Wow. Just wow. When I first bit into these crispy baked chicken tenders I thought I hit the motherload. Did I just create a slightly healthier version of the wonderful, crispy and juicy Chick-Fil-A chicken tenders? Yup.

Last summer my mother bought me the Lemonade cookbook. For those East Coasters out there who aren’t lucky enough to experience Lemonade, I suggest you head out to LA ASAP.

Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Tenders

Photo by Hannah Cooper

I like to describe Lemonade as an adult cafeteria full of healthy, fresh and colorful salads, sandwiches, braised dishes and freshly squeezed lemonade, of course. The Lemonade includes this dank AF recipe for Buttermilk Chicken Tenders – that I’ve altered a bit – and they taste like Chick-fil-A so now you can eat fried chikin’ on Sunday #blessup. Ladies and gentlemen, here you go.

Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Tenders

Gif by Hannah Cooper

Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Tenders

  • Prep Time:24 hours
  • Cook Time:30 minutes
  • Total Time:24 hours, 30 minutes
  • Servings:4
  • Medium


  • 2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Cholula
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1.5 pounds chicken tenders
  • 2+ tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoon mayonaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
  • Pepper (to taste)
Photo by Hannah Cooper
  • Step 1

    Prepare the marinade by whisking together the buttermilk, mustard, Cholula, paprika, salt, onion and garlic in a large bowl.

    Photo by Hannah Cooper
  • Step 2

    Transfer to a gallon-sized bag and add the chicken tenders. Let the tenders marinate for at least 24 hours in the fridge.

  • Step 3

    Preheat oven to 400°F

  • Step 4

    Remove the tenders from the marinade and remove any excess buttermilk mixture. In a shallow bowl, combine salt, pepper and Panko flakes.

    Photo by Hannah Cooper
  • Step 5

    Heat a cast-iron skillet, or any non-stick pan, over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons canola oil.

    Photo by Hannah Cooper
  • Step 6

    Press each tender in to the bread crumb mixture to coat all sides. Then transfer to skillet.

    Photo by Hannah Cooper
  • Step 7

    Cook tenders until golden brown on each size (3-4 minutes per side). Then, when all the tenders are seared, transfer skillet to oven and bake for 20 minutes.

    Photo by Hannah Cooper
  • Step 8

    To make the signature Chick-fil-A sauce, combine the mayo, mustard, honey and barbecue sauce in a small dish. Serve along side the tenders.

    Photo by Hannah Cooper
  • Step 9

    Serve chicken tenders with the copycat Chick-fil-A sauce.

    Photo by Hannah Cooper