Extra Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders

Here I’ll show you the secrets to getting extra crispy chicken tenders in the oven. Easy to make and bursting with flavour, these breaded chicken tenders are the ultimate finger food! Makes approx 16 tenders (depending on size) so serving is approx 4 people.



1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs (Note 1)

Oil spray


1 egg

1 tbsp mayonnaise

1 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard (or other mustard)

2 tbsp flour

1/2 tsp salt

Black pepper


500 g/1 lb chicken tenderloins (or breast cut into 2/3″ / 1.5cm thick slices, lengthwise)

Oil spray


Extra Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders



Preheat oven to 200C/390F.

Spread panko on a baking tray, spray with oil (spray vertically to avoid blowing the panko off the tray), then bake for 3 to 5 minutes until light golden. Transfer to bowl.

Place a rack on a baking tray (not critical but bakes more evenly).

Place the Batter ingredients in a bowl and whisk with a fork until combined.

Add the chicken into the Batter and toss to coat.

Pick up chicken with tongs and place it into the panko bowl.

Sprinkle surface with breadcrumbs, then press down to adhere. Transfer onto baking tray. Marvel at clean fingers, repeat with remaining chicken.

Spray lightly with oil, sprinkle with a touch of salt (optional). Bake 15 minutes (medium) or up to 20 minutes if gigantic. Any longer = dried out chicken.

Remove from oven and serve immediately, with Sauce of choice (Honey Mustard pictured, see Note 2) and sprinkled with fresh parsley, if desired.

Recipe Notes:

1. Panko are Japanese breadcrumbs which are larger than standard breadcrumbs. Nowadays they are available in all major supermarkets, usually in the Asian section, and cost just a fraction more than ordinary breadcrumbs.
It is well worth using because the breadcrumb pieces are bigger so they create a far better “crunch” than standard breadcrumbs.

2. HONEY MUSTARD SAUCE (pictured): Mix together 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 2 tbsp dijon mustard, 2 tbsp honey, 1 – 2 tsp lemon juice, salt and pepper.

RANCH SAUCE: Mix together 1/4 cup each mayonnaise (preferably whole egg) and sour cream, 2 tbsp milk, 1 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar, 1/4 tsp each dried parsley or dill, dried dill, dried fresh chives (Note a), garlic powder, 1/8 tsp salt & black pepper

a) All the herbs can be substituted with fresh herbs, finely chopped. Double the quantity – i.e. use 1/2 tsp.
Don’t worry if you don’t have all the herbs. If you have at least 1, it will still taste similar to what it should taste like, just use more of the herbs you have (3/4 tsp dried herbs in total).

3. MAKE AHEAD: Best way is to toast breadcrumbs, then put chicken in batter, leave up to 2 days. Then crumb the chicken just before baking. It is ok crumbed up to 24 hours beforehand, store in the fridge. Freezing raw doesn’t work.

Reheating: Best way is to blast in the oven for literally 3 – 5 minutes at 200C/390F until it is just warmed through inside.

4. Nutrition per serving, assuming this serves 3. Dip not included.