How to Make the Crispiest Baked Chicken Fingers Ever!

Want to make golden crispy baked chicken fingers, chicken strips or chicken tenders? You, your kids, your neighbours kids and everyone else will LOVE these! They are the crispiest baked chicken fingers you’ve ever had!

baked crispy chicken tenders

Also Read: How to Make Your Own Bread Crumbs, Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce, Chili Cheese Baked Potato Slices

Say goodbye to pale, overcooked chicken fingers! This recipe uses a secret weapon to deliver tender, crispy oven baked chicken fingers.

The Secret to Beautiful Brown, Crispy Baked Chicken Fingers

Are you ready? The secret is browning your coating first. See the difference below? By pre-browning your panko crumbs in a little bit of oil, you get an instant crispy, golden brown coating. Don’t worry about the added oil, one tablespoon of oil is much less compared to deep frying. And baking is much easier and safer!

browning bread crumbs w

Here’s a plate of panko crumbs that have been browned. Panko crumbs add even more crispyness than regular bread crumbs, but you can try the same technique with whatever you have on hand.

browned panko crumbs

These browned crumbs given instant color and crispyness to your chicken fingers. See these guys – they’re not even baked yet!

chicken fingers for the oven

How to Make Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Fingers

Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Fingers

Homemade crispy oven baked chicken fingers. Make extra for homemade convenience – simply freeze then bake on those busy nights.
Prep : 20 mins
Cook : 14 mins
Total Time: 34 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup Panko crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2-3 chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg lightly beaten

Instructions

  • In small fry pan, heat 1 Tbsp of canola oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add panko crumbs and stir to coat evenly. Continue to stir until crumbs are an even golden brown. Remove from heat, mix in in salt and cool.
  • Slice chicken breasts into even sized strips, about 4-5 strips per chicken breast.
  • Season strips generously with seasoning.
  • Set up breading station – flour, egg, bread crumbs. Using all three stations in this order will ensure a coating that will stick to the chicken.
  • Dredge strips in flour to coat and shake off excess. Dip in egg and slide along side of bowl to remove excess. Coat with panko crumbs and pat down.
  • Place on lightly greased baking sheet.
  • Bake at 400° F (205° C) for 7 minutes, flip strips and bake for another 7 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 165° F (74° C).
  • Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce or cool thoroughly and serve over salad.

Notes

Replace the cajun seasoning with your favorite seasoning – bbq seasoning, lemon pepper, or steak spice. My cajun seasoning includes onion and garlic powder, paprika, cayenne and black pepper, salt, oregano and thyme.
Double, triple or quadruple this recipe and freeze chicken strips on baking sheet after they’ve been breaded (before baking). After two hours in the freezer, remove strips from baking sheet and place in freezer bag. To use, bake in 400° F (205° C) oven from frozen for 20 to 25 minutes or internal temp reaches 170° F (76° C).
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Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 558mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked chicken, chicken, chicken fingers, chicken strips

How to Make Crispy Chicken Fingers

Cut chicken breasts lengthwise into relatively equally sized strips.

cutting chicken fingers

Season well with your favorite seasonings. You could mix the seasoning in with the flour, but by doing it separately you ensure each piece gets evenly seasoned.

seasoning chicken fingers

Here’s the breading station all set up. Cutting, seasoning, flour, egg, crumbs and onto baking sheet.

breading station chicken fingers

Arrange on baking sheet without over crowding to allow hot air to circulate effectively.

chicken fingers for the oven

How to Freeze Homemade Chicken Fingers

These chicken fingers are perfect for the freezer. Go ahead and make extras to freeze.

  • Prepare chicken fingers as usual.
  • DO NOT BAKE before freezing.
  • Place breaded raw chicken fingers on a flat try and freeze for one to two hours. This step keeps them from sticking together.
  • Once frozen, place in a freezer bag. Use a straw to remove as much air as possible from the bag.
  • For best quality use within 3 to 6 months. They will be safe to eat much longer after that, but they will start to dry out a little.
  • It’s always good practice to label and date anything you put in the freezer. Include reheating instructions as well to make it easy for anyone to cook them.

To Use Frozen Chicken Fingers

  • Do not thaw.
  • Bake in 400° F (205° C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes or internal temp reaches 170° F (76° C).
baked chicken fingers

Our Favourite Dips for Chicken Fingers

Here are three simple dips you can quickly make while your chicken strips are in the oven:

Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce – follow the link for full instructions

Honey Mustard Sauce

In a small bowl mix:

1 Tbsp honey*

2 Tbsp mayonnaise

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard or 2 Tbsp yellow mustard

*Gently heat honey in microwave or on stove before adding if not liquid.

Sriracha Mayo

In a small bowl mix:

2 Tbsp mayonnaise

1-2 tsp hot sauce

1/8 tsp salt

Which one will you choose?

What to Serve with Chicken Fingers

Here are some of our favourites to go with our chicken strips:

Caesar Salad – sometimes we put the strips on top

Kale and Apple SaladFresh Citrus Salad with orange honey vinaigrette

Spinach and Mandarin Salad

Oven Roasted Frozen Green Beans

Quick and Easy Frozen Green Peas

Chili Cheese Baked Potato Slices

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

And there you have it, our secret to crispy oven baked chicken fingers great for family dinners, party snacks or cut up on top of a salad.

Will you give these crispy chicken fingers a try? When you do let me know what you think and if you’re on social media, please take a photo and tag #getgettys and and Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist so I can see it and like it!

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2 Comments

  1. I made these using chicken thighs a few days ago. When I told my husband what we were having for dinner he turned his nose up. Once he ate one his comment was that these were much better than any others he had eaten. I made enough to put some in the freezer, too, and there we none to put in the freezer. 🙂

    Thanks for the great recipe.

    1. Thanks for the feedback KJ! Even more tender and delicious with thighs, nicely done! Glad you and hour hubby both enjoyed them.

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