These aren’t your kids’ chicken tenders, although they are kid-approved! Flavorful dried herbs and spices are combined with panko breadcrumbs to form a crispy and flavorful crust on these chicken tenders. Pan seared and then finished in the oven, these tenders have a crispy outside and a tender and juicy inside. Serve it with my balsamic mayo (recipe included), or with your favorite dipping sauce.
All about this recipe
This recipe for herby panko crusted chicken tenders gives you that satisfying crunch of a traditional chicken tender, but the seasonings mixed with the panko kick it up a notch. The seasonings for this recipe are super flavorful, including garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried oregano, dried basil, and fresh cracked pepper. Reminiscent of Italian-inspired seasonings, they form a flavorful coating on the chicken, sophisticated enough for adult palettes, but also delicious and tasty enough for the youngest and pickiest of eaters.
I have also included a recipe for balsamic mayo, which is as easy as it sounds: simply light mayo mixed with balsamic vinegar. This part of the recipe is optional, and you can use any dipping sauce you feel would compliment the flavors here. These tenders would also be great dipped in marinara sauce, since they have that Italian flavor profile with the seasonings.
What to serve with these chicken tenders
I recommend a bright salad to go alongside these chicken tenders; I served these with some air fried frozen French fries, and a cucumber, tomato and red onion salad. Simple and delicious!
What you’ll need to make herby panko crusted chicken tenders
Most of the ingredients for this recipe are pantry staples; many of the seasonings used here are found in most spice cabinets.
You will need:
- chicken breast
- Do not use thin sliced chicken breast for this recipe.
- Purchase full chicken breasts, or even chicken breast tenderloins (make sure to remove the tendon from the middle).
- egg whites
- plain panko breadcrumbs
- I like using panko breadcrumbs because they are coarser and provide for a nice texture on the outside of these chicken tenders.
- I prefer to use plain panko breadcrumbs here so that you can control the flavor with your own spice mixture.
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- kosher salt
- dried basil
- dried oregano
- fresh cracked pepper
- olive oil spray
How to make herby panko crusted chicken tenders
First, start by cutting the chicken breast into tender-sized pieces. I cut mine into 12 pieces; since this recipe serves 4, each serving is 3 tenders.
Next, prepare a dredging station by adding the egg whites to one bowl, and the panko breadcrumbs along with all of the spices to another bowl. Combine the breadcrumbs with the spices.
Preheat a frying pan over medium high heat, and add olive oil spray. Next, dip each chicken tender into the egg white, followed by the breading mixture. Then, cook the tenders over medium high heat for a couple of minutes on each side. The goal here is to just get a nice crust on the outside, and some golden color. The chicken will not be cooked at this point.
Preheat the oven to 400F, and once the chicken has been seared on all sides, place the tenders on a sheet pan fitted with a wire rack. Cook the chicken for about 15-20 minutes or until the tenders are cooked through.
Alternate cooking methods
If you would rather not pan fry and then bake the chicken, you can also air fry the chicken or convection bake the chicken.
- Air Fryer Method: Spray the basket of the air fryer with cooking spray and add the breaded chicken pieces. Spray the tops with more cooking spray. Air fry at 385 for 15 minutes. Halfway through, flip the tenders and spray the other side. (Work in two batches to not overcrowd the tenders).
- Convection Bake Method: Place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Spray the rack with cooking spray, and lay the breaded tenders on top. Spray the tops with cooking spray. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes; after 7 minutes, flip the pieces and spray the other side.
Herby Panko Crusted Chicken Tenders
- frying pan
- sheet pan fitted with a wire rack
- 1 lb chicken breast
- 1 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup egg whites
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- fresh cracked pepper
- 1/4 cup light mayo
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Cut the chicken breast into tender-sized pieces (approximately 12 tenders).
- Prepare your dredging station with 2 bowls.
- In one bowl, add the egg whites.
- Add the seasonings to the panko in another bowl, and stir to combine.
- Dip the chicken into the egg whites and toss in the breadcrumbs.
- Preheat a frying pan over medium high heat and add olive oil spray.
- Pan-fry over medium high heat; cook for a few minutes per side, or until golden on all sides (the chicken won’t be cooked through).
- Once golden, transfer to a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack on top.
- Bake at 400 for about 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Stir the mayo and balsamic together in a small bowl for dipping.
- 4 WW points (green plan)
- 3 WW points (blue and purple plans)
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