For meal prep this week I’ve taken inspiration from a meal my mom used to make when I was a kid. We always used to have chicken breast cooked in one of a handful of ways, but my favorite was these chicken tenders she would make. The breading was made from ritz crackers with paprika and garlic powder and she always served them with with honey mustard and usually mashed potatoes as well.
I don’t have the exact recipe she used to use, but I think I’ve made a pretty good replica that might even be better than the original! The chicken is flavorful, it’s pretty quick to make, and stores beautifully for meal prep. I replaced the honey mustard my mom always used with a copycat Chick-fil-a sauce and subbed roasted veggies and salad for the side and I’m so happy with the result. Here’s the details:
- the chicken – I had pre-cut chicken tenders from my latest butcher box so that’s what I used, but you can also use chicken breast, just cut it into strips, or you could probably use chicken thighs cut into slices or chunks?? Whatever you’ve got!
- the ritz – I used the traditional ritz crackers for my breading. YUM. If you don’t have them, you can probably use almost any cracker you’ve got. Ideally something buttery and I think saltines would be too much, but if you do use those decrease the amount of salt in the recipe to compensate for how salty they are
- the seasoning – you can use whatever seasonings you want! Just make sure that you use enough. If you taste the breading on it’s own before you bread the chicken it should taste over-seasoned. The flavor will almost get diluted once you eat it on the chicken
- the sauce – it’s not a perfect replica of the chick-fil-a sauce but it’s pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. You can make it as written, then give it a taste and adjust whatever you want until you love it. It’s great on the chicken tenders but also on pretty much anything else!
That’s it! So easy, so perfect, and so forgiving. Let me know what you think if you make it!
makes 5-6 servings
- 1 lb chicken tenders
- 45 (135g) ritz crackers, crushed
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 egg
- copycat chick-fil-a sauce, recipe below, for serving
- salad kit, for serving, optional
- roasted veg, for serving, optional
How to do it
- prep: preheat the oven to 375*. lightly grease a large sheet pan and set aside
- make the breading stations: in a wide, shallow pan, such as a pie tin, combine the crushed ritz crackers, garlic powder, paprika, and salt. mix well and set aside
- combine the egg with 1-2 Tbsp water in another pan, either a pie tin or loaf pan. set aside
- put the flour in a third pan, either a pie tin or loaf pan. set aside
- bread and bake: using one hand for all the wet dips and the other hand for all the dry dips, coat the chicken tenders first in flour, shake off all the excess, then in the egg, and finally in the cracker mixture. place on the prepared pan and repeat with all of the chicken. bake for 13-17 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160* – the carryover heat will take it up to 165*
- store and enjoy: once fully cool, store in an airtight container. re-heat in the microwave or in the oven if you want them to be a bit crispier after reheating. serve with copycat chick-fil-a sauce and any other sides you’d like and enjoy!
Copycat Chick-fil-a Sauce
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup bbq sauce
- 2 Tbsp mustard
- juice from 1/2 a lemon
How to do it
- combine all ingredients in a small container. taste and adjust as desired. enjoy!