Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders Recipe

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders Recipe

Photos of Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders Recipe

Since I tried making buttermilk chicken tenders, it has changed the way I prepare chicken recipes. My buttermilk fried chicken tenders recipe is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside chicken every time. I also love how crazy tender buttermilk chicken is and it has been my favorite ever since.

I used chicken tenderloins for this recipe since it’s the most tender part of the chicken and is quick to cook. However, you can also use chicken breasts. Simply cut them into strips or purchase pre-cut ones. It’s good to note, though, that chicken breasts have a higher tendency of becoming dry.

Buttermilk is great for marinades! The slight acidity that buttermilk brings breaks down the proteins of the meat. But aside from making the chicken tender, using a buttermilk marinade for the chicken will help make them tender, moist, and juicy. But how long should you marinate chicken in buttermilk? I marinate my chicken for a minimum of 4 hours if I’m short on time. However, I highly recommend that you marinate it overnight or for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. It will give the meat more time to absorb the flavors from the spices such as cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.

Of course, we can’t forget the crispy outer layer of the tender and juicy buttermilk chicken tenders. The key ingredient is baking powder. It’s responsible for that wonderful crunch that we all love. But you may also opt for cornstarch if you don’t have any baking powder on hand! I added this to the all-purpose flour seasoned with garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. You can also use panko or breadcrumbs, then air fry or bake your tenders for a healthier version. But I prefer using flour the most to also add delicious seasonings on the outside of the tenders. I then made it into a batter by pouring in buttermilk. Then, coat the marinated chicken tenders with the clumpy batter before deep-frying them until golden brown.

This fried chicken tenders recipe is perfect if you’re craving a flavorful and crispy dish. It’s great with rice, pasta, fries, or even on its own! It’s loved by all ages, so go ahead try serving this at family reunions or your next potluck. I promise it will be worth the effort!

How To Make Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders

These buttermilk chicken tenders are made with a spiced buttermilk, breaded, then fried until golden. Enjoy crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside chicken tenders with this easy recipe!

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Marinate Time: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 30 minutes



For Marinade:

  • 2 lb chicken tenderloins
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp paprika

For Breading:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp black pepper
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt, (heaping)
  • ¾ tsp paprika
  • 3 tbsp buttermilk
  • 4 cups vegetable oil, for cooking



  1. In a ziplock bag, combine the chicken tenders and the marinade ingredients. Seal the bag tightly and massage the chicken until it is evenly coated with buttermilk and seasoning.
  2. Place in a bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.


  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Whisk until well blended, then add the buttermilk and stir with a fork until the mixture is clumpy.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Remove the chicken tenders from the marinade and toss them into the breading mixture a few pieces at a time. Press the chicken firmly into the breading so that the clumps stick to the meat better.
  3. Set the breaded tenders on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Line another baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels and set it next to the stove. Fill a large, high-sided pot with oil until it reaches about ¾-inch.
  5. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering.
  6. Using tongs, place several chicken tenders in the hot oil without crowding the pan. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, then flip and cook until the other side is also golden.
  7. Transfer the cooked tenders to the paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Fry the remaining tenders in batches, adjusting the heat as necessary*.
  8. Serve hot with fries or pasta, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*If the tenders are browning too fast while frying, simply lower the heat to keep the inside from undercooking.


  • Calories: 2783.14kcal
  • Fat: 260.94g
  • Saturated Fat: 22.47g
  • Trans Fat: 1.72g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 176.20g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 46.15g
  • Carbohydrates: 75.00g
  • Fiber: 4.20g
  • Sugar: 4.54g
  • Protein: 40.94g
  • Cholesterol: 95.90mg
  • Sodium: 1335.14mg
  • Calcium: 266.05mg
  • Potassium: 677.27mg
  • Iron: 5.15mg
  • Vitamin A: 26.83µg
  • Vitamin C: 2.64mg
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