Cheddar Bacon Chicken Tenders

Looking for a mouthwatering twist on classic chicken tenders? Look no further than these delectable Cheddar Bacon Chicken Tenders! Bursting with savory flavors and crispy goodness, they are sure to become a favorite in your household. Whether you serve them as an appetizer or a main dish, these tantalizing treats are quick and easy to prepare, making them perfect for busy weeknights or weekend gatherings. Let’s dive into the recipe and discover how to create these irresistible delights!


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken tenders (or breasts cut into strips)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat and Prepare: Begin by preheating your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top. This setup will help ensure that the chicken tenders cook evenly and become wonderfully crispy. Set aside for later use.
  2. Coating Assembly Line: Create a coating assembly line by setting up three bowls. In the first bowl, beat the egg until well mixed. In the second bowl, combine the all-purpose flour with a pinch of salt and pepper, creating a seasoned flour mixture. In the third bowl, mix together the panko bread crumbs, plain bread crumbs, shredded cheddar cheese, and crumbled bacon. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste, ensuring a burst of flavor in every bite.
  3. Coat the Chicken: Dip each chicken tender into the seasoned flour, ensuring it is fully coated. Next, dip the flour-coated chicken into the beaten egg, allowing any excess to drip off. Finally, dredge the chicken in the cheese and bacon mixture, pressing gently to ensure an even coating. Repeat this process for each chicken tender, placing them evenly spaced apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake to Perfection: Place the coated chicken tenders in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until they are cooked through and golden brown. To ensure even cooking, you may want to check on the tenders every few minutes, especially towards the end of the cooking time.
  5. Serve and Enjoy: Once the chicken tenders are cooked to perfection, remove them from the oven and serve immediately. Whether you pair them with your favorite dipping sauce or enjoy them as they are, these cheddar bacon chicken tenders are sure to delight your taste buds with their crispy exterior and juicy, flavorful interior.

Nutrition Information:

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Servings: 4


With just a few simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, these Cheddar Bacon Chicken Tenders are a delightful addition to any mealtime repertoire. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or simply craving a savory snack, these crispy delights are sure to satisfy. Give them a try and prepare to be amazed by the irresistible combination of cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, and tender chicken. Enjoy!

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Tips:

  1. Dipping Sauces: Serve these Cheddar Bacon Chicken Tenders with an array of dipping sauces for an extra burst of flavor. Try classic options like ranch dressing, barbecue sauce, or honey mustard, or get creative with homemade sauces like garlic aioli or sriracha mayo.
  2. Side Dishes: Pair these tasty chicken tenders with your favorite side dishes to create a complete meal. Serve them alongside crispy french fries, creamy mashed potatoes, a fresh garden salad, or roasted vegetables for a balanced and satisfying dinner.
  3. Appetizer Platter: Transform these chicken tenders into a crowd-pleasing appetizer by arranging them on a platter with toothpicks for easy serving. Add a variety of dipping sauces and garnishes like fresh herbs or lemon wedges to enhance the presentation.
  4. Garnishes: Elevate the visual appeal of your Cheddar Bacon Chicken Tenders by garnishing them with chopped green onions, parsley, or a sprinkle of additional shredded cheddar cheese before serving. Not only do garnishes add a pop of color, but they also add an extra layer of flavor.
  5. Fresh Ingredients: For the best results, use fresh ingredients when making these chicken tenders. Opt for high-quality chicken, fresh eggs, and premium cheeses and bacon to ensure maximum flavor and texture.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration: Store any leftover Cheddar Bacon Chicken Tenders in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To maintain their crispiness, place a paper towel between the tenders to absorb any excess moisture.
  2. Reheating: To reheat the chicken tenders, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place them on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until heated through, flipping halfway through to ensure even reheating. Alternatively, you can reheat them in a toaster oven for a quicker option.
  3. Freezing: If you want to freeze the chicken tenders for later use, allow them to cool completely before transferring them to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. Be sure to label the container with the date and contents. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 1-2 months.
  4. Thawing: When ready to enjoy, thaw the frozen chicken tenders overnight in the refrigerator or defrost them in the microwave using the defrost setting. Once thawed, reheat them following the instructions above until warmed through and crispy.
  5. Quality Check: Before consuming reheated or frozen chicken tenders, make sure they are heated to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure they are safe to eat. Discard any leftovers that have been left at room temperature for more than 2 hours to prevent foodborne illness.


  1. Spicy Kick: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the cheese and bacon mixture for a spicy twist. You can also drizzle the finished chicken tenders with hot sauce before serving for an extra kick.
  2. Herb-infused: Mix chopped fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, or rosemary into the cheese and bacon mixture for a burst of freshness and aroma. Alternatively, sprinkle dried Italian seasoning or garlic powder over the chicken tenders before baking for added flavor.
  3. Gluten-Free Option: For a gluten-free version, substitute the all-purpose flour and breadcrumbs with gluten-free alternatives. Use almond flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour for coating the chicken, and swap out the breadcrumbs for crushed gluten-free crackers or cornflakes.
  4. Keto-Friendly: To make these chicken tenders keto-friendly, skip the flour and breadcrumbs altogether. Instead, dip the chicken directly into the beaten egg and coat it with a mixture of grated Parmesan cheese and almond flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
  5. Saucy Variation: After baking, toss the cooked chicken tenders in your favorite barbecue sauce or buffalo sauce for a saucy twist. Bake them for an additional 5 minutes to allow the sauce to caramelize and coat the chicken for extra flavor.
  6. Stuffed Tenders: Take your chicken tenders to the next level by stuffing them with a slice of jalapeño and cream cheese or spinach and feta cheese before coating and baking. This adds a creamy and flavorful surprise inside each tender bite.
  7. Asian Fusion: For an Asian-inspired variation, substitute the cheddar cheese and bacon with shredded mozzarella cheese and cooked chopped Asian-style barbecue pork or teriyaki chicken. Serve the tenders with a side of sweet chili sauce or soy sauce for dipping.
  8. Sweet and Savory: Incorporate a hint of sweetness by mixing a tablespoon of maple syrup or honey into the egg wash before coating the chicken tenders. Pair them with a side of cranberry sauce or apricot preserves for a delightful sweet and savory combination.
  9. Smoky Flavor: Enhance the smoky flavor of the bacon by adding a dash of smoked paprika or liquid smoke to the cheese and bacon mixture. This will impart a rich, smoky taste to the chicken tenders that will leave your taste buds craving more.

FAQs :

  1. Can I use chicken breasts instead of chicken tenders? Yes, you can easily use chicken breasts cut into strips instead of chicken tenders. Just ensure they are cut into similar sizes for even cooking.
  2. Can I fry these chicken tenders instead of baking them? While baking is a healthier option, you can certainly fry these chicken tenders in oil until golden brown and crispy if preferred. Adjust the cooking time and temperature accordingly.
  3. What can I substitute for bacon if I don’t eat pork? If you don’t eat pork, you can substitute the bacon with turkey bacon, beef bacon, or even smoked turkey or chicken for a similar flavor profile.
  4. Can I make these chicken tenders ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the chicken tenders up to the coating stage and refrigerate them for up to a few hours before baking. This makes them a convenient option for meal prep or entertaining.
  5. How do I prevent the cheese from melting off the chicken tenders during baking? Press the cheese and bacon mixture firmly onto the chicken tenders before baking to ensure it adheres well. Additionally, using a wire rack on the baking sheet allows air to circulate, preventing sogginess.