the spices adhere to the chicken. You could also dip the chicken pieces in milk if you'd prefer.
  • For the spice mixture, I use a combination of Italian spices. However, this recipe lends itself well to creativity. Use the spices you want and create the chicken tenders you love.
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or Marinara sauce if you'd like.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do You Bake Chicken Tenders?

After coating the chicken strips with the butter and spices, lay them on a baking sheet and bake them in the oven for 20 minutes.
The chicken can also be baked in a toaster oven.

How Do You Make Chicken Tenders Without Breading?

If you want to make a low carb version, don't use breadcrumbs. Just mix together the spices and Parmesan cheese and continue with the recipe.

How Long Do Baked Italian Chicken Tenders Last In The Fridge?

Baked chicken tenders can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

A large plate of Baked Italian Chicken Tenders garnished with a sprig of rosemary next to a glass of red wine and a candle on a wooden table

If you're looking for a Baked Chicken Tenders for One recipe, you can find that recipe as well as many other single serving recipes by visiting our One Dish Kitchen site.

Enjoy!

Italian Chicken Tenders from ZagLeft

Baked Italian Chicken Tenders

Chicken strips lightly dipped in butter and dredged in Italian spices and bread crumbs then baked to a crispy perfection. A flavorful recipe that can be made in under 30 minutes!
Print Pin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

  • 1 cup italian or seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
  • 1 cup butter, melted

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • Dip the chicken strips in the melted butter, then dredge them in the bread crumb mixture.
  • Place the chicken strips on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove from the oven and serve with honey mustard or your favorite dipping sauce.

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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