Baked Parmesan Chicken Tenders

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Baked EXTRA CRISPY parmesan chicken and veggies -- dinner made on one pan and packed with flavor! Sure to be a hit with the entire family! via chelseasmessyapron.com

Truly crunchy & crispy Baked Parmesan Chicken Tenders with a delicious medley of roasted veggies — an entire, well-rounded, nutritious dinner prepared all on one sheet pan!

Overhead image of the baked parmesan chicken tenders on a plate with veggies on the side

Baked Parmesan Chicken Tenders

It’s tricky getting super crispy and crunchy chicken tenders without loads of oil and a deep fryer, but we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves to give you truly crispy baked chicken that is far more nutritious than the fried counter-parts. What are our tricks? I’ll quickly outline them below:

  1. Using Panko breadcrumbs. Panko bread crumbs are similar to regular bread crumbs, but they create a much crunchier, lighter, and more delicate result. Using panko ensures a more crispy and crunchy end product than regular bread crumbs.
  2. Baking on a wire cooling rack. If you have a wire cooing rack, place it right on top of a sheet pan and bake the chicken on top. This ensures more even circulation of heat in the oven which ensures crispier chicken all around as opposed to just being crispy on one side. Bonus: the panko that falls off the chicken gets nice and toasty on the sheet pan which we can then toss with the veggies making them even that much more flavorful! 
  3. Spraying the chicken with cooking spray. The cooking spray not only ensures the chicken doesn’t stick to the pan or wire cooling rack, it also contributes to that ultra crispy and crunchy texture.

And while we’re getting nice and crispy chicken, why not make veggies at the same time? One pan for the main dish and sides? Yes! The veggies surround the chicken on the sheet pan and are baked at the same time.

Ingredient shot-- image of all the ingredients used for the roasted veggies that go on this side of this dish

Baked Parmesan Chicken Tenders Process Overview

This recipe is fun because we get hearty veggies and crispy chicken all at the same time. Below is a quick overview of how to make this recipe.

  • Start by tossing together the seasoning mix. While we get the oven nice and hot, quickly mix the seasonings. The seasoning blend is made once and used twice in this dish!
  • Once the seasoning is prepped, chop the veggies. Add all the veggies to the pan with some olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the seasonings. Roast.
  • Meanwhile, prep the chicken and place prepared chicken tenders on a generously greased, oven-safe wire cooling rack.
  • The sheet pan is removed and the veggies get moved to one half of the pan or to the edges of the pan to make room for the wire cooling rack (with the chicken on it) to sit on the sheet pan. Add back to the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the pan, toss around the veggies and flip the tenders. Return to the oven for 7-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender.
  • If the veggies aren’t quite tender, but the chicken is cooked through, simply remove the wire cooling rack with the chicken on it and place the veggies back in for another few minutes.
  • And that’s it! You’ve got your meat, potatoes, and veggies all deliciously seasoned on one sheet pan!

Process shots-- images of the seasoning mix being prepped and poured over the fresh veggies to be roasted

One Seasoning Mix — 2 Uses

This recipe starts with 1 simple seasoning mix that we split into 2 parts. One part seasons the veggies and the other seasons the chicken!

The blend contains: garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika, dried oregano, and dried parsley.

We keep the salt relatively low for the amount of chicken and veggies in this recipe because there is so much Parmesan in this dish (which is salty!). If you find the flavors lacking or less exciting than hoped, you may just need an extra pinch of salt at the end! Give the veggies and meat a quick taste test before serving and adjust salt as needed.

Process shots-- images of the batter you dip the chicken tenders in being prepped for this baked parmesan chicken tenders meal

Let’s Talk Chicken Tenders

Ok, first things first. We use chicken tenders for this recipe. You can use chicken breasts, but you’ll need to cut them into thin strips — so they’re the size of tenders. Depending on the breast size, you can get 3-4 tenders from one breast.

To prepare the chicken tenders, you’ll need to remove the tendons. This may seem like a tedious task (I used to hate it), but wait till you see and try this easy hack! For more deeply imbedded tendons, I like to cut them out with a sharp paring knife.

Once tendons are removed, cut out any other gristle or fat and then pat dry the tenders with paper towel. Why pat meat dry? A few reasons, but for the purpose of this recipe, it helps the batter and breading stick to the chicken better and prevents it from cooking unevenly (excess liquid steams instead of roasts) which ultimately will make the chicken taste better!

Process shots-- images of the parmesan and Panko mix being prepped and the chicken tenders being dredged in it

Baked Parmesan Chicken Tenders Breading

Once the chicken is prepped, it’s time to dredge it in the batter, then the breading, and then throw it in the oven. Here’s a quick breakdown of the batter and breading:

First, the batter:

  • Egg and mayo. These two ingredients contribute flavor and are the main components of liquid in this batter.
  • Dijon mustard. This ingredient is for a more complex flavor.
  • Flour. A little flour thickens the breading to ensure it stays on the chicken.
  • Spices. I like to add the spices to the batter, not the breading, to ensure the chicken gets that spice blend all over it. 

Then, the two-ingredient breading:

  • Panko. Panko bread crumbs are typically found near other breadcrumbs in the baking aisle of the grocery store. If not there, they may be in the Asian food asile.
  • Parmesan Cheese. Use a block of Parmesan cheese and grate on the small holes of the cheese grater. Measure loosely. I don’t recommend jarred/canned parmesan cheese — the flavor will be overpowering and too salty. 

QUICK TIP

Once all the tenderloins are battered and breaded, they need to be generously sprayed with cooking spray. This promotes crisp, even browning in the oven and results in seriously crispy and crunchy chicken!

Process shots-- images of the dipping sauce being prepped

Baked Parmesan Chicken Tenders Dipping Sauces

We love a good chicken dipping sauce! I’ve included two different recipes for dipping sauces in the “notes” section of the printable recipe. Use whichever you prefer to grab a store-bought dipping sauce you know you love!

The two sauces included in the recipe notes: a honey mustard and then an all-purpose chicken dipping sauce (similar to fry sauce!)

To keep things super simple you could serve plain ketchup on the side (my kiddos love it) or even marinara sauce (again, inspired by the kiddos!)

Images of the veggies being roasted for this baked parmesan chicken tenders meal

Baked Parmesan Chicken Tenders Recipe Tools

The following products are what I personally recommend for making this Baked Parmesan Chicken Tenders & Veggies recipe:

  • 15×21-inch extra-large sheet pan. The more space the vegetables and chicken have (and the less-crowded they are) the better they roast in the oven. When vegetables are overlapping on a sheet pan, they end up steaming instead of roasting which results in softer, somewhat soggy-tasting veggies. I recommend using a (this) 15×21 inch sheet pan.
  • Veggie turner. To quickly flip the chicken tenders and toss the veggies, I love using this metal spatula.
  • Cooling racks. To ensure ultra crispy chicken, we bake it on cooling racks. Be sure the cooling rack you’re using is indeed oven safe and a size that will fit comfortably on the sheet pan!  

Process shots-- images of the chicken tenders being added to the sheet pan with the veggies on a cooling rack

Baked Parmesan Chicken Tenders Storage

This recipe is best enjoyed after being made. The tenders don’t stay crispy when stored, so I recommend cooking only enough for one meal/what will be enjoyed that same day.

As far as making ahead of time, it can be done, but I recommend waiting to dredge the tenders in the Panko-Parmesan mixture until right before baking. Otherwise, the breading will get soft and the chicken won’t be near as crispy/crunchy after baking.

Overhead image of the baked parmesan chicken tenders fresh out of the oven with veggies surrounding it

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Baked Parmesan Chicken Tenders

5 from 3 votes
Truly crunchy & crispy Baked Parmesan Chicken Tenders with a delicious medley of roasted veggies -- an entire, well-rounded, nutritious dinner prepared all on one sheet pan!
Print Recipe

Baked Parmesan Chicken Tenders

5 from 3 votes
Truly crunchy & crispy Baked Parmesan Chicken Tenders with a delicious medley of roasted veggies -- an entire, well-rounded, nutritious dinner prepared all on one sheet pan!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Healthy
Keyword Baked Parmesan Chicken Tenders
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Calories 565kcal
Author Chelsea
Cost $12.83

Ingredients

Spices

  • 1 tablespoon EACH: dried oregano, dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons EACH: garlic powder, paprika, fine sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon EACH: onion powder, pepper

Veggies

  • 1 tablespoon (15g) minced garlic
  • 1 heaping cup (86g) broccoli (1 head)
  • 8 oz. (225g) green beans
  • 1 heaping cup (125g) sweet bell peppers (1 pepper or 6 minis)
  • 1 cup (140g) red potatoes. (1-2 potatoes)
  • 3 tablespoons (26g) olive oil

Chicken & Breading

  • 1 pound (16 oz. 485g) chicken tenders Note 1
  • 1 cup (78g) panko breadcrumbs Note 2
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, separated
  • 2 tablespoons (27g) mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons (18g) white, all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Cooking spray
  • Optional: Dipping sauces -- See Note 3

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl mix all the seasonings together and then remove 1 tablespoon of the spices and set aside. Grab out a very large (15x21-inch) sheet pan (if you don't have this large of a pan, you'll want to use 2 pans.) Grab out a wire (oven-safe) cooling rack if you have one.
  • VEGGIE PREP: chop broccoli into small bite-sized pieces, dice a red potato (small 1/2-inch pieces so it cooks in time), trim green beans, chop the peppers into 1 inch pieces, mince garlic.
  • VEGGIES: On the pan, toss all the cut veggies with 3 tablespoons olive oil and the set aside 1 tablespoon seasoning mix. Toss to coat and then spread veggies in an even layer on the pan making sure the veggies aren't over-lapping (this will cause them to steam instead of roast and bake time is longer). Roast for 5 minutes and then remove.
  • CHICKEN: Pat chicken tenders dry with paper towel and trim any fat and then remove tendons (try this easy hack!). Grab out 2 bowls: Add 2/3rds (40g) cup of freshly grated parmesan and 1 cup Panko to a shallow bowl. Toss to combine and set aside. Add all of the remaining spices, 2 tablespoons mayo, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 egg, and 1 tablespoon dijon to the other large, shallow bowl. Whisk to combine. Use tongs to pick up the chicken tenders, one at a time, and dredge into the batter mixture and evenly coat all sides. Repeat to dredge all the tenders in the batter. Tenders should all be well coated and use up all the batter.
  • CHICKEN CONT.: Next, dredge each tender in the breading. Again, coat them all generously, you should use most of the breading. Spray wire cooling rack generously with cooking spray and then place coated chicken tenders on top of the wire cooling rack. Press any leftover breading on top and then generously spray the tenders with cooking spray on one side. Toss the veggies on the tray and make room to place the wire-cooling rack (with the chicken on top) onto the tray. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and carefully flip the tenders to the other side. Generously spray chicken with cooking spray and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until chicken registers 160 degrees F on a food thermometer. The veggies should be crisp tender at this point as well (if you'd like the veggies more tender, remove the wire cooling rack with chicken and add veggies back into oven for 5 more minutes or so). Remove from the oven and taste test chicken. Add a light sprinkle of salt on top of the tenders if needed to make the flavors come alive.
  • FINISHING: Remove from the oven and carefully remove the wire cooling rack with chicken on top. Add the remaining 1/3 cup (20g) parmesan cheese to the veggies on the sheet pan. Toss the veggies with the cheese and any of the Panko breading that fell on to the tray from the chicken. Enjoy chicken and veggies with optional dipping sauces (see Note 3).

Recipe Notes

Note 1: If using chicken breasts, remove excess fat, pound them to even thickness and slice them to the size of tenders (about 1 and 1/4th inch strips).
Note 2: Panko bread crumbs are similar to regular bread crumbs, but they create a much crunchier result. They can be found near breadcrumbs, flour, or cornmeal in the grocery store.
Note 3: If you'd like a dipping sauce for chicken, here are our 2 favorites:
Chicken Dipping Sauce. Whisk the following in a bowl until smooth:
  • 1/2 cup (100g) Best Foods/Hellman's Regular Mayo
  • 1/4 cup (65g) ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper and Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
Honey Mustard. Whisk the following in a bowl until smooth:
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Best Foods/Hellman's Regular Mayo
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon honey BBQ sauce (we like Sweet Baby Rays)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper
Note 4: Calories do not include dipping sauce.
 
 

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 565kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.6g | Protein: 41.6g | Fat: 27.1g | Cholesterol: 146.5mg | Sodium: 766.5mg | Fiber: 4.9g | Sugar: 6.3g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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13 Comments

  1. Tried this and it came out great! would 100% recommend. Having a marinara dipping sauce might also be good to compliment the parmesan cheese.

  2. Making this for dinner tonight! Is it possible to prep the chicken, refrigerate and then bake later? Or will the Panko get soggy?

    1. I think the chicken would get soggy unfortunately. Truthfully, I haven’t ever tried preparing the chicken ahead of time though!

  3. 5 stars
    SUCH a delicious and easy dinner to put on the table! Quick and healthy, and absolutely loved in my household. Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe was simple and very delicious! Thank you Chelsea. Love this site your recipes and the way everything is presented, Nicest site I’ve seen . Thanks again!

  5. Hello!!

    I have a ton of drumsticks! What alterations to the recipe should I make if I was going to use 2-3 pounds of drumsticks? I would assume I need to cook the chicken probably half way beforehand before adding the vegetables? 💕 Thanks for such a yummy sounding recipe!!

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