Oven-fried crispy chicken tenders with a side of coleslaw

Linda Gassenheimer
Tribune News Service

You don’t need a fryer or air fryer for these crispy, fried chicken tenders. They bake in minutes in your oven. The secret is to place them on a roasting rack over a baking tray so air circulates around all sides. Chicken tenders or tenderloin are part of the chicken breast and are attached to the underside of each chicken breast. They’re small and moist and are sold in most markets.

To give the chicken extra flavor and to keep them moist, I stuffed the chicken tenders with boursin garlic and fine herbs cheese. You can use any type of creamy, soft cheese. Choose one that is flavored with onion or herbs.

The quick coleslaw recipe is perfect with the crunchy chicken tenders. Adding some mayonnaise and vinegar to bought coleslaw mix means you can have homemade coleslaw in less than 5 minutes. If you’re pressed for time, just use a bought deli coleslaw.

Helpful Hints:

— You can use cracker crumbs instead of panko breadcrumbs.

— You can use boneless skinless chicken breast instead of tenders. Cut them into smaller pieces, about 6 inches long and 3 inches wide.


— Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

— Prepare chicken tenders and place in the oven.

— While chicken bakes, make coleslaw.

Shopping List:

To buy: 3/4 pound chicken tenders, 1 package boursin garlic and fine herbs cheese (or other soft cheese), 1 container panko bread crumbs,1 bottle distilled white vinegar, 1 jar reduced-fat mayonnaise, 1 bag ready-to-eat coleslaw mix and 1 can olive oil spray.

Staples: flour, eggs, sugar, salt and black peppercorns.

Oven-fried chicken tenders, filled with garlic and herb cheese, are served with coleslaw.


Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

  • Olive oil spray
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 pound chicken tenders
  • 4 tablespoons boursin garlic and fine herbs cheese
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 egg whites, lightly broken up with a fork

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking tray with foil and add panko bread crumbs. Place in the oven while it preheats for about 2 to 3 minutes. Watch to see that the breadcrumbs don’t burn. They should be a golden color. Remove from oven and spoon breadcrumbs onto a plate. Sprinkle crumbs with salt and pepper to taste. Add a roasting rack to the baking tray. Spray with olive oil spray. Set aside.

Make a slit in the long side of the chicken tenders about 3 inches long and to 1/4-inch of the other side to form a pocket. Spoon the boursin cheese into the pockets and squeeze the tenders closed. Roll the closed chicken in the flour and dip in the egg whites. Then roll in the breadcrumbs to coat. Place on the roasting rack. Spray with olive oil spray. Bake 15 minutes or until meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees.

Yields 2 servings.

Per serving: 469 calories (38% from fat), 19.8 g fat (9.3 g saturated, 3.5 g monounsaturated), 156 mg cholesterol, 47.3 g protein, 23.4 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 412 mg sodium.


Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups washed, ready-to-eat coleslaw mix

Mix mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar together in a medium-size bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the coleslaw mix. Toss well, making sure all of the vegetables are coated with the sauce. Add more salt and pepper, if needed.

Yields 2 servings.

Per serving: 78 calories (57% from fat), 4.9 g fat (0.7 g saturated, 1.1 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 1 g protein, 7.3 g carbohydrates, 1.8 g fiber, 121 mg sodium.

— Linda Gassenheimer is the author of over 30 cookbooks, including her newest, “The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook.” Listen to Linda on www.WDNA.org and all major podcast sites. Email her at Linda@DinnerInMinutes.com.