Crispy, Parmesan-flecked chicken tenders dipped in marinara sauce is an easy dinner the whole family will love. Dipping them in a mixture of plain yogurt with chopped fresh basil would be tasty, too. Serve with sauteed green beans and roasted sweet-potato wedges.
Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Tenders
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Canola or olive oil cooking spray
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see note)
1 pound chicken tenders
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup marinara sauce, heated
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a large wire rack on a baking sheet, and coat with cooking spray.
Place flour in a shallow dish. Lightly beat eggs in another shallow dish. Combine Parmesan and breadcrumbs in a third shallow dish. Toss tenders with Italian seasoning, garlic powder and salt in a medium bowl. Coat each tender in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip in egg, and let any excess drip off. Then roll in the breadcrumb mixture. Place the tenders on the prepared rack. Generously coat the top of each tender with cooking spray.
Bake for 10 minutes. Turn each tender over, and coat with cooking spray. Continue baking until the outside is crisp and the tenders are cooked through, about 10 minutes more. Serve the tenders with marinara sauce for dipping.
Recipe note: We like Ian’s brand of coarse dry whole-wheat “Panko breadcrumbs.” Find them in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets. To make your own breadcrumbs, trim crusts from firm sandwich bread. Tear the bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. (To make fine dry breadcrumbs, process until very fine.) Spread on a baking sheet, and bake at 250 degrees until dry, about 10 to 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs.
Recipe nutrition per serving: 293 calories; 8 grams fat (3 grams saturated, 2 grams monounsaturated); 140 milligrams cholesterol; 22 grams carbohydrate; 0 grams added sugars; 31 grams protein; 3 grams fiber; 603 milligrams sodium; and 465 milligrams potassium.
Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable and 3 lean meat.
EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Visit www.eatingwell.com.