Crispy Deep Fried Chicken Tenders

A simple and crowd-pleasing recipe for deep-fried chicken tenders. Kids, adults, teens, everyone loves these. Serve with everyone’s favorite dipping sauce and watch ’em disappear.

I highly recommend an electric deep fryer (especially if you love deep frying) but a heavy pot will work just fine.

plate of homemade fried chicken tenders

Crispy Deep Fried Chicken Tenders

Breaded and deep chicken tenders come out perfectly crispy and browned every time for a dinner your kids will love.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Serving Size 6 people


  • 4 large chicken breasts cut into strips
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 quart peanut oil for frying


  • Prep. Preheat oil in deep fryer to 365℉. Prepare a plate on baking sheet by lining with paper towels.
  • Make breading station. Combine eggs and milk in a medium mixing bowl and stir until combined.  In a separate large mixing bowl combine the flour, panko, salt, pepper, and seasoned salt.  
    mixing bowls of milk and egg baten together and bread crumbs and seasoned flour mixed together.
  • Bread the chicken. Bread the chicken by dipping it first in the egg/ milk mixture, then the panko/ flour mixture.  Work in batches to avoid the chicken sticking together.
    chicken breast being breaded in bowls.
  • Fry. Lay the chicken in a single layer in the deep fry basket and lower it into the oil.  Deep fry for 5 minutes.  Remove basket from oil and remove chicken onto paper-towel lined plate.  Serve immediately.
    deep fryer basket with chicken before and after frying.


Allow any leftovers to cool to room temperature and store tightly covered in the fridge.  Reheat in a 325 degree oven for 5-7 minutes. 
blue and white plate with deep fried chicken tenders

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • The ultimate picky eater recipe! There is not a child alive who doesn’t love chicken tenders. These are about a thousand times better than the frozen ones.
  • .Ready in under 45 minutes. Deep frying is one of the fastest ways to get dinner made.
  • Very affordable way to make chicken breasts
ingredients for deep fried chicken tenders

You’ll need the following

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

  • chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • eggs
  • milk
  • flour
  • panko bread crumbs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • seasoned salt
  • peanut oil, for frying

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  • A deep fryer (or you can deep fry in a Dutch Oven and monitor the temperature with a candy thermometer.)
  • A large plate or baking sheet
  • Paper towels


Step One: Make the Breading

dipping chicken breast in egg/ milk, then seasoned flour

You can cut the chicken into whatever size you like, but keep in mind that smaller pieces will cook faster and seem to go over better with kids.

In a medium bowl, mix the eggs and milk. In a large bowl mix the flour, panko, salt, pepper, and seasoned salt.

Go ahead and preheat the deep fryer to 360 degrees. (Make sure you are careful and follow deep frying safety guidelines!)

Bread the chicken tenders, first dipping them into the egg/ milk mixture, then tossing them in the flour/ panko blend. You can do this in batches but not too many at once or they will stick to each other.

Step Two: Fry!

process of deep frying chicken tenders

When the chicken is breaded, it’s time to fry them up! Make sure the oil is ready. Lay the tenders in a single layer in the deep fryer basket, lower it down, and deep fry for six minutes. As long as they are submerged in the oil, there is no need to flip or toss them. They will cook evenly and perfectly.

When the time is up, lift the basket and remove them to a baking sheet or plate lined with paper towels.

Serve right away with your favorite dipping sauce

🥫 Storage instructions

Store any leftovers tightly covered in the fridge for up to three days. Be sure to let them cool first or you’ll have soggy tenders.

Cooked tenders do not freeze well. However, you can freeze the breaded strips before cooking, then deep fry them from frozen.

🔍 FAQs

Can I use a different type of oil besides peanut?

Yes, you can! Canola or vegetable oil will work fine.

Can I make this in a skillet?

Yes, but you’ll need to be very careful! Fill it with 1-2 inches of oil (this is a lot!), check the temperature, and turn halfway through. The cooking time will also be longer in a skillet, about 6 minutes per side.

How do I know when they’re cooked through?

Either use a meat thermometer and check for 170 degrees, or break one open and check. If you’re cooking larger pieces or your deep fryer has trouble getting back up to temperature, it may take a bit longer.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

Chicken breasts frequently go on sale and can always be found for a pretty good price. Costco always has bags of Perdue chicken breasts priced well. They are in the freezer section and are individually frozen. They are very convenient because you can simply take out what you need for dinner that night.

📘 Related Recipes

off white plate piled with fried chicken tenders
Crispy Deep Fried Chicken TendersCrispy Deep Fried Chicken Tenders

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Very much enjoyed how crispy the coating turn out to be, super easy and not sticky and messy like Buttermilk coating.
    I added a few more spices for my liking but overall it was perfect. 10/10 Will be cooking this alot more often now.

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve been looking for an easy recipe for deep-fried tenders with a great coating that didn’t fall off in the fryer. My son gave this recipe a 10/10! It’s crispy on the outside and keeps the chicken tender and juicy. PERFECT!!