These oven-baked chicken tenders are cooked in a zesty homemade seasoning similar to Italian seasoning to make an easy weeknight supper the whole family will love.
When I last shared my recipe for zesty garlic bread seasoning with y’all, I promised I would show you other recipes like this to use it with. So here we are with my ridiculously quick and easy baked chicken tenders recipe. Dinner will be on the table in 30 minutes flat. What busy mama can argue with that?
Now, I know I call it zesty garlic bread seasoning. But it doesn’t just taste delicious on garlic bread. You can use this homemade seasoning mix on so many different things, including plain ol’ chicken tenders. Its rich flavor may even surprise you as it complements the chicken perfectly.
The secret ingredient
I bet you’re wondering what’s in it now, aren’t you? Well, it’s simple really: salt, granulated garlic, oregano, parsley, and white pepper. As I mentioned above, it does have a similar flavor to Italian seasoning. So if you want to just use that, go right on ahead. But I strongly recommend whipping up a batch of this seasoning and I bet you won’t be able to resist sprinkling it on basically everything! I know I do!
This baked chicken tender recipe is easy as can be, reinforcing my sincere thought that the best food is simple food. In a world where it feels like folks are trying to impress you with an ingredient list that reads like an encyclopedia, let’s just collectively sigh in relief that all we need is seasoning, oil, and chicken tenders. All you’re gonna do is place the tenders on a baking sheet, brush them with oil, apply the seasoning, and bake. Quick. Easy. Simple. But bursting with flavor.
Keep scrolling to the bottom for serving suggestions because these healthy baked chicken tenders work well with so many different side dishes. Enjoy!
- Zesty garlic bread seasoning: salt, granulated garlic, dried oregano, dried parsley, and white pepper.
- Olive oil
- Boneless skinless chicken tenderloins
Helpful Kitchen Tools
How to Make Baked Chicken Tenders
Place your chicken tenders on a baking sheet.
Brush each side of each chicken tenderloin with olive oil.
Sprinkle both sides liberally with the seasoning blend.
Bake at 350 for about 20 to 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the center.
If your tenders are thinner, they’ll be done sooner. If they’re thicker, they will need more time.
Now just like we promised here are these beautiful zesty baked chicken tenderloins.
They look so good, don’t they?
- You can store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. You can reheat it in the microwave, oven, or air fryer.
- These oven-baked chicken tenders are also freezer-friendly. Store them in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw them overnight in the fridge before reheating them as above.
Here are some simple substitutions and variations to make this recipe work for you:
- Use any type of oil, like cooking spray, avocado oil, coconut oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil. You can also swap the oil for melted butter if you like.
- Add a breading to the homemade chicken tenders that’s mixed with the zesty seasoning (you’ll probably need about 1 to 1.5 cups). You can use cornmeal as I do with my fried catfish, simple all-purpose flour, Ritz crackers, or panko bread crumbs. You’ll need to dip each chicken strip in a binding agent like a beaten egg (instead of oil) before adding the breading to ensure it sticks. Then continue with the baking instructions.
- Use boneless skinless chicken breast instead of chicken tenders. Or you can cut them into chicken strips too.
- Add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or paprika to give the chicken extra flavor.
- Mix a cup of shredded parmesan cheese into the seasoning for parmesan chicken tenders.
- Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
How do you keep chicken tenders moist when baking?
The best way to keep chicken tenders moist, tender, and juicy when baking is to cook them at a low temperature, like 350 degrees.
Does cooking chicken at a lower temperature make it more tender?
How long do you bake chicken tenders at 350?
In a 350-degree oven, chicken tenders will take between 20 to 30 minutes to bake. You want them to be an internal temperature of 165 degrees and no longer be pink in the center. The timing will depend on the chicken’s thickness.
Should you cover chicken tenderloins when baking?
No, there’s no need to cover the chicken strips with foil when baking.
How do you not overcook chicken tenders?
The easiest way not to overcook chicken tenders is to keep an eye on the internal temperature. Once they reach 165 degrees, swiftly remove them from the oven.
How do you know when baked chicken tenders are done?
You know baked chicken tenders are done when the internal temperature is 165 degrees, the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the juices run clear.
Do I have to use the homemade seasoning mix?
No, you definitely don’t have to! If you don’t want to, all you’re gonna do instead is open up your cabinet and grab some of your favorite herbs, kosher salt, and garlic powder. Just mix them up in whatever proportions feel good to you right now and go forward with the rest of this recipe.
Can you cook chicken tenders in the air fryer?
Yes. For air fryer chicken tenders, you want to preheat the air fryer to 325 degrees and then air fry them for 10 to 15 minutes, until they reach that magical internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Can you bake chicken tenders from frozen?
You can bake chicken tenders from frozen. You’ll just need to add a few minutes to the cooking time. But if you follow the baking instructions and keep an eye on them, you should be a-okay!
What do you serve with baked chicken tenders?
Here are some side dishes to serve with this main dish:
- Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Potatoes
- Parmesan Oven Fries
- Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges
- Baked Zucchini Fries
- Broccoli Salad
- Fresh Green Beans
- Collard Greens
- Roasted Asparagus
- Oven-Baked Mac and Cheese
You may also want to serve them as an appetizer with your favorite dipping sauce, like honey mustard sauce. Here are some homemade recipes: comeback sauce, chipotle ranch dressing, Thousand Island dressing, tartar sauce, and BBQ sauce.
Another option is to serve the chicken tenders for lunch in a sandwich, salad, or wrap.
Check out these other tasty chicken recipes:
- 1-2 pounds chicken tenders
- olive oil
- zesty bread seasoning
- Spread chicken tenders out on a baking sheet.1-2 pounds chicken tenders
- Brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with seasoning.olive oil, zesty bread seasoning
- Bake at 350 until no longer pink in the center (20 to 30 minutes).