These cornflake chicken tenders prove that you don’t have to deep fry to end up with crispy tenders that are packed with flavor and juicy on the inside!
Kids love this recipe, but they are tasty enough that the adults can’t seem to resist them either. Serve them with honey mustard, or your favorite dipping sauce.
If your kids are always begging chicken strips from your local fast food joint, but you’re tired of forking out all that money, this recipe could be a game changer!
Since they’re baked, they are a healthier option, and they really are easy to prepare.
You can soak the chicken pieces and whip up the crispy coating the night before, making for quick and easy dinner on a busy night.
What you’ll love about these chicken tenders:
- Because they are baked instead of fried, you don’t have to deal with cleaning up oil spatters everywhere. Not to mention the calories you’ll save.
- Soaking the chicken in buttermilk makes the chicken extra juicy on the inside.
- They are perfectly seasoned, and the spices are easily adjusted to your family’s taste.
- Aside from the marinating time, they are ready in about 30 minutes.
HOW TO MAKE CORNFLAKE CHICKEN TENDERS IN THE OVEN
- MARINATE – Combine the chicken pieces and buttermilk in a ziplock bag or lidded container. Chill for at least two hours, but at least eight hours is better.
- PREP – Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a wire cooling rack inside. Spray with non stick cooking spray. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Let the chicken sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
- CRISPY COATING – Use a food processor or crush the cornflakes in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin or meat mallet. Combine the cornflakes with the other seasonings in a shallow dish. Dip chicken in the crumbs and place on the wire rack.
- BAKE – In an oven preheated to 425°, bake for 15-20 minutes, or until outside is golden brown and internal temperature is 165°. It’s best to use a meat thermometer to make sure your chicken is done, but doesn’t dry out.
- SERVE – For extra happy faces around the table, serve these tenders with dipping sauce. Honey mustard, ranch, bbq sauce, fry sauce, and even ketchup are all great options.
- Letting the chicken sit at room temperature for a few minutes before baking ensures that the tenders cook faster and more evenly. You don’t want the coating to burn before the middle is cooked.
- Using the wire rack inside the cookie sheet allows air to circulate around the tenders, so they end up crunchy on the bottom as well as the top. If you don’t have one, carefully flip them halfway through cooking so they brown on both sides.
- To add even more crunch, spray the cornflake coating with cooking spray before you bake the tenders.
- Keep in mind that cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of your chicken. That’s why internal temperature is the key to success.
- Print off my meat temperature chart*** so you never have to guess when your meat is done!
- Smoked paprika adds the best flavor to this chicken. Regular paprika just isn’t the same.
Storing leftover tenders
If you have any leftover chicken strips, you can store them in the refrigerator for about three days in an airtight container. I recommend using waxed paper between layers if you need to stack them.
To reheat, I think it works best to use a toaster oven or air fryer. But you can also heat them in the oven, or even in a skillet. I don’t recommend the microwave; the outside gets soft.
CORN FLAKE CHICKEN TENDER VARIATIONS:
- For spicy corn flake chicken tenders, you can add cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the coating. You can even mix some in with the buttermilk.
- If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can mix 1/4 cup of sour cream with 1/4 cup of milk for the marinade.
- Adding 1/4 – 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese to the corn flakes is a tasty addition.
- Swap out the smoked paprika for a teaspoon of Italian seasoning for an Italian flavor. Try dipping them in marinara sauce.
- For a tex-mex flavor, add chili powder and cumin; dip them in salsa.
MORE EASY CHICKEN RECIPES:
- Chicken Fajita Quesadillas
- Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken
- Lemon Pepper Chicken Pasta
- Creamy Garlic Butter Parmesan Chicken
- Pesto Mozzarella Chicken
- Paprika Chicken Recipe
- Baked Chicken Flautas
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders (or boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 3 cups cornflakes
- 3/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/8 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp Lawry's seasoning salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Place chicken tenders and buttermilk in a container with a lid, or a ziplock bag. Allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or up to 24).
- Drain off the buttermilk and let the chicken set at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, then place a wire cooling rack inside it. Spray with cooking spray.
- Crush corn flakes in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin, or pulse them in a food processor.
- Stir together crushed cornflakes, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic, powder, seasoning salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Dip each piece of chicken in the crumb mixture.
- Place each tender on the prepared pan with at least an inch in between each one.
- Bake at 425° for 15-20 minutes, or until outside is golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165°.
- Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauces. We like honey mustard or ranch dressing.
For best results, use a meat thermometer! The cooking time varies greatly depending on the thickness of your chicken.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 402Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 1238mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 23g
One serving is two chicken tenders.
The whole family is going to love these chicken tenders that are perfectly seasoned and baked to crispy perfection!