Crispy and Flavorful: Cheddar-Crusted Chicken Tenders

Crispy and Flavorful: Cheddar-Crusted Chicken Tenders

I think this blogging thing might be starting to drive my husband crazy. Each week he has to face down a planned menu full of recipes he’s never heard of, rather than his favorites from our years together. He’d eat Sesame Chicken and Inside-Out Potstickers each once a week, interspersed with frozen pizza and commercial honeybuns, if I let him. Instead, his nutty wife wants to try something new every night so she can make it their own.

Recently, I’ve stepped down my new, bloggy recipes to just 3 times a week so we can enjoy simple classics like pasta with red sauce or Chicken Puff Pastry Pot Pie sometimes as well.  Sometimes I stumble across dishes that Bill demands we add to the “list” of Manckwhite classics so he can enjoy it over and over again; one of the winners we recently found were these delicious Cheddar-Crusted Chicken Tenders!


I made these delicious double-crusted chicken fingers for us to enjoy with our neighbor Keri during the 2013 NLL finals last weekend. While they may not know it, I think that this tasty dinner is what helped push the Rochester Knighthawks into their 2nd consecutive national title!

We start with a simple buttermilk bath for our boneless, skinless chicken tenders, then move onto to a hearty double dredging in a tasty breadcrumb and cheese mixture. The combination of the crunchy panko breadcrumbs, light seasoned breadcrumbs and the cheddar cheese makes a wonderful coating that’s both flavorful and filling. By doubling up on the crusting, we get an extra crispy crunch that goes really well with the juicy chicken with its buttermilk tang. We cook these bad boys on a wire baking rack to make sure they stay crispy all the way around, no gooey breading here! Pop ’em in the oven for 20-24 minutes and you’ve got a family (and finger) friendly dinner that everyone will love.

Bill, Keri and I enjoyed our delicious tenders with sides of ranch dressing, ketchup and box lacrosse, but we also recommend trying these with barbecue sauce!


Cheddar-Crusted Chicken Tenders

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 cups Italian seasoned traditional bread crumbs
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  1. Place chicken tenders in a large bowl and cover with buttermilk. Allow this to sit, in the refrigerator, for at least 1 hour, up to overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 450° F. Lay a wire rack on a baking sheet.
  3. In a large bowl, combine panko and traditional bread crumbs, plus flour, salt, pepper, paprika and thyme and stir with a spoon. Fold in cheese.
  4. Remove each piece of chicken from the buttermilk and dredge through the breadcrumbs, pressing gently to adhere. Dip breaded tender back in the buttermilk, dredge through breadcrumbs again, then lay on the wire rack and repeat with the rest of the chicken.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes on each side, flipping midway through.

Based on a recipe from How Sweet Eats


2 thoughts on “Crispy and Flavorful: Cheddar-Crusted Chicken Tenders

    1. Oh, they’re super-simple to make and extra-yummy to eat! 🙂 I hope you enjoy them!

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