ARTICLE / NEW RECIPES

Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders with Homemade Ranch

If you're scrambling for healthy appetizers for the big game or you need a new way to lure kids to the table, you've landed in the right place. These baked Buffalo chicken tenders are the lighter version of the tailgating staple.

With the big game coming up, millions of people will be looking forward to a night of football and Buffalo wings. In years past, there has been a chicken wing shortage and in the event that there is one this year, we have the solution: Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders.

Why Baked?

While fried chicken wings are a game day favorite, at about 100 calories per wing, it might be time to find a healthy alternative. These baked chicken tenders fit the bill. And eats outside of football-party days, these make a great main dish for easy weeknight dinners that are both healthy and tasty. Additionally, because so many people want to know how to make ranch dressing, we paired this recipe with a homemade ranch dressing recipe that's better than what you can get at any wings joint.

Recipe Notes

Feel free to experiment with this chicken breast recipe to suit your taste.

Crispy Tenders: Many people want to know how to make Buffalo chicken tenders crispy. Because they're baked, you're not going to get the same kind of crunchy outer layer that you would get if they were fried, but you can get close with panko bread crumbs for a crunchy coating. In this recipe, you can use panko instead of all-purpose flour to coat the boneless skinless chicken breasts. For this, season the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish, before dredging the tenders and then placing them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Another way to make extra crispy chicken: You can spray a light coating of cooking spray on the chicken just before you put it in the oven — this also helps the coating reach a golden brown color.

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Coating: When you dredge the chicken strips in the flour or breadcrumbs, make sure to shake off the excess flour before you place the chicken in your baking dish. If it lands on the baking sheet, you will have a bunch of burnt crumbs or flour.

Secret Sauce: The original Buffalo wing sauce made famous by the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York allegedly used Frank's RedHot hot sauce mixed with melted butter and other spices. The bar makes its own hot sauce now, but Frank's still makes great wings. It's a cayenne pepper sauce, but if that's not the flavor you're looking for, you can use your favorite sauce on these chicken fingers.

Alternative Sauces: If you've ever been to a chicken wing restaurant, you know wings can come in many different flavors. It's not hard to make these homemade chicken tenders in different flavors all at once if you're serving picky eaters; all you need is an assortment of bowls to put the different sauces in. Honey mustard sauce, barbecue sauce, garlic parmesan, or Asian soy sauce — you can please everyone in the family.

Dipping Sauces: While we provide a ranch recipe, you can use whatever kind of dip you want. The original chicken wings were served with blue cheese dressing and celery, still a classic combo. For extra spice, you can make Spicy Cajun Dipping Sauce. If you want to cool things down, try Green Goddess Dipping Sauce.

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Serving Time

Whether you're looking for healthy snacks for the big game or you just want an easy chicken recipe that's good for a low calorie diet, this chicken tender recipe may become your new family favorite.

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