Rice Krispies Chicken Tenders

Use crisped rice cereal to make some of the crispiest chicken ever. These Rice Krispies Chicken Tenders is an easy family dinner recipe that the kids will beg for!

When the kids were younger, we made fried chicken strips all the time. We ate them so much we had to make a gluten free fried chicken recipe….and the kids fell in love with!

A close up of a plate of chicken fingers

Rice Krispies Chicken Tenders

Another fun recipe our kids love are these rice krispies chicken tenders. They have GREAT flavor and we love that crisped rice cereal gives them a special crunch. This recipe is the ultimate in comfort food…easy enough for a weeknight but also fun when the kids friends come over.

What is the difference between chicken tenders and chicken breast?

This Rice Krispies Chicken Tenders recipe calls for using chicken tenders. So what is a chicken tender? Is it the same as the breast? The chicken tender is a part of the chicken breast. When you look at a full large chicken breast, there is a long part attached to the underside of the breast that you can loosen and tear off with your hands. It’s a long strip…and this is the chicken tender. (source)

Since it is part of the breast, it is white meat and tastes just like a chicken breast. It’s tender and juicy!

How does buttermilk affect chicken?

Soaking chicken or other meats in buttermilk make the meat tender. While harsher acids like lemon juice or vinegar can tenderize, they can also dry out the meat. But soaking chicken in buttermilk helps the chicken stay juicy while tenderizing the meat.

A bowl of  Chicken and Buttermilk

How long can you leave chicken marinating in buttermilk?

When we’ve made this chicken, we’ve done all different amounts of time to soak the chicken. Sometimes I forget to plan ahead and end up only soaking the chicken for 15 minutes.

For optimum results you can soak the chicken in buttermilk for 8 hours which makes it ideal to prepare in the morning before you head out for the day. Be sure the chicken is in a glass bowl and is covered, then allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator.

a bowl of chicken in buttermilk

Can you use rice krispies to coat chicken?

Yes!! Rice Krispies Chicken Tenders is such a fun recipe! You can crush the rice krispies if you’d like, but we leave them whole. Leaving them whole gives the most crunch. You will need some type of “binder” that the crisped rice attaches on to. In this case it is the buttermilk mixture.

How to Make Crispy Chicken Tenders

  • In a large deep plate add in rice krispies and flour.
  • Once chicken has marinated, shake off excess buttermilk mixture and dredge each tender into the rice krispie mixture. Be sure to firmly press the chicken in to coat completely. This is a messy process. But sooooo worth it!bowl of rice krispies with chicken tenders in it
  • Once chicken has been coated, allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes so the rice krispie coating will adhere better to the chicken. This is a trick you can use any time you are making a breaded, fried chicken. Always allow it to sit. It thickens the coating and helps it not fall off the chicken.rice krispies chicken tenders frying in oil
  • In a large pan add in 1-2 inches of oil and heat over medium high heat. Gently add in chicken strips once oil is hot. Once the chicken is frying, do not touch it until it’s time to flip it.
  • Cook for 4-6 minutes per side or until chicken has cooked through. The exact timing will depend on how thick the chicken tenders are.rice krispies chicken tenders frying in oil

**We LOVE our Thermoworks ThermaPen to quickly test meat temperatures. This probe thermometer is AMAZING.  Get it here.**

How do you keep breaded chicken from getting soggy?

Have you ever made fried chicken only to end up with it being soggy? Yeah…it’s not fun! But we have a trick to prevent this.

After you remove the chicken from the frying pan, place the chicken strips on a wire rack with paper towels underneath to catch oil drips. This helps air to flow around the chicken and keeps the chicken crispy on all sides.

Why is my fried chicken not crispy?

Here are a few tips to follow when making homemade fried chicken:

  • Make sure the oil comes about half way up the chicken. The exact amount of oil you’ll need will depend on the size of your skillet.
  • The oil should be hot BEFORE you put the chicken in the skillet. If you want to test the temperature, it should be about 350º Fahrenheit.
  • Don’t overcrowd the chicken. Give the chicken room to have the oil brown it on all sides.
  • Use our wire rack method that we talk about above. This is our KEY trick!

rice krispies chicken tenders in a basket

Are chicken tenders bad for you?

Well…these Rice Krispies Chicken Tenders are fried in oil so they may not be a dinner you want to enjoy every day of the week. BUT…they’ll fill you up and they are a great source of protein for kids (and adults) who might be picky eaters!

For a healthier version, bake on 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. This will cut down on the calories and fat content.

What should I serve with chicken tenders?

We’d serve a crispy baked potato or sweet potato fries with this chicken. You can also serve a layered salad, Italian pasta salad or fruit salad.

Kids also love bacon baked beans along with chicken!

pile of fried chicken tenders

Dipping Sauces for Chicken Tenders

Other Chicken Recipes

Rice Krispies Chicken Tenders
Rice Krispies Chicken Tenders

Rice Krispies Chicken Tenders

4.80 from 5 votes
Use crisped rice cereal to make some of the crispiest chicken ever. These Rice Krispies Chicken Tenders is an easy family dinner recipe that the kids will beg for!
Servings 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into thick slices (bought thin sliced chicken breasts, then cut in half)
  • 1 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 4 cups rice krispies cereal (or more as needed)
  • cup flour
  • Oil for frying

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl add in chicken, buttermilk, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning. Let chicken marinade at least an hour or up to overnight refrigerated..
  • In a large deep plate add in rice krispies and flour.
  • Once chicken has marinated, shake off excess buttermilk mixture and dredge each tender into the rice krispie mixture. Be sure to firmly press the chicken in to coat completely.
  • Once chicken has been coated, allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes so the rice krispie coating will adhere better to the chicken.
  • In a large pan add in 1-2 inches of oil and heat over medium high heat. Gently add in chicken strips once oil is hot. Once the chicken is frying, do not touch it until it’s time to flip it.
  • Cook for 4-6 minutes per side or until chicken has cooked through.
  • Place the chicken strips on a wire rack with paper towels underneath to catch oil drips. This helps keep the chicken crispy on all sides.

Notes

This is a messy recipe, to ensure the rice mixture adheres to the chicken, it is important to add pressure to almost “crush” the rice krispies. If desired, you can pulse the cereal to create more of a breadcrumb. If you choose to pulse it, you will not have the crispy outside.
 
For a healthier version, bake on 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
 
For a gluten free version, leave out the flour, but remember to FIRMLY press the chicken into the rice mixture.
 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 1215mg | Potassium: 578mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2040IU | Vitamin C: 19.1mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 10.3mg
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 318
Keyword crispy fried chicken, fried chicken tenders, make chicken tenders, rice krispies breading

A plate of food with chicken tenders

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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danucha
3 years ago

5 stars
Great instruction for the first time cooking.

Smgsaz@gmail.com
2 years ago

For a while there was a gluten-free version of Rice Krispies but be careful because the regular Krispies has a wheat starch in it.

Carol Bell
2 years ago

I’m new to Tastes of Lizzy T. I want to thank you for giving a healthier way of making this in the oven and also the nutrition facts. I’m on Weight Watchers and those two things are very helpful. I am going to try and make this in the next week or two. Sounds very good. I will do my in the oven. Thanks again.

Lindsey Sommers
1 year ago

5 stars
You have the greatest recipes, I always get excited whenever I see your name in my inbox. Thank you

O'Lady
1 year ago

I tried these last night. They were good – I fried them in peanut oil so how could they be bad! I did find that there was too much dried Italian Seasoning. The buttermilk does make the chicken tender, but next time, instead of italian seasoning, I will add some shallot or onion and some jalapeno to the marinade.

Cristina
1 year ago

Can you use whole milk instead of buttermilk ?

Cristina
1 year ago

Does the chicken have to be thawed before soaking in buttermilk ?

Cristina
1 year ago

Your chicken recipe came out delicious! Omg I’ll be making. Again ! It was so good! Thank you for sharing ! You should be so proud! Thank you