Craving chicken tenders?  Try this oven baked crispy panko chicken nuggets recipe for a twist on one of my all time favorite meals. 

Oven Baked Crispy Panko Chicken Tenders

Before getting back on the Weight Watchers train (I’m actually counting points again and it’s really been going great), you could find me in a fast food drive-through.  

Let me tell you, the Chick-fil-A near our house was always on my short list of places to go grab a quick bite to eat.  Just ask my husband.  

But I realized something, I can make those little chicken nuggets or chicken tenders healthier than they can.  

And they taste pretty darn good too. I loved that I made these kid friendly too – and what kid doesn’t love chicken nuggets.

The secret?  I use panko as my breading because it’s healthier than traditional breadcrumbs.  On Weight Watchers, panko and traditional breadcrumbs are actually the same SmartPoints value (3 SP for 1/4 cup).

But I like panko better – you use less of them than you would traditional breadcrumbs.

Oven Baked Crispy Panko Chicken Tenders

Since I recently had my “oh-shit” moment on the scale at our new house, I have made an effort to start counting points again.  I have tried and failed so many times, but I know that this time will be different.  

I am in control of my cravings by snacking throughout the day.  If I feel myself getting hungry, I grab whatever I packed in my lunchbox.  

I want to give a huge shout-out to my husband who packed my snack bag today – he did great by giving me fruits, hummus, a few crackers and a cheese stick.  I haven’t even eaten it all yet.

Oven Baked Crispy Panko Chicken Tenders

I’ve also realized something I don’t think I knew before.  Losing weight and becoming healthy is so much more of a mental game and challenge than it is actually eating healthy.  At least it is for me.  

I have to start by making the right choices, or knowing what I am going to eat before I can be tempted by bad food.  And it’s been working pretty well.  

Oven Baked Crispy Panko Chicken Tenders

Before we moved, I wanted chicken fingers (I still want them, to be honest).  But I didn’t want all the grease that comes with them.  So, I decided to bake them instead and I loved them.  Truly loved them.

These little boogers are so good and so worth cutting up chicken for (which I absolutely hate).  My husband loved these as well – he loves fried food – so I call that a complete win!

Oven Baked Crispy Panko Chicken Tenders

Oven Baked Crispy Panko Chicken Tenders

Dash of Herbs
This recipe is 6 SmartPoints per serving, 4 chicken nuggets.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 294 kcal


  • 4 garlic minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme minced
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 1 Tablespoon light butter melted
  • 1/8 cup honey mustard
  • 1/3 cup red wine Pinot Nior
  • 1 lb boneless chicken breasts cut in small pieces


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a food processor, add the panko, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, thyme, pinches of salt and pepper and the butter. Place the mixture on a plate.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the honey mustard and red wine. Place on another plate.  Dip the chicken pieces in the honey mustard-wine mixture and then in the panko mixture. Turn to coat completely.
  • Bake the chicken pieces for 20 minutes, until cooked through.


Calories: 294kcalCarbohydrates: 15.5gProtein: 26.5gFat: 13.1gSaturated Fat: 4.3gCholesterol: 76.3mgSodium: 174.2mgFiber: 1.5gSugar: 1g
Tried this recipe?Mention @dashofherbs or tag #dashofherbsrecipes!


  1. They have such a great crunch and it’s wonderful. Totally agree that it’s the best part of the chicken nuggets. Let me know how they are and how Toddles likes them!

  2. These look like they have a delicious crust to them…that’s the best part of chicken nuggets! I’ll definitely be making these for the fam.

  3. Thanks Anne! They are SO good and well worth the SmartPoints values. I love how these are a great substitute for the Chick-fil-A tenders.

  4. Can not wait to try these…my daughters will love them (as will I!).

  5. Thanks Jae! I am all for anything chicken or baking too. I hope you try out this recipe and let me know your thoughts. I’m always looking for honest feedback.

  6. It really is such a mental game. Trying to avoid certain places at the office is so hard! I loved this recipe though. It was so good and perfect for a quick dinner idea.

  7. Thank you! These are delicious and the perfect alternative to fried chicken tenders. And it totally is a mental game. I hate that it’s even a game, but I really do believe that it is – and it’s one that you just have to have the willpower to overcome. I walked away from cake today at work…that’s a huge win for me!

  8. I just pinned this! Anything that involves chicken and baking, I’m all for it! I hope to recreate this recipe soon! Thank you for sharing, Kristyn!

  9. So damn true about the mental game. I just covered my eyes while passing the vending machine and just filled my water. These sound great, and that dipping sauce sounds so different and good!

  10. OH MY WORD…yes yes yes, these sound so good. You are SO very right about it being a mental game. It’s totally that for me, and a scheduling one too. Love this recipe!

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