Oven-Fried Chicken Fingers with Sriracha Dipping Sauce

Boneless chicken tenders are smothered in buttermilk then rolled into a walnut-panko crumbs mixture and baked until the texture is crunchy and crispy. Serve them with a spicy dipping sauce made with sriracha. These are Tempura Chicken Fingers at its best! Simple, not fried and delicious!

Sriracha is a tangy hot sauce often used in Thai and Vietnamese restaurants and can be found in all Asian food sections of most supermarket and grocery stores.

My husband loves to order "tempura" at every Chinese or Thai restaurant we go to. When I made these, he was surprised to find out that they were baked rather than fried. They were juicy and tender inside while crispy and crunchy on the outside. The pink dipping sauce was a killer! Prepared with a simple mixture made with sriracha, lime juice, soy sauce and mayo gave it a real kick to it, making these chicken fingers totally addictive!

I simply used one package of chicken tenderloins, some buttermilk, panko breadcrumbs and a handful of walnuts. Then coated each piece of chicken with buttermilk, and then coated each one again with panko-walnut breadcrumb mixture. Next, popped them into the oven and bake.

This dish was literally effortless, because the chicken already comes in strips, and the batter for coating is only the buttermilk. No eggs, and NO frying is the best part! Just pop them in the oven and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes per side. Dinner or even an appetizer come together in a matter of minutes!

What if you don't have buttermilk on hand?  Try whisking 1/4 cup of whole milk with 3/4 cup plain yogurt, or 1/4 cup of milk with 3/4 cup of sour cream.  Either one will give the chicken a creamy coating it needs before they go into the panko breadcrumb mixture.

You can adjust the heat intensity of the dipping sauce to your liking. Keep in mind, sriracha sauce may be too spicy for the little ones, it might be best to serve these Tempura-style chicken fingers with their favorite sauce, ketchup!

These Tempura-style chicken fingers turned out really well, not oily or greasy. I would definitely make these again using the chicken tenders because they help cut the time in the prep work, and  they're make a perfect size to serve them as finger-food appetizers. 

Chicken fingers are fun to serve family and friends any time, especially during the football season!  Cheers!

Oven-Fried Chicken Fingers with Sriracha Dipping Sauce

  • 1 pound boneless chicken tenders, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1+ 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • fresh black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 pound of boneless chicken tenders
  • olive oil cooking spray

Sriracha Dipping Sauce
  • 5 Tbsp. light mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • optional: 1 to 2 drops sesame seed oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking oil.  Set aside.
Pour buttermilk into a shallow bowl.  
In a second shallow bowl, combine panko crumbs, salt, garlic powder, and walnuts.

Dip each chicken tender into the buttermilk and coat both sides.
Then dip into the panko mixture and coat both sides evenly.

Arrange coated chicken tenders on the (already prepared) baking sheet.
BAKE for 10 to 12 minutes on each side, until golden brown.

In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients listed for the Sriracha dipping sauce.
Transfer to a small dipping bowl, and serve along side with chicken fingers.

Serves 4 to 5

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  1. Wow I bet the walnuts really add a nice crunch. Tender moist chicken and spicy sauce - I'm all in! Another outstanding recipe ladies!

    1. Thanks Tricia! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. What a great recipe because who doesn't like fried chicken that isn't fried? Can't wait to try these!

  3. We happen to agree Abbe - thanks for stopping by! Have a great week!

  4. I was just working on a chicken tenders recipe yesterday, I love this! And I'm with your husband, I order tempura every chance I get, but this looks like a much healthier alternative!

    1. Thanks Sue ! It's always a pleasure to hear from a great cook like you!
      Have a great week.

  5. What a healthy alternative to the usual chicken fingers! Love these and the delicious dipping sauce. Pinning :)

    1. Thanks so much Sue for pinning this one! And, thanks for stopping by!

  6. My youngest would eat chicken tenders for every meal, given the opportunity. I'm sharing this recipe with him in hopes that he'll make them for dinner one night this week! Love the crunch of the panko and nuts, and I also love that they're baked instead of fried.

    1. Thanks Betty! I will be making them again this week since it was a snap to put dinner on the table. Enjoy!


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