July 06, 2020



It’s hard not to love these crispy fried chicken tenders. They are breaded in flour and butter flavored cracker crumbs and served with a sweet pepper relish dip. Great for appetizer or a main dish!

Crispy Chicken Tenders With Sweet Pepper Relish Dip
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Happy July!! I’m not sure if it’s the humidity or something else that is putting my blogging activity on neutral, but I can’t bring myself to cook and drag out all of my equipement for photoshoots. Instead, I find myself in front of the laptop doing maintenance work on the blog and photo editing. That resulted in the post I’m sharing with you today.

This chicken recipe was originally released in August of 2014, back in the day when 10 people read my blog. I’m almost certain most of you haven’t seen this, so it’s worth republishing. Let me tell ya, these tenders are super yummy and worth the work and the calories!

Now, the images are from the original post. I made edits to the lighting and saturation, because white balance was apparently not a concern for me back then. Haa haa! I have also updated the content.

Crispy Chicken Tenders With Sweet Pepper Relish Dip

These chicken tenders are just that, tender. They have a light, crispy coating and are served with a creamy sweet pepper relish dip. You’re gonna love this!

When I created the recipe years ago, I also created a multi layered coating technique. I’m not going to question or change it because it works, but you can skip the last coating of flour if it means the difference between trying the recipe out or not. It will be delish anyhow!

What it the coating technique used?
The breading consists of a total of three layers of flour and butter cracker crumbs to create a breading that is light and crispy. The coating has a satisfying crunch factor without being heavy and dense.

To coat the tenders:
  • dip into flour
  • dip into egg wash
  • dip into cracker crumbs
  • spray with cooking spray 
  • use a fine mesh sieve to sprinkle last layer of flour
A fine mesh sieve is used to add the last layer of flour to gently coat the chicken without disturbing the cracker crumbs.

Crispy Chicken Tenders With Sweet Pepper Relish Dip

What is in the dip?
The dip is creamy from mayonnaise and sour cream. It’s slightly sweet and tangy from sweet pepper relish and ketchup, with plenty of red pepper chunks to enjoy.

Recip highlights:
  • Place crackers in a plastic bag. Smash or crush into coarse crumbs. Pour into a shallow bowl.
  • Whisk eggs, milk, and seasoning in a shallow bowl to make egg wash.
  • Place flour in a shallow bowl. 
  • For each chicken tender, coat as follows: dip in flour, dip in egg wash, dip in cracker crumbs. Transfer to a tray.

  • Coat tenders with a layer of cooking spray.
  • Place the remaining flour in a small fine mesh sieve. Sprinkle a light layer over chicken. Turn chicken over. Coat the second with with cooking spray and flour.
  • Fry in batches in a 360° F oil for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a drying rack.
  • Combine dip ingredients until creamy. Serve.
  • See recipe card for detailed instructions.

Crispy Chicken Tenders With Sweet Pepper Relish Dip

What if I want to bake?
You can most certainly bake these chicken tenders. Be sure to coat the top layer of flour with cooking spray to prevent floury dry spots when baking. Place tenders on a prepared baking sheet. Refer to recipe card below for temperature and time.


Crispy Chicken Tenders With Sweet Pepper Relish Dip


For the Chicken:
40 butter flavored crackers (I use Ritz)
1 1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 heaping tsp. garlic powder
1/2 heaping tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 eggs
3 tbsp. milk
2 lbs. chicken tenderloins (about 12 to 16 pieces depending on the size)
Cooking spray
2 1/2 cups canola oil

For the Sweet Pepper Relish Dip:
3/4 cup sweet pepper relish 
1/8 cup sour cream
1/8 cup mayonnaise
1/8 cup ketchup


Note: You will need a small metal fine mesh strainer for this recipe.

Place crackers in a large plastic bag. Lightly smash into coarse crumbs using a rolling pin or the bottom of a sturdy cup, being careful not to take it to the powder stage. Place on a plate or a wide shallow bowl.

Combine flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika in a plate or a wide shallow bowl. Blend well with a fork. In wide shallow bowl, add eggs and milk. Whisk thoroughly. 

To bread chicken: Dip into flour mixture, shaking off excess. Dip in egg mixture. Next, dip into cracker crumbs, patting crumbs onto chicken. Place on a flat surface. Continue breading the remaining chicken. 

Place oil in a medium frying pan or heavy bottom saucepan. Preheat to 360 degrees F. Whatever size pan you use, make sure to add enough oil to cover at least 1-inch deep.

Spray a coat of cooking spray on tenders. This will help the top layer of flour adhere. Pour some of the leftover flour mixture into a fine mesh strainer. Shake on a light coat of the flour over tenders, just enough to cover all of the crumbs. Turn chicken over and coat with cooking spray. Shake on flour mixture flour.

Place about 4 tenders into the hot oil. Don't pack theme in too tight. Cook about 3 to 5 minutes total, depending on the size, turning over once. Done when the outside is golden brown or when there is no pink in the center when sliced through. Place on paper towels or a metal drying rack to drain off oil. Continue cooking the remaining chicken. 

To make sauce, combine red pepper relish, sour cream, mayonnaise, and ketchup in a small bowl. Serve alongside chicken tenders. Best eaten immediately—the coating will lose crispiness when stored. 

Makes 12 to 16 pieces depending on size.

Recipe note:

Baking option: Place chicken tenders on baking sheet that has been coated with cooking spray. Spray chicken tenders with a coating of cooking spray. Bake in a preheated 400° F for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the tenders.
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  1. My youngest (my "picky" daughter) would be all over this! Both the tenders and the pepper dip!

  2. So glad she would like both! I’m especially glad that she wouldn’t mind the sweet pepper relish, because it’s not really a picky eater friendly ingredient.