Baked Buffalo Ranch Chicken Tenders

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These Baked Buffalo Ranch Chicken Tenders come out crispy and delicious every time with the perfect balance of spice from buffalo sauce and ranch from a quick homemade seasoning mix.

197 CALORIES6g CARBS2g FAT33g PROTEIN
2 Comments

These buffalo chicken tenders are coated in crispy panko bread crumbs and taste just like they came from a sport's bar! They have the perfect amount of heat and taste amazing dipped in ranch dressing.

One of the most common questions I hear from readers is, “What is a quick, healthy chicken recipe I can make for a weeknight dinner?”. Today’s chicken recipe answers this common concern!

It’s simple, delicious, and uses ranch and buffalo flavors to make a healthier version of everyone’s favorite fried food. It appeals to a large crowd making it work for families with the pickiest of eaters.

It is easy to create a healthy, family-friendly meal that everyone will love. First, you marinate the chicken with your favorite buffalo sauce giving it a nice spicy flavor. You can use your favorite barbecue sauce, marinade, or skip this step if you don’t like spice. Then, you bread the chicken with panko breadcrumbs seasoned with the traditional flavors of ranch dressing. Finally, you bake it until crispy and crunchy for a healthy, spicy version of your favorite chicken tenders.

This dish is perfect for serving for a quick weeknight dinner, game-day snack, or freezer meal that can be warmed up in minutes. Normally when I prepare it, I like to triple or quadruple the recipe so I can freeze a batch and use some for leftovers!

I love to stuff these tenders into sandwiches or quesadillas, add on top of healthy salads, or wrap up with my favorite veggies and dressing. They are also incredibly versatile and can be spiced and seasoned with whatever flavors you enjoy. Love buffalo chicken? Don't miss these Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken, and Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas.

Buffalo chicken tenders coated with panko breadcrumbs and ranch served with ranch dressing and buffalo sauce with salad on the side.

Key Ingredients For Buffalo Chicken Tenders

Most of the ingredients in these chicken tenders are spices. You are going to love how easy they are to make!

  • Chicken: Use either chicken breast tenders or boneless and skinless chicken breasts. Either way, cut them into strips that are all basically the same size.
  • Buffalo Hot Sauce: Use your favorite buffalo wing sauce. If you (or your kids) prefer mild-tasting sauces, use one that isn't spicy.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: Panko will give you extra crispy chicken tenders. You can use regular breadcrumbs instead, but they won't have the same crunch.
  • Spices: This combination of spices really is the best! I used parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, onion flakes, black pepper, dried chives, and salt. It gives this dish all that ranch flavor.

Note: For a full list of ingredients and detailed instructions on how to make these chicken tenders, take a look at the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!

Recipe Tips and Ideas

Follow these tips to make sure that this chicken turns out crispy and spicy every single time!

  • Pierce the chicken with a fork all over before you marinate it. This will help the buffalo sauce really seep deep into the chicken to infuse it with flavor.
  • Marinate the chicken strips for at least 4 hours. It's best to let it marinate overnight if you can remember.
  • Place the coated chicken on a wire rack that you place on top of a baking sheet. This will help the chicken to stay crispy and prevent it from becoming soggy on one side as it bakes.

What To Serve With Buffalo Ranch Chicken Tenders

These chicken tenders remind me of tailgating or party food! So, serve them with your favorite party sides.

Sliced raw veggies are perfect and completely effortless. You could also grill some veggies. If you would rather serve the tenders with a more traditional side option, make some Crispy Potato Wedges or Sweet Potato Fries.

Then, dip the buffalo chicken tenders into your favorite ranch dressing. Or, make homemade avocado ranch dip - it's even creamier.

Crispy buffalo ranch chicken tenders being dipped in buffalo sauce with salad on the side.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions I frequently get asked about by some readers...

My chicken didn't brown, what can I do?

If your chicken is completely cooked through but didn't brown, just broil it on high for 3 minutes. Keep a close eye on the chicken while it broils, so it doesn't burn.

What size of strips do I cut the chicken into?

The best size of strips to cut the chicken into is about 2-inches long. However, make sure they are not too thick, either. They should only be about 1/2-inch thick. This will help them to cook faster.

How do you freeze these cooked chicken tenders?

To freeze, layer the cooked chicken tenders in a freezer-safe bag or container with parchment paper. Make sure you only place them in one layer, or else they will freeze into a giant block.

To reheat them, place them in a hot oven (400 degrees) for 15 minutes or microwave for 3-4 minutes.

What is the safe cooking temperature of chicken?

Always use an instant-read food thermometer when you cook chicken. You should cook chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

Ranch buffalo chicken strips on a baking dish with crispy breading and served with ranch dressing and buffalo sauce.

More Delicious Chicken Recipes You’ll Love:

The Recipe
Buffalo chicken tenders coated with panko breadcrumbs and ranch served with ranch dressing and buffalo sauce.

Baked Buffalo Ranch Chicken Tenders

PREP TIME: 4 Hours, 20 Min
COOK TIME: 25 Min
TOTAL TIME: 4 Hours, 45 Min
  • Print Recipe
  • Download PDF

Ingredients

USMETRICS
  • 1.33 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup buffalo hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. dried chives (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

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Instructions

(Hide Photos)
1

Cut the chicken breast into strips and pierce it all over with a fork. Add the buffalo sauce and refrigerate for 4 hours or more.

Chicken strips being marinated in a glass container with buffalo sauce.
2

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange a wire rack on top of a baking sheet covered with foil or parchment. In a shallow dish combine the Panko breadcrumbs with all of the spices, salt, and pepper. Dip each piece into the Panko ranch breadcrumbs to coat.

Chicken tenders being dipped in ranch breadcrumbs.
3

Place on the wire rack and bake for 18-20 minutes until cooked through completely. The wire rack will help ensure the chicken stays crispy and doesn’t get soggy on one side.

Marinated buffalo chicken tenders with panko breadcrumbs on a baking sheet.
4

If the chicken doesn’t brown, flip the pieces over and broil them for another 3 minutes of cooking. Serve on its own or with your favorite dipping sauce.

Buffalo chicken tenders on a wire rack with ranch and buffalo sauce.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2 tenders
Amount Per Serving
Calories 197
Calories from Fat 14
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g
2%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
0%
Cholesterol 74mg
24%
Sodium 288mg
13%
Total Carbohydrate 6g
2%
Dietary Fiber 0g
2%
Sugars 0g
Protein 33g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

Notes

To freeze, layer cooked chicken tenders in a freezer safe bag or container with parchment paper. To reheat, place in a hot oven (400 degrees) for 15 minutes or microwave for 3-4 minutes.
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About the authorMeet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
2 Comments
On Baked Buffalo Ranch Chicken Tenders
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Jill
February 3, 2022 - 17:15
Add a Rating:
5
This was absolutely amazing!! My entire family loved it!! We slightly tweaked the Pablo recipe with what we had on had but there was nothing left!!
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Lisle
January 18, 2022 - 12:47
Add a Rating:
5
I make these very similarly, but toast the panko ahead of time (4 min @ 400°F), spraying it with cooking spray first, then again after coating the chicken. It makes it much more crispy.
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