oven baked chicken tenders

oven baked chicken tenders

These oven baked chicken tenders are coated with corn flakes and parmesan for a delicious, crunchy finish!

This weekend we celebrated a belated Mother’s Day with a beautiful day in Monterey. Since I couldn’t spend Mom’s Day proper with my amazing mother, I made it up to her with a picnic by the ocean.

Kenny and my most recent road trip through Georgia and South Carolina had inspired some powerful fried chicken cravings. However, since we shamelessly ate our way through Atlanta, Savannah, and Charleston, we had reached our quarterly fried chicken quota and I opted for a more healthy alternative for this picnic menu.

Instead of deep frying pieces of chicken with the bone and calorie dense skin attached, I marinaded strips of lean chicken breast and covered them in a crunchy cereal and parmesan mixture. Baked to crispy perfection in a hot oven, these oven baked chicken tenders were the star of our Mother’s day picnic. They were delicious and portable and my mom loved every bite!

Serve this with boursin tomato tart for a delicious picnic combo!


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oven baked chicken tenders

oven baked chicken tenders

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  • Author: Sepideh Campos




  1. 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  2. 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
  3. ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  4. 3 pounds chicken breast strips


  1. 6 cups corn flakes cereal
  2. 1 ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  3. ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  4. ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  5. Olive oil spray or canola oil spray
  6. Dipping sauce of your choosing


  • For the marinade: Combine buttermilk, salt, and garlic powder together in a large bowl.
  • Add the chicken strips to the buttermilk, tossing with tongs to ensure even coating.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (or at least 30 minutes).
  • For the coating: Place cornflakes, parmesan, cayenne, and salt in a gallon sized ziplock bag.
  • Use a rolling pin to roll the bag against a counter top and crush the cereal into small pieces (you can also pulse the ingredients in a food processor to get desired crumbs).
  • Shake the bag to ensure the cereal and the other ingredients are well combined.
  • Preheat oven to 425 and adjust rack to center position.
  • Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Place wire baking rack inside baking sheet, spray rack with cooking spray.
  • Use tongs to remove chicken strips from the buttermilk (one at a time), letting the excess buttermilk drip back into the bowl.
  • Transfer the coating mixture into a large shallow dish.
  • Place the chicken strips into the coating, turn to fully coat.
  • Arrange coated chicken strips onto the baking rack in a single layer, spray top of chicken with cooking spray. Note: bake in batches if the chicken strips don’t all fit in a single layer.
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked (has an internal temperature of 165 degrees) and the outside is starting to brown. Be sure not to overcook the chicken so it stays nice and moist. 
  • Repeat with the rest of the chicken tenders.
  • Serve hot or warm with dipping sauce. I like barbecue sauce for this but you can use honey mustard, ranch, anything really!


These chicken tenders make a great addition to any picnic but are most crispy when served straight from the oven. If you plan on serving these at room temperature or packing them, let them cool on the wire rack before transferring to a plate.

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