EASY Buttermilk Chicken Tenders Recipe. Homemade recipe for the juiciest chicken tenders in a buttermilk marinade. 

The tenders are crispy on the outside yet melt-in-your-mouth tender and juicy on the inside.

Crispy buttermilk chicken tenders in a plate with a small bowl of dipping sauce.

We love kid-friendly recipes, and these homemade tenders are the ULTIMATE kid-approved recipe. When I’m making recipes I know my kid will love, we also go for the Crispy Chicken SandwichCrispy Parmesan Chicken, or the Pizza Rolls and customizable stromboli pizza with homemade dough. 

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Buttermilk Chicken Tenders Recipe-

The easiest recipe for homemade chicken tenders. The tenders are dredged in a buttermilk marinade that adds so much flavor to the chicken. Once fried, the tenders become crispy and crunchy on the outside and retain the juiciness on the inside – SO GOOD!

A crispy chicken tender topped with fresh greens and balck pepper.

How to make chicken tenders-

Enjoy these crispy chicken tenders with homemade honey mustard sauce or the best copycat chick-fil-a sauce!

  • PREP CHICKEN- Cut chicken into tenders. TIP: You can purchase pre-cut tenderloins for a quicker recipe. 
  • MAKE MARINADE– In a bowl (or plastic storage bag), combine the buttermilk with salt and pepper. Add chicken tenders and be sure all sides are submerged and coated in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use!
  • PREPARE BREADING– In a deep dish (we just like to use a pie dish or something similar), add all of the ingredients for the breading.
Step-by-step instructions on how to marinade and fry the chicken tenders.
  • COAT CHICKEN– Take chicken tenders from the marinade and pat against the side of the bowl allowing and excess marinade to drip off. Then, generously coat the tenders in the breading patting down the tenders so all sides are coated. 
  • FRY TENDERS– Add enough oil to your deep skillet or dutch oven to cover half of the tenders. Once the oil is how gently lower the chicken into the oil and fry until golden on both sides.
Chef’s TIP: Serve the tenders with homemade fries, sweet potato fries, or
even zucchini fries for a healthier option.

frequenlty asked questions-

Can I bake the tenders?

Yes, to bake the tenders, prepare per instructions and generously spray with cooking spray. Bake in a preheated oven to 400°F, 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the tenders.

How to make homemade buttermilk?

If you do not have buttermilk on hand you can make your own! Just mix together 3/4 cup whole milk, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 Tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar.

How long will chicken tenders last in the fridge?

You can keep the tenders refrigerated 1-2 days. Reheat before serving.

What oil should I use for frying?

We use canola oil, you can also use vegetable oil or olive oil for this recipe. 

How do I reheat the tenders?

Reheat tenders over low heat in a skillet or in the oven until heated.

How long do I marinade the tenders?

We recommend at least 1 hour of allowing the chicken to marinate or overnight.

Can I make chicken nuggets instead?

YES! This recipe would be perfect for chicken nuggets. The frying time will be less as the meat pieces are smaller. 

Freezer-Friendly Instructions- Cook tenders per recipe and are completely cool. Transfer to a freezer bag and freeze. To reheat, thaw overnight and bake until heated. Or, cover frozen tenders with foil and reheat at 350°F until heated.
Chicken tenders on a plate with a chicken tender dipped into the dipping sauce.

Friends, I can’t wait for you to give these chicken tenders a try! You are in for a TREAT! 🙂

Other Chicken Recipes-

Crispy Buttermilk Chicken Tenders

Author: Valentina
5 from 17 votes
Quick and EASY homemade recipe for crispy Buttermilk Chicken Tenders. Crunchy on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside with a homemade honey mustard dipping sauce.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
marinade-: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings



  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper



  • In a deep bowl, combine buttermilk, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken tenders to the marinade and marinate for 1 hour or overnight.
  • Combine all the ingredients for the breading in a deep dish.
  • Remove the chicken tenders from the marinade allowing excess marinate to drip off.
  • Generously dredge into the breading mixture.
  • In a deep skillet, add oil for frying (about 3 inches deep). Once oil is hot, add one chicken at a time.
  • Fry the chicken tenders 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking (until all sides are crispy and golden).
  • Enjoy chicken tenders with the desired dipping sauce!


NOTE: Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the tenders.


368kcal Calories21g Carbs36g Protein15g Fat3g Saturated Fat106mg Cholesterol641mg Potassium1g Fiber9g Sugar206IU Vitamin A2mg Vitamin C63mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Crispy Buttermilk Chicken Tenders
Amount Per Serving
Calories 368 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 106mg35%
Potassium 641mg18%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 36g72%
Vitamin A 206IU4%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 63mg6%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
(The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)