These baked buffalo chicken tenders are great game day food. Super crispy and perfectly seasoned baked chicken tenders, smothered in a spicy buffalo sauce, and served with a creamy, Greek Yogurt ranch.
the BEST baked buffalo chicken tenders
The Super Bowl is this weekend and I’m ready for all the game day food. An absolute must in my book is buffalo chicken – whether in wing or tender form. The super saucy and spicy crispy chicken dipped in creamy ranch just screams game day!
I lightened up my favorite game day food with these baked buffalo chicken tenders. Chicken tenders are coated in whole wheat and Italian bread crumbs, then baked instead of fried, to golden brown perfection. These golden brown beauties take a bath in luscious, spicy buffalo sauce. Finally, a quick dunk in ranch before devouring makes this an irresistible bite.
ingredients in the baked buffalo chicken tenders
Here is what you will need to make this snack:
- organic free range chicken breast tenders, I prefer the organic or high quality chicken so it is not mealy or fatty. I also prefer chicken tenders instead os large peices because they are perfect for dunking.
- whole wheat panko bread crumbs, the whole wheat adds extra fiber and nutrients plus has a heartier texture which makes for a crunchier exterior.
- Italian bread crumbs, adds another layer of flavor and crunch.
- spices, amps up the flavor of the breadcrumbs for a flavor-packed bite.
- buffalo sauce, I prefer a rich, spicy buffalo sauce, but you could use BBQ or other flavor sauce too!
- greek yogurt ranch, I used Bolthouse Farms – the cool creamy ranch tames the spicy sauce.
steps to make the best baked buffalo chicken tenders
I’m sharing a few secrets that will help you achieve a delicious and crispy baked crispy chicken tender:
- Coat the chicken. The first secret is a double coating. I first coat the chicken in the Italian breadcrumbs, then double coat it in the whole wheat panko bread crumbs for an extra crispy exterior. You also need to allow the coated chicken to rest for at least 20 minutes. This allows the coating to adhere to the chicken properly.
- Bake the chicken. How you bake the chicken is crucial to achieving a crispy exterior. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a large sheet pan in the oven to heat up as well. The hot pan helps crisp up the coating. Once the oven is preheated and the pan hot, grease the pan with olive oil and add the chicken breast. Finally, spray the top of the chicken pieces with a cooking spray before putting in the oven. This also helps keep it crispy. Bake for 10-12 minutes, flip, spray the other side with cooking spray, then bake an additional 8-10 minutes.
- Dip the chicken in the sauce. Add the buffalo sauce to a large bowl. Add one or two cooked chicken tenders and toss until fully coated. Repeat until all the chicken is coated in the sauce.
how these are made healthier
Here are the steps I took to make these healthier:
- used whole wheat panko bread crumbs instead of regular, which adds fiber and nutrients.
- baked them instead of frying, which uses a lot less oil and fat.
- coated them in a buffalo sauce instead of a sugary BBQ sauce (if using BBQ sauce, I would recommend using a low-sugar kind).
- dipped them in a Greek Yogurt ranch, which is lower in calories and higher in protein than regular ranch.
other game day treats
- roast beef, herb cream cheese, and fig jam crostini’s
- caprese puff pastry bites
- extra creamy hummus
- baked brie with fig jam
- healthy burger bowls with special sauce
If you make these baked buffalo chicken tenders, please leave a comment below. I absolutely love to hear from you guys and your thoughts on my recipes. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or pin it on pinterest so I can see your creations!
Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders
Delicious and crispy baked chicken tenders smoothered in a spicy buffalo sauce and served with greek yogurt ranch.
- About 1.5 pounds chicken tenders
- 1 1/3 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt divided
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne optional
- 3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 3-4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup buffalo sauce I used Frank's
- 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt ranch I used Bolthouse
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Add a large sheet pan to the oven so it heats up.
Take out 3 shallow wide mouth bowls. In the first, add the whole wheat panko bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne and mix until well-combined. In the next bowl, add the Italian bread crumbs and remaining seasoning. Finally, in the last bowl, add 3 eggs and water and whisk until the eggs are fully combined (you may need 4 eggs and another splash of water, but start with 3).
Dip each chicken tender in the egg mixture then coat in Italian bread crumb mixture, then the egg mixture again, followed by rolling in the whole wheat panko crumb mixture, and place on the parchment paper on top of the baking pan. Allow to rest for 15-20 minutes so the coating can adhere.
Remove the baking pan from the oven. Grease with about a tablespoon of oil. Place chicken on the hot pan and spray with cooking spray.
Bake for 10 minutes, then flip, spray other side with cooking spray, and bake for another 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and cooked all the way through. Remove from the oven and toss in the buffalo sauce. Serve with the Greek Yogurt dressing.