These hot honey chicken tenders are baked to crispy, juicy perfection and covered in a delicious hot honey sauce. They pack a powerful (and a little bit spicy) punch of flavor in a short amount of time.
Who doesn't love crispy homemade chicken tenders? We are obsessed with this easy dinner because it's gluten-free, packed full of flavor and quick to make. Those are all reasons we love to make chicken tenders in general for dinner. They cook much quicker than chicken breast! Our blackened chicken tenders are especially good!
What Are Hot Honey Chicken Tenders?
Hot honey chicken is a crispy fried chicken breast drenched in a spicy honey sauce. The dish is especially popular in Nashville, where it originated, but is popular all over the US now.
This variation of hot honey chicken tenders uses chicken strips rather than a chicken breasts, so they cook easily and quickly. The chicken is dredged in flour, egg and corn flakes and while they're baking, you'll whisk together the best hot honey sauce. It's one of the best combinations of sweet and hot!
Our version is a tasty new take on the classic fried food, because we're using corn flakes to get them really crunchy rather than flour only. They're baked to juicy perfection then covered in a mouthwatering hot honey glaze. This spicy sauce takes regular crispy chicken tenders to new heights! You're going to want to put it on everything.
Here are all the ingredients you need to make hot honey-glazed chicken tenders!
- Pickle juice: we're using pickle juice to tenderize the chicken. Traditional fried chicken is soaked in buttermilk, but we're keeping this dairy-free with a simple pickle juice marinade. Chicken tenders: jump down to the recipe card below to watch how to quickly remove the tendon from the chicken with a fork!
- Eggs: this helps the flour and cornflakes stick to the chicken. Plus the extra protein isn't bad!
- Savory seasonings: paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, chili falkes, salt and pepper
- Corn flakes: we used Nature'a Path Gluten-Free Corn flakes because I like that they're sweetened naturally with pear juice. Panko breadcrumbs are another option.
- Coconut oil: this is the base of the hot honey sauce, but butter or vegan butter are great options.
- Garlic: real garlic is a delicious secret to this delicious sauce.
- Honey: you can't forget this sweet ingredient! You could also swap all of the spices and honey for a pre make hot honey (like Mike's hot honey).
- Apple cider vinegar: a little bit of acid helps balance out the sweetness from the honey.
How to Make Hot Honey Chicken Tenders
Follow these step-by-step pictures to show you how to make hot honey chicken tenders in the oven. Skip down to the recipe card below for full instructions and measurements.
- Tenderize the chicken: Add the chicken tenders to a gallon sized ziplock or reusable storage bag with the pickle juice. Toss well to coat then refrigerate for 20 minutes or overnight (no more than 24 hours).
- Dredge: Add ⅓ cup of the flour (or gluten-free flour) to a medium bowl and whisk the eggs in a separate medium bowl. Finally, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour and spices to a third bowl with the crushed corn fakes and toss well. Coat each tender in the flour mixture, then eggs, and finally the crushed cornflakes.
- Bake: place the tenders on a sheet pan covered in parchment paper and bake at 425°F 13-15 minutes.
- Hot honey sauce: Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan then add the garlic and crisp it for a minutes. Add the spices and chili flakes and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Stir in the honey then remove from the heat and stir in the apple cider vinegar. Drizzle the hot honey over the chicken tenders right out of the oven.
Prefer to Watch Instead of Read?
Remove the white tendon from the chicken tender. to do this, slip the tendon through the prong of a fork then grab the end with a paper towel and pull down to slip the tendon from the chicken tender. The youtube video in the recipe card shows you how to do this.
Use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken. This is the best way to ensure you don't over cook the chicken and end up with dry, chewy chicken tenders.
Ways to Serve Hot Honey Chicken Tenders
Dice the chicken and serve it on top of a salad with fresh veggies and a honey mustard dressing.
Serve them as an appetizer with whole30 ranch dressing!
Frequently Asked Questions
This is a great recipe to make in the air fryer! Air fryer them fat 400°F for 8 minutes, flipping and spraying with cooking spray halfway through.
Add enough olive oil or avocado oil to a dutch oven to cover the bottom with an inch of oil. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F. Place the chicken in the oil and fry on each side for 4 minutes, or until the coating is crispy and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160-165°F.
We love to make these into nuggets! Cube the chicken into bite-sized pieces and follow the same instructions to dredge and bake the nuggets. They make take a few minutes less to cook, so start checking the temperature of the chicken around 8-10 minutes.
Allow the chicken tenders to cool completely and store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. I'd love to hear from you! You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More Chicken Tender Recipes
- Blackened Chicken Tenders
- Everything Bagel Chicken Tenders
- Glute-Free Fried Chicken
- Rice Crispy Chicken
Hot Honey Chicken Tenders
Crispy Chicken Tenders
- 1 cup dill pickle juice
- 1 ½ lbs chicken tenders
- ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour gluten-free if needed
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups crushed corn flakes we used Nature’s Path Gluten-Free pear-sweetened corn flakes
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Dill pickles to garnish
Hot Honey Sauce
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 5-6 cloves minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Large baking sheet
- Add the chicken tenders to a gallon sized ziplock or reusable storage bag with the pickle juice. You can also place them in a medium bowl and cover them with plastic wrap. Toss well to coat then refrigerate for 20 minutes or overnight (no more than 24 hours).
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Next, prepare the dredging station. Add ⅓ cup of the flour to a medium bowl and whisk the eggs in a separate medium bowl. Finally, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour and spices to a third bowl with the crushed corn fakes and toss well.
- Remove the chicken tenders from the pickle juice and discard. Dredge the chicken tenders in the flour mixture then place them in the egg to fully coat both sides and then place them corn flake mixture, turning to coast completely. Repeat the process with all of the chicken tenders and arrange them on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake in the preheat oven for 12-15 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 160°F, leaving 5-10 degrees for carryover cooking.
- While they’re baking, make the hot honey sauce. Add the coconut oil to a pan and melt over medium heat, then add the garlic and crisp it for a few minutes. Turn the heat up to medium-high heat and add the spices and chili flakes and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Stir in the honey then remove from the heat and stir in the apple cider vinegar.
- Drizzle the hot honey over the chicken tenders right out of the oven. If the sauce is done before the chicken, keep the hot honey on a very low setting to keep it warm until the chicken is ready. Serve with dill pickles and red pepper flakes (optional).