Italian Chicken Tenders

Who loves Chicken Parmesan? I know I do.  It is delicious! I have one kiddo who does not like sauce or noodles of any kind. Needless to say the idea of chicken covered in sauce next to spaghetti covered in sauce does not make her heart sing. My solution – Italian Chicken Tenders! These chicken tenders are tasty enough to stand alone and are even better when covered with Marinara Sauce and Mozzarella cheese. This meal makes the A+ mark for the entire family.

To start things off, make 2 cups of your favorite pancake batter. Any kind will work or make it from scratch if you like. Pour it into, or make it in from the start, a shallow dish. I suggest using a glass pie plate or rectangular glass dish. Next, take out a second shallow glass dish and add Italian bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Mix it together thoroughly. If you do not have Italian bread crumbs, add dried Italian seasoning blend or any combination of oregano, basil, thyme, and parsley. Use what you have on hand. Now the breading station is ready for business.

pancake batter and bread crumb mixture

Dip a chicken tender first in the pancake batter and then in the bread crumb mixture. Repeat until all chicken tenders are coated. The next step is to pan fry the chicken tenders to make the coating nice and crispy. The purpose of this step is not to cook the chicken completely, just to take care of the coating. I like to coat and fry as I go, rather than coat everything and then fry everything.

Now that all our chicken tenders are nice and crispy on the outside, we need to put them in the oven to finish cooking our chicken to temperature. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the tenders in two 9X13 glass baking dishes. One pan goes in the oven as is. The other is covered with your favorite Marinara Sauce and shredded Mozzarella cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes. The time depends on the size of the chicken tenders.

Finally, it is time to serve. Sauce covered Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti and salad for some and chicken tenders and vegetables for others. No extra work for mommy and everyone is happy. Italian Chicken Tenders is a delicious win-win. Happy Cooking!

Italian Chicken Tenders Parmesan

A versatile chicken tender recipe that is equally good as a stand alone dish or served as Chicken Parmesan along side your favorite spaghetti and salad.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: chicken parmesan, chicken tenders
Servings: 6
Author: Dawn Marie Beauchamp

Ingredients

  • 12-14 chicken tenders
  • 2 cups prepared pancake batter use your favorite brand or make your own from scratch
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • canola oil or other high temperature friendly oil
  • prepared Marinara sauce optional
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F
  • Prepare pancake batter according to instructions. Place in shallow dish.
  • In a second shallow dish, place bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese and mix well.
  • Coat chicken tender first in pancake batter and then in bread crumb mixture. Repeat until all chicken is coated.
  • Heat canola oil in the bottom of a skillet on medium high heat.
  • Pan fry each chicken tender for 1-2 minutes per side. The purpose is to fry coating and make crispy, not cook chicken fully.
  • Place chicken tenders in 9x13 baking dishes. Try not to crowd the pans.
  • For chicken tenders, bake at 425°F for 10-15 minutes.
  • For chicken Parmesan, our marinara sauce over chicken tenders. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella over the top. Bake at 425°F for 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and serve.
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