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How to Bake Chicken Tenders Without Breading

How to Bake Chicken Tenders Without Breading

There are so many tasty things you can do with baked chicken tenders, and breading them is one! But with this easy recipe, we’re presenting you with a delicious, low-carb option to make healthy chicken tenders that are so flavorful you won’t even need any breading! Learn how to bake chicken tenders without breading.

Chicken tenderloins are the most versatile cut of chicken. They are perfect as a main dish, salad topping, wrap filling, or finger food to pair with your favorite dipping sauces. All you need is raw chicken tenders, butter, fresh parsley, brown sugar, and a mix of your favorite seasonings.

Not sure what seasonings to use? I got you! This healthy chicken tenders recipe has the best blend of spices for the most flavorful chicken tenders. It’s a super simple recipe that will have your chicken ready to eat in 35 minutes!

How do you keep chicken tenders moist when baking?

To prevent your chicken from coming out dry, try brining your chicken in a mixture of water and a few tablespoons of salt for at least 20 minutes.

Brining boosts the natural moisture and flavor for a nice and juicy chicken. This isn’t a necessary step, but if you’re worried about keeping your chicken moist, this will give you the best results.

 

Can you bake chicken without breading?

Yes! Breading your chicken is meant to add a satisfying texture and crunch to your homemade chicken strips, but you don’t need it for baking. In fact, not breading your chicken makes it low-carb, gluten-free, keto, and paleo-friendly, making it a healthy alternative to breaded chicken.

 

Seasoning Blends for Baked Chicken

spice rack

Need some seasoning inspiration? Here are some of my favorite seasoning blends that you should try!

  • Italian: Emulate the flavors of Italy and mix 2 teaspoons oregano, 3 teaspoons parsley, 2 teaspoons thyme, 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon sage, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper.
  • Curry: Give your chicken a middle-eastern kick using a blend of 2 tablespoons turmeric, 4 teaspoons coriander, 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons ground mustard, 1 teaspoon cardamom, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne.
  • Southwest: Add some southwestern heat to your chicken with 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon paprika, 2 teaspoons cumin, and 1 teaspoon chipotle powder.
  • Jerk: Try your hand at Jamaican cuisine and make a jerk seasoning of 4 teaspoons allspice, 4 teaspoons cumin, 4 teaspoons white sugar, 2 teaspoons sage, 2 teaspoons thyme, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon cayenne.
  • BBQ: Barbecue fans will love this seasoning mix of 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon ground pepper, 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 2 tablespoons paprika, and 1 tablespoon onion powder.

 

Tips for baking chicken tenders

  • If you’d like to avoid dairy products or any added calories, swap out the butter with egg wash instead!
  • Chicken that isn’t dried well before baking tends to release moisture while cooking, causing water to pool out and steam the chicken. To ensure you have crispy chicken tenders, pat them completely dry.
  • Even just a little bit of melted butter or oil will give your chicken tenders some added flavor as it gives the seasoning something to stick to.
  • To get the seasoning to stick to the chicken better, pat it completely dry. Moisture on the chicken might seem to help the seasoning stick at first, but as soon as you start baking it, the water from the chicken will evaporate and cause the seasoning to fall off.
  • For the most flavorful chicken, let the meat marinate in the seasoning mixture in the fridge for an hour or up to 12 hours before cooking.

 

How to cook chicken tenders without breading

How to Bake Chicken Tenders Without Breading

  • Preparation time: 10 mins
  • Cooking time: 25 mins
  • Total time: 35 mins
  • Servings: 4

Ingredient List

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 pound chicken breast tenders
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice the butter into 1 tbsp cubes and place it in a shallow microwave-safe dish. Melt the butter by microwaving in 30-second increments.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the fresh parsley, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  3. Prep the chicken tenders by patting them dry with a paper towel to eliminate all moisture.
  4. Next, dredge the chicken tenderloin strips in the melted butter. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  5. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over both sides of the chicken tenders until completely coated.
  6. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  7. When finished cooking, garnish the cooked chicken with fresh parsley if desired.

How to cook chicken tenders without breading

Preparation time: 10 mins; Cooking time: 25 mins; Total time: 35 mins; Servings: 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 pound chicken breast tenders
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice the butter into 1 tbsp cubes and place it in a shallow microwave-safe dish. Melt the butter by microwaving in 30-second increments.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the fresh parsley, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Prep the chicken tenders by patting them dry with a paper towel to eliminate all moisture.
  • Next, dredge the chicken tenderloin strips in the melted butter. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over both sides of the chicken tenders until completely coated.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  • When finished cooking, garnish the cooked chicken with fresh parsley if desired.

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