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Pecan crusted chicken tenders on a plate next to a bowl of dipping sauce.

Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders

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  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


Easy pecan crusted chicken tenders are a fun spin on a classic! Toasty pecans in the breading makes these tender and juicy chicken tenders extra crunchy and full of flavor.


  • 2 pounds boneless chicken tenderloins *see note
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • Vegetable or Canola oil to fry


  1. Pat chicken strips dry and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
  2. Place pecans in a blender or food processor and pulse until they are finely ground.
  3. Transfer pecans to a large, shallow bowl and add in parsley, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, flour, and panko bread crumbs. Stir to evenly combine.
  4. Add the buttermilk and eggs into another shallow bowl. Whisk to combine.
  5. Dip each piece of chicken into the buttermilk mixture and then press to coat in the pecan mixture. Transfer to a plate.
  6. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside.
  7. Fill a large skillet with oil until it is 1/4- inch deep. Heat the oil on medium heat until it reaches 350°F (it will shimmer or create bubbles immediately when a wooden spoon handle is placed in the oil). Working in batches, fry the chicken for 4 – 5 minutes on each side until golden. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm while you fry the remaining chicken. Watch the heat of the oil, as it can creep up cooking the outside of the chicken too quickly.
  8. Serve warm.


  • * You can also use boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips (2- inches in diameter)
  • Serve with chicken dipping sauce, or honey mustard dipping sauce.
  • Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Baking instructions: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place coated chicken strips onto a heavily greased or sprayed baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip all the pieces over. Bake for an additional 8 – 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked.
  • Air fryer instructions: Preheat air fryer to 390°F for 4 minutes, or until preheated. Place breaded chicken in a single layer on the air fryer rack. You might need to do multiple batches depending on the size of your air fryer. Cook for 8 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
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