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Craving that irresistible Parmesan flavor but don’t want a whole pan of fried leftovers? This single serving Baked Parmesan Chicken Tender recipe is your answer! Made with just 3 to 5 chicken tenders, it delivers crispy perfection on the outside and juicy tenderness on the inside, all smothered in melted mozzarella cheese. This baked recipe is ready in under 30 minutes, making it the perfect quick and easy weeknight meal or simple indulgence.

This small batch of delicious chicken tenders pairs perfectly with a variety of our single serving side dishes. Try them with creamy buttered noodles, a crisp Caesar salad, or a couple of slices of fresh French bread.

RELATED: More Chicken Recipes For One

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.

Golden Chicken Tenders: A Delicious Secret

Dreaming of restaurant-worthy chicken tenders you can make at home? Look no further! These homemade tenders are bursting with flavor and guaranteed to satisfy. But what makes them so irresistible? It’s all about achieving that perfect texture: juicy, tender chicken encased in a flavorful, golden brown crust. We’ll reveal the secrets to achieving this deliciousness, from choosing the right cut to the magic touch of our breading technique.

Chicken tenders, those delicious little strips of meat found under the chicken breast, are naturally more tender than the breast itself. In this recipe, we elevate these tenders with a parmesan-infused breadcrumb coating. Baked to perfection, they deliver a delightful textural contrast: a juicy, tender center surrounded by a golden brown, flavorful crust. We love dipping them in marinara sauce, but feel free to explore your favorite dipping options!

Ingredients

chicken tenders, cheese, marinara sauce, spices, and breadcrumbs on a wooden cutting board.

If you have any ingredients leftover from this small batch Parmesan chicken tenders recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

  • Chicken Tenders: These are specific strips of meat attached to the underside of a chicken breast. For this recipe, you can either cut a boneless, skinless chicken breast into about ½-inch thick strips or buy pre-packaged chicken tenders, often labeled as chicken tenderloins, from the meat section in most grocery stores. Use around 6 ounces of chicken, or one large breast, to get about 3-5 tenders.
  • Breadcrumbs: Both store-bought and homemade breadcrumbs work well. If unavailable, try these alternatives:
    • Rolled Oats: Blend into a fine texture, adding an extra ⅛ teaspoon of salt if needed.
    • Cereal: Crushed corn flakes make for a crispier coating.
    • Potato Chips or Pretzels: These add flavor, so you might reduce the salt.
    • Crackers: Crushed Saltines or Ritz crackers are good options.
  • Cheese: Freshly shredded Mozzarella and Parmesan melt better. Pre-shredded or grated cheeses contain preservatives that affect melting quality.
  • Seasonings: Use Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
  • Marinara Sauce: Jarred Marinara sauce is convenient, with Rao’s and Classico as recommended brands. Homemade tomato sauce or pomodoro sauce are also great choices.

Recipe Variations

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

  • Spicy Chicken Tenders: 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.
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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). On a large plate, combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Set this aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium-sized bowl. Dip each chicken tenderloin in the butter.
  3. Roll the buttered chicken in the breadcrumb and Parmesan mixture to coat it.
  4. Place the coated chicken on a foil or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165°F at the thickest part of the chicken.
four photos showing how to make baked chicken tenders.
  1. After baking, sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the chicken tenders. Return them to the oven for 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese.
chicken tenders on a baking sheet topped with melted mozzarella cheese.
  1. Heat the marinara sauce. Serve the chicken tenders on a plate with the sauce drizzled over or in a bowl for dipping.
a chicken parmesan tender on a plate next to a blue bowl filled with marinara sauce.

Expert Tips

  • To make chicken tenders with no breading, simply omit the breadcrumbs. Instead, use the spices listed in the recipe along with Parmesan cheese for flavor.
  • To keep your chicken Parmesan tenders juicy, cover them with aluminum foil for 5 to 10 minutes after baking. This helps the juices reabsorb into the meat, preventing them from running out when you cut or bite into the tenders.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I double this Parmesan chicken tenders recipe?

Yes, you can easily double this recipe. Simply double the quantities of all ingredients to make a larger batch.

Can I freeze baked chicken tenders?

You can freeze the baked chicken strips for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and then bake in a 350°F oven for about 15 minutes or until they’re thoroughly heated.

How will I know when my chicken tenders are fully cooked?

The chicken tenders should be fully cooked in about 20 minutes at 400°F. They’re done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) or slightly higher, depending on their thickness. Let them rest for a few minutes after baking to allow any remaining cooking and to let the juices settle.

Can I make chicken tenders ahead?

Yes, you can prepare the tenders in advance. Store the uncooked chicken tenders in the refrigerator, and let them come to room temperature before baking.

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 garlic 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.

If you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see it!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Baked Parmesan Chicken 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
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Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  • On a large plate, combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Set this aside.
  • Pour melted butter into a medium-sized bowl. Dip each chicken tenderloin in the butter.
  • Roll the buttered chicken in the breadcrumb and Parmesan mixture to coat it.
  • Place the coated chicken on a foil or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165°F at the thickest part of the chicken.
  • After baking, sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the chicken tenders. Return them to the oven for 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese.
  • Heat the marinara sauce. Serve the chicken tenders on a plate with the sauce drizzled over or in a bowl for dipping.

Notes

  • For low carb Parmesan Chicken Tenders, skip the breadcrumbs. Instead, use the spices listed in the recipe along with Parmesan cheese for flavor.
  • To keep your chicken Parmesan tenders juicy, cover them with aluminum foil for 5 to 10 minutes after baking. This helps the juices reabsorb into the meat, preventing them from running out when you cut or bite into the tenders.

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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I’m Joanie and I’m incredibly happy you’re here! Our aim is to inspire individuals with access to single serving recipes, education, and a supportive community that will enable them to enjoy the preparation of a meal that will nourish both body and soul.

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Recipe Rating




12 Comments

  1. Mike says:

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

  2. Donna Comstock says:

    Instead of the oven I used my air fryer. Sprayed lightly with olive oil. It was great

  3. Sam says:

    Could this be done in the Air Fryer?

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      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.

  4. Tony says:

    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.

  5. Nancy says:

    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. Joanie Zisk says:

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

  6. Debra Miller says:

    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. Joanie Zisk says:

      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.

  7. Mandy Paine says:

    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

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, even with fish. Thank you so much for your feedback.

  8. JH says:

    8.6.21
    I made the Chicken Tender Parmesan tonight, it was sooo good! My mouth is doing a happy dance!