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Make this easy Chicken Parmesan Tenders recipe today! Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and topped with plenty of melted mozzarella cheese.

Enjoy the richness of Chicken Parmesan in a simplified, single serving form with these delectable Parmesan Chicken Tenders. Perfect for those evenings when you crave classic Italian but don’t want the leftovers.

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Simplicity: Ready in just about 30 minutes, this dish doesn’t demand a lot of your time.
  • Flavorful: Each bite boasts the delightful flavors of marinara, cheese, and seasoned chicken.
  • Versatile: Perfect for a fancy dinner or a casual TV-night meal.
  • Perfect Portions: Crafted for one, meaning no excess leftovers.
two chicken parmesan tenders on a silver tray next to a bowl of tomato sauce.

What Are Chicken Parmesan Tenders?

Chicken tenders are the little strips of meat attached to the underside of chicken breasts and are more tender than the breasts themselves. Chicken Parmesan Tenders are these same strips coated with seasoned breadcrumbs and cheese and baked. We love to enjoy the strips with a side of marinara sauce for dipping.

Ingredients

chicken tenders, cheese, marinara sauce, spices, and breadcrumbs on a wooden cutting board.
  • Chicken tenders: Chicken tenders are an actual part of the chicken. They are the little strips of meat that are attached to the underside of a chicken breast. You can make your own tenders by taking a boneless, skinless chicken breast and cutting it lengthwise into pieces about ½-inch thick or you can purchase chicken tenders already packaged from your grocery store. Chicken tenders are often called chicken tenderloins and can be found in the meat department of most grocery stores near the raw chickens. I recommend using 6-ounces of chicken or one large boneless, skinless chicken breast in this recipe. This will yield approximately 3-5 tenders.
  • Breadcrumbs: Use store-bought or homemade bread crumbs. If you don’t have access to breadcrumbs, you can leave them out altogether or use any of these substitutes:
    • Rolled oats: Pulverize the oats in a blender or food processor and then add an additional ⅛ teaspoon of salt, if you find it necessary, in addition to the seasonings recommended in the recipe.
    • Cereal: A classic cereal choice is crushed corn flakes which will yield a crispier coating.
    • Potato chips or pretzels: Since these are pre-seasoned, you might not need to add as much salt.
    • Crackers: Crushed Saltines or Ritz crackers are great choices.
  • Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese: Cheese will melt better when it’s freshly shredded. Bagged pre-shredded or grated cheese contains preservatives which help to keep the shreds of cheese from clumping in the bag. This means that the cheese doesn’t melt as well.
  • Seasonings: Use Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
  • Marinara sauce: For convenience, I use jarred Marinara sauce which is found in the tomato sauce aisle of most grocery stores. My favorite store brands are Rao’s and Classico. You can use homemade tomato sauce or pomodoro sauce, if preferred.

This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why I used them. For the full recipe please scroll down to the recipe box at the bottom of the post

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How To Make Parmesan Chicken Tenders

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make a small batch of Parmesan Chicken Tenders. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper on a large plate. Set the plate aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium-sized bowl. Dip the chicken tenderloins in the melted butter.
  3. Dredge the butter coated chicken in the breadcrumb/Parmesan mixture.
  4. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes.
four photos showing how to make baked chicken tenders.
  1. Remove the baked chicken tenders from the oven and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Place the baking sheet back in the oven to bake for an additional 2-3 minutes until the cheese has melted.
chicken tenders on a baking sheet topped with melted mozzarella cheese.
  1. Warm the marinara sauce. Transfer the chicken tenders to a plate and either pour the sauce over the chicken or pour the sauce into a bowl and dip the chicken strips into the sauce.
a chicken parmesan tender on a plate next to a blue bowl filled with marinara sauce.

Recipe Variations

If you love this recipe, there are a few twists you can try to diversify your dining experience.

  • Spicy Kick: Add some red pepper flakes or spicy Italian seasoning.
  • Creamy Alfredo: Replace marinara with Alfredo sauce for a creamy delight.
  • Pesto Parmesan Tenders: Use pesto instead of marinara for a herbaceous twist.

Expert Tips

  • To make low carb Parmesan Chicken Tenders, omit the bread crumbs and season with the spices recommended in the recipe, and Parmesan cheese.
  • After removing the chicken from the oven, cover it with a sheet of aluminum foil for at least 5 minutes, or up to 10 minutes before serving so that the juices will soak back into the meat rather than pouring out as you cut it or bite into it. This will ensure your chicken Parmesan tenders will be juicy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can This Parmesan Chicken Tenders Recipe Be Doubled?

Yes. Just double the ingredient amounts to make an extra batch.

Can I Freeze The Baked Chicken Strips?

Absolutely. You can freeze baked chicken strips for 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in an oven set to 350 degrees F. Bake for 15 minutes, or until heated through.

How Will I Know If My Chicken Tenders Are Fully Cooked?

These chicken tenders cook quickly, in about 20 minutes. I bake them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes which should bring the internal temperature to 165 degrees F (74 degrees C) or slightly above depending on the thickness of the strips. Let the pieces cool for a few minutes to complete any cooking and to allow the juices to redistribute.

Can I Make This Recipe Ahead Of Time?

Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time and bake the chicken tenders later. Just be sure to store the chicken tenders in the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature before baking.

What Is The Difference Between Chicken Parmesan And Chicken Parmesan Tenders?

Chicken Parmesan typically uses the full chicken breast, while tenders cut from the chicken breast.

Serving Suggestions

Pairing this dish right can transform your meal experience. While Chicken Parmesan Tenders are delicious on their own, some complementary side dishes can elevate the entire meal.

  • Pasta: A classic choice; spaghetti or linguine tossed in marinara.
  • Salad: A light Caesar salad or cucumber salad balances the richness of the chicken.
  • Crusty Bread: A slice or two of crusty french bread is perfect for soaking up any leftover marinara.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

If you’ve tried these Parmesan Chicken Tenders or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

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Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Chicken Parmesan Tenders For One

5 from 6 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Perfectly seasoned Chicken Parmesan Tenders baked to crispy perfection, topped with melted mozzarella cheese, and served with a marinara dipping sauce. A quick, easy, and absolutely delicious meal!

Ingredients 
 

  • 6 ounces chicken tenders (approximately 3-5 chicken tenders)
  • 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter (1-ounce), melted
  • 2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup Marinara sauce , for dipping

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  • Mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper on a large plate. Set the plate aside.
  • Place the melted butter in a medium-sized bowl. Dip the chicken tenderloins in the butter.
  • Dredge the butter coated chicken in the breadcrumb/Parmesan mixture.
  • Place on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F when a meat thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the chicken.
  • Remove the baked chicken tenders from the oven and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Place the baking sheet back in the oven to bake for an additional 2-3 minutes until the cheese has melted.
  • Warm the marinara sauce. Transfer the chicken tenders to a plate and either pour the sauce over the chicken or pour the sauce into a bowl and dip the chicken strips into the sauce.

Notes

Expert Tips
  • To make low-carb Chicken Parmesan tenders, omit the bread crumbs and season only with the spices recommended in the recipe.
  • After removing the chicken from the oven, cover it with a sheet of aluminum foil for at least 5 minutes, up to 10 minutes before serving so that the juices will soak back into the meat rather than pouring out as you cut or bite into it. This will ensure your chicken parmesan tenders will be juicy.
  • These chicken tenders cook quickly, in about 20 minutes. I bake them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes which should bring the internal temperature to 165 degrees F (74 degrees C) or slightly above depending on the thickness of the strips. Let the pieces cool for a few minutes to complete any cooking and to allow the juices to redistribute.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 565kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 52g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 185mg, Sodium: 1276mg, Potassium: 1127mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 1568IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 346mg, Iron: 4mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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12 Comments

  1. I forgot to buy mozzarella and used sharp cheddar instead. Parmesan peppercorn dressing for dipping. Delicious! Can’t wait to try the proper recipe!

    1. This recipe has not been tested in an air fryer but an air fryer is just a small convection oven so anything that can be made in a regular oven can be made in an air fryer. You’ll just need to reduce the cooking time as convection ovens cook faster due to how they circulate heat using a fan.

  2. I did this recipe last night and totally loved it. Only thing I used ColbyJack cheese as that is all I had in the house. For sure a keeper.

  3. Hey hey Joannie do u have any Keto recipes. Keto is a very low carbohydrates n or 0 carbs. I am following the keto plan I’m not perfect with it. However I took off 81 pounds.

    1. Yes, we have many keto and low carb recipes on our website. Please use the search feature to browse through our low carb recipes.

  4. I love your recipes but due to my health reasons I am on a low salt/low fat diet. I’m trying to figure out where the sodium comes from in this recipe? Is it the Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning?
    Does it include your marinara? I’m sorry to ask but I’m trying to make this so I can eat it.

    1. Hi Debra, the majority of the sodium comes from the cheeses (Parmesan and mozzarella), there was also sodium in the breadcrumbs and in the sauce I used, as well as the 1/8 of a teaspoon that was added. To reduce the sodium, you can leave out the mozzarella or use a low sodium version and reduce the amount of Parmesan, or don’t use it all. Also, check the label of the marinara you use. There are several low-sodium kinds on the market. I would also leave out the added salt and season it to your taste.

  5. I have just made but inadvertently pulled a fillet of fish instead of chicken !!!!!! so i followed the recipe and cooked the fish in a pen on top of the oven!!! A definite keeper, I shall be making this again with fish. Thank You very Much Mandy