Healthy baked chicken tenders

There’s nothing like a go-to chicken dinner recipe and this is totally my favorite.  Along with being delicious, this chicken recipe takes hardly any time to make — and is also healthy.

Cut the fuss and muss, along with an oil-spattered kitchen, by baking these chicken tenders in a hot oven. Easily tossed together in less than 30-minutes of cooking time, these tenders are perfect for a family friendly weeknight dinner. I serve with a crisp, green salad for the adults, along with some tasty yogurt Alfredo noodles for the tot (and, yeah, for us adults too). And just a quick tip — using a really good plain yogurt (Mountain High)  ensures you get seriously tender crispy chicken along with great tangy flavor. Go with a Greek-style or thick plain yogurt for best results.


1 lb chicken tenders

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 tablespoon mustard

Dash salt and pepper

1/2 cup corn starch

1 cup Panko crumbs (or plain bread crumbs)

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

2 tablespoons sunflower oil (or vegetable or coconut…)

What you do

Toss the chicken tenders in a plastic bag along with the yogurt and mustard. Give things a dash of salt and pepper and toss in the fridge for at least 20-minutes or up to an hour. If you like things spicy, add a few drops of your favorite hot sauce.

Mix together the corn starch and panko crumbs in another big zip-top baggie. Sprinkle in the Italian seasoning and you are ready to shake. Corn starch has less calories than white flower and crisps up wonderfully. You could also use whole-wheat  or almond flour instead.

Preheat your oven to 425˚F and drizzle the oil around a sheet pan. Take the happily marinated chicken from the fridge, toss a few at a time in the corn starch/flour and panko mixture, and then place on the sheet pan. Keep going until all are coated and ready to go.

Once coated, place on the sheet pan. Try not to cluster, which causes the tenders to steam and kind of turn out like mush. For extra crispiness, place the oil-coated sheet pan in the oven for a couple of minutes before adding the tenders. They’ll hit the pan with a sizzle, which is awesome.

Pop the chicken tenders in the oven and toast for 7 to 10-minutes and then flip. If your pan seems a bit dry, drizzle a bit more oil to help your chicken crisp. Cook for another 7 to 10-minutes, or until the other side is nicely browned.

This recipe makes enough to serve a happy family of four. 

*And I just made them again (1/20/14) and these tenders are still so good. A couple tips — use a non-stick baking pan, go ahead and crank the oven to 450˚F for a really crispy crust, and trust your oven! Don’t fuss and muss. Let them bake for seven to 10-minutes before flipping to ensure the crust doesn’t fall off and the coating is super crispy.

*Oh, and I wasn’t compensated by Mountain High in any way. I just absolutely love their product.

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17 thoughts on “Healthy baked chicken tenders

  1. This sounds like a healthier recipe than many. I wish you had a page for printing the recipe. It took four pages of paper and ink to get one page of the recipe. Please make a printed recipe page to put in a recipe folder. It makes people much happier slimming down the amount of paper used, just as it does to slim down the fat they’r eating.

  2. @Deborah,
    Just left click at the top of the article, drag your curser to highlight what you want to copy, copy it and paste to word. Takes only two pages including the picture.
    just saying…

  3. Deborah, I copy and paste recipes into a word document which I save in my computer Recipe file. When it takes more than one page, I insert a table (usually 2 columns, 3 lines). Then I move the text (and picture) into the columns and lines. I usually merge the last two lines into one and put the directions in there. MOST of the time I can get recipes on one page (sometimes 2).

  4. this dish is perfect.if i use any kind of mustard i would add little honey to the mix.or forget about honey-mustard.and try
    with may be half cup of any dry cheese with the flour.
    please let me know what you think
    thank you so much

  5. Or,you can just highlight the text you want to print, right click and hit print. When the printer menue comes up, click print “selected” or “selection” and it will print only what you have highlighted. Can’t wait to try both these recipes!

  6. Pingback: Go-to Weeknight Chicken Tender Recipe For the Whole Family

  7. Cooked these for my two grandsons and they cleaned the plate. I have cooked them several times more as they keep asking for them. I am not a chicken eater but I ate some of these and enjoyed them. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  8. I made these tonight, and they were not crispy at all. The breading actually became sort of “mushy.” I’m not doubting it was “user error.” I followed the recipe step by step. I cooked them in a Pyrex dish lined with foil. Any thoughts on where I may have gone wrong (because they were tasty, but the texture was unappealing)? Thanks!

    • That’s too bad, Amy! Hmmm, I’m thinking things didn’t get crispy due to using a glass dish instead of a sheet pan? If you don’t have one, but do have an oven-safe frying pan, you could try that.

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