Get ready to fall in love with Baked Hot Honey Chicken Tenders! These aren't your ordinary chicken strips. They're coated in crunchy cornflakes and drizzled with a sweet and spicy sauce that's out of this world.
Quick to make and fun to eat, they're the perfect pick for a busy weeknight dinner or a special weekend treat. Everyone, from kitchen beginners to seasoned cooks, will find joy in making and munching on these delicious strips.
These crunchy Hot Honey Chicken Strips are a delightful twist on the traditional fried chicken strips, making them a healthier option without compromising on flavor.
If you're a fan this hot honey chicken recipe, you'll love our other chicken creations. Like the fiery flavors of our Nashville Hot Chicken Tenders or savor the classic crispiness of our Buttermilk Fried Chicken. Looking for something different? Try our Chicken Pesto Sandwich. We've got a variety of chicken dinner ideas and recipes to keep your taste buds excited!"
What You'll Love About This Recipe
- Healthier Option: Oven baked, not fried, offering a lighter alternative to traditional chicken strips.
- Flavor Explosion: The hot honey sauce provides a perfect blend of sweetness and spice and this is one of my favorite spicy honey chicken recipes.
- Versatility: Great for dinner, parties, or as an appetizer.
- Easy to Make: Simple steps, common ingredients, perfect for cooks of all levels.
Cornflakes: The secret to that amazing crunch. Grab your favorite box of plain cornflakes and get ready to crush them into the perfect coating for your chicken.
Parmesan Cheese: A little cheese goes a long way. It adds a nice, salty touch to the crunchy coating. Freshly grated works best, but pre-grated is fine too.
Chicken Tenderloins: These are the stars of the show. Pick fresh, plump pieces for the juiciest and most flavorful strips. You could also use boneless chicken breasts and leave them whole, or cut them into your own chicken tenders.
Honey: It's all about that sweet kick. Go for natural, pure honey to drizzle over your cooked chicken for a sticky, sweet finish.
Hot Sauce: This is where the spice comes in. Choose a sauce that fits your heat preference – mild, medium, or hot, it's all up to you.
Eggs, Spices, and Oil: These help bind everything together and add extra flavor. Regular kitchen staples will do the trick.
- Food Processor: For crushing cornflakes. If unavailable, use a rolling pin and a zip-lock bag.
- Baking Sheet: A large one to accommodate all chicken strips.
- Parchment Paper: Essential for easy cleanup.
- Whisk and Bowls: For mixing ingredients.
- Small Saucepan: To prepare the hot honey sauce.
First things first, get your oven nice and hot. Set it to 425°. While it's heating up, grab a large baking sheet and cover it with parchment paper. This little trick makes sure your chicken strips don’t stick and makes cleaning up a breeze.
Now, we'll start on the coating that gives the chicken tenders their crispy outside.
Take your cornflakes, Parmesan cheese, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt and put them all in a food processor. Give it a good whirl until you get fine crumbs.
If you don't have a food processor, no worries – just put everything in a zip-lock bag and use a rolling pin to crush them. Once done, pour this crunchy mixture into a bowl.
In a separate bowl, crack open two eggs and give them a good whisk. This helps make them smooth and ready to coat the chicken. Then, stir in some hot sauce for a bit of a kick.
It’s time to dress up those chicken tenderloins. Dip each one first into the egg mixture, making sure it's fully covered.
This helps the cornflake crumbs stick to the chicken. Then, roll it in your cornflake crumbs, pressing gently so the coating sticks well.
Place each coated chicken strip onto your prepared baking sheet. Repeat this step until all the chicken pieces are coated and lined up on the sheet.
Before you pop them in the oven, drizzle a bit of olive or vegetable oil over the chicken. This will help get them nice and golden. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes. You're looking for a crispy, golden brown finish. That's when you know they’re done baking.
While your chicken is baking, let's start making hot honey sauce to pour over our chicken strips. In a small saucepan, mix together honey, hot sauce, cayenne pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
Warm it over low heat, stirring until everything is well combined and the sauce is slightly thickened. This is what brings the whole dish together!
Once your chicken strips are finished baking, take them out of the oven and drizzle them generously with your hot honey sauce. If you like, sprinkle some chopped parsley over the top for a bit of color and freshness.
And that's it! This hot honey chicken tenders recipe is done and you are ready to serve!
Even Coating for the Perfect Crunch: To get that irresistible crunch, make sure each chicken strip is evenly coated with both the egg mixture and the cornflake crumbs. Dip each piece fully into the egg mixture, then press it into the cornflake mixture, making sure it's completely covered. This ensures a consistent, crispy coating on every strip.
Watch the Oven for the Golden Moment: Keep an eye on the chicken during the last few minutes of baking. You're aiming for a beautiful golden brown color and a crispy texture. Overcooking can make them dry, so once they've reached that perfect golden hue, take them out. This is the key to keeping them juicy inside and crunchy outside.
Balancing the Hot Honey Sauce: The hot honey sauce is the star of the show, so getting it just right is crucial. If you prefer a spicier kick, add more hot sauce or cayenne pepper. For a sweeter touch, increase the honey. Remember, it’s all about finding that perfect balance that suits your taste buds.
- Cornflake Substitute: If cornflakes aren't your thing or you don't have them on hand, you can use panko breadcrumbs or crushed crackers for a similar crunch.
- Chicken Alternatives: While chicken tenderloins are ideal, you can also use chicken breast cut into strips. Just adjust the cooking time if the pieces are thicker.
- Different Oils: No olive oil? No problem. You can use any neutral-flavored oil, like canola or sunflower oil, for drizzling before baking.
- Cheese Variations: If Parmesan isn't available, try using another hard cheese like Asiago or Romano for a similar salty, umami flavor in the crust.
- BBQ Honey Chicken Strips: For a smoky twist, mix some BBQ sauce into the honey mixture. It'll give you a smoky-sweet flavor that's absolutely delicious.
- Lemon Garlic Version: Replace the hot honey sauce with a mixture of lemon juice, minced garlic, and a bit of honey for a tangy, slightly sweet coating.
- Spicy Buffalo Style: If you're a fan of classic buffalo flavor, swap the hot honey sauce with buffalo sauce and serve with a side of blue cheese dressing.
- Herb Crusted Chicken Strips: Add dried herbs like thyme, oregano, or basil to the cornflake mixture for an aromatic, herby crunch.
If you're looking for something that's both delicious and easy to make, these hot honey chicken strips are it. They have a satisfying crunch from the cornflake coating, and the hot honey sauce adds a zing that'll make your taste buds dance.
- 6 cups of cornflakes
- ¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 2 pounds of chicken tenderloins
- 1 tablespoon of olive or vegetable oil
- ½ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce of your choice
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Parsley (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, pulse cornflakes, Parmesan cheese, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt. Transfer to a bowl.
- In another bowl, whisk eggs and 2 tablespoon hot sauce.
- Dip chicken in egg mixture, then coat in cornflake mixture. Place on baking sheet.
- Drizzle with oil and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- In a saucepan, combine honey, 2 tablespoon hot sauce, cayenne, onion powder, and garlic powder. Heat until combined.
- Drizzle sauce over baked chicken. Add parsley if desired.
For extra crunch, double-dip the chicken strips in egg and cornflake mixture before baking.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 507Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 194mgSodium: 606mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 2gSugar: 26gProtein: 53g
Have leftover chicken tenders? Here's our storage recommendation.
In the Fridge: Store any leftover chicken strips in an airtight container. They'll stay good for about 2-3 days. Perfect for a quick snack or a repeat dinner!
Freezing: If you want to save some for later, these strips freeze well. Just cool them down completely, then pop them in a freezer-safe bag or container. They'll last for about a month. My tip is to freeze them seperaptely on a baking sheet and then once froze pop into your freezer bag.
Reheating for Best Taste: When you're ready to eat them again, warm them up in the oven or an air fryer. This keeps them crispy and delicious, just like they were fresh!
Absolutely! You can prep the chicken strips by coating them in the egg and cornflake mixture and then refrigerating them until you're ready to bake. This can be a real time-saver, especially if you're planning to serve them for a party or a family gathering. Just remember to let them sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes before baking to ensure even cooking.
No food processor? No problem. Put the cornflakes in a large zip-lock bag, seal it, and then roll over it with a rolling pin. You can also use the bottom of a heavy pan or cup. The goal is to crush them into fine, even crumbs. This method is a bit more hands-on but works just as well.
Certainly! Chicken breasts can be easily substituted for tenderloins. Just slice them into strip-like pieces. Keep in mind that the thickness of the breast might alter the cooking time slightly. Thinner strips will cook faster, so keep an eye on them to avoid overcooking.
Using parchment paper is highly recommended. It prevents the chicken strips from sticking to the baking sheet and makes cleanup a lot easier. If you don't have parchment paper, you can lightly grease the baking sheet with oil or use a non-stick baking mat.
Of course! The beauty of this recipe is its versatility. Feel free to adjust the amount of honey if you prefer it sweeter, or add more hot sauce or cayenne pepper for an extra kick. Tasting and adjusting as you go is the best way to get the flavor just right for your palate.
The best way to check if the chicken is done is to look for that golden-brown color on the crust and ensure the chicken's internal temperature reaches 165°F when checked with a meat thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer, cut into the thickest part of one strip – the meat should be white all the way through, not pink.
Certainly! If parsley isn't your favorite, you can try garnishing with cilantro for a fresh, slightly citrusy flavor, or chopped green onions for a mild, oniony kick. Even a sprinkle of dried herbs like oregano or basil can add a nice touch.
Yes, you can air fry these chicken strips. It’s a great way to get them crispy without using the oven. Just arrange them in a single layer in the air fryer basket and cook at 400°F for about 10-12 minutes, or until they're crispy and golden. You might need to do it in batches, depending on the size of your air fryer.