Baked Firecracker Chicken Tenders

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Super easy Baked Firecracker Chicken Tenders with the most amazing sweet and spicy Asian sauce – plus they’re so much healthier than the fried version!

Baked Firecracker Chicken Tenders | Creme de la Crumb

Heyyyyyyyyyyyyy friends. How’s the weekend treatin’ ya?

Gone too fast? I know what you mean.

Baked Firecracker Chicken Tenders | Creme de la Crumb

All week long I fill little colored sticky notes with lists of things I really need/want to get done on over the weekend and then all of a sudden it has come and gone and I find myself scratching my head thinking… what on earth just happened?? 

Baked Firecracker Chicken Tenders | Creme de la Crumb


A few good things did happen this weekend however.

1) spend an afternoon wandering (lost) around Ikea – our favorite store on earth

2) make a batch of life-changing cookies (coming soooooon!)

3) first trip to buffalo wild wings – oh yeah. that happened.

Overall, I’d call that a weekend well-wasted.

Baked Firecracker Chicken Tenders | Creme de la Crumb

Okay now about these chicken tenders. First thing you’ve gotta know is how crispy-tender-juicy they are and they are NOT FRIED. I just love saying that. They’re baked, not fried and as a true connoisseur of chicken tenders, I do not miss the usual fried ones.

And I’m serious about that connoisseur title – at 7 years old I never wanted pancakes from iHop, just chicken tenders and fries please!

True story. Sixteen years later…

Still a true story.

Baked Firecracker Chicken Tenders | Creme de la Crumb

Annnnnywhoo. The sauce. Let’s talk about ooey gooey sticky sweet and spicy sauces that make you want to cry they are so wonderful.

Actually that pretty much covers it. No talking needed!

Baked Firecracker Chicken Tenders | Creme de la Crumb

And I swear that sauce-splash was candid ^^^  – I did not strategically create it to draw attention to the firecracker-ness of these chicken tenders.

Baked Firecracker Chicken Tenders | Creme de la Crumb

What people are saying about these Baked Firecracker Chicken Tenders

“Tried this tonight and it was a big hit. We didn’t do the breading thing but the sauce was great. We grilled the tenders in my grill pan. Then added the sauce until it was thick and bubbly. Pigs must be flying because all my family devoted it. This hasn’t happened since I started making my own homemade spaghetti sauce. Huge hit. Thank you so much!” – Crystal 

“I made these tonight and it was the BEST CHICKEN TENDERS EVER! If you are thinking about making these stop thinking, and make them. The chicken was amazing and the sauce took it to a whole new level. Also, if the sauce is too spicy for some in your family don’t dip all of the chicken and serve the plain tenders. I have made several things from your site and EVERY time it turns out amazing. Thank you for such great recipes and ideas. I love that you try to keep things a little healthier without going crazy! Keep up the great work!” – Lisa

“Just made these tonight and they were absolutely delicious. And so easy to make too! I had some leftover sauce. Saving it to top burgers tomorrow. Can’t wait to make this again!” – Dawn

“These were very easy to make and very tasty. The sauce had just the right amount of heat. The sauce tasted strongly of the hot sauce, which was a little much for me personally, but overall a very good and easy dish without a lot of mess to clean up afterwards. An easy weeknight meal!” – Lynn

Baked Firecracker Chicken Tenders | Creme de la Crumb

Baked Firecracker Chicken Tenders

Baked Firecracker Chicken Tenders - so easy with the most amazing sweet and spicy Asian sauce - plus they're so much healthier than the fried version!
4.67 from 6 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to ½ inch thickness
  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup flour


  • 1/3 cup Frank's hot sauce (this brand really makes the sauce!)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon water


  • Preheat oven to 425 and grease a large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Slice chicken breasts into 1-inch wide strips. Add flour and chicken strips to a large zip-lock bag, seal, and shake to coat chicken.
  • Place panko in a bowl. In a second bowl whisk together eggs and water. Dip flour-coated chicken pieces into the egg mixture to coat, then toss in the panko crumbs (make sure to coat well) and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  • Bake chicken for 15-25 minutes until golden-brown and cooked through. While chicken tenders are baking, prepare the sauce. In a medium sauce pan combine all sauce ingredients. Stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes, then reduce to low and allow to simmer until ready to use.
  • When chicken is finished cooking, use tongs to toss chicken tenders in the sauce. Serve warm with ranch dressing if desired.
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Recipe Rating


I made this on the fly with some chicken tenderloins I had that we’re about to expire. During the pandemic of course shelves are empty. They didn’t have panko. Just Italian bread crumbs. I was about to just make the chicken plain and use the sauce for dipping. I tried it with the breading and am so glad I did. Wow! Are these awesome that way as I’m sure the panko is good also. The Italian seasoning made the flavors melt in your mouth. Now I did make it u healthy by heati g up a little canola oil in a skillet and Browning each side before throwing in the oven. Great recipe! One of our new favorites!

    So glad to hear yours turned out delicious with the Italian bread crumbs! I might have to try that next time I make this recipe, haha!

I am unable to see your recipe. When you click continue reading it bring you back in a loop and never shows it? I’ve made this in the past and it was great! just trying to make it again. (tried from two phones and a computer)

    So sorry! That was an error with my site at the time that was not allowing recipes to load correctly. Thanks for your patience!

can you use white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar?

    White wine vinegar, rice vinegar, or lemon juice all substitute nicely for apple cider vinegar 🙂

This is the best chicken ive ever made. so delicious. I used siracha and white vinegar as a substitute for franks hot sauce and apple cider vinegar and it had amazing flavor and heat. thanks for sharing!

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