Perfect Oven-Baked Chicken Tenders at 400°F

how long to cook chicken tenders in oven at 400

Oven-baked chicken tenders are a delicious, easy meal that everyone loves. When baked at 400°F, they’re crispy on the outside and juicy inside. Here is the ideal cooking time for the best results.

The right oven temperature and cook time are key for perfect chicken tenders.

Start by heating your oven to 400°F (205°C). This makes sure the tenders cook all the way through and get crispy.

Cooking time depends on how thick your chicken tenders are. Usually, 12-15 minutes is enough. This keeps them moist inside while the outside gets golden and crispy.

Flipping the chicken tenders halfway is important. It helps them brown evenly on both sides.

Just follow these steps for oven-baked chicken tenders that are both tender inside and crisp outside.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cook chicken tenders in the oven at 400°F for about 12-15 minutes.
  • Flip the tenders halfway through the cooking process for even browning.
  • Preheating the oven to 400°F ensures crispy and golden chicken tenders.

The Best Way to Cook Chicken Tenders in the Oven

Baking chicken tenders in the oven is an easy and tasty option. It’s healthier and makes the chicken juicy and tender. Just follow the times and temperature given below for the best oven-baked chicken tenders.

Cooking Times and Temperature:

First, heat your oven to 400°F (200°C). This hot temperature cooks the tenders fast and keeps them moist. You should cook the chicken tenders for about 12 minutes. Remember to flip them halfway through to brown both sides evenly. Since chicken tenders can vary in thickness, check their internal temperature. It should be 165°F (74°C).

By using these tips, you’ll make delicious, juicy oven-baked chicken tenders. This method is great for a simple dinner or a special occasion. Your guests and family will love it.

Knowing how to perfectly cook chicken tenders in the oven is just the start. Next, we’ll explain how skewering the tenders can make them cook evenly.

The Importance of Skewering Chicken Tenders

Skewering them before baking changes everything when you are cooking chicken tenders in the oven. This simple step ensures they cook evenly. It also stops them from curling into unappetizing shapes. So, the chicken not only looks better but is also easier to eat.

Start by removing the white tendons from the tenders. These are the parts that make chicken curl while cooking. Getting rid of them means your chicken stays in shape and cooks consistently.

Once you’ve removed the tendons, thread the tenders onto skewers. This keeps them flat and straight, and helps the heat reach every part evenly. You end up with chicken that’s both juicy and tender all over.

Next, add flavor to your chicken tenders by seasoning them. You can go spicy, tangy, or stick to herbs. This step makes sure the chicken is tasty through and through.

Ready to bake? Put the skewered chicken on a baking sheet with parchment paper or a rack. This method lets hot air flow all around, making them cook evenly and get crispy.

By skewering your chicken tenders before you bake them, you’re set for a win. Wave goodbye to chicken that cooks unevenly and curls up. Welcome perfectly cooked, straight, and tasty chicken tenders.

Delicious Dipping Sauce Ideas for Chicken Tenders

Chicken tenders are loved by many. They go well with different dipping sauces. You can choose from tangy, sweet, or savory ones to boost your meal’s taste. Here are some tasty sauce options to explore:

Honey Mustard

Honey mustard is a classic pick. It blends smooth mustard and sweet honey. This mix brings out a great taste that goes well with chicken tenders.

BBQ Sauce

BBQ sauce is perfect if you like smoky flavors. It has a great mix of tangy sweetness and spice. This sauce makes your chicken tenders even more delicious.


Ketchup is a simple choice for many. Its tangy tomato flavor fits the crispy chicken perfectly. It’s a pairing that always hits the spot.


Ranch dressing is creamy and versatile. It enhances the taste of chicken tenders with its cool tanginess. Many love it for dipping.

Fry Sauce

Try fry sauce for a different dip. It’s a mix of mayonnaise and ketchup with some seasoning. This creamy, tangy sauce elevates your chicken tenders.

Feel free to mix and match flavors. Offer various sauces to please everyone. Dipping sauces make your chicken tenders even more enjoyable.

Tips for Cooking Large Batches of Chicken Tenders

Planning to make a lot of chicken tenders? It’s important to cook them right so they all turn out perfectly. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Consider using a rimmed baking sheet: A rimmed baking sheet will prevent any juices from spilling over and making a mess in your oven.
  2. Avoid overcrowding: To ensure even cooking, make sure to leave some space between each chicken tender on the baking sheet. As a general guideline, you can fit about 20 chicken tenders on a standard rimmed baking sheet without them touching.
  3. Cook in separate batches if necessary: If you need to cook more chicken tenders than can fit comfortably on a single baking sheet, it’s best to cook them in separate batches. This will ensure that they cook evenly and result in a consistent texture.
  4. Keep the first batch warm: While the second batch of chicken tenders is cooking, keep the first batch warm by loosely covering it with foil. This will help preserve their heat and prevent them from becoming cold before serving.

With these tips, cooking a large batch of chicken tenders is easy. Each tender will be perfectly cooked and tasty. Your family and friends will love these crispy and flavorful treats!

How to Reheat Leftover Chicken Tenders

Leftover chicken tenders are a delicious snack you can enjoy later. To keep them crispy, you need to reheat them correctly. Microwaving might make them soggy, but using an oven or air fryer brings back their crunch and taste.

Ready to reheat your chicken tenders? Here are easy steps to follow:

  1. First, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) or air fryer to 380°F (193°C).
  2. Spread the chicken tenders on a baking sheet or in the air fryer basket. Ensure they’re not touching each other.
  3. Note: If you’re using an oven, place the tenders on a wire rack over the baking sheet. It keeps them crispy all around.
  4. Cook the chicken tenders in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or in the air fryer for 5-8 minutes. Watch them to avoid overcooking.
  5. Once ready, take the chicken tenders out of the oven or air fryer.

Your leftover chicken tenders are now good as new! These reheating steps ensure they’re crispy again. They’ll taste as if they were just made.

Tip: For extra crunch, broil the chicken tenders for the last 1-2 minutes. Just make sure they don’t burn.

Reheating in the oven or air fryer keeps leftover chicken tenders crispy. It’s much better than microwaving. This way, they stay tasty and retain their texture.

You now know the best method to reheat chicken tenders. Enjoy them fresh and crispy, even as leftovers.

Freezing Chicken Tenders for Future Meals

Want homemade chicken tenders ready anytime? Freezing them is a smart move. It lets you prepare in advance for a tasty meal. Here’s a simple guide to freeze them:

  1. Start with your favorite chicken tenders recipe. You might soak them in a tasty marinade or coat them with spices.

  2. After prepping, place them in a container or freezer bag. Lay them flat to avoid sticking. Use parchment or wrap between layers for easier separation.

  3. Seal it well to keep the air out. This helps avoid freezer burn and keeps your tenders fresh.

  4. Don’t forget to mark the freezing date on the container or bag.

  5. They can stay in the freezer for up to three months. This gives you plenty of time to plan your meals.

  6. To cook, first, thaw them in the fridge. Make sure they’re fully thawed before cooking.

  7. Cook according to the recipe you used before. This ensures they come out perfect.

  8. Enjoy your chicken tenders with your favorite sauces and sides.

Freezing chicken tenders means you’re always ready for a quick, homemade meal. Next time, freeze a batch for those busy days or whenever you crave them.

Nutritional Benefits of Baked Chicken Tenders

Baking chicken tenders is healthier than frying them. It cuts down on oil, lowering the calories. Chicken breast, used in tenders, is a lean, high-quality protein source. It offers nutrients vital for bone health and managing weight.

Using just a light coat of nonstick spray or a little oil can make them crispy but with less fat. This means baked tenders are better for you than fried ones.

For a simple, healthy meal, try making baked chicken tenders.

“Baking chicken tenders instead of deep frying them reduces the amount of oil required and decreases the calorie content.”

Key Nutritional Benefits:

  • Lean source of high-quality protein
  • Contributes to bone health
  • Aids in weight management

Easy Baked Chicken Tenders Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Season the chicken tenders with salt and pepper.
  3. Lightly coat the tenders with nonstick spray or a small amount of oil.
  4. Dip each tender into a mix of flour, cornstarch, and spices you like.
  5. Put the tenders on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they’re cooked and golden.

Enjoy these tasty, nutritious baked chicken tenders without feeling guilty.

Cooking Tips for Perfectly Baked Chicken Tenders

Want to make baked chicken tenders? Just follow some simple tips. Season them well and bake them right. You’ll get crispy, tasty chicken tenders in no time.

Here’s how you make amazing chicken tenders:

  1. Season: Start by seasoning your chicken tenders with salt and pepper. It makes them taste great.
  2. Coat: Mix flour, cornstarch, and your favorite spices in a bowl. Coat each tender in this mix and shake off extra.
  3. Dip: Next, dip the tenders into beaten egg. This makes sure the breadcrumbs stick to the chicken.
  4. Coat (again): Then, roll them in panko breadcrumbs. Press lightly for a good coat. Panko makes the tenders crunchy.
  5. Baking setup: Place the tenders on a wire rack over a baking sheet. This helps air flow around them, cooking them evenly.
  6. Temperature and time: Heat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Bake for 10 minutes, flip, and bake another 5-10 minutes. They should be golden and cooked through.

For extra crispiness, broil the tenders for a few minutes at the end. Just keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

With these tips, you’ll bake perfect chicken tenders every time. They’ll be crispy, full of flavor, and loved by both kids and adults.

Serving Suggestions for Chicken Tenders

You’ve just learned how to make crispy chicken tenders. Now, let’s figure out how to serve them. They go well with lots of sauces and sides. This lets you tailor your meal to what you like. Below are ideas to spark your cooking creativity:

Dipping Sauces

Make your chicken tenders tastier by adding your favorite sauces. Here are popular ones to try:

  • Low-calorie barbecue sauce
  • Honey mustard
  • Ranch dressing
  • Ketchup
  • Or any other sauce you love!

Try mixing different sauces to discover what you enjoy the most.

Side Dishes

Pair your chicken tenders with yummy sides. Here are some great choices:

These sides will add flavor and texture to your meal. They match well with the chicken tenders.

There are many ways to serve chicken tenders. Be creative and enjoy mixing flavors and styles. They’re perfect for any event, from parties to family dinners. Everyone will love these tender and tasty chicken treats!

Quantity Ingredient
1 cup Flour
1/2 cup Cornstarch
1 tablespoon Paprika
1 tablespoon Garlic powder
1 tablespoon Onion powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Black pepper
2 Eggs, beaten
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1 lb Chicken tenders


Oven-baked chicken tenders are a delicious meal for both kids and adults. If you cook them right, you’ll get juicy and crispy chicken every time.

Try using different spices like garlic powder, paprika, or Italian herbs to make them taste better. Also, don’t forget to add your favorite sauces, such as honey mustard, BBQ, or ranch, for extra flavor.

These chicken tenders are perfect for a quick dinner or a fun snack on game day. Just get your ingredients ready, heat your oven to 400°F, and prepare for a meal everyone will love.


How long should I cook chicken tenders in the oven at 400°F?

Bake chicken tenders at 400°F for about 12 minutes. This gets them juicy and crispy.

What is the best way to cook chicken tenders in the oven?

Baking chicken tenders at 400°F is quick. It keeps them moist and full of flavor.

Why is skewering chicken tenders important?

Skewering chicken tenders before baking makes them look better. It also cooks them evenly.

What are some delicious dipping sauce ideas for chicken tenders?

Great dipping sauces include honey mustard, BBQ sauce, ketchup, ranch, or fry sauce.

How can I cook large batches of chicken tenders?

For large batches, cook chicken tenders in separate rounds. This ensures they cook evenly.

How should I reheat leftover chicken tenders?

Use the oven or air fryer to reheat chicken tenders. This keeps them crispy.

Can I freeze chicken tenders for future meals?

Yes, you can freeze chicken tenders before baking. This makes future meals easy.

What are the nutritional benefits of baked chicken tenders?

Baked chicken tenders use less oil. This lowers calories while providing high-quality protein.

What are some cooking tips for perfectly baked chicken tenders?

Season them, coat in flour and breadcrumbs. Then bake at 400°F for 10-15 minutes.

What are some serving suggestions for chicken tenders?

Chicken tenders go well with any favorite dipping sauce. Try them with oven-baked fries or roasted veggies.

How long should I cook chicken tenders in the oven at 400°F?

Bake chicken tenders at 400°F for about 12 minutes. This gets them juicy and crispy.

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