Skip the regular breadcrumbs and grab the cheese crackers for a family favorite recipe for 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, especially when two-fifths of our household is under age 5 (!). 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. (Pro Tip: Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing is a guaranteed winner!)
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- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups cheddar crackers, such as Cheez-Its or Cheese Nips
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/4 lbs 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.
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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.
Delicious! I can’t eat fried foods so this recipe is great for my needs and so so tasty.
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Natalie!
Wow! Best Chicken Tenders Recipe EVER!!!
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
I made these last night. So good! those cheese crackers and the mustard gave such a delicious flavor. Thanks for another great recipe. I’m looking forward to your cookbook.
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Diane! And stay tuned for pre-ordering info for the cookbook coming soon! :)
Sounds so good but my DH has celiac disease and I have to cook gluten free. Might try for me!!!!
Can you prep these ahead of time and then freeze for later? Would you cook them before freezing?
Hi Bethany – I’ve never tried freezing them so I’m not sure if the breading would stick well enough to then bake them afterword. Let me know if you give it a shot!
My kids go nuts over these chicken tenders. :)
If you want to make your own chicken strips basket at home, and want them baked not fried, this is the way to go. These suckers were devoured by my family. They were really yummy and crunchy. I chose to dip mine in honey mustard, hubby chose ranch dressing, and the kids chose BBQ sauce. Either way, YUM! They’re quite easy to put together too. Just coat, coat and coat again, bake. I threw in some fries with it and a salad and SHAZAM! Dinner was on the table. Easy peasy!
Awesome! So glad you and your family enjoyed these so much, Christine!
Love the crunch. I need these in my life.
I made this today. Its great! You know instead of the usual boring stuff which mom makes. -:)
Haha! Thanks so much, Michael!
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 :-)
Awesome! Love that :) So glad you enjoyed the recipe!
Yum! Gimme sum!
I made these tonight and they were wonderful, thank you.
Awesome, so glad you enjoyed them, Nicole!
These were so amazing! This recipe will definitely be popping in my recipe box. Thanks for sharing!
Awesome! So glad to hear it, Naomi!
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.
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!
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