Italian Baked Chicken Tenders


When the weekend arrives and my husband doesn’t need to work, we pack our days full of errands, fun activities and exercise.  So when we get home around 5 pm and everyone is starving, my easy, go-to meal is usually . . . order pizza.  No, not the best choice, but I have to admit it’s the easiest option when everyone is starving and I don’t feel like cooking.  It’s also relatively cheap!  Well this past weekend was no exception, as we tried to cram in as many activities as possible. But this time I wanted to serve a healthier meal and had about a half hour before the kiddos started falling apart and their internal dinner bells were ringing like crazy.

So I decided to make one of our favorite baked chicken tenders.  They take about 10 minutes to prepare and only about 15 minutes in the oven.

I almost exclusively buy my chicken (Tyson) from Sam’s Club, since it comes frozen in small (approx. 2 oz) strips of chicken breast.  And for many recipes you don’t even need to thaw the chicken beforehand, which saves lots of time.

To begin, cover a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan (pan with about a 1 inch side) with aluminum foil.  Then place a cooling rack over the top of the aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray or olive oil sprayer (my favorite is the Misto® Olive Oil Sprayer.


Normally I would completely thaw the chicken ahead of time since the bread crumbs stick to the chicken better, but frozen chicken will also work.  Since I didn’t plan ahead for this meal I prepped the chicken by rinsing the strips in cold water to slightly thaw them.  Then I combined whole wheat Panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese and garlic powder in a shallow bowl.  I then added fat-free Italian dressing in another shallow bowl.  To coat the chicken, cover each piece in the Italian dressing, then roll it in the Panko crumb mixture and place them on the baking pan.



Cook for about 15-18 minutes, turning them about halfway through.

I have found and cooked many variations of this recipe as it is so versatile depending on your taste buds.  This is also an entire family favorite, and it’s as close as my kids ever get to eating chicken nuggets.


Italian Baked Chicken Tenders

Serves 4


1 lb chicken breast (I used 8 two ounce chicken tenders)

1 cup whole wheat Panko crumbs

½ cup parmesan cheese

½ cup Italian dressing, fat-free

½ teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover a shallow cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with aluminum foil.  Place a metal cooling rack on top of the foil.  Spray the cooling rack with non-stick cooking spray or olive oil sprayer.
  2. Add Italian dressing to a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl combine Panko crumbs, parmesan cheese and garlic powder.
  3. Dip each piece of chicken into the Italian dressing, then into the Panko crumb mixture, coating the chicken thoroughly.
  4. Place chicken on the baking pan. Cook for 15-18 minutes or until chicken is cooked completely (turning chicken halfway through).
  5. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

If you are looking for more variety of baked chicken tenders, check these out (I’ve tried both and love them!) . . .

  1. Baked Chicken Fingers with Panko and Dijon from The Lemon Bowl
  2. Skinny Ranch Chicken Tenders from bell’alimento


229 Calories, 10 g Fat, 4 g Saturated Fat, 21 g Total Carbohydrates, 2 g Fiber, 12 g Protein

© 2014 Kristy Hegner      Disclaimer


  1. I love that you used Italian dressing vs. Italian seasoning for this recipe! My husband loves chicken tenders [lol] and I think he’ll love this recipe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are so easy to make too Katie, that’s what I LOVE about them 🙂


  2. rachelcooksblog

    I’m loving the use of Italian dressing too! I’ve done taco tenders and pizza tenders and the turkey tenders but I’m thinking these need to happen next.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rachel those ideas sound great too! I’m sure my kids would especially love the pizza tenders.


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