After trying several brands in the frozen chicken tender department; I officially declare chicken tenders are yummiest at home. Results vary, but overall I find them soggy, lacking flavor and the worst of all offenses is when they are not properly trimmed. My Crispy Freezer Friendly Chicken Tenders are ready in the time it takes you to go to the store. No sogginess and no yucky chicken pieces guaranteed.
How to Make Crispy Freezer Chicken Tenders
The secret ingredient for the super crispy crust on these is corn flakes. You can actually find corn flakes already ground up near the bread crumbs, but I would NOT recommend you buy those. If you notice, I leave a pretty large crumb on these. This is what creates that big crunch without frying. The already ground up corn flakes are far too pulverized to get the texture we are going for here. The other secret is breading that sticks. We accomplish this with a nice thick Greek Yogurt mixture. You can use buttermilk too, but I really like Greek yogurt and that is what I usually have on hand.
Should You Cook Chicken Tenders Before Freezing
I don’t recommend that you cook chicken tenders before freezing them. They will only dry out. They cook perfectly from frozen.
Sure there is some work on the front end, but then you have a nice big bag of already prepared chicken tenders for those evenings you don’t feel like cooking. These are high quality and without additives.
How do you cook frozen chicken tenders? Airfryer or Oven
I gave you instructions for both in the recipe below. Just know the oven takes about 20-25 minutes at 400 and the air fryer takes 12-14 minutes at 390 degrees. I highly recommend you invest in an instant read thermometer to avoid over and under cooking. Chicken tenders need to reach an internal temp of 165 degrees.
How long can you freeze chicken tenders?
I’d say you can safely freeze without quality loss for about 3 months.
Try my other chicken tender recipes!
I really hope you make these Crispy Freezer Friendly Chicken Tenders! I think they’ll be a family favorite!
Crispy Freezer Friendly Chicken Tenders
Crispy Freezer Friendly Chicken Tenders are a delicious and easy way to meal prep for your family. You can make a big batch of these and freeze them then cook them up any night of the week!
- 1 cup Non Fat Greek Yogurt
- 3 tbsp. Lemon Juice Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1.5 cups Flour
- 4 cups Corn Flakes Cereal crushed
- salt and pepper
- 24 Chicken Tenders
Set up your breading station. First mix together the flour with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Just hit the top of the flour pile with an even coating.
Next mix together the yogurt, mustard, lemon juice and water. It should be a nice thick consistency similar to buttermilk.
Last put your cornflakes into the food processor. Pulse until you have course crumbs. Don't pulverize them to death or your tenders won't be super crispy. Pour the corn flakes out onto a plate and also hit those with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Set up a parchment lined baking sheet at the end of your breading station. This is where you will put your tenders when you're finished breading them.
Make sure that your prepare the tenders by cutting out the little white piece on the back. The tender is connected to the breast by this small piece of cartlidge. I know it sounds disgusting, but part of the reason you can get funky pieces of non-chewable chicken when you order out is a lack of trimming properly. This cannot be chewed. Make sure that if your grocery store didn't cut it out, that you do or it's very unpleasant.
Once your chicken is all set, season it with an even coating of salt and pepper.
Dredge it first in the flour mix, then the yogurt and the corn flake mix. Complete that process with all 24 chicken tenders
When you're all finished set the sheet pan of tenders into the freezer for 2-4 hours to freeze them. Transfer to zip top bags or sealed containers and keep in the freezer until you're ready to use them.
Cooking Your Chicken Tenders OVEN INSTRUCTIONS FROM FROZEN
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Remove your desired amount of tenders to a parchment lined baking sheet. Spray the tops with cooking spray.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reaches 165 degrees. Keep in mind you need to monitor your internal temperature of the chicken to ensure safe cooking. Thickness of your tenders will affect cooking time.
COOKING YOUR CHICKEN TENDERS: AIRFRYER FROM FROZEN
Preheat your airfryer for 3 minutes at 390 degrees. Spray the basket with non-stick spray.
Add the chicken tenders in a single layer. Cook at 390 for 12-14 minutes. Check them around the 10 minute mark. For best results use an instant read thermometer to ensure the tenders reach 165 degrees internally.
Cooking Time: FROM FRESH
In the air fryer at 390 degrees your chicken tenders will take 8-10 minutes if they are not frozen. In the oven they will take 13-16 minutes. As always check with an instant read thermometer.
You can make these into nugget shapes too! Each tender will yield about 3 nuggets. Use the same process and cooking guidelines.