The question of "what's for dinner", which comes up a lot since my girl is always trying to decipher what I've written on our menu board, is always met with glee whenever I serve chicken to my toddler and husband. Partly, it's because we don't eat it that often, but it's also because they both love it—and all of the dipping opportunities it presents (I'm talking to you ketchup!). I grew up eating chicken cutlets, so breaded chicken is total comfort food for me—and this recipe for Easy Cornmeal-Crusted Parmesan Chicken Tenders is a baked version that packs plenty of flavor and comes together in less than 30 minutes. It's so great to make our kids the foods we loved growing up, right?
I like using cornmeal in the coating because it gets crisp easily (it's not prone to sogginess like flour can be), it's naturally flavorful, and it happens to be gluten free. The addition of Parmesan adds flavor and while you can totally add herbs to the coating, it's just as good left simple.
We like these tenders served warm with tomato sauce, ketchup, or salsa or cold as leftovers either in sandwiches or diced up for lunch. They cut really easily with a pair of kitchen shears and they are soft enough for even little eaters to happily munch.
Cornmeal-Crusted Parmesan Chicken Tenders
Serves about 4 (1-2 kids and 1-2 adults, depending on appetites)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 lb chicken tenders
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.
- Add the egg to a wide-bottom bowl. Add the cornmeal, Parmesan, salt, and pepper to a 9-inch pie plate or other wide-bottom bowl. Dip each chicken tender into the egg, then coat with the cornmeal mixture. (Use one hand for the egg, then one hand for the cornmeal to make this easy.) Place each onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Snip with kitchen shears or cut into pieces and serve with ketchup, salsa, tomato sauce, or another favorite dipping sauce.
Add 1 teaspoon dried herbs such as rosemary and/or thyme to the cornmeal mixture.
Cut the tenders into bite-size pieces to make nuggets.
Top with tomato sauce and shredded cheese, pop back into the oven to melt the cheese, and serve as easy chicken Parmesan.
Green plate by Re-Play.