My favorite chicken tenders are coated with Chees-It crackers.


As a child, Cheese-It crackers were a snack I craved. My mother rarely bought them, but there were plenty of opportunities for me to enjoy them at a friend's house or from the school vending machine. The burst of salty, cheesy flavor makes them the ideal snack — I'm still obsessed! — and they're my go-to crunchy coating when I make chicken tenders.

When crumbled into breadcrumbs, these golden little squares can take otherwise plain chicken tenders to a whole new level—no other breadcrumbs (not even panko!) can hold a candle to their crunch and punch of flavor. do not have I promise the Cheez-It Coated Tenders will reignite the chicken tender lover in you.

Just recipes / Ciara Kehoe

How I Make Chicken Tenders with Cheez-Its

Start with about a pound of boneless skinless chicken tenders. If you can't find chicken tenders at the store, you can cut boneless skinless chicken breasts into 1/2-inch-wide strips.

In a bowl, add chicken, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, and hot sauce, if you like. Gets a kick. Toss to coat the chicken evenly with the warm marinade and let sit for at least 15 minutes.

Season of Cheez-It Crumbs

If you want to spice up the Cheez-It crumbs with even more flavor, you can add some seasoning to the marinade (besides the salt because the crackers are quite salty) and add it to the breadcrumbs.

When the chicken is marinated, you will need to crush the crackers. For one pound of chicken, you'll need about 2 cups of Cheez-It crackers. You can either put the crackers in a large zip-top bag and crush them using a rolling pin, or you can put them in a food processor and grind them until they are finely ground. are Large chunks won't stick to the chicken, and they burn before the chicken is cooked through, so chop them up like panko breadcrumbs.

Battered and deep-fried chicken tenders are certainly delicious, but deep-frying is not necessarily easy or convenient for everyday home cooking. When I make Cheez-It Coated Chicken Tenders, I bake them, and they are even better (and easier) than deep fried.

Take a piece of chicken out of the marinade, to allow more of the buttermilk to drip off. Then toss the chicken in the Cheez-It crumbs, gently pushing them down. Place it on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray. Bread all the chicken pieces like this and spray the tops with cooking spray.

Bake the chicken tenders in a 425°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping them halfway through. While they cook, you can focus on whipping up a simple kale salad or mashed potatoes.

Use other flavors of Cheese-It crackers.

Cheez-It has about a dozen flavored crackers. Although I prefer the original flavor, you can play around with other flavors or use the one you like best. I can imagine Pepper Jack, Extra Toasty, and Hot & Spicy being very, very tasty.

Just recipes / Ciara Kehoe


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