Healthy Baked Chicken Tenders with Spicy Ranch

healthy baked chicken tenders with spicy ranch overhead shot

These Healthy Baked Chicken Tenders will transport you back to your childhood – except this time they’re made with wholesome ingredients! Super crunchy, juicy and paired with a spicy ranch dipping sauce. Yes, yes and yes!

I remember eating a lot of chicken tenders when I was younger. Mostly from Shake and Bake boxes. You remember those, right? The seasonings would come in a baggy and you would place your chicken tenders inside of it and, well, you got it, shake it up!

Of course there were always the every popular frozen chicken tenders in my house as well as fast food chicken tenders.

Lastly, there is this DEE-LISH local restaurant in my home-town with the best chicken tender platter. The chicken tenders are fried – but not greasy. They’re tender and full of flavor. Oh, and the fact that the joint serves them with french fries, a pickle and cole slaw helps too.

So! After basically labeling myself as a chicken tender connoisseur, I went on a mission to make the best, healthiest version of chicken tenders that I could.

healthy baked chicken tenders with spicy ranch close up on yellow plate

I knew that the best method would be baking them. So I mixed some different methods of flour/breadcrumb/egg ratios and finally decided on this specific recipe.

It’s so yummy, y’all. It is crunchy, yet the inside remains so juicy and succulent. The flavor of the breadcrumb mixture is out of this world – subtly spicy and filled with garlic powder, oregano, cayenne and of course salt and pepper.

Another thing I love about these tenders is that they actually remain in tact! They don’t lose all of the outer coating like other baked tenders I have tried in the past.

healthy baked chicken tenders with spicy ranch  whole tender dipped in ranch

The moment you dip it in the homemade spicy ranch…all of your childhood chicken tender dreams will come true.

healthy baked chicken tenders with spicy ranch bite taken out of tender

Ben and I have this joke where we always pair the tenders with other childhood foods. So, if you wanna go all out – I recommend pairing these with boxed mac and cheese (Annie’s Organic White Cheddar Shells are our fave) and sautéed broccoli! We call it Mac & Broc. #sokewl

Anyway – I hope you try these out! It’s a super easy, quick weeknight dinner that folks of all ages will love!

5 from 2 votes
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Healthy Baked Chicken Tenders with Spicy Ranch

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 3/4-1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp whole milk
  • optional: hot sauce for garnish
  • optional: parsley for garnish

Spicy Ranch

  • 2 tbsps mayonnaise
  • 1-2 splashes whole milk
  • any spices you want! (i used salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, oregano and basil and added hot sauce for extra spice!)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the chicken breast into tenders (should make 6+ medium tenders) Mix the almond flour, panko breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, cayenne together with a fork in a bowl. 

  2. Mix two eggs together with 1 tbsp of milk in a bowl. Have a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil prepared. I used a silicon mat and it worked amazing! 

  3. Begin by lightly coat the chicken tender in the flour mixture. Transfer it to the egg and coat. Coat an additional time with the flour mixture and place on the baking sheet. Continue until all are done. 

  4. Bake for 25 minutes. Once done baking, place them on broil for 2-3 minutes, watching closely to make sure they don't burn, for that golden brown, crispy and crunchy goodness. 

  5. To make the ranch, whisk together the milk and mayo. Start off with adding 1/4 tsp of each of the spices listed above and add more if desired. I added lots of hot sauce to mine to make it extra spicy! 

  6. Serve immediately and enjoy! 

Recipe Notes

Depending on how big your chicken breast is, you may need to adjust the ratio of breadcrumbs from 3/4 cup to 1 full cup. 

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