Baking boneless chicken tenders doesn't have to be a challenge — or a problem for your waistline. Whether you prefer them as plain as possible or if you need a little crunch, let your oven do most of the magic. All you need to do is add a little dab of flavor beforehand.
Read more: How to Microwave Chicken Tenders
Things You'll Need
Sea salt, black pepper, spices, herbs
Nonstick cooking spray
For Lightly Seasoned Chicken Tenders
Step 1: Preheat and Prep
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Lay the skinless chicken tenders out on paper towels to absorb some of the extra moisture, leaving a few inches between each piece.
Step 2: Add Lemon and Spice
Cut a lemon into wedges and squeeze fresh lemon juice onto each tender. Watch for seeds and remove any that fall out.
Sprinkle sea salt and freshly ground black pepper on each skinless chicken tender. Add any spices or herbs you'd like — turmeric, chili powder, sage or thyme are all classic choices. Others include jerk seasoning, garam masala and tarragon. Have fun and try something new!
Turn each tender over and repeat the seasoning process on the other side.
Step 3: Prep Your Pan and Add Water
Coat a baking pan or sheet evenly with nonstick cooking spray. Spread out the seasoned chicken tenders on the baking pan, leaving space in between each tender. Then, Add a couple ounces of water to the baking pan.
Step 4: Bake Your Tenders
Bake the chicken tenders tenders for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, or until each tender is fully cooked and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
For Breaded Chicken Tenders
Step 1: Preheat and Prep
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray nonstick cooking spray liberally all over a baking pan or baking sheet.
Step 2: Prep Your Bowls for Breading the Chicken
Place three small bowls on your counter. Add a small amount of all-purpose flour to the first bowl. Break two eggs into the second bowl and whisk them briefly with a fork.
Put breadcrumbs seasoned with salt, pepper, and your chosen spices and herbs into the third bowl.
For added crunch, consider using panko breadcrumbs, corn flakes or even crushed cheese crackers in your third bowl. You can also add more flavor to your seasoned breadcrumbs by mixing in grated Parmesan cheese.
Step 3: Remove Excess Moisture
Pat each chicken tender down with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
Step 4: Bread Your Chicken with Flour
Pick up a skinless chicken tender with tongs and dip it in the first bowl filled with flour, covering all sides of the tender.
Step 5: Place Your Tenders in Egg Wash and Breadcrumbs
Remove the tender from the flour with the tongs, shaking off any extra flour. Quickly dip the tender in the egg wash and then place the tender into the seasoned breadcrumbs. Make sure all sides are evenly coated with breadcrumbs.
Step 6: Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
Pull the coated chicken tender out of the breadcrumb bowl and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat the breading process for all remaining chicken tenders.
If you're a big fan of breading, repeat the breading process a second time for each tender.
Step 7: Bake Your Chicken Tenders
Put the baking sheet in the oven after all chicken tenders are coated. Bake until fully cooked, about 15 to 20 minutes.
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Always check chicken with a thermometer before serving. Poultry needs to reach a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to help prevent foodborne illness.