Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tenders made from chicken breasts or tenderloins, seasoned in two layers (both base + coating), coated with cornflakes and breadcrumbs for an extra crunch, and drenched in a deliciously spicy, tangy buffalo sauce makes for the perfect meal addition. You won’t believe how flavor-packed these chicken tenders are! Gluten-free + Dairy-free options available.
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There's never a bad time to serve chicken. And whether you prefer bone-in or boneless, teriyaki wings or buffalo, I have a feeling that you won't say no to the crispiest chicken tenders bathed in tangy and spicy buffalo sauce. These Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tenders are by far a show-stopper! Believe me!
Everyone is guaranteed to love these! Be sure to watch all recipes via IG Reels for a nice visual! This recipe can be as spicy as you like, but the texture is really the best part. The boneless chicken tenders stay juicy and moist on the inside, while cornflakes add the perfect amount of crunch to the outside. Everything is bound together in a sticky and smoky buffalo sauce for the perfect flavor-packed experience. All that's missing is your favorite dipping sauce----like this Vegan ranch Dressing/Sauce!
How to Make the Best Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tenders
Making these crispy tenders is a simple matter of seasoning your chicken and breading them in a cornflake-breadcrumbs crust before baking the tenders for crispness. Finish everything off with a spicy, tangy buffalo coating and serve them up!
Here's what you need to prepare these crispy buffalo tenders today:
Chicken breasts. Choose organic whenever possible. Simply slice the chicken breasts the long way into medium-thick strips. If you don’t have chicken breasts, you can always use chicken tenderloins which are pre-cut.
Herbs + seasonings. This adds great flavor to the chicken as a marinade. You'll need salt, black pepper, smoked paprika. garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, basil, parsley, and thyme.
Buffalo sauce. I recommend using hot buffalo sauce, but if you prefer less heat, you can use medium or mild. I like organic sauce from The New Primal.
Corn flakes. Crush your cornflakes by placing them in a zip-top bag and crushing them with something heavy until you have a fine texture, but not a powder.
All-purpose flour. I use Bob's Red Mill organic flour. You can use gluten-free all-purpose flour to keep this recipe gluten-free.
To make your own breadcrumbs, simply grind 1-2 cups of cubed bread into a food processor until finely chopped. Place crumbs onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread out evenly.
Bake for 5-6 minutes in the oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally. Once brown + crisp, remove from oven and let cool. Continue recipe steps and store remaining breadcrumbs in a tightly sealed container.
How Long to Bake Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tenders
The baking time will vary depending on your oven. Check the chicken tenders after 25-30 minutes, to make sure they’re nice and crunchy but not burning. If necessary, pop the chicken tenders under the broiler for 5 to 10 minutes for an extra crispy crust.
Baked Chicken Tenders versus Air-Fried
Of course, both methods of making these Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tenders is effective. However, if you’re wondering whether you’d be able to also make these chicken tenders in an air-fryer—-then yes! Absolutely!
Simply do all steps the same and cook them in your air-fryer for the amount of time needed (somewhere between 10-15 minutes I believe). Once crisp, just toss them in the warmed buffalo sauce mixture and wallah.
As you know, this recipe is for baked chicken tenders and honestly, they’re just as crispy as using them in the airy-fryer (especially when you use a wire rack), so the choice is yours!
You can also top a fresh salad with Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tenders or wrap them into a tortilla for a sandwich, stuff them into a taco shell or even chop them up and make a cheesy Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tenders pizza. Whatever the decision----you'll love it! Of course, as I’ve stated before, these spicy chicken tenders can be incorporated in the following foods:
with Rice or noodles
with Fries or wedges
Atop mashed potatoes
and so much more.
Make-Ahead Chicken Tenders
You can store baked buffalo chicken tenders in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Or, if you want to plan ahead, you can assemble the buffalo sauce and crushed cornflake mixture up to two days ahead of time. Keep the buffalo sauce in an airtight container in the fridge and the corn flakes in an airtight container at room temperature. Then bread and bake the chicken tenders just before serving.
Are Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tenders Dairy-Free or Gluten-Free?
Yes---that's an option! To ensure that these chicken tenders are GF-friendly, ensure that you use GF breadcrumbs, flour, as well as GF-friendly buffalo sauce, if using store-bought. To make this recipe dairy-free, be sure to use plant-based milk for "batter" and vegan-friendly buffalo sauce. Also, sub butter with vegan butter for cooking sauce.
How to Store Leftovers
These spicy chicken tenders are best the day they’re made, since they’re so crispy. However, place any leftover ingredients in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
More Appetizer Recipes
If you're into these sticky and spicy honey buffalo chicken tenders, you'll love these other popular appetizer recipes:
If you choose to make these Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tenders or any other recipe from us, be sure to tag us on Instagram at #Orchidsandsweettea so that we can share the love, rate, comment below, + share!
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prep a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and a wire rack (this helps both sides to crisp up nicely).
In a large bowl, add the chicken strips, buffalo sauce, and 1 teaspoon of EACH: sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, thyme, oregano, basil, and dried parsley, along with Buffalo sauce, tossing everything together until well coated. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes so that everything marinates. NOTE: It's always best to marinate overnight in the fridge.
In the bowl of the beaten egg, add the milk and whisk together until combined.
TO MAKE THE BREADED COATING:
In a separate large bowl, add the crushed corn flakes, breadcrumbs, and remaining 1 teaspoon of seasonings together and stir until combined.
In a separate bowl, add the flour.
Now, dip one chicken strip (tender) into the flour followed by the egg mixture (shaking off any excess) and then add it into the breadcrumb coating mixture-----tossing it around until strip is well coated. Then lay the chicken strip (tender) side by side onto the baking sheet (about an inch apart). Repeat until all chicken tenders are coated.
Lightly brush or spray tops of chicken with olive oil or cooking spray and bake them for 30-35 minutes or until chicken has fully cooked through.
TO MAKE THE SAUCE:
In a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter and let it melt. Next, add the buffalo sauce and honey, stirring until combined. Bring to a slight boil and reduce the heat to lower for a nice simmer. Add in the baked chicken tenders and toss them in the sauce until fully coated. Remove from heat.
To serve, enjoy chicken tenders with your favorite condiment or dipping sauce. Tenders can also be served atop a salad, sandwich, taco, pizza, etc.
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: Place any leftover ingredients in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
MAKE AHEAD: All ingredients can be made and individually stored as meal prep (up to 2 days prior) and assembled when ready to serve. Be sure to store crushed corn flakes + seasoning mixture in a nicely sealed zip loc bag, kept at room temp.
CHICKEN: If you don’t have chicken breasts, you can always use chicken tenderloins which are already pre-cut into strips.
HONEY: You can always substitute honey with maple syrup or organic brown sugar.
HOMEMADE BREADCRUMBS: To make your own breadcrumbs, simply grind 1-2 cups of cubed bread into a food processor until finely chopped. Place crumbs onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread out evenly. Bake for 5-6 minutes in the oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally. Once brown + crisp, remove from oven and let cool. Continue recipe steps and store remaining breadcrumbs in a tightly sealed container.
GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: To ensure that these chicken tenders are GF-friendly, ensure that you use GF breadcrumbs, flour, as well as GF-friendly buffalo sauce, if using store-bought.
EGG SUBSTITUTE: If you'd prefer not to use eggs for "egg wash", you can always substitute with dijon mustard or mayonnaise.
DAIRY-FREE OPTION: To make this recipe dairy-free, be sure to use plant-based milk for "batter" and vegan-friendly buffalo sauce. Also, sub butter with vegan butter for cooking sauce.