Baked Chicken Tenders With Panko

Baked Chicken Fingers (1)

I’ve held several professional cooking jobs over my career but none have been as difficult, challenging and rewarding as being a chef for a private school in North Atlanta. We work hard to make everything from scratch, eliminate processed foods and preservatives and have the kids excited to try new things and actually enjoy it!

A staple on the monthly menu now are these baked chicken tenders which are a huge hit! Baking the chicken instead of frying them is just as tasty, healthier and easier to clean up! To simplify the process I use mayonaise instead of a flour/egg wash mixture to coat the chicken and then Panko bread crumbs which are healthier than your regular store bought bread crumbs.

Speaking of breadcrumbs, take a look at the ingredient list on a major brand. How many ingredients do you really need for bread crumbs?!

40 ingredients for bread crumbs!

40 ingredients for bread crumbs!


If you have the time I suggest brining the chicken tenders for 24 hours before baking. It’s worth the minimal effort. Check out my chicken brine recipe which I swear by! If you are new to the process here’s some information on brining.



Baked Chicken Tenders Recipe

Baked Chicken Tenders Recipe


  • 8-10 chicken tenders, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons salt (if brining don't add salt in this step)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400ºf with rack positioned on the lowest setting
  2. Place panko in bowl and set aside
  3. In another bowl mix chicken with mayonnaise and seasonings if using
  4. Take 3-4 tenders and place into bowl with Panko and coat well
  5. Remove chicken tenders from Panko and place on cookie sheet tray coated with non-stick spray
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all chicken tenders are breaded
  7. Place cookie tray with chicken tenders in oven on lowest rack
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping chicken half way through
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  1. Cathy says

    This recipe was a great hit. Used gluten free panko as my son is gluten and dairy free. Loved it and so easy. Thank you!

  2. Blaircr1 says

    Hi my son & I totally loved this recipe. I can’t believe how quick & simple it was to prepare. The last meal I cooked with Panko did not turnout so great

  3. says

    I am going to try these out tonight, I have never seen things breaded with mayonnaise versus flour and egg wash. I am very curious, and have been looking for a great alternative to frying. I am excited to try these out! I am going to try them how the recipe is intended tonight, however, I was curious to know if you can use oats as a bread coating as opposed to panko. Would this work out or would it not get crispy like the panko?!?!

    Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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