Baked Cheddar Dijon Chicken Tenders

Baked Cheddar Dijon Chicken Tenders

Back in high school, when I had a little something called a “metabolism,” my after-school snack was Cheez-Its and a Diet Coke. There was just something about that salty-sweet combination that made the neon orange crackers disappear faster than my dignity at an *NSYNC concert.

But I have no shame in sharing my enduring love of the iconic cheddar cracker, which in my later years now does double-duty as a flavorful replacement for breadcrumbs. I believe there is no such thing as having too many quick, easy chicken dishes in your recipe repertoire. And these Baked Cheddar Dijon Chicken Tenders deliver on the quick and easy promise while also paying homage to a favorite childhood snack.

A dollop of Dijon mustard takes these crispy tenders from blah to brilliant in a way only Dijon can do. There’s just something about the tangy richness of the mustard that pairs perfectly with cheddar. So skip the drive-thru and the deep-frying and whip up this DIY take on easy, cheesy baked chicken tenders prime for dipping and dunking into your choice of condiments.

Baked Cheddar Dijon Chicken Tenders

Baked Cheddar Dijon Chicken Tenders

Baked Cheddar Dijon Chicken Tenders

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Baked Cheddar Dijon Chicken Tenders

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 15 min


2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups cheddar crackers, such as Cheez-Its or Cheese Nips
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 1/4 pounds uncooked chicken tenders
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 cup all-purpose flour


Preheat the oven to 475°F with the rack in the lower third of the oven. Line a baking sheet with foil and brush it with the olive oil.

Pulse the cheddar crackers in a food processor until finely ground, or alternately, place the crackers in a plastic bag, seal it and use a rolling pin to crush the crackers. Transfer the crackers to a wide, shallow bowl and stir in the paprika.

In a separate wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs with the Dijon mustard. Place the flour in a third wide, shallow bowl.

Bread each tender by coating it in the flour, shaking off any excess, and then dipping it in the eggs. Transfer the tender from the eggs to the crackers, pressing the crumbs into the chicken to ensure an even coating, and then placing the tender on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the breading process with the remaining tenders, arranging them in a single layer about 2 inches apart.

Bake the tenders, turning them over once, until they're golden brown, about 15 minutes total.

Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste.


  1. 1


    If I’m going to indulge in Cheez-Its, THIS is the way to do it. What a fabulous idea. I can’t resist those cheesy crackers either, but this looks even more fun than having them on their own!

  2. 18


    Oooh, Dijon and Cheddar together in Chicken Fingers! Love the idea of crushed cheese crackers to coat chicken fingers. Who doesn’t love Cheez-Its and have fond memories munching on them as a kid? Terrific addition to a chopped salad or a great picnic or party snack, too!

  3. 21


    Brilliant. These look amazing. Can I get some diet coke with that??! I’ve been a diet coke junkie since I was 12…I’ve been cutting back though. It’s so horrible but I still need it sometimes!

  4. 28

    Caitlin W says

    I’m making these tonight! Anyone have suggestions for what to serve on the side? Such a unique flavor… I think my standard side salad will be way too boring.

  5. 30


    I shared this immediately on facebook and had a friend tell me she drove over a box of Cheez-Its recently (…?…) and she is going to make this as am I. I can’t quit Cheez-Its even at 30 with a normally healthy diet. Great idea!

  6. 32

    Buckley says

    I notice you use the original “Cheez-it.” However, is it possible to substitute that flavor with a White cheddar, Hot and Spicy or even the Italian Four Cheese variety?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 3rd, 2014 @ 2:44 pm

      Absolutely, Buckley! You can use any flavor of cracker.

  7. 34

    Kassandra says

    I abhor mustard but these look and sound amazing… I’m willing to give it a try!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — June 2nd, 2013 @ 4:10 pm

      Haha, I love your willingness, Kassandra! The mustard flavor is very, very mild. And when in doubt, leave it out!

  8. 36

    KATIE says

    Do you have a recipe for the honey mustard looking sauce that goes along with it? Looks Yay!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 3rd, 2014 @ 2:45 pm

      Hi Katie! The mustard pictured in the photo is the same store-bought Dijon I used in the recipe :)

  9. 37

    Laurie says

    I just made this recipe for myself tonight and marinated the chicken first in Ken’s light options honey mustard dressing and used that in place of the regular Dijon in the eggs because I didn’t have any Dijon on hand (Also used the dressing as a dipping sauce). This recipe was so easy and so delicious it turned out perfectly! Will definitely make again and I think the husband and kids are going to love it!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 3rd, 2014 @ 2:44 pm

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Laurie! Love your updates to the recipe.

  10. 38

    LaLa says

    I made this recipe tonight for the fam and everyone enjoyed it. I didn’t have the Dijon mustard so subbed with reg yellow mustard that I added a bit of honey and vinegar to. This is definitely a big hit with kids who love cheddar crackers. Served with a ranch barbecue sauce, honey mustard would have been better, which was needed as they are somewhat dry. Thanks for this “keeper” recipe :-)

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 3rd, 2014 @ 3:05 pm

      Awesome! Great idea with the yellow mustard!

  11. 39

    Nanine says

    Cheez-it, oh, cheez-it.. why art thou not available in France?!!
    One day I will find the time to make a variation of this gorgeous recipe
    – so dangerous to have just eaten and be reading about food.. although I’m sure, like chewing gum, it boosts my metabolism on some level!
    thank you for your mouthwatering recipes.

  12. 41

    West Indian Bella says

    I would like to try these but my nephew has an egg allergy. Would the crackers still adhere well with only the Dijon mustard without eggs.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 4th, 2014 @ 10:24 am

      Hello! I’ve never tried it without the egg, but if you do, just make sure you use enough mustard so that the crackers will stick enough to the chicken. Enjoy!

  13. 42

    Naomi says

    These were so amazing! This recipe will definitely be popping in my recipe box. Thanks for sharing!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 11th, 2014 @ 1:26 am

      Awesome! So glad to hear it, Naomi!

  14. 45


    We made this last night and what I loved is that it was simple enough for the kids to pretty much takeover the preparation. I did plan to blog it and took a couple of pictures but we forgot to snap the finished results — I’ll either just link directly to your photos or wait until we make it again (of course will credit you for the recipe)!

    It really was tasty, even their papa was impressed as he’s not a chicken breast fan typically. Great recipe, I will increase the mustard and the paprika next time as we like our spices :-)

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — March 27th, 2014 @ 6:58 pm

      Awesome! Love that :) So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  15. 46

    Michael says

    I made this today. Its great! You know instead of the usual boring stuff which mom makes. -:)

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — March 30th, 2014 @ 12:55 pm

      Haha! Thanks so much, Michael!


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