Hot Honey Chicken Tenders

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Elevate your weeknight meals with Hot Honey Chicken Tenders. Sweet, spicy with an optional homemade hot honey recipe included! You will love these addictive, crunchy, juicy chicken tenders. They are by far a family favorite we never get tired of.

Hot honey chicken tenders on parchment paper with pickles on the side.
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Why Make Hot Honey Chicken Tenders

These tenders are an elevated childhood favorite. They combine sweet, spicy, savory flavors you will crave.

  • Easy to Make.
  • Dairy Free.
  • Healthy. If you air fry or bake them, you can skip a lot of calories!
  • Customize The Heat. You can decide the heat level here.
  • Crispy. Who doesn’t love a crispy chicken tender?!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients to make the meal on a counter in bowls and measuring cups.

All other ingredients and measurements can be found in the recipe card towards the bottom of this post. 

  • Chicken Breasts Or Tenders. I go for breasts and slice them myself, it makes it more affordable. You can use presliced tenders.
  • Pickle Juice. This is to brine the tenders, totally optional but I highly recommend it.
  • Seasonings. Garlic, onion powder, salt, red pepper flakes
  • All Purpose Flour. This is to batter the tenders, use gluten free all purpose flour if needed.
  • Cornflakes. This gives the tenders a super crispy exterior without totally deep frying them!
  • Oil. You will need canola or vegetable oil if you are pan frying or you can use cooking spray for baking or air frying methods.
  • Eggs. This is to dredge the chicken tenders and help keep the batter on. You can also use buttermilk instead if desired.
  • Hot Honey. Make my Homemade Hot Honey or you can buy Mikes Hot Honey.

Recipe Variations

  • Make it healthier. Make these in the air fryer for a healthier calorie friendly change up!
  • Make the tenders “naked” simple skip the batter and just coat them in the seasonings and drizzle the hot honey generously before serving.

Steps To Make This Recipe

Steps to make this recipe with lots of mixing bowls.

Brine the chicken: Slice the breasts into tenders. Add the chicken tenders to a gallon sized ziplock or a large bowl with the pickle juice (photo 1). Refrigerate for 20 minutes or overnight (no more than 24 hours).

Dredge The Chicken: Make a dredging station with three plates, shallow bowls or paper plates. Eggs, flour, and cornflakes in three separate bowls/plates. Dip the chicken tenders in the flour/seasonings mix, then eggs, then cornflakes (photo 2). Add the battered chicken to a parchment lined baking sheet until ready to cook (photo 3).

Chicken battered in ingredients on a baking sheet.

Choose Cooking Method. Air fry, pan fry or bake the tenders. All details are below in the recipe card.

Drizzle With Hot Honey. Once the tenders are cooked through, generously drizzle them with hot honey, serve with spicy pickles if desired.

Hot honey chicken tenders on parchment paper with pickles on the side.

What To Serve With Hot Honey Chicken Tenders

These are so great on their own but they pair great with numerous sides!

Recipe Tips

  • Brine the tenders. You can skip the pickle juice brine, but i cannot recommend it enough! It softens the tenders and gives them such a unique flavor.
  • Don’t overcook the tenders. Use a digital thermometer to be sure they are cooked to 165º internally.
  • Taste the hot honey as you go, be sure you don’t add too much heat with the hot honey. Taste it before drizzling on the tenders.
  • Make It Healthier. If you want to cut the calories, air fry or bake the tenders. You can also skip the batter and just season them and cook as is. They are still tasty!

Recipe FAQs

Can Hot Honey Chicken Tenders be Made Ahead Of Time?

Yes, you can prep these ahead of time if needed. I suggest battering only a few hours early, otherwise the batter can get very soggy. Otherwise you can marinate for up to 24 hours, just store the chicken and pickle juice covered in the fridge.

Do I have To Use Hot HOney?

No, you can definitely use regular honey if you are sensitive to heat or cooking for picky eaters.

Other Chicken Recipes To Enjoy

If you loved this recipe let me know! Also, follow me on Instagram & Pinterest for even more fun recipes to make you feel good from the inside out. Thanks for being here.

Hot honey chicken tenders on parchment paper with pickles on the side.
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Hot Honey Chicken Tenders

Elevate your weeknight meals with Hot Honey Chicken Tenders. Sweet, spicy with an optional homemade hot honey recipe included
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • mixing bowls

Ingredients 

  • 1.25- 1.5 lb chicken breasts
  • 1 cup dill pickle juice, or any flavor you prefer
  • cup all purpose flour , gluten free all purpose flour will also work
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 4 cups corn flakes, crushed , more as needed
  • cup hot honey , or use store bought hot honey.
  • ¼ cup oil for frying, only if pan frying! more as needed
  • pickles for serving , optional

Instructions 

  • Brine the chicken. Slice the breasts into tenders (equal sizes). Add the chicken tenders to a gallon sized ziplock or a large bowl with the pickle juice. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or overnight (no more than 24 hours).
  • Dredge The Chicken: Make a dredging station with three plates, shallow bowls or paper plates. Eggs, flour, and cornflakes in three separate bowls/plates. Dip the chicken tenders in the flour/seasonings mix, then dunk in whisked eggs, then cornflakes. Add the battered chicken to a parchment lined baking sheet until ready to cook.
  • Choose Cooking Method. Air fry, pan fry or bake the tenders. All details are below in the recipe card. 
    Pan Fry; add the oil to a pan, bring the oil to heat and add tenders in (about 4-6 can fit at once) let them cook for about 6-7 minutes on each side, turning often. Place cooked tenders on a paper towel or plate, continue until all are cooked.
    Air Fryer; Set to 350º. Spray the battered tenders with cooking spray. Cook for 15-18 minutes, flip halfway through.
    Bake; Place the tenders on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spritz with cooking spray. Cook on 375º for about 16-18 minutes. Flip halfway through.
  • Drizzle With Hot Honey. Once the tenders are cooked through (165º F), let them cool for a few minutes generously drizzle them with hot honey, serve with spicy pickles if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Brine the tenders. You can skip the pickle juice brine, but i cannot recommend it enough! It softens the tenders and gives them such a unique flavor. 
  • Don’t overcook the tenders. Use a digital thermometer to be sure they are cooked to 165º internally. 
  • Taste the hot honey as you go, be sure you don’t add too much heat with the hot honey. Taste it before drizzling on the tenders. 
  • To Store,  The tenders will keep well for 3-4 days in the fridge – reheat in the microwave, in the air fryer or in the oven. Freeze for up to 2 months in an airtight ziplock. 

Nutrition

Serving: 4 tenders | Calories: 576kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 213mg | Sodium: 1599mg | Potassium: 655mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 795IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 10mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Bailey
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 576
Keyword: Hot Honey Chicken Tenders
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