These easy Cornflake Chicken Tenders are juicy on the inside and crunchy on the outside! Crushed cereal and parmesan make the perfectly crispy coating on kid-friendly chicken tenderloins.
Crunchy Chicken Tenderloins
These Cornflake Chicken Tenders are perfectly crispy for that satisfying bite, especially when dipped in a little mustard or Jalapeno Ranch! Kids and adults alike will love this easy-to-eat chicken. When you need a “no fuss” kind of night, this recipe gives a great meal that’s healthier than the fried fast food version!
Crunchy plain cornflakes are mixed with parmesan and seasonings for a simple breading that gets nice and crisp without adding a ton of thick batter. These common ingredients are usually fairly inexpensive, so this can be a great meal to stock up the freezer when the chicken tenderloins or breasts are on sale!
Cornflake Chicken Ingredients
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need. For exact measurements, keep scrolling down to the printable recipe card below!
- Chicken tenderloins – Boneless, skinless. You’re welcome to use chicken breasts or thighs instead–Simply cut them into strips about 1.5-2 inches wide.
- Cornflakes, Grated parmesan cheese, Garlic powder, Onion powder, Italian seasoning, Paprika, Salt, and Pepper – These are processed together to form a crumbly seasoned coating for the chicken. The cheap, canned pre-grated cheese crisps up well. The seasonings can easily be adjusted for your tastes
- Eggs and Milk – These two are mixed together to act as the “glue” holding the breading to the chicken. You could replace the milk with buttermilk if you prefer a tangy flavor, or you could leave out the milk altogether.
How to Make Cornflake Chicken
This is a simple recipe that can be easily doubled or tripled to feed a crowd or prep future meals. Here’s a step-by-step guide for making this kid-friendly chicken recipe.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a pan with foil or parchment paper (simply for easy clean up–Feel free to skip that if you don’t mind the mess), then top with a baking rack and set aside. In a bowl or pie dish, beat eggs and milk together.
Place cornflakes, parmesan, and seasonings into a food processor and grind until a course, crumbly texture is formed (I pulsed about 25 times). If you prefer a finer texture than is pictured, you can process yours longer. Pour crumbs into a pie plate or shallow bowl.
Dip chicken tenderloins into the egg mixture, then allow the excess to drip off. Place in cornflake crumb dish and turn to coat, pressing gently to ensure the breading will stick. Once covered in crumbs, place on prepared baking rack, making sure tenders are not touching one another.
Once all chicken tenders have been breaded, place the baking sheet into the preheated oven and cook for 15-17 minutes or until the thickest tenderloin has reached 165 degrees F in the center. Serve immediately.
Air Fryer Instructions for Cornflake Chicken Tenderloins
These can be made even quicker (and crispier) in the air fryer! Simply place tenders into a preheated air fryer on 400 degrees F, making sure to give each one a little room for even cooking. Air fry for 8-10 minutes or until breading is crispy and the center of the thickest tenderloin is 165 degrees F. You may have to work in batches because you can’t crowd the air fryer, but you could keep the cooked tenderloins warm in the oven on 200 degrees F while the rest cook.
You can sprinkle some fresh herbs, green onions, and parmesan on the chicken tenders for garnish and serve immediately with a good dipping sauce like Jalapeno Ranch, Smoked Queso, or Beer Cheese Dip. A simple side like Parmesan Cauliflower is easy to prepare, or you could reach for the freezer and make Air Fryer Fries or Tater Tots.
More good side dishes for chicken tenders
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries or Potato Wedges
- Bacon Cheddar Cauliflower Tots
- Crispy Smashed Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Aioli
- Zucchini Chips or Homemade Buffalo Chips
storage & reheating
- FRIDGE – These can last 3-4 days in the fridge if in an airtight container. Make sure chicken has completely cooled before transferring to a container. Any residual heat turns into condensation and moisture which can lead to soggy breading. Storing with a couple paper towels isn’t a bad idea.
- FREEZER – Freeze cooled chicken on a baking sheet in an even layer (not touching) for 2-3 hours, then transfer to a freezer bag. For the best flavor and texture, eat within 3-6 months. Allow chicken to thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating (if you place paper towels inside the freezer bag during the defrost, it’ll soak up some of the moisture and help make a crispier crust.
- REHEATING – For the crunchiest breading, reheat in the air fryer (375 for 3-4 minutes). For large batches, the oven might be best; just reheat on a baking rack over a baking sheet at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes or until warmed throughout. You can also microwave the chicken, but you will lose the crispiness on the outside.
If you like these chicken tenders, you’ll love these recipes!
- Pecan Crusted Chicken – If you love a major crunch, these are the chicken tenders for you! They have an incredible buttery, toasted pecan coating that can’t be beat.
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Crescent Ring – This is a favorite for kids and parties! A creamy ranch chicken filling with crunchy bacon is baked inside easy, flaky Pillsbury crescent dough.
- Pesto Chicken Sliders – These are great for an easy-to-serve lunch or dinner, and the little slider buns make these perfect for kids!
- Air Fryer Chicken Tenders – This crispy parmesan coating is simple and ready in less than 30 minutes.
- Keto Chicken Nuggets – If you’re looking to lower your carbs, this is a great option with a delicious light almond flour breading! Pork rinds can also be crushed and used for a crunchier bite.
Cornflake Chicken FAQs
Yes, once you crush or process the cornflakes, the cereal forms great crumbs for breading! It bakes or fries up crisp, and it sticks on well with a quick egg wash. You can keep cornflakes larger for bigger crunches, or you can crush them into small crumbs for a thin crisp breading that sticks very well. You could use crushed or processed pork rinds if you’re looking for a low-carb option instead.
There are several steps you can take if you want super crispy chicken strips! First, start with patting your chicken dry before the egg wash so that the breading stays on the tenderloin. Second, you can chill the breaded chicken for 30 minutes or longer (up to 24 hours) so that the breading sticks well and there’s no excess moisture that could lead to sogginess. The air fryer will produce crispier breading than the oven, especially if you give it a quick spray with oil.
- 2.5 pounds chicken tenderloins
- 4 cups plain cornflake cereal
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1.5 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2-3 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, then top with a baking rack. Spray with oil and set aside. In a shallow bowl or pie plate, beat together eggs and milk, then set aside. In a food processor, combine cornflakes, parmesan, and seasonings, then pulse until a coarse crumbly mixture has formed (I pulsed about 25 times).
- Dip the chicken tenders in the egg and milk mixture, then allow the excess to drip away. Press gently into the cornflake crumbs, covering both sides. Move to the prepared baking rack, then continue breading the remaining tenders.
- Bake the chicken tenders for 15-17 minutes or until they reach 165 degrees F in the center. Serve immediately.