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baked chicken with honey on a white plate
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5 from 8 votes

Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders with Hot Honey

A coating of spices and mayonnaise on these Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders keeps them super juicy and tender as they bake to crisp in the oven. Serve with a drizzle of homemade Hot Honey.
To adjust the servings in this recipe, click on the number next to servings. Be sure to use additional sheet pans if needed to give the tenders plenty of space to crisp up.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken dinner, Chicken Recipe, family friendly, gluten free, spicy chicken
Servings: 4
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $8.00


  • Mixing Bowl
  • Half Sheet Pans


  • 1 1/2 lbs Chicken Tenderloins (sub boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into strips)
  • 1/3 cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice (sub apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika (sub regular paprika)
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder (not garlic salt)
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups Panko Breadcrumbs (sub crushed cornflakes or gluten-free panko for a gluten-free option)
  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil, plus more for drizzling (I like grapeseed or avocado oil; vegetable oil will work too)
  • Flaky Sea Salt and / or Black Pepper for topping (optional)
  • Hot Honey, for drizzling (store-bought or homemade)


  • Preheat oven to 450°F / 232°C.
  • While oven is heating in a large mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, paprika, dried thyme, garlic powder, and black pepper. Add chicken tenders and stir gently to coat.
  • Add panko breadcrumbs to the bowl and stir gently until panko completely coats chicken. (Some breadcrumbs will remain at the bottom of the bowl.) Set aside.
  • Drizzle oil over a large rimmed sheet pan and tip the pan until there is a thin layer of oil covering the entire surface.
  • Transfer chicken tenders to pan. (As you remove each piece of chicken from the pan, firmly press extra breadcrumbs into it on both sides. This is the key to a crunchy crust. Press as many breadcrumbs into each piece of chicken as you can.) Once all of the chicken is on the pan, press any extra breadcrumbs firmly into the tops of the chicken.
  • Drizzle the tops of the chicken lightly with some more cooking oil.
  • Bake chicken for 10 minutes and then carefully remove pan and flip chicken over.
  • Return to oven and continue cooking until chicken is cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes more.
  • Top chicken with flaky sea salt and / or more black pepper. Drizzle with hot honey. Enjoy!


Calories: 533kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 1172mg | Potassium: 720mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 192IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 3mg