Get a healthy, crunchy breaded chicken on the table for dinner tonight in under 45 minutes with this Oven Fried Lemon Panko Breaded Chicken Tenders Recipe.
There’s a special place in heaven for dishes that come together easily and quickly, yet look like you slaved over them for hours. Bonus points for a dish that has crunch and satisfying flavor while being a lighter and easier clean up version than it’s famous fried brother.
I created this dish one evening when I was craving some solid protein and the aforementioned crunch. I pictured a salty lemon sauce to balance it out and boy, did it deliver.
Some helpful panko-breaded chicken recipe notes:
- Bake your chicken on parchment paper to keep that crunch and have the easiest clean up possible.
- Create a little assembly line of bowls right next to the sheet so you can move from one bowl to the next with minimal mess.
- Use one hand to move the chicken from bowl to bowl and dredge it in egg and the other hand to sprinkle the flour and panko on it to avoid having a gummy, crummy mess on your hands (literally).
Ok, I’m done telling you what to do. Except, you should go make this -- now. The rest of your evening will thank you.
How to make this healthy oven-fried chicken gluten-free!
Also, you’re not exempt from the aforementioned commands, my gluten free friends: thanks to gluten free flour and panko, this dish can also be made to meet those requirements too.
I especially love serving this with angel hair pasta tossed with butter and sauteed garlic so feel free to sub in another gluten-free pasta, but it’s also great with a salad and possibly some Portuguese potatoes.
These panko-breaded chicken tenders are...
Pretty much everything you want in a chicken tender -- not to mention a healthy one! They're pretty much calling out to be on your dinner table tonight and promise they won't disappoint.
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Get a special weeknight dinner on in a snap with these flavorful, yet healthy oven baked chicken breasts.
- 3 chicken breasts cut at a lengthwise bias into about ½ inch thick pieces; also can use 1.25 chicken tenders, or, about 1.25 lbs chicken tenders
- ¼ c. all purpose flour , use a gluten free blend for gluten free tenders
- Zest of 1 lemon, divided
- Juice of half a lemon, or about 1 ½ T juice
- 1 ¾ tsp salt, divided
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 ½ T buttermilk , (see notes below for homemade)
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1 ¼ c. panko breadcrumbs, use a gluten free blend for gluten free tenders
- canola oil spray
- ½ c. mayonnaise , canola, olive oil, or avocado blends are ok
- freshly cracked black pepper, to season
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the all purpose flour, 1 ¼ teaspoons salt, and paprika in a shallow and wide bowl. Stir well. In another shallow bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and eggs in another wide and shallow bowl. In a third bowl, mix the panko with half of the lemon zest .
- Dredge the chicken: coating it first in the flour, then in the eggs, and finishing by coating it in the panko. Continue with the rest of the chicken pieces until you’ve dredged everything.
- Spray chicken tenders with a lighter spritz of canola oil spray. Sprinkle them with remaining ½ tsp salt.
- Bake in oven for 15-18 minutes, or until panko is just starting to brown and chicken juice no longer runs pink when cut open.
- While chicken is baking, mix together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, half lemon zest and a few good cracks of black pepper in a small bowl to form the aioli.
- Serve chicken hot with aioli for dipping.
- How to Make Your Own Buttermilk: combine 4 ¾ teaspoons cow’s milk with ⅛ teaspoon white vinegar and let it sit for 4-5 minutes, or until curdled
- These will keep covered in the fridge for 3-5 days. Reheat on a foil lined baking sheet in a toaster oven or oven at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes, or until heated through.
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Other quick and healthy dinner recipes you might like:
- Easy Sriracha Lime Baked Salmon
- Thai Salmon Panang Curry
- One-Pot Orecchiette with Sausage
- Honey BBQ Shredded Chicken Sandwiches (Crockpot)
- Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes