EASY GARLIC PARMESAN CHICKEN TENDERS THAT WILL BLOW YOU AWAY

Homemade garlic parmesan chicken tenders are the perfect way to please absolutely everyone at the dinner table. They are loved by people of all ages, and there are endless ways to serve them up!

homemade garlic parmesan chicken tenders on a plate to be served

It seems that no matter where you turn you can get your hands on a few chicken fingers. They’re selling them in gas stations for goodness sake!

Having this popular food choice so readily available has caused too many of us to forget that there is nothing quite like a hand breaded chicken tender.

And when a hand breaded chicken tender is smothered in a rich garlic parmesan sauce it’s really like a slice of heaven on a plate.

You absolutely cannot replace the flavor, or the quality, of a cooked from scratch breaded chicken finger with one that came out of a restaurant fryer or a grocery store freezer section.

I am seeing bloggers saying that making this amazing dish is quick and easy. I want to be honest with you, that’s just not true.

Easy? Yes. Quick? Not so much. Worth the trouble? ABSOLUTELY!

CHOOSING CHICKEN FOR THIS RECIPE

You can purchase chicken tenders in the meat department of your local store for this garlic parmesan chicken tender recipe.

I’m not sure whether or not you would be able to find a local, farm raised source for this cut of meat. I wouldn’t think so.

The tender is a superior cut to the breast. It is likely the best choice for this recipe as far as cuts are concerned.

However, fresh farm raised meat carries merits that are unparalleled by mass-produced products.

So, whenever I can I buy locally grown chicken breast and slice it into tenders. It works well, and the flavor and quality of the meat make up for the inferiority of the cut.

If you are purchasing your chicken at the store, you can still pick up breasts and slice them yourself if you’d like to save a little money.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR THIS RECIPE

This recipe uses common kitchen ingredients. It is very likely that you already have them at home.

ingredients for a recipe on a counter

Here is a a list of the ingredients you’ll need …

  • CHICKEN – Either chicken tenders or chicken breasts sliced into strips can be used for this recipe. Use the highest quality meat you can get your hands on.
  • EGGS – Farm fresh eggs are recommended for this recipe.
  • SALT, PEPPER, AND PAPRIKA – As always, use the best quality seasonings you can when cooking.
  • FLOUR – All-purpose white flour is used in this dish, organic is preferred.
  • BREAD CRUMBS – Unseasoned bread crumbs are recommended for this recipe.
  • BUTTER – Use farm fresh butter if you are able. Salted butter is best for this dish.
  • FRYING OIL – An inexpensive oil will be needed for frying the chicken tenders.
  • OLIVE OIL – A good qualilty olive oil is used in the garlic parmesan sauce for this dish.
  • GARLIC – Fresh garlic cloves are very important in this recipe.
  • PARMESAN CHEESE – Fresh grated parmesan cheese is needed to make this dish.
ingredients for a recipe with a spatula on a counter

HOW TO MAKE GARLIC PARMESAN CHICKEN TENDERS

The first thing you’ll need to do, to make garlic parmesan chicken tenders, is set up three dishes with the ingredients you’re going to use to coat the chicken.

dredging station set up to bread meat

You’ll need a dish with scrambled eggs that is seasoned with salt and pepper. And one with flour that is seasoned with smoked paprika, as well as one with bread crumbs that is seasoned parsley.

Each chicken tender will be coated with the egg mixture, followed by the flour mixture, the egg mixture again, and then the breading.

Once they are coated they will be cooked using one of the two methods in the next section of this post.

While the tenders are cooking you can make the sauce to roll them in. It is a simple sauce, that is made by melting butter, olive oil, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika in a small saucepan. Allowing it to simmer very lightly for just a few minutes. And then melting freshly grated parmesan into the mix.

stirring homemade butter sauce in a pan

The cooked chicken tenders are then rolled in this flavorful sauce and served. So delicious!

HOW TO COOK GARLIC PARMESAN CHICKEN TENDERS

I prefer to cook my garlic parmesan chicken tenders in a cast iron dutch oven. All you need is an inch or two of oil in the bottom of it to fry them. Then you can brown them on one side, flip them ,and brown them on the other side.

garlic parmesan chicken tenders frying in a cast iron dutch oven

I feel like this is the most efficient way to cook them. The breading seems to stay intact more than with other methods, and it doesn’t use as much oil as deep frying them.

Or, if you want to skip the extra calories that cooking the tenders in oil adds, go ahead and bake them in the oven.

It is best to flip them about half way through the baking time. This helps to keep the breading from sticking to the pan, and it encourages browning on both sides of the tenders.

HOW TO SERVE GARLIC PARMESAN CHICKEN TENDERS

There are so darn many ways to serve garlic parmesan chicken tenders that I couldn’t possibly cover them all in this post. But I’ll share some of my very favorites with you. And then you can let your imagination run wild for the rest.

freshly made garlic parmesan chicken tenders on a plate

I like to make extra sauce when I make this recipe and then serve the chicken tenders and the sauce over linguine. It never hurts to add a little garden fresh broccoli to this dish either.

These tenders are amazing served with hot veggies. And just as good with a cold cucumber tomato salad. You can add a potato to the mix if you like.

They’re also great with picnic salads; potato salad, macaroni salad, pasta salad, or coleslaw. Go ahead and take them on a picnic if you like. They’re great cold.

You can cut them up and put them on top of a salad; hot or cold, your choice. Or serve them like a chicken tender basket with french fries or onion rings.

If you’re serving them to kids you can put a little dipping sauce on the side. I know, I know they already have a sauce … but kids want ketchup, bbq sauce, honey mustard, or ranch.

Kids really dig these tenders with a side of macaroni and cheese as well. And why not?!?! It’s pretty tasty stuff.

HOW TO STORE THIS DISH

If you have any leftover garlic parmesan chicken tenders you can store them in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. You will want to allow them to cool completely before storing them this way.

a bite of a homemade garlic parmesan chicken tender on a fork

When you reheat these tenders you will want to do that in the oven as opposed to the microwave. The microwave will cause them to get rubbery in texture. It’s just not the best way to go.

These tenders freeze well too. Lay them out on a parchment lined pan and allow them to freeze completely. Then place them in an airtight container and they will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

That way they won’t be all stuck together when you take them out of the freezer. You can even grab just a few at a time for a quick individual meal.

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY THESE MAIN DISH RECIPES …

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homemade garlic parmesan chicken tenders on a plate to be served
Yield: 12 chicken tenders

GARLIC PARMESAN CHICKEN TENDERS

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Homemade chicken tenders that are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, rolled in a flavorful garlic parmesan butter sauce to die for!

Ingredients

  • FOR THE TENDERS:
  • oil for frying
  • 2 chicken breasts, approx. 1 lb, cut into strips
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 c flour, white all-purpose
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 c bread crumbs, unseasoned
  • 2 tbls dried parsley
  • FOR THE SAUCE:
  • 1/2 c butter, salted
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, lg, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3/4 c parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Instructions

  1. Heat 1-2" of oil in a frying pan to cook the tenders in.
  2. While the oil is heating, set up a dredging station to bread the tenders.
  3. Scramble the eggs, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl, and set aside.
  4. Mix the flour and paprika together and pour it on a plate.
  5. Mix the bread crumbs and parsley together and pour it on a plate.
  6. Coat the chicken by running each piece through the egg mixture, the flour mixture, the egg mixture again, and then the bread crumb mixture.
  7. Then place them in the oil and fry on both sides until they are a light golden brown.
  8. Remove them from the oil and place them on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
  9. While they're draining, place the butter, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika for the sauce in a medium saucepan and bring to a very light simmer.
  10. Simmer for just 2-3 minutes.
  11. Add the parmesan cheese and stir together.
  12. Place the chicken tenders in the pot and roll them in the sauce.
  13. Serve and ENJOY!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

3

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1291Total Fat: 75gSaturated Fat: 30gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 39gCholesterol: 477mgSodium: 2419mgCarbohydrates: 77gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 74g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 2/15/2023. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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2 Comments

  1. I’m a little confused. The name of your recipe is ‘garlic parmesan chicken tenders’. I understand tenders to mean ‘tenderloins’. But then in the recipe its calling the chicken ‘chicken breasts’. Also, in the nutritional content portion of your page it says that a serving size is one (little small for a tenderloin) and that the calories equal 1291. That’s impossible for a tenderloin. I might try it anyway. I just wish we could all pick a side of the road and then STAY ON IT!!!

    1. Often things are referred to by different names in different areas of the country, the world even. An example … popsicle, ice pop, or pop can be a frozen treat. Yet in the midwest a pop is a soda. And in other places a pop is a lollipop.
      This is the case with the term chicken tender. It is not the tenderloin where I’m from. It is simply a thin slice taken from the breast. When you go to a restaurant you can order either chicken tenders or chicken fingers and get the same thing.
      I hope this clears up any confusion regarding the terms I’ve used when creating this piece 😉
      To explain the discrepancy in the nutritional information I can offer this …
      There are apps that are used on blogs to calculate this information. They sometimes do things in a little bit of a wonky way.
      In this case the app has determined that there are 2 chicken breasts in the recipe and it has calculated the calories for that measure. 1 chicken breast (cut into 6 tenders) = 1291 calories.
      There is no way to alter this calculation … thus the disclaimer in the post that not all nutritional information may be accurate.
      In this case it is accurate. It does, however, need a bit of interpretation on the part of the reader.
      Again, I hope this clears things up a bit 😉

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