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Breaded Chicken Tenders

These crisp Breaded Chicken Tenders are the kind you’ll pay top dollar for at a restaurant. The flavorful breading is the key and they’re seasoned perfectly. Serve them as an entrée for dinner or with a choice of dipping sauces as an appetizer at your next casual party. Either way, they won’t last long.

Breaded Chicken Tenders

Breaded Chicken Tenders

There are few dining establishments that don’t offer fried chicken in some form on the menu. Chicken tenders in particular, are a favorite with both of my boys. Of course they must be accompanied by plenty of comeback sauce, barbecue sauce  or homemade honey mustard like this recipe from Budget Bytes for dipping. In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit I really love them, too. I often make them at home for my kids and it always makes them uber happy to come to the supper table.


Breaded Chicken Tenders

The Buttermilk Brine Makes the Difference

It’s classic in the south to brine chicken wither in salted water, seasoned broths or buttermilk. Some like to brine their chicken in sweet tea. A few pointers for making this recipe:

  • I like to soak the tenderloins in a buttermilk brine, then dredge them in a homemade seasoned flour and fry. Preferably in peanut oil but canola or vegetable oil will work.
  • After breading, if you’ll take the time to pop them into the fridge to rest for an hour or so it will allow the breading to cling more evenly to the chicken pieces.
  • Fry the tenders until crispy and golden then they’re ready to serve as an appetizer or entrée with your favorite dipping sauces.
Breaded Chicken Tenders

Other Fried Chicken Recipes To Try

Fried chicken whether it’s fried in the traditional way or faux “fried” in the oven is always a tasty addition to the menu.

Breaded Chicken Tenders

Fried until crispy and golden these chicken tenders are irresistible!

Breaded Chicken Tenders

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Breaded Chicken Tenders

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Marinate time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 20 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Poultry
Cuisine: American
Keyword: breaded-chicken-tenders
Servings: 16 tenders [may vary]
Calories: 223kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 3 lb chicken tenders
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • few dashes hot sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 2 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 cups peanut or vegetable oil for frying


  • Place the chicken tenders, buttermilk, hot sauce and 1 tsp of kosher salt in a plastic bag. Seal tightly and store in the fridge to marinate for 4 hours or overnight.
  • To prepare: Mix the flour and seasonings together on a plate.
  • Remove the chicken tenders from the marinade letting the excess drip off. Roll in the flour coating and place onto a cookie sheet fitted with a rack. After dredging all of the pieces once, repeat giving them a second coating. Press the flour onto the chicken pieces. Chill uncovered for 1 hour.
  • Heat the oil to 350°-360°F in a deep pot or dutch oven. Cook the chicken tenders in batches for 4-5 minutes depending on the thickness, until golden and cooked through. Adjust the cooking time according to size.
  • Remove to a paper towel lined tray to drain. Season immediately with additional seasoned salt. Rest for 5 minutes, then serve with your favorite dipping sauce.


To substitute all-purpose flour in place of the self-rising flour add 1/2 tsp baking powder and increase the seasoned salt to 1 1/2 tsp.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 406mg | Potassium: 361mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 128IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!



  1. DIdnt know you could buy “chicken tenders.” Where? Always had to cut the, from skinless ckn breasts.

    1. I can pick them up almost anywhere. Including our local grocery stores, Costco, Sam’s and beyond. Chicken breasts work, too.

    1. I can batter them perfectly, but I always overcook so they come out too dry. Is 5 mins really all you cook them for?

  2. This is basically how I do all my fried chicken. I do add a few crushed garlic cloves to the brine along with the hot sauce. Personal preference. Love your recipes!

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