Crispy Baked Dijon Buttermilk Chicken Tenders

crispy buttermilk dijon chicken tenders over greens

These crispy baked dijon buttermilk chicken tenders are another of my go-to weeknight meals. They’re flavorful, pleasantly crunchy, and perfect served alongside a big green salad. These do have to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour, but I’ll often toss the chicken into the marinade as soon as I get home from work. By the time I’m done working out and unwinding a bit, they’re ready for a quick bake in a high-temp oven. If that’s not your style, you could marinate these overnight to cut back on day-of prep time. (If anything, your chicken will be all the more flavorful for this extra time.)

How to make the dijon buttermilk marinade

This marinade comes together in a flash. You’ll combine low-fat buttermilk, dijon mustard, red pepper flake, and salt. That’s it! You could get fancy and add a spice goes well with mustard (like thyme or dill), but these tenders are super flavorful as is.

If you don’t usually keep buttermilk on hand, no need to go out and buy any. You can make your own buttermilk (or at least a great stand-in) by combining one cup of milk with one tablespoon of acid, such as white vinegar or lemon. Let the mixture stand for 5-10 minutes before using.

crispy dijon chicken tenders

How to get crispy baked chicken each time

The best part about these dijon buttermilk tenders is the crispiness factor. There are two keys to achieving the perfect crisp every time you make these tenders:

  1. Use panko breadcrumbs. You won’t get the same result if you use normal breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs are flakier than normal ones, and they stay crispier for longer because they don’t absorb as much oil while baking.
  2. Spray your parchment paper really well. I mean it, be aggressive. Spray more than you think you need. Panko or not, the breadcrumbs won’t brown without some help from the oil. For good measure, I also usually give a quick spray to the top of the chicken before popping it in the oven.

I owe inspiration for this recipe to Ashley at the Recipe Rebel and, as is often the case, Ina Garten. These crispy baked dijon buttermilk chicken tenders are a mashup of Ashley’s sriracha oven fried chicken and Ina’s crispy mustard-roasted chicken. Using chicken breast tenderloins in place of full breasts (or in Ina’s case, a whole chicken!) cuts back on prep time, and doing without flour for a breadcrumb-only breading amps up the crunch factor. If you make these chicken tenders, let me know what you think in the comments below!


Crispy Baked Dijon Buttermilk Chicken Tenders

Crispy and flavorful, there’s nothing not to love about these chicken tenders!

  • Author: A Tavola Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flake
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp paprika (optional, to add color to the breading)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


For the marinade and marination 

1. Combine buttermilk, dijon, and red pepper flake in a large freezer bag or container. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Add your chicken tenders to the bag or container, and ensure all pieces are well-coated. Let rest in the refrigerator for at least one hour but as long as overnight.

For the breading and baking 

3.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spray generously with cooking spray. Set aside.

4. Combine panko breadcrumbs, paprika if using, and salt and pepper in a shallow dish.

5. Working one piece at a time, use a pair of tongs to remove chicken from container. Allow excess marinade to drip off before transferring to breadcrumb mixture. Press chicken down into mixture before flipping and repeating, ensuring that both sides are well-coated with breadcrumbs. (Depending on how well your breadcrumbs are sticking, you may want to also spoon and press some of the breadcrumbs onto the chicken.)

6. Transfer breaded chicken to well-sprayed sheet pan. Lightly spray the exposed side of the chicken.

7. Transfer sheet pan to oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove pan, flip chicken, and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

8. If desired, broil for 1-2 additional minutes for extra browning.


  • I can’t emphasize this enough: spray your parchment-lined sheet pan really well! I recommend using a spray made from canola or other neutral vegetable oil, as an olive oil one might not stand up to the heat as well.
  • You can make a stand-in for buttermilk by combining one cup of milk with one tablespoon of acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice.
  • I recommend reheating any leftovers under the broiler.


  • Calories: 280
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 471 mg
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 23.6 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 31 g
  • Cholesterol: 84 mg

  1. Anna says:

    Loved this recipe! I made it exactly according to the instructions and found it super easy and results were delicious. Cook time was on the nose, even for my finicky oven.

  2. Josephine says:

    I did not have chicken tenders but used thinned sliced chicken breasts, reduced the cook time but followed all other directions exactly. The chicken was tender and moist and the left overs made a great sandwich the next day!

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