Best Chicken Tender Recipe

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Best Chicken Tender Recipe

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Best Chicken Tender Recipe

Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this best chicken tender recipe. Perfectly seasoned, these chicken tenders are crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, and utterly irresistible. Whether you’re looking for a hit at the family dinner table, a satisfying snack, or the ideal party appetizer, these chicken tenders won’t disappoint. Follow this recipe for a guaranteed crowd-pleaser that’s as enjoyable to make as it is to devour.


  • For the Chicken Tenders:
    • 1.5 pounds of chicken tenders, or boneless chicken breasts cut into strips
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (smoked or sweet)
  • For the Breading:
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust for spice preference)
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Additional:
    • Vegetable oil for frying
    • Your favorite dipping sauces (honey mustard, ranch, BBQ, etc.)


  1. Marinate the Chicken:
    • In a mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and paprika. Add the chicken tenders to the bowl, ensuring they’re fully submerged in the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours for deeper flavor penetration.
  2. Prepare the Breading:
    • In a shallow dish, mix together the flour, panko breadcrumbs, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Set aside.
  3. Bread the Chicken:
    • Remove chicken tenders from the marinade, allowing excess to drip off. Dredge each tender in the flour mixture, pressing the breading onto the chicken to ensure a good coat. Shake off any excess.
  4. Fry the Chicken Tenders:
    • Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large skillet or a deep fryer to 375°F (190°C). Fry the chicken tenders in batches, careful not to overcrowd the pan, for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C).
  5. Drain and Serve:
    • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried chicken tenders to a wire rack or a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauces.

Nutritional Information:

These homemade chicken tenders offer a protein-rich meal option. When enjoyed in moderation and paired with a side of vegetables, they can be part of a balanced diet. Opt for air-frying or baking at 425°F (220°C) for 20-25 minutes for a healthier version.


These homemade chicken tenders strike the perfect balance between crispy breading and succulent chicken. By making them from scratch, you control the quality of ingredients and can adjust the seasoning to your taste, ensuring a delicious and satisfying meal. Whether served at a gathering or enjoyed as a family meal, these chicken tenders are sure to be a hit.