These Pecan-Crusted Baked Chicken Tenders are super crispy and full of toasty, nutty flavor. They’re so easy to make and taste just as good as fried chicken tenders – but are so much healthier! Serve them with my homemade basil dip for a perfect chicken dinner!
This Pecan Crusted Baked Chicken Tenders recipe is a quick dinner favorite and a real crowd pleaser. Super succulent tender chicken fingers with a nice flavor packed coating of garlic, mustard, oregano and a dash of hot sauce. Now coat these with plenty of crunchy pecans and cornflakes and you’re all set for a super delicious, quick and succulent chicken dinner!
We all have a thing for baked chicken tenders, chicken fingers, or however you call them. I have a thing for the baked version and I also have a thing for the junky fried version—just make those spicy fried chicken fingers one time and you will understand! I’m honestly not even ashamed. But today is all about Baked Chicken Tenders and how to make them irresistibly good!
Why this recipe for Pecan Crusted Baked Chicken Tenders works:
So how do you guys do baked chicken tenders? I have to tell you, for me, it’s about flavor plus crunch. If one of them is missing, it doesn’t feel right.
I love baked chicken tenders, and I also love how quick and easy it is to have a super yummy chicken dinner on the table. Even a whole roast chicken is quicker to make than you would think. Take a peek at this amazing Quick Roast Tandoori Chicken or this Easiest Garlic Herb Roast Chicken! But now back to these succulent, finger licking good Pecan-Crusted Baked Chicken Tenders.
For the record, I’ve made these baked chicken tenders coated with almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts and I happen to prefer the pecans. They have a faint sweetness with a neutral flavor.
Almonds are neutral as well, but just a bit too neutral I think, now if you’re all for a nutty flavor, I guarantee you’ll love the hazelnuts version. And if you have an abundance of pistachios, by all means, go for it!
How to make Pecan Crusted Baked Chicken Tenders:
The chicken tenders are coated in a mixture of egg, plenty of grated garlic, lemon juice honey mustard, mayo, dried oregano, a dash of hot sauce and some salt and pepper.
This sticky chicken now is ready for the crunchy pecan coating. The more you let the chicken sit in this egg mixture, the more flavor it gets, but it’s absolutely not essential. I bake the chicken tendes right away and they’re still SO SO GOOD!!
For the pecan crust, I use plenty of pecans and corn flakes and I season them lightly with salt, pepper and oregano. I mean why should we skimp on flavor, ever.
Now coat each chicken tender in this pecan crunch mix and place the chicken tenders on a lightly parchment-lined baking sheet. Then spray or drizzle some olive oil over the chicken tenders and bake them at a high oven temperature for 15 mins. Perfect crunch, succulent baked chicken tenders, – a super flavorful chicken dinner in a flash.
Oh did I forget to mention the Basil Dip? I simply mixed a couple tablespoons of basil pesto with some sour cream and found it was a perfect compliment to my baked chicken tenders!
Tips for success:
- Don’t like pecans? Use almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts for your crunch coating.
- When it comes to flavor, you can mix and match your favorite spices here and make a different version of these chicken tenders every time.
- If you have 5 mins and some fresh basil, then check this Fettuccine with Pistachio Pesto Sauce for the basil pistachio pesto, or this Protein Packed Nut Free Hemp Bail pesto.
Pecan Crust Baked Chicken Tenders
These Pecan-Crusted Baked Chicken Tenders are super crispy and full of toasty, nutty flavor. They're so simple and easy to make and taste just as good as fried chicken tenders - but are so much healthier! Serve them with my homemade basil dip for a perfect chicken dinner!
For the chicken:
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
- 1 egg
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons honey mustard
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce (optional)
- 1 tablespoon mayo
For the coating:
- 2 cups chopped pecans
- 1 cup crushed corn flakes
- 1 pinch salt , pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
For the Basil Dip:
- 2 tablespoons basil pesto ( Check the recipe here or here)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 pinch salt
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray or drizzle it with some olive oil.
- In a bowl, mix the chicken ingredients (without the chicken or coating) until the mixture is smooth. Add the chicken strips into the egg mixture and toss them well to coat.
- In another shallow bowl, mix the coating ingredients together.
- Take the chicken strips and coat them in the crunchy pecan mixture well on both sides, and pat each chicken strip very well to coat.
- Place each chicken strip on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining strips.
- Drizzle or spray some olive oil over the chicken strips and bake them for 12-15 mins (depending on the size of your chicken strips).
- In the meantime, mix the basil dip ingredients in a small bowl.
- Serve the chicken and basil dip together.