Baked Panko-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Honey-BBQ Dipping Sauce


There are breadcrumbs…

And then there are Panko.  :) Mmmm…how I love these fabulously crispy and light Japanese breadcrumbs.  I honestly don’t know how Americans missed out on them for so long.  They do wonders with adding great crunch and texture…especially to baked foods!

So this week decided to make use of the unopened bag in my pantry and make some classic baked chicken fingers.  This recipe is definitely one of my favorites.  It’s full of subtle flavor, and is relatively quick to throw together.  And being that I live in Kansas City – land of all things BBQ – thought I’d be a good little citizen and whip up a simple honey-barbecue sauce to go along with.  But I’ve also included some other quick homemade sauce recipes below.

These are definitely “classic” for a reason!  Kiddos love them, and adults can love them even more knowing that they’re b-a-k-e-d!  :)


Baked Panko-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Honey-BBQ Dipping Sauce

You won't believe the delicious flavor and crunch of these yummy chicken tenders...and they're not even fried! Detailed recipe and photos included.


  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or breast tenders
  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Honey-Barbecue Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup favorite barbecue sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour


Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with foil and lightly spraying with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a small bowl or shallow dish, season the flour with salt and black pepper, and lightly beat the eggs in another shallow dish. In a third shallow dish, combine panko breadcrumbs with oregano, garlic, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper.

If using chicken breasts, prepare by putting one breast in between two layers of plastic wrap. Pound to an even thickness of approximately 1/2". Remove plastic and slice into strips.

Dredge tenders in the flour to coat, shaking off any excess flour. Dip the floured chicken tenders into the egg and then coat the chicken tenders with the breadcrumb mixture. Arrange on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining strips.

Bake chicken tenders for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown, flipping once part way through the cook time.
To prepare sauce, whisk together honey and barbeque sauce in a small bowl until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ali's Tip:

There's a reason why restaurants offer you about 500 sauce options whenever you order chicken fingers.  It seems everyone has a different favorite!  So to provide a few more options, here are a couple other simple sauce recipes you can try...

Apricot Sauce

  • ⅔ cup apricot preserves
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. ketchup

Honey-Mustard Sauce

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. honey

Basil Aioli

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!



Leave a Comment:


  1. Melleah — October 12, 2009 @ 1:44 pm (#)

    Panko breadcrumbs are the best! I use it when I bake chicken to give it a crispy coating. Your apricot dipping sauce looks wonderful-I’ll have to try that next time chicken tenders are on the menu.

  2. Baking is my Zen — October 12, 2009 @ 9:03 pm (#)

    Nicely done post. Great photos. Thanks for sharing other dipping sauces to use.

  3. Sara — October 18, 2009 @ 8:20 am (#)

    Just tried these….yum!

  4. Anne — November 14, 2009 @ 2:47 pm (#)

    Added panko to my shopping list

  5. saveur — March 11, 2010 @ 11:04 am (#)

    I have some panko buried in my cupboards and this seems like a perfect way to try them out. :D

  6. Angel — May 12, 2010 @ 9:26 pm (#)

    Very easy to make and great flavor / crispiness. I was out of cayenne so I used red pepper flakes.

  7. Lennie R. — January 30, 2011 @ 5:14 pm (#)

    So I just made your recipe and absolutely loved it! thank you for sharing. Very simple and so easy!

    Thanks again!

  8. Kim — February 27, 2011 @ 11:50 am (#)

    I just made these for dinner… I only have 1/2 left b/c my kids and husband (and myself) couldn’t stop eating them.. so good!

  9. DeMiko — September 2, 2011 @ 8:49 am (#)

    OMG…this was my very first attempt at cooking with Panko crumbs, and it turned out so delish!! I have fallen in love with your site/blog. I have found treasure in your recipes. I just loved the sauces that you included. The basil aioli by far was the best. I even used it on some salmon I baked…SO GOOD! Thank you for making cooking looks so pretty with your photos and for sharing!

  10. Mark Lingle — October 7, 2011 @ 3:15 pm (#)

    I’m going to make your recipe now (I’m the cook in my house) and I see you have salt and pepper listed once, but you require it both in the flour coat and in the Panko coating. Do you half it for each or is it ok to put it in the flour only, maybe adding just the cayenne pepper to the panko crumbs and no extra salt? I’m going to make it like I assumed and do it only in the flour except for the cayenne, Hope I’m right! lol

  11. Mark Lingle — October 14, 2011 @ 6:54 pm (#)

    Well I did it with the salt and pepper mixture in the flour and all other herbs, including Cayenne and it was the best chicken ever! Not too spicy, but was very zesty! Took some to the Sunday football game after freezing the cooked chicken and thawing it out on game day! Mix all kinds of sauce for dipping. Even substituted Barbecue sauce for the flour dip on some then the Panko and they were fabulous too! So many ways to tweak this one! Thanks for the recipe! :)))

  12. Poppy Sprightly — May 9, 2012 @ 4:51 pm (#)


  13. Annie — May 13, 2012 @ 6:16 pm (#)

    In the oven right now. Cannot wait. Thanks!!

  14. Paula — May 22, 2012 @ 8:24 pm (#)

    It was a little too spicy for our family so we will omit (or significantly decrease) the paprika and cayenne pepper, and I didn’t put the full amounts. With the adjustments, I will definitely make this again!

    • Gracie — June 11th, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

      We put a little less Cayenne and it was delish!

      • ali — June 13th, 2012 @ 7:36 am

        Good! Yeah, they can be a little spicy. Glad you enjoyed them! :)

  15. Erika — May 27, 2012 @ 4:26 pm (#)

    These are sooooo good. I saw them on Pinterest and made them today. Not spicy for me… in fact, I even used the new “chipotle panko” instead of the regular, because I thought they’d be good in there. Otherwise, followed recipe exactly (we like very spicy foods, for the record). These were soooo delicious. Crunchy, moist, good coating that stayed on.. and baked! Healthier. I will definitely make them again.

  16. Gracie — June 11, 2012 @ 4:40 pm (#)

    In the oven now! Smelling good!

    • ali — June 13th, 2012 @ 7:36 am

      Enjoy, Gracie! :)

  17. JinC — June 13, 2012 @ 5:47 pm (#)

    Thank you for the recipe. This was simple and delicious! We made the honey mustard sauce to go with it and that was great, too!

  18. Gigi — July 8, 2012 @ 3:28 pm (#)

    I just made this for my family and they loved it! They especially enjoyed the honey mustard sauce. I can’t wait to give the apricot sauce a go next time. Thank you for sharing :)

  19. Angela — September 22, 2012 @ 12:34 am (#)

    Found your recipe and tried them tonight for dinner. You made it super easy to follow and it was soooooo good! My husband loved them. The fact that they were baked made it even better. Thanks!

  20. Francine — November 22, 2012 @ 4:59 am (#)

    Hi! Any tips for baking these ahead of
    Time and reheating?

  21. Anon — December 22, 2012 @ 2:33 am (#)

    Luckily I was able to add melted butter to the top of the chicken and put it under the broiler before serving. Without that, it tasted like flavorless chicken covered with dry breadcrumbs. I use Panko a lot and I should have known better. It requires butter or oil to crisp. Sorry,

  22. justin — January 7, 2013 @ 12:08 pm (#)

    I love this recipe! Thank you.

  23. dawn — February 27, 2013 @ 8:08 pm (#)

    i made it :):):):)

  24. Shalinn — March 7, 2013 @ 7:17 pm (#)

    I just made them tonight for dinner. My husband liked them too which is always a bonus – he actually thought they tasted like “Cool Ranch Doritos.” Whatever! Great to have a baked option!

  25. Michael Cygan — March 18, 2013 @ 1:45 pm (#)

    OMG. I wasn’t interested in sauces, just a great way to cook some chicken breasts/tenders and OH MY G** this is THE BEST. Again, sauces don’t matter – just prepare the chicken per this recipes and enjoy. Thanks, Ali

  26. Grace — April 20, 2013 @ 2:57 pm (#)

    Made them for dinner last night and hey were a big hit with me and the family. I loved them so much I couldn’t wait to have the last three (leftovers – I made a big batch) for lunch today! The only thing I didn’t try was the sauce (I got lazy and we had honey mustard low fat dressing so I just used that). I will definitely ake these again and try the sauce, too.

  27. Li Tsin — June 6, 2013 @ 7:34 pm (#)

    super easy recipe for yummy chicken tenders. i used a skillet in the oven and it works just as fine, just double the cooking time :)

  28. kevin — June 22, 2013 @ 5:06 am (#)

    Honey-Barbecue Dipping Sauce
    1/2 cup favorite barbecue sauce
    3 Tbsp. honey
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup flour

    To prepare sauce, whisk together honey and barbeque sauce in a small bowl until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


  29. Michelle — July 12, 2014 @ 9:20 pm (#)

    These are super duper crunchy! Loved the touch of smokiness from the paprika. The sauce was a perfect match too, thanks!!


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