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!

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

4.0 from 1 reviews
Baked Firecracker Chicken Tenders
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
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!
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 4
  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to ½ inch thickness
  • 1½ cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 eggs + 3 tablespoons water
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • ⅓ cup Frank's hot sauce (this brand really makes the sauce!)
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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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These look lick your fingers good! Yum! Can’t wait to see those life changing cookies either -suspense-

The guys in my life will die over these. Oh my, they look so delish!

I fashion myself a chicken finger connoisseur as well, and I have to say, these look phenomenal!

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!

    Ha! Pigs flying…. every now and then there’s a miracle dish that pleases all the picky eaters! I’m so glad you liked this – I have to try grilled chicken tenders with this sauce I’m convinced that would be DELISH!

Great dish!

I’m drooling. These would be my boyfriend’s new favorite. We love chicken dishes. I never miss the fried flavor either when I’m making baked and breaded chicken.

These look incredible. I love that they are baked. And that sauce has my mouth watering. Pinning!

This was delicious! I hadn’t paid attention that it had an Asian flair. My 13 year old foodie knew it right away. A big hit!

Hi, everybody,
Does someone could translate in French this wonderful recipe?
My poor basic English is unfortunately not good enough…

I made these tenders with baked fries on the side over the weekend for my boyfriend he ate them without the sauce & thought they were good. Also for some reason he decided to place the tenders on wheat burger buns with lettuce and cheese which to my surprise was good haha. I will definitely be making this again I loved the sauce it had a good kick to it.

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!

    Ha thanks so much Lisa!! I try to live on middle ground – I definitely indulge but try to be healthier whenever possible, it creates a great balance!! So glad you are enjoying my recipes Lisa thanks so much for taking a second to leave such a sweet comment!!

Delicious. I added a dash of ginger and about a teaspoon of sesame oil for a little more asian flavor!

    Definitely adding those next time, great idea Meg!

I have made the firecracker sauce so many times now. Just love it! Really great recipe.

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!

Hi. I have chicken tenders, a little under a pound. Do I still use the same amount of the ingredients?

Can you freeze leftover firecracker sauce?

These sound great. I love chicken recipes. Thanks for sharing this. Simon

I am making this for tonight’s dinner, it looks tasty, but I don’t understand how anyone can call this a “healthy” meal when there is over a cup of sugar! That’s 13 teaspoons PER SERVING! That’s more than a can of Sprite, way more than a can of Coke.

I also added sesame seeds and sesame oil and Chinese cooking wine for a more authentic taste.

Use honey not brown sugar way better

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!