Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders


Everyday Culinary Delights 👩‍🍳


Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders are not just another chicken dish; they stand out as a universal favorite, loved for their crispy exterior and juicy interior. This dish, characterized by its ease of preparation and delicious flavors, finds a place in every kind of setting, from a busy weekday dinner to a leisurely weekend feast. This recipe combines the robust flavors of garlic and the nutty, salty zest of Parmesan, making it irresistible.

  • Versatility and Popularity: Whether it’s a game day snack or a comforting dinner, these chicken tenders fit perfectly. The combination of garlic and Parmesan adds a level of sophistication that elevates this dish from simple to spectacular.
  • Family-Friendly Recipe: Loved by both kids and adults, it’s a recipe that can bring the whole family together over the dinner table. Even picky eaters can’t resist the allure of these crispy tenders.

Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders are more than just a meal; they are a delightful experience that promises to satisfy culinary cravings and bring smiles to faces.

Ingredients Overview

When crafting Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders, the choice of ingredients plays a pivotal role in defining the taste and quality of the final dish. Here’s what you’ll need to create this delicious entrée:

  • Chicken Breast Tenderloins: The star of the dish, tenderloins are preferred for their tenderness and ease of preparation. For those who like to use what they have on hand, chicken breasts cut into strips will also work perfectly.
  • Corn Starch: A crucial ingredient that helps achieve the golden, crispy crust that is signature to this dish. Alternatives like breadcrumb are common, but corn starch gives a lighter, crunchier texture.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese: Adds a sharp, cheesy flavor that pairs wonderfully with garlic. Freshly grated Parmesan is recommended for the best flavor and melt.
  • Seasonings: Simple yet essential, garlic salt and pepper enhance the natural flavors of the chicken. Adding spices like paprika can introduce a mild heat if desired.
  • Buttermilk and Egg Whites: Used in the marinade, buttermilk tenderizes the chicken, while egg whites help the dry ingredients adhere better.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic brings a robust flavor that is central to this recipe.
  • Oil for Frying: A high-smoke-point oil like canola is ideal for frying to achieve that perfectly crispy exterior without any unpleasant aftertaste.

This combination of ingredients not only ensures delicious results but also contributes to a balanced nutritional profile. Each component plays a specific role, from tenderizing the meat to adding crunch and flavor, making Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders a satisfying and relatively healthy option.

The preparation of these ingredients involves minimal steps but promises maximum flavor, setting the stage for a cooking process that is as enjoyable as it is straightforward. With everything from the rich, creamy texture of the Parmesan to the crisp, golden coating made possible by corn starch, this dish is a testament to the magic of simple, high-quality ingredients.

Ingredient Preparation

Preparing the ingredients for Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders involves a few simple steps that set the foundation for a delicious final product. Here’s how to get your ingredients ready for cooking:

  • Marinating the Chicken: Begin by marinating the chicken strips. In a mixing bowl, combine egg whites, buttermilk, and smashed garlic cloves. Whisk together until well blended. Submerge the chicken strips in this mixture, ensuring each piece is thoroughly coated. Allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to soak up the flavors and tenderize.
  • Preparing the Coating: While the chicken marinates, prepare your dry coating. In a separate dish, mix corn starch, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic salt, and pepper. For those who enjoy a bit of spice, a dash of paprika can add a nice kick. This mixture will create the crispy, flavorful outer layer that makes these tenders so appealing.
  • Setting Up the Dredging Station: Set up a dredging station to streamline the coating process. Place the marinated chicken on one side, the dry mixture in the middle, and a clean plate at the end to hold the coated chicken. This setup helps keep the process organized and efficient.

Each step in the preparation phase is designed to infuse the chicken with flavor and ensure that the coating adheres well, resulting in chicken tenders that are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The use of buttermilk in the marinade not only adds a tangy depth to the flavor profile but also works to tenderize the chicken, making it juicier.

With these steps, your ingredients will be perfectly prepped for frying, bringing you one step closer to enjoying your homemade Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders. Each ingredient, from the buttermilk used in the marinade to the spices that season the coating, plays a crucial role in crafting the flavor and texture of this beloved dish.

Preparation Steps

Creating Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders involves a cooking process that transforms simple ingredients into a crispy, flavorful meal. Here’s how to cook them to perfection:

  1. Preheat the Oven: If you prefer baking over frying for a healthier option, start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures a hot oven that will cook the tenders evenly and help achieve a crispy texture.
  2. Dredging the Chicken: After marination, it’s time to coat the chicken. Remove the chicken strips from the marinade, letting the excess drip off. Dredge each strip in the cornstarch and Parmesan mixture, ensuring they are fully coated. This step is crucial for forming the crispy crust that makes these tenders so delightful.
  3. Frying the Chicken: Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken tenders and fry for about 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy. Ensure the oil is hot enough to sizzle as the chicken goes in, which prevents the chicken from absorbing too much oil and becoming greasy.
  4. Baking Option: For those who choose to bake, arrange the coated chicken on a Nordic Wave Baking Sheet lined with parchment paper for easier cleanup. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then flip the tenders and continue baking for an additional 5-8 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Whether frying or baking, the key is to achieve a golden crust and ensure the chicken is cooked through without drying it out. The final result should be a platter of hot, crispy tenders that are juicy on the inside and perfectly crunchy on the outside.

For a truly unforgettable meal, serve these Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders with a homemade dipping sauce. A simple yet flavorful fry sauce or garlic Parmesan dressing can elevate the dish to new heights.

Serving Suggestions

Successfully cooked Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders deserve the perfect presentation and accompaniments to enhance their flavors. Here’s how to serve them for maximum enjoyment:

  • Choosing the Right Dipping Sauces: Dipping sauces are pivotal in enriching the flavors of chicken tenders. Opt for classics like ketchup and ranch dressing, or explore creative options like honey mustard or spicy buffalo sauce. Each sauce can complement the garlic and Parmesan flavors uniquely, catering to different taste preferences.
  • Side Dishes: Complement your chicken tenders with side dishes that offer a contrast or complement their rich flavors. Some popular choices include:
    • Coleslaw: Adds a crunchy, fresh texture and slight tanginess that balances the richness of the fried chicken.
    • Garlic Bread: Ideal for those who can’t get enough garlic, this side helps sop up any leftover sauce.
    • For healthier options, consider steamed vegetables like broccoli or a light garden salad, which provide a refreshing contrast to the dish’s richness.
  • Presentation Tips: Serve the tenders on a warm platter with a selection of sauces on the side. Garnish with extra grated Parmesan and perhaps a sprinkle of finely chopped parsley to add a touch of color and freshness.

When serving Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders, consider the setting. They make a great casual dinner at home but can also be dressed up for a party or gathering. The key is to offer variety in sauces and sides to appeal to a broad range of tastes, ensuring every guest can customize their meal to their liking.

Lastly, don’t forget to pair the meal with a fitting beverage. A light, crisp beer or a sparkling lemonade can be the perfect accompaniment to this dish, balancing the rich flavors with a refreshing element.

Nutritional Information

Understanding the nutritional content of Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders can help you enjoy this dish as part of a balanced diet. Here’s a breakdown of the key nutritional elements:

  • Calories: A serving of these chicken tenders contains approximately 580 kcal. This amount can vary depending on the cooking method—baking tends to be lower in calories than frying due to less oil absorption.
  • Protein: Chicken is an excellent source of high-quality protein, essential for muscle repair and growth. Each serving provides about 27 grams of protein, making it a satisfying option for meal times.
  • Fats: While the exact fat content will depend on the cooking method, a typical serving contains around 20 grams of fat. Using oils with a high smoke point and draining the tenders well after frying can help minimize excess fat.
  • Carbohydrates: Primarily coming from the corn starch and buttermilk, the carbohydrates in this dish total about 16 grams per serving. Opting for a baking method and controlling portion sizes can keep carb intake in check.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Chicken tenders are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including calcium from the Parmesan cheese and iron from the meat itself. Additionally, spices and herbs contribute small amounts of antioxidants and other micronutrients.

Incorporating Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders into your diet provides a tasty way to consume a variety of nutrients. However, moderation is key, especially if you’re mindful of fat and calorie intake. Pairing these tenders with healthy sides like steamed vegetables or a fresh salad can create a more balanced meal, enhancing both nutritional value and flavor.

For those interested in the specific health benefits of the ingredients used, further information can be found through resources like Wikipedia on Parmesan Cheese and its nutritional benefits.

Storage and Reheating Tips

Proper storage and reheating of Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders are essential to maintaining their quality and safety. Here are some best practices:

  • Refrigeration: Once cooled, place the chicken tenders in an airtight container. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 5 days. Make sure the container is sealed properly to prevent any moisture loss, which helps retain the tenders’ texture.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, freeze the tenders. First, lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer them to a ziplock bag or freezer-safe container. This method prevents the tenders from sticking together and allows for easy individual servings. They can be stored frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: To recapture the tenders’ original crispiness, reheat them in the oven rather than the microwave. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and place the tenders on a baking sheet. Reheat for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. This method helps preserve the tenders’ crispy exterior and juicy interior.

Following these tips ensures that your Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders remain delicious even after storage. Whether you’re reheating a quick weekday meal or preparing ahead for a gathering, these methods will keep your chicken tenders tasting fresh.

For those looking to explore more chicken recipes, consider browsing options on platforms like Pinterest for healthy chicken recipes, which offer a variety of creative and nutritious ways to enjoy chicken.


What are the best cuts of chicken to use for chicken tenders?

For making Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders, boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins are ideal due to their tenderness and ease of cooking. Tenderloins are especially perfect as they are naturally thin and require less preparation.

Can I make Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders gluten-free?

Yes, you can easily make this dish gluten-free by substituting corn starch with a gluten-free alternative. Ensure that all other ingredients, such as Parmesan cheese and spices, are certified gluten-free.

How can I make my chicken tenders extra crispy?

To achieve extra crispiness, ensure your oil is hot enough before adding the chicken (it should sizzle). For baking, using a wire rack over a baking sheet helps air circulate around the tenders, crisping them evenly.

Are there healthier cooking options for this recipe?

Absolutely! Instead of frying, you can bake the chicken tenders. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake on a prepared sheet until they are golden and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This method reduces the oil content significantly.

What are some creative ways to serve Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders?

These tenders can be served in a variety of ways:

  • As an appetizer with multiple dipping sauces.
  • Sliced over a fresh Caesar salad for a fulfilling meal.
  • Wrapped in tortillas with vegetables and cheese for a delicious chicken tender wrap.

How do I store leftovers?

Leftovers should be cooled and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They typically last for 3-5 days. For longer storage, freeze them as described in the storage tips section.

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Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders

  • Author: Naomi
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders offer a mouthwatering blend of crispy texture and rich, savory flavors. This recipe uses simple ingredients like chicken tenderloins, Parmesan cheese, and garlic, combined with a golden cornstarch crust to create a delightful dish that can be enjoyed on any occasion.


1 pound chicken breast tenderloins, or breasts cut into strips
2 cups corn starch
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 cups buttermilk
3 cloves garlic, smashed
3 egg whites
Oil for frying
1 cup garlic parmesan salad dressing
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons grated parmesan cheese


Marinate the Chicken:
In a bowl, beat together the egg whites, buttermilk, and smashed garlic cloves. Add the chicken strips to the marinade, ensuring they are well coated. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Prepare the Coating:
In a separate dish, mix the corn starch, grated parmesan cheese, garlic salt, and pepper.
Coat the Chicken:
Remove the chicken strips from the marinade, allowing excess to drip off. Dredge each strip in the corn starch mixture until well coated.
Fry the Chicken:
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the chicken tenders for about 3-5 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels.
Prepare the Sauce:
While the chicken is frying, mix the garlic parmesan dressing with black pepper and additional grated parmesan cheese. Stir until well combined.
Serve the chicken tenders hot with the garlic parmesan sauce on the side for dipping.


  • Marinating Time: For the best flavor infusion and tenderness, marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes, though marinating for a couple of hours can enhance the taste even more.
  • Cheese Tips: Using freshly grated Parmesan cheese rather than pre-grated cheese can significantly improve the flavor as fresh cheese melts better and offers a richer taste.
  • Cooking Options: Both frying and baking methods are detailed to cater to different dietary needs. Baking is a healthier option as it uses less oil, but frying gives a more traditional crispy texture.
  • Serving Suggestions: Experiment with various dipping sauces like ranch, honey mustard, or a spicy buffalo sauce to find your favorite pairing. Serve with light side dishes such as a green salad or steamed vegetables to balance the meal.
  • Leftovers: If you have leftovers, they can be transformed into a hearty salad topping or a filling for wraps, making this recipe not only delicious but also economical.
  • Gluten-Free Adaptation: For a gluten-free version, replace corn starch with an alternative like almond flour or a gluten-free baking mix to cater to dietary restrictions without compromising on the crispy texture.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Marinating Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Chicken
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 580 kcal

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