Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders

5 stars based on 35 votes


My daughter has never been a gourmand. She’ll take processed kid food or McDonalds over a home cooked meal any day of the week. Sometimes it works to my advantage — a trip to McDonalds makes excellent bribery — but most of the time I’m just dealing with a picky eater. I don’t usually give in, but every once in a while you have to give a picky eater what she wants, and what mine wants is fried chicken tenders. Marinated in seasoned buttermilk and pan-fried to crispy, crunchy perfection, these are her all-time favorite. They’re delicious on their own, dipped in honey mustard, or perched on top of a salad. And by the way, they’re not just for kids…everyone loves them.

Begin by combining the chicken tenderloins with a mixture of buttermilk, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and salt. If you have time, let them marinate overnight.

When you’re ready to cook them, make the breading by combining the flour, baking powder and spices in a bowl. Stir in a bit of buttermilk until the mixture is nice and clumpy.

Toss the tenderloins in the mixture and coat evenly with the breading.

They’ll look like this…

Finally, heat your oil until shimmering in a high-sided pot to prevent splatters. Place the tenderloins in the hot oil without crowding the pot, and cook until golden brown on both sides.

Drain on paper towels.

And that’s all there is to it. If you need a good honey mustard recipe to go with it, try this one. Enjoy!


Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders

Servings: 4
Total Time: 40 Minutes


For the Marinade

  • 2 pounds chicken tenderloins
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

For the Breading

  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 heaping teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk

For Cooking

  • 3-4 cups vegetable oil, for cooking


  1. Combine the chicken tenders with all of the marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag. Seal the bag tightly and smush it around to ensure chicken tenders are evenly coated with buttermilk and seasoning. Place in a bowl (in case of leakage) and refrigerate overnight, or at least 4 hours.
  2. Make the breading by combining the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and baking powder in a large bowl. Whisk until well combined, then add the buttermilk and stir with a fork until mixture is evenly clumpy.
  3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Remove the chicken tenders from the marinade a few at a time and toss into the flour mixture. Be sure to press the chicken firmly into the breading so clumps adhere to the meat. (It's best to use one hand to remove the tenders from the bag and the other to toss in the breading.) Set breaded tenders on prepared baking sheet.
  4. Line another baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels and set aside. Add oil to a large, high-sided pot until the level reaches about 3/4-inch. Heat over high heat until oil is shimmering. (If a cube of bread sizzles when you drop it in, it's ready.) Using tongs, place several chicken tenders in the hot oil without crowding the pan. Cook until golden brown on the bottom side, a few minutes, then flip and cook until second side is also golden, a few minutes more. Set cooked tenders on baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Fry remaining tenders in batches. Serve hot.
  5. Note: I find that it's hard to tell how golden the chicken is when it's immersed in the oil. It may only look lightly golden, but it's actually a perfect fried chicken golden brown. If you're unsure, simply pull a tender out of the oil and rest it on the paper towels to see the true color.

Reviews & Comments

  • can you bread and freeze these to cook later?

    - Cdonohue on March 24, 2015 Reply
    • Hi there, I’d probably cook them and then freeze, as cooked chicken tenders freeze and reheat well.

      - Jenn on March 26, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I think this is one of the best fried chicken recipes I have tried! After the marinade, just dipping and frying…so easy. My family loved it!

    - Jami on March 23, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I always love to read the reviews before using a new recipes…… so when I was looking over all of these reviews…..WOW!!!!! everybody had a lot of great things to say! Well, I tried them tonight and my whole family and the extra kids eating with us loved them!!! These are great!!!!!! I will make these again!!

    - Debbie on March 22, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I added a little bit of extra of all of the spices to the flour, then added some onion powder as well. I also added a bit of chili powder to the buttermilk only and marinated for maybe half an hour (it was a last minute meal plan).
    My husband said this: “If the Lord Jesus was sitting at our table and wanted fried chicken (and waffles) I would be proud to have you serve this to him.” Keep in mind, he is not even a very religious man.
    The compliments are high with this recipe!!

    - Tiarra on March 21, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Had these tonight. Marinated them the night prior. Was very good ! It makes me want to try chicken wings in this.

    - Tori on March 20, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This recipe is amazing, easy and a great way to jazz up my tired dinner rotation! I didn’t change anything, next time I’ll marinate overnight, I could only do 4 hours but it was still amazing. The chicken was juicy and so tasty. My toddler isn’t picky but when he likes something it’s gone almost as soon as it’s placed in front of him. This chicken was gone in a flash! When I do a new recipe I keep the sides simple, mainly because I have 2 little ones under 2.5 so I’m lucky when I can focus on a new recipe! We did this with microwaved mixed veggies! Quick, easy, tasty. This dish could be served with anything though. Enough flavor to go with more robust sides or be the stand-out dish. Well, it’s a stand-out no matter what! My Indian mother-in-law recommended this dish to me, she finds most non-Asian dishes bland. Not this one, and she didn’t adjust the spices bc my nephew, who she made it for, is picky and not into spice (and he’s 100% Indian, go figure!)! And it’s not spicy either. Just robust flavor. I can’t wait to do this again, it’s a welcome new addition to the rotation. Thanks for the great recipe!

    - Laura on March 20, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is perfect! I actually cut the chicken into pieces to make it like popcorn chicken! My whole family loves it!!! Its the perfect recipe! and trust me I’ve tried many :)

    - Jackie on March 12, 2015 Reply
  • I want to use this with split cornish hens. Do you think this would work out okay?

    - cyn on March 6, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I inadvertently used baking soda in this beloved recipe of deliciousness. I also let them marinate for two days. I was anxious to see the outcome. They were surprisingly good. Batter was slightly different, but the flavors were still there with the tenderness that seems to melt in your mouth. Now I know I can still have awesome fried chicken even if I didn’t have baking powder. I make this chicken often and I’m known for it…I love to tell people about your website. Thank you!

    - LauraLu on March 5, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Finally! A recipe for fried tenders where the crunchy coating doesn’t soften and separate from chicken when cooled off. Love it, love it, and so did my whole family (that’s saying A LOT! ) Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    - Charity on March 4, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These are the best, easiest tenders you can make. Restaurant quality. Ease back on the garlic powder if it isn’t to your preference; however, Jenn’s recipe is essentially perfect, and ends my quest for a quick and delicious chicken tender recipe. Deep-fried goodness, the Food Police be damned.

    - MaineK2 on March 3, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars


    - MrsH on March 1, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I’m back with a review. I have never before marinated tenderloins before breading and frying, and it made ALL the difference in the flavor! I didn’t even marinate them for very long, and they were delicious. I give five stars for the taste; however, as with most coatings that don’t include egg, I had a little trouble with the breading sliding off when removing some of the tenders. I might have to experiment with that a little, but I wouldn’t change a thing about the marinade.

    - keisha on February 27, 2015 Reply
    • Try using a gallon baggie for your flour mixture. Use some kitchen gloves if you have them. I use one hand to transfer from marinated baggie of chicken to the baggie of breading. Using other hand to mix the chicken with the breading. Also makes easy clean up.

      - LauraLu on March 5, 2015 Reply
      • Thanks, LauraLu!

        - keisha on March 6, 2015 Reply
  • These look amazing! Does the cayenne make it spicy or just more flavorful? Because my kiddo doesn’t like pepper heat.

    - keisha on February 27, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Keisha, They are not spicy :)

      - Jenn on February 27, 2015 Reply
      • Thanks! Based on another review, I went ahead and took a chance before I saw your reply. I was not disappointed! :-)

        - keisha on March 6, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this recipe for my family tonight. My husband said this might be the best meal I’ve ever cooked. He said he might even prefer it to Zaxby’s chicken (if you’re from the south you know how big of a deal that is)! Great recipe. Very tender and juicy. Thanks!

    - Jenny on February 17, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I don’t usually write recipe reviews, but this recipe required it. I made these for supper tonight and it was BY FAR the best chicken I’ve EVER eaten! I only had time to marinate for an hour and used frozen tenders that I thawed. They were still moist and juicy and the coating was crunchy with just the right amount of seasoning. I was concerned that the cayenne would be too much for my 4 and 7 year old but it was just right. Finally, a meal the whole family loved! I usually don’t follow recipes exactly because I’ve been cooking long enough to know “a better way” of doing it lol. Don’t change a thing with this one!

    - Farrah on February 9, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Absolutely fantastic! As the mother of an extremely picky teenage boy, who declared these “better than restaurants”, I thank you!

    - Cathy on January 26, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I have never before felt so inclined to write a review (this is my first time ever), but this is hands down the best chicken finger recipe EVER. WOW!

    - Christie on January 23, 2015 Reply
    • 5 stars

      This was also my first chicken tenders attempt and it came out pretty well. A couple of observations: I would make the tenders smaller, they don’t take long to cook at 350, maybe 4 mins total, flipping them. I would also use more spice – I felt the spice factor was low; not sure what to put in it. I also “double dipped” for a thicker crust: bag->flour->buttermilk->flour, using kitchen gloves. It makes a MESS (haha) but worth it. I also observed how you want to keep the temperature as close to 350 as possible, you can visually notice the difference when the temp lowers.

      Any suggestions about other spices I can put in here? I thought: hot sauce, cinnamon, more pepper…… ?


      - Forrest on January 25, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I had 14 hungry teenagers and adults at my house, before I fried these up, I told them that these tenders were supposed to be amazing and that we would post it if they weren’t. I never heard anything other than,”they were right”! And a quiet house while they ate 4 pounds of chicken tenders! This is definitely going in the cookbooks I make for my 3 daughters!

    - amy maxwell on January 16, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I only found your blog about a week ago and have tried numerous recipes already, all of them amazing. Tonight was buttermilk fried chicken, best fried chicken ever, so crunch and tasty. Thank you for the great recipes!!

    - Yuki on January 15, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Good recipe….. We just ate it up

    - Karlyn on January 14, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    The Buttermilk Fried Chicken is one of the best homemade recipes I’ve tasted. I make it often. Sometimes, I make them into bite size pieces. And my 17 year old daughter was in Korea studying abroad for a year, she comes home today and requetsed this very recipe! Thank YOU!

    - Laura LuBahn on January 10, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    OK, so for those of you out there who don’t like to fry and don’t want the smell in the house, these are WORTH IT, so turn on your exhaust fan! The crispy texture is amazing, these are by far the BEST tenders, and don’t bake them, serve with a salad if you’re feeling guilty :-)
    I fried them in a large stock pot which allowed for plenty of space and no splatter at all! I also didn’t measure the oil; I just poured about 2ins and flipped them once, worked perfect!
    I didn’t have cayenne pepper, so I just used fresh ground black pepper. Someone posted that they doubled the seasonings because they didn’t have enough flavor…that’s just plain silly! Don’t change anything! Jenn you are a genius, thank you again for another fantastic recipe!

    - Lana on January 9, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I dont usually cook if it does not involve a grill. I made these for my family and it was a huge hit! Thank you for making it easy, explicit and wonderful!!!

    - Vince O on December 28, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Tried this last week with my 10 and 3 yo’s. Served it with a classic homemade sweet & sour sauce and ranch dressing. My kids are extremely hard to please and they went absolutely nuts over this. Frankly, these might be the best tenders that I have ever had.

    - CubeArcher on December 17, 2014 Reply
  • This has been the BEST chicken tender recipe I have come across. My tow year old son loves them, too.

    - Lucienne on December 13, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I love this recipe!! My daughter is really getting into being in the kitchen and she wanted to make us dinner by herself we found this and she was able to complete dinner by herself! Thank you. Best tenders ever!

    - Chris Countryman on December 3, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Wow!! These are probably the best tenders my wife and I have ever eaten. They were fantastic. We followed the recipe exactly except we used our own hot mustard sauce recipe. I used a candy thermometer to try to keep the 32 oz of peanut oil between 350 and 360 deg in our le creuset.

    - Charlie on November 26, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    OMG! I made these this past week for dinner and my family loved them they asked me if I would make more this coming up week for dinner lol! I love all your recipes I’ll be making the spicy chicken thighs and oatmeal banana cookies this week Thank you for all your amazing recipes :)

    - Ireisha K on November 15, 2014 Reply
    • So glad your family is enjoying the recipes, Ireisha!

      - Jenn on November 16, 2014 Reply
      • Is it possible to replace buttermilk with heavy cream with a similar result?

        - Angie on February 21, 2015 Reply
        • Hi Angie, It should work fine. Enjoy!

          - Jenn on February 23, 2015 Reply
  • Can this be made with chicken cutlets? I just pounded some out, but then i saw this great recipe.

    - Susan Luongo on November 14, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Susan, Yes, but you’d have to cut them into strips, otherwise they won’t cook properly. Hope it turns out!

      - Jenn on November 14, 2014 Reply
  • i want to make these but not fry the I would like to bake them but have the frying texture

    - Peter on November 14, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Peter, Unfortunately, baking won’t work with this recipe. Sorry!

      - Jenn on November 14, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I just got done making this and I have one word. YES! I fried them in a mix of Avocado Oil, Olive Oil and mostly Lard. Delicious!!! Thanks a bunch, will be making this again and again.

    - Roxie on October 21, 2014 Reply
  • 4 stars

    I made this recipe on 10/6/14. Both my SO and I found it to be very good.But I did change the way it was cooked. I felt that it was way too much oil,so I just pan fried the chicken in a cast iron skillet. The addition of the buttermilk to the breading gave this recipe the twist to make it different from other fried chicken recipes. After tasting, we both felt that the flavor would be more intense if the spices were doubled. I’ll make the recipe again,but will double up on the spices. ” Keep Smiling :) “

    - Chef shapeweaver © on October 7, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    When I first saw this recipe I was a little reluctant to try it because I am not a big fan of chicken tenders, but I knew that my husband and daughters would like them. I marinated the tenders overnight and they turned out FABULOUS! I was amazed at how juicy and flavorful they were. These chicken tenders are now in our menu rotation since they were a big hit. This is a must try recipe!! :-)

    - Crystal Hebron on September 15, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I typically don’t even care for chicken – and this was fabulous! I did substitute Lawry’s Season Salt in place of standard table salt. Also, I think my oil heat was too high because it browned almost instantly after submerged so I ended up draining on towels and then baking for about 10 minutes to cook thoroughly. Lastly, the chicken ended up staying in the buttermilk marinade an extra day because, well, three kids and six sports means dinner doesn’t always happen the way I intend!

    - zelda on September 4, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These are the best homemade chicken tenders iv’e ever had. They are like restaurant one’s!

    - andrea on September 2, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This recipe is absolutely amazing. I’m from the South and always had trouble frying chicken (go figure). This was my first successful attempt and it’s a keeper!! I imagine this would also work well with shrimp as well?

    - Ms. Donley on August 27, 2014 Reply
    • Yes, shrimp would be delicious as well!

      - Jenn on August 31, 2014 Reply
  • Can you substitute buttermilk for regular milk?

    - krista on July 21, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Krista, I would just add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to the milk and let it sit for about 10 minutes to make your own buttermilk.

      - Jenn on July 22, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Just excellent. Very tender. Better than the commercial ones.

    - Suzan on July 19, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This recipe is AMAZING! And very well flavored. My boyfriend loved it and so did I! Personally, my taste buds are sensitive to salt so I put a little less salt! Awesome recipe! Thanks!

    - Azyana on July 10, 2014 Reply
  • Are you supposed to remove the tendon in the chicken before marinating it? These look delicious. Definitely will be making them!

    - Ornit Golan on April 27, 2014 Reply
    • Ornit, It’s optional; I don’t bother unless the tendon is large.

      - Jenn on April 27, 2014 Reply
    • 5 stars

      I like marinating the tendons and drying these like jerky They make great dog treats!

      - Rosie daddy on June 8, 2014 Reply
  • This is, by far, the best chicken tender recipe I’ve ever tried. I did make one change that I think makes it even better. I used half flour and half panko bread crumbs and didn’t add the buttermilk to the batter. The panko makes them very crunchy and by not adding the buttermilk, it makes it a little easier coating them.

    - Landra on April 14, 2014 Reply
  • Hello,
    I am making this for dinner tonight and I am so excited after reading all the comments :)! I was just wondering if I can use my fryer and if so, what temp should I set it to in order to fry them properly?

    - Brittney on April 7, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Brittney, I would set it at 350. Hope you enjoy and please let me know how they come out!

      - Jenn on April 7, 2014 Reply
  • Why does my breaking completely fall off the chicken after it is cool????? Pls. Answer.

    - Patty feldstein on April 5, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Patty, I’m not sure why that would happen. Did you make any substitutions?

      - Jenn on April 6, 2014 Reply
    • That would be caused by inconstant temps. Try to keep the oil temp at 350

      - brad on June 12, 2014 Reply
  • I fry them then put them on a cooling rack over a baking sheet and put them in a warm oven while i fry the rest of them,works great,and they stay goodand warm.

    - Patricia Slamkowski on March 29, 2014 Reply
  • Delicious – kids love them. I used gluten free flour and grapesees oil for frying so a bit healthier and not greasy at all.

    - Leah on March 19, 2014 Reply
  • Baked these on a greased cookie sheet and used panko crumbs instead of flour. Very moist and tasty!

    - Amanda G on February 6, 2014 Reply
  • Made these tonight for dinner while watchin football. Was a hit!!

    - Christine on January 19, 2014 Reply
  • Hi Jennifer – I’ve made this a number of times and really love it, but have a question about the chicken tenders. I buy Trader Joe’s organic chicken tenders, which always have a rubbery sinew type of thing running along each tender. I usually remove it but was wondering whether it’s better to not, as it falls apart a bit when I do remove. Do you remove it?

    - Ponyo on December 9, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Ponyo, Excellent question. All chicken tenderloins have it. I only bother removong it if it is really thick.

      - Jenn on December 9, 2013 Reply
  • We absolutely love these chicken tenders. They are wonderfully crispy and flavorful. Jenn, thank you for foolproof recipes with reliably great results.

    - Valerie on December 6, 2013 Reply
    • You’re welcome, Valerie. So glad you enjoyed them!

      - Jenn on December 6, 2013 Reply
  • This is one of my regular go-to recipes – both kids and adults love it, and I especially like that it’s also so easy to make. Leftovers work great for lunch the next day too as an added bonus.
    I scale back on the salt a little, as I find the other spices adequately provide flavor, and serve it with a side of red lentils or cous cous. Delicious!

    - M on October 22, 2013 Reply
  • I just have to add to the praise of this recipe. I made it for my husband last night and it was incredible. Thank you for sharing! I will have to try the honey mustard next time with it :)

    I don’t fry much, any tricks for getting the smell of oil out of your house after the fact?

    - Paula @ Paula's Plate on October 19, 2013 Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed it, Paula. Not much you can do about the smell…just be sure your exhaust fan is on while you’re frying, and lots of lysol afterwards :)

      - Jenn on October 19, 2013 Reply
  • Made this for my family and they gobbled it down like they hadn’t eaten in a month. Didn’t have any rosemary so I chopped up some fresh basil added. It was great. :)

    - wedding catering on October 18, 2013 Reply
  • These sound fabulous. I have a child who can’t eat wheat so I need to replace the flour and the baking powder. I have a couple of other flour options. Not sure about baking powder. He also can’t have corn or potatoes so some of the gluten free options won’t work either. Ideas for a replacement?

    - Heather on October 9, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Heather, I’d just leave the baking powder out. It just makes the crust a little more crispy. They will still be delicious without it.

      - Jenn on October 9, 2013 Reply
  • These were so easy to make and flavorful!!!! My husband asked for more when there was none left. Thinking I will have to use 8 chicken breast sliced rather than 4. Tender and yummy. I forgot the baking powder but didn’t really miss it!!! Thanks for the hit!!! Served them with mashed potatoes (not boxed) and homemade gravy!!

    - Cheryl from Iowa on October 8, 2013 Reply
  • By far a family favorite!!! These are delicious!!!

    - Mary P on September 25, 2013 Reply
  • Outstanding! I have never gotten *anything* I’ve fried to a texture like this, with all the perfect crispy parts on the outside. Just delicious — thank you!

    - Allison on June 26, 2013 Reply
  • OMG! These are so flipping good, my whole family loved them. Thanks for a great recipe!

    - Lucille on June 26, 2013 Reply
  • This was the first time I have ever attempted to fry chicken. The tenders were delicious and the recipe was so easy. Will be making this again and again.

    - Karen on June 21, 2013 Reply
  • Made these tonight and they are amazing!!! Super tender and delicious! Left out the cayenne pepper and used my deep fryer instead but other than that- followed the recipe. Will be making again soon!

    - GeRita on June 20, 2013 Reply
  • Finally made these. I have never “deep fat fried” anything! I guess part of me was like, it is not good for me, but mostly I thought it was be very messy. Well, I made these tenders today and it was easy, and mess free! Thanks for another great recipe and another cooking item off my list of things I have never tried. These were very good and very easy. I always have buttermilk in the house.

    - Karen on March 24, 2013 Reply
  • I just made these tonight. Delicious!! I used chili powder instead of the cayenne. Still good, DH loved them!! Thank you for the recipe. Can’t wait to make them again!

    - Kate on March 21, 2013 Reply
  • Hi and thank you for the recipe. I’m planning on making these for dinner tonight. I had a question though…
    Why baking powder? What does that do?

    - Rachel on March 20, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Rachel, It makes the crust extra crispy. Hope you enjoyed them!

      - Jenn on March 21, 2013 Reply
  • This is one of our favorite chicken tender recipes! I add a little hot sauce to the buttermilk mixture because we like a little more heat. These turn out great everytime! Thanks for the recipe!

    - Marcia on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • Made these for my grandkids and they when so quick I think that the adults helped them. Next time I’ll make more. Great taste I think I’ll try to bake them and see if they come out as good.

    - Judy on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • Made these for 14 children at our new years party. A BIG hit! (the adults loved them, too!)

    - Shani on January 1, 2013 Reply
  • Hi. Want to try these, your directions call for baking soda, buit ingredient list says baking powder…
    Is it supposed to be powder???

    - jennifer on December 29, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Jennifer, Thanks so much for catching that! I corrected the typo…definitely use baking powder. Hope you enjoy!

      - Jenn on December 29, 2012 Reply
  • I am wanting to try this recipe this week, but was just curious if anyone has tried baking these? My husband isn’t a fan of fried food, so thought

    - Mackenzie on December 28, 2012 Reply
  • These were delicious and made a dinner that we all enjoyed. That said, I had trouble with my batter falling off and/or sticking to the pan and peeling off during frying. I noticed that you didn’t dredge the tenders in egg before battering, and that’s a step that I’ve used in the past with success. Is there a reason, other than simplicity, that you left that out? Thanks again for a great recipe! Yours is one of my favorite sites for go-to recipes!

    - Becca J on December 7, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Becca, So glad you enjoyed. Since it’s a somewhat wet coating, you don’t really need the egg before battering. That said, if you had issues with it, there’s no harm in dipping the tenders in egg first so the coating it adheres better. Hope that helps :)

      - Jenn on December 11, 2012 Reply
  • 3 words. OH. MY. LORD. I just made these and I swear…….. PG-13 I am so f-ing amazed. They are THE BEST chicken tenders i’ve made. I make chicken nuggets or at least try to and they never come out crispy.ever. AND THESE, they are perfectly crispy and savory and tender. UGH I am so glad I found your recipe on pinterest. Thank you so much for sharing it with everyone!

    - Amy on December 5, 2012 Reply
  • Found this fabulous recipe on Pinterest These were wonderful! I halved the recipe since I was only cooking for two. I only had time to marinate for 3 hours and they are loaded with flavor! Yummy!

    - Joy on November 24, 2012 Reply
  • These are excellent! I’m making them for the second time this week because hubby was so impressed and loved them!! :)

    - Jheri on November 11, 2012 Reply
  • I am so excited to try this!

    - Melissa Upton on October 26, 2012 Reply
  • These are the best chicken fingers I have made. My family loves them and my father inlaw, which is a hard one to please ;).

    - Kelly W. on October 22, 2012 Reply
  • One of our families favorites. The kids love it! Great to pack for a picnic too!

    - Teresa Cochran on October 2, 2012 Reply
  • So good! Buttermilk is the key here. I have even “cheated” when I didn’t have any buttermilk, and soured some milk with 1 T of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup milk.

    - Mandy Burkhart on October 2, 2012 Reply
  • Really enjoyed this recipe! Thanks for sharing! Great tip to use a higher sided pan when frying!

    - Laura on August 20, 2012 Reply
  • Oh goodness these look sooo yummy. Just wondering if they are spicy with the cayenne pepper
    and if it is if you could leave it out. Thanks so much!

    - Tammy on July 3, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Tammy, They aren’t spicy at all but if you’re worried, it’s certainly fine to leave it out or reduce it.

      - Jenn on July 3, 2012 Reply
  • The chicken tenders look so good, I will be making them this weekend!!!

    - Karen on June 22, 2012 Reply
  • These are the best chicken tenders you will ever make. We have six kids and they devour them when they are brought to the table!

    - Teresa Cochran on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • what can i substitute for butter milk to make this dairy free?

    - Eliana G on June 20, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Eliana, You could try beer or water.

      - Jenn on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • I was worried these would come out too greasy, but they were perfect. Nice little kick (I added a bit more cayenne than what the recipe called for), crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. Wonderful weekday meal!

    - Renee H on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • I made these along with another of your recipes for a get-together held at my home last weekend. I didn’t make any changes to your wonderful recipe. They were delish when they were hot but guests were still snagging them after they’d cooled off. Will definitely make them again with or without friends to share.

    - Vicki Reyes on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • My cousins and I love making this recipe! The tenders are juicy and perfectly crunchy. We like to add a bit more paprika and a pinch of mustard powder and garlic powder to the breading. We serve the tenders with homemade sweet potato fries and ranch dressing for an awesome kids dinner :)

    - Kelly S on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • Hi! This sounds amazing! I don’t have a fryer, could this work pan frying them?

    - Shannon on June 5, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Shannon, I don’t use a deep fryer for this recipe…just a regular fry pan, so whatever you have should work fine.

      - Jenn on June 6, 2012 Reply
  • Everyone loved these and wanted the recipe!

    - Valerie on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • I made these chicken tenders and am very, very pleased with the results. Not only were they delicious, they looked like the restaurant variety, but without all the fat. Have filed the recipe with my other go-to meals in a hurry.

    - Jill on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • Absolutely loved the dish. Very easy to make and boy did the family have a blast. Thanks a bunch.

    - Sarabjit Cheema on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • This was very good, thank you for sharing the recipe!

    - Sara on March 27, 2012 Reply
  • I made these last night for dinner and they were delicious! There were no leftovers at all. This will now be my “default” recipe for fried chicken, thank you!

    - Becca L on March 8, 2012 Reply
  • WOW! Made these for dinner last night and they were delicious! Big hit w/the kids!! Easy to make and the leftovers were just as good. Thank you for posting this recipe!!

    - Adrienne Peach on March 8, 2012 Reply
  • I was craving fried chicken when you posted this. My first batch browned too quickly so I took it out of the pot and cut into it to see if it was done. But it was raw. I turned down the temperature and waited a few minutes for the oil to get cooler and my next two batches were perfect. I’ll definitely make this again. Great flavor!

    - Tracy on March 7, 2012 Reply
  • This sounds like a perfect recipe to try when my picky cousins come up next. Unless it’s mac n’ cheese, chicken nuggets or pizza, they won’t eat it.

    - Andee on March 6, 2012 Reply
  • These look so good and easy. A great dinner after work.

    - Sue Goodin on March 5, 2012 Reply
  • I made these and also finished and kept them hot in the oven. I was cooking for a party and these are perfect for finger food eaters.

    - susan Seaberg on March 5, 2012 Reply
  • I’m a vegetarian but my family is not so I try to find easy recipes that my kids will enjoy. This was such a hit with them and it was quite easy to make. My husband was thrilled to see me cook friend chicken too – rave reviews all around!

    - Chrissy on March 4, 2012 Reply
  • This is such a great kid friendly recipe – the adults will love them too! Made them for dinner and leftovers were packed for lunch the next day.

    - carmen on March 4, 2012 Reply
  • I made a double batch for dinner tonight. These were very good and easy to make.

    - Angela on March 4, 2012 Reply
  • Quick easy and delicious for adults too!

    - Cindy Nelson on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I made these for Super Bowl party. Didn’t change a thing w/ the recipe. Super tender and very tasty. Great crunchy outside.

    - Sue on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Looks delectible. I’m going to try my hand at it…not sure how we’ll it will work out with gluten-free flour.

    - Krista on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I have tried the wet hand/dry hand thing. But before you know it both hands are covered with buttermilk and flour. Seems like it sticks to my fingers more than my chicken. I have done these in the oven before too. They are the crispy fried feel in your mouth, but the flavors are still there. I put them on a foil lined pan and turn them after about 15 minutes. It doesn’t take that long on the second side.

    - Linda on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • My granddaughter and husband loves chicken tenders from the fast food venders but I know they will love this recipe and it will be much better for them.

    - Linda on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • This is one of those recipes that totally changes your opinion on how good something can be. These are phenomenal. Love this recipe! Can’t wait for summer to make more, and to use the leftovers for other recipes.

    - Erin on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Would be great with some freshly grated parmesean cheese added to the flour mixture too!

    - Janda on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Definitely looks delicious! Getting groceries today, so I’m making sure to pick up buttermilk now :) With luck, I’m trying it tonight, but if not, it’ll be a delicious dinner tomorrow!

    - Amy Bridgford on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I am looking forward to trying this. My husband is on a fried chicken kick and this recipe looks great.

    - Joanne on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • i am going to make this for the weekend. i love cooking and baking with buttermilk!

    i am priting it out now thanks for the recipe

    - Rosalinda on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • This is going on my list of kid-friendly recipes to try. Thanks!

    - GJ on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Loved these tenders. They were perfect that night and even reheated well the next day. I use peanut oil for frying most of the time, and it was perfect for this recipe. I do usually save the oil, despite the bit of debris, straining it out best I can and only using it for frying in the future.

    - Andrew on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Soooo good. Made them and they were so tender and delicious. Thanks for a good recipe.

    - Yasmin on February 22, 2012 Reply
  • Oh my goodness my husband died over these!! They turned out perfect and until last night had never actually fried anything before. He now wants every Friday to be Chicken Finger Friday! Thanks again. I look forward to trying more of your recipes.


    - Katie on February 14, 2012 Reply
  • Hi Jenn- I am making these for my husband tonight for Valentines Day. We just moved to New Zealand from Atlanta so want to give him a taste of home and fried chicken seems like the perfect idea. Thanks for posting!

    - Katie on February 13, 2012 Reply
  • Hi Jenn, is there a particular type of vegetable oil that is best to use for this?

    - Jennifer on February 8, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Jenn, I don’t think it matters much, but I use Wesson 100% all natural vegetable oil.

      - Jenn on February 8, 2012 Reply
  • Are these good if cooked ahead of time and served cold?

    - Holly on February 4, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Holly, I much prefer them hot. When they’re cold, they’re not crispy and crunchy. That said, I do put leftovers in the kids’ lunches and they enjoy them just fine. Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on February 4, 2012 Reply
      • Thanks, looking forward to making them!

        - Holly on February 4, 2012 Reply
  • Just made for dinner. Yummy! My hubby prefers this to fried chicken on the bone. Thanks for sharing.

    - Leah on February 1, 2012 Reply
  • Made these tonight. So amazing. Even my picky eater said they were the best chicken tenders he has had. Delish! Will be sure to share this recipe with my friends.

    - Robyn on January 29, 2012 Reply
  • Everybody in my family loved it! I love the buttermilk flavor.

    - Sherri on January 28, 2012 Reply
  • My kids ages 7 and 9 helped me mix the batter and dredge the chicken and they loved seeing the chicken in its raw form and eating it. I marinated for 3 hours. Afterwards, we had first placed the chicken in an egg and milk mixture (2 eggs, half cup milk), let the egg drip off, and than dredged it in the batter. Let it sit for a few minutes and than fried it in peanut oil at 325 degrees. If the temp went up too high, I simply lowered the temp. I made sure the chicken was at 165 degrees before I took out of the oil. It was golden, not burnt, crisp on the outside and unbelievably tender on the inside. My picky eaters loved it and said it was better than Chick-Fil-A!!!

    - Lanikazi on January 27, 2012 Reply
  • I always feel better about “fast” food when I make it myself!! This is a wonderful recipe…can’t wait to try it!!

    - Linda on January 26, 2012 Reply
  • Chicken tenders have been a favorite of mine from elementary school! I will have to try out this recipe for sure.

    Is this breading what you would recommend for traditional fried chicken (e.g. drumstick, thigh) as well?

    - Cynthia on January 26, 2012 Reply
    • Cynthia, Definitely would work with traditional fried chicken as well. Hope you like it!

      - Jenn on January 26, 2012 Reply
  • I had buttermilk that I wasn’t sure what to do with – this is a great idea! :)

    - Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes on January 26, 2012 Reply
  • Hi Jenn – Love this site and the recipes. I have a question regarding the fried chicken tenders. I do not eat or serve my family fried foods. If I want to “fry” them in the oven, what can I do to ensure they still turn out crispy.

    - Donna on January 26, 2012 Reply
  • Is there alternative to the frying? Can it be cooked in the oven, with no frying?

    - Meg on January 26, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Meg and Donna, Unfortunately, there is no alternative to frying here. The breading would not crisp up in the oven; you’re better off finding a recipe with eggs and panko. Sorry!

      - Jenn on January 26, 2012 Reply
  • I love that there are no eggs in this recipe! We have an egg allergy in our house. Thanks for sharing

    - Christine M on January 26, 2012 Reply
  • Question: Any suggestion about storing the remaining oil? I’m not adverse to deep frying, but I’m not confident about what to do with the oil post-frying. I remember my mother saving it. It’s the waste of the oil that holds me back.
    Along those lines: What do you think of pan sauteing one side and then popping chicken and pan in oven to cook through at high oven temp (450)? I did this last night with breaded breasts. I’m not sure if it would still be crispy like fried-chicken. Any thoughts? This recipe looks delish….I can’t wait to try it!

    - Teri McGann on January 26, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Teri, You won’t want to save the oil in this case…it gets a lot of residue in it from the breading. However, the nice thing about this recipe is that it really doesn’t use a ton of oil. By only filling the oil 3/4-inch up the pan, you’re essentially pan frying (or somewhere between pan frying and deep frying). And if you use a smaller pot, you’ll need even less. The only drawback with that is that they’ll take longer to cook because you’ll be cooking fewer at a time. You can try using even less oil; you might just have to do a lot of turning to get the sides evenly browned. Hope that helps.

      - Jenn on January 26, 2012 Reply
    • I have always avoided frying chicken because I am worried about it being cooked through by the time the coating is brown.

      I tried this recipe last night, and happened to have the oven on at the same time.

      As I cooked the chicken, I put it into the oven to keep hot. The oven was on a high temperature – 200C which I think is about 375F. I figured the extra cooking of the chicken wouldn’t be a bad thing.

      The coating on the chicken which had been in the oven came out exactly the same as it went in – still light and crisp and it didn’t brown any more. The chicken was still moist, protected by the coating I assume.

      Next time, I’ll plan to finish my chicken off in the oven, which will allow me to cook the coating till it’s the colour I want without worrying about if the chicken is fully cooked.

      - Judi Kirk on January 29, 2012 Reply
      • Hi Judi, I know what you mean…it’s always a concern that fried chicken won’t be all the way cooked through by the time the coating turns golden brown. Sounds like you have a good system worked out. The nice thing about using boneless chicken tenderloins, as I have here, is that they’re so much smaller and cook so much faster than whole bone-in chicken pieces. Getting them to cook through shouldn’t be a problem, but it’s certainly fine to give them a quick blast in the oven just to be sure.

        - Jenn on January 29, 2012 Reply
  • Ohhhh yes, the great buttermilk bath! That is the key to good Fried Chicken! I make mine like this too!!!

    - leslie on January 26, 2012 Reply
    • Loved this so much, other than the messy fingers! I definitely recommend this to anyone! Easy to follow and easy to cook, my family loved it.

      - Melissa C on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I don’t see why not! I hope you enjoy it :)

    - Jenn on October 9, 2013 Reply

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