Crispy, crunchy Pretzel Crusted Chicken Fingers are a tasty surprise for dinner. Tender chicken strips coated in a salty pretzel coating and baked until crispy are served alongside a tangy Apple Cider Honey Mustard sauce you’ll want to eat with a spoon.

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Tenders on a wooden board.

I hope you’re all safe and happy. The days are long and so we eat. And eat. And eat some more. I can’t wait for the weather to get warmer so I can start firing up the grill without having to don fifteen layers to go outside. It’s coming soon but in the meantime, I’m inside baking up a storm.

These Pretzel Crusted Chicken Fingers are an old recipe from 2013 that a reader recently found on this site and asked where the recipe was. It’s so old that the recipe disappeared in one of the many updates but I’m resurrecting it for you. It’s a family favorite that I know you’ll love, too.

If you’re a pretzel fan, you surely have the ingredients you need to make these easy Baked Chicken Tenders. If you don’t, please don’t be afraid to improvise because I think we’re all doing our own version of the Chopped Challenge with ingredients we can easily find in our home kitchens.

I mean, I am wondering if I could somehow use ice cream to marinade a chicken but am not quite sure if the toffee bits would muck up the works. So, I think I’ll pass on that one.

But pretzels….they’re salty and crunchy and perfect for coating tender chicken breast before baking until juicy. You don’t even need that much seasoning to spruce them up and this dipping sauce….Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce with a tang of apple cider vinegar is TO.DIE.FOR.

Overhead shot of pretzel crusted chicken tenders on a board with dipping sauce.

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Tenders

Chicken tenders are made using the pectoralis minor muscles of the chicken. These strips of white meat are located on either side of the breastbone, under the breast meat. Right now, they may be hard to find at the grocery store so I slice boneless, skinless chicken breasts into thin strips as a suitable stand in. 

You can do the same and it doesn’t take that long to slice the chicken into strips. If you can find chicken tenders or chicken breast strips, certainly buy those to save yourself some prep time.

Pretzels in a food processor.

How to Make Chicken Tenders from Scratch

This baked chicken tender recipe is really easy to make in less than 30 minutes.

Simply arrange a dredging station on your countertop to make things easier and be sure to crush the pretzels pretty finely so they stick to the chicken.

Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture and then the pretzel coating. Arrange on a baking sheet.

Bake the chicken tenders in a 425˚F oven for 25 minutes or until cooked through. You can check for doneness with an instant read thermometer. Chicken should be 165˚F when fully cooked.

Chicken tenders on a baking sheet.

How Long to Bake Chicken Tenders

I like to bake my chicken fingers in a 425 degree oven for maximum crispness. Depending on how thick your chicken is they should be done in approximately 20-25 minutes. If you have thicker cut chicken fingers you may need to add 5 minutes to the cooking time.

Check your chicken breast tenders for doneness with an instant read thermometer at about 15 minutes, especially if your tenders were cut on the thinner side.

Now you can enjoy your chicken fingers with your favorite sides and dipping sauces.

Baked chicken tenders on a baking sheet with dipping sauce.

What To Serve With Them

Just about anything goes with these easy chicken tenders but we love to mix things up by serving with a variety of favorites. 

They go well with this easy Cole Slaw recipe and it’s a total classic, or you can serve alongside this super quick and easy Macaroni and Cheese. It takes only 10 minutes to cook and kids love it!!

Or try this super simple Caprese Tortellini Salad and these crispy Zucchini Fries.…they’re amazing.

If you love this recipe, you may also like these easy Baked Chicken Tenders. They’re crispy, crunchy and kids totally dig them. Or make our favorite Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders which are, actually,  a little healthy because they’re low carb!

Close up of crispy chicken tenders in a metal tray with a bowl of barbecue sauce in it.

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Pretzel crusted chicken tender with dipping sauce.


Pretzel Crusted Chicken Tenders on a wooden board.

Get the Recipe: Pretzel Crusted Chicken Tenders

Baked Chicken Tenders coated in a pretzel crust and served with an Apple Cider Dijon dipping sauce is just what you need for an easy weeknight dinner. Fast and easy!
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  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken tenders
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper optional
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 cups mini pretzels
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mayo

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tsp apple cider
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper


  • blender or food processor


  • Using a food processor, crush the pretzels until a fine crumb forms.
  • In a small shallow bowl, whisk together the parmesan cheese, pretzel crumbs and panko bread crumbs.
  • In a separate shallow bowl, whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a third shallow bowl, whisk together the flour, cayenne (you can omit this if sensitive to spice), garlic powder, onion powder,and pepper.
  • Dredge the chicken tenders first in the flour mixture, then the egg wash and finally the panko crumbs pressing gently to help the crumbs stick to the chicken.
  • Arrange the chicken on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment and coated with cooking spray.
  • Drizzle the chicken with a small amount of olive oil and bake in a 425˚F oven for 10 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken over carefully with tongs or a spatula and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
  • While the chicken cooks, make the sauce by whisking together the mayonnaise, dijon mustard, apple cider, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • Transfer to a platter and serve immediately with the sauce on the side for dipping.
Calories: 304kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 130mg, Sodium: 707mg, Potassium: 477mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 393IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 312mg, Iron: 1mg