Baked Chicken Tenders over Baby Spinach
with cherry tomatoes / white cheddar
Sweet and tangy honey mustard dressing works both as a marinade and dressing in this fast, fresh meal.
Smarts: If you'd prefer not to turn on the oven, feel free to cook the chicken tenders in a skillet with some oil instead of baking in the oven.
- Chicken breast tenderloins - 1 lb (sub boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips)
- Honey Mustard Dressing (ingredients listed separately) - 4 Tbsp
- Panko breadcrumbs - 1 cup
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp (not garlic salt)
- Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Foil - for baking
- Cheese, white cheddar - 4 oz, cubed
- Tomatoes, cherry or grape - 1 cup, halved
- Carrots - 4 oz, shredded (look for pre-shredded)
- Baby spinach - 8 oz
- Honey Mustard Dressing (ingredients listed separately) - 6 Tbsp
- Oil, olive - 4 Tbsp
- Mustard, Dijon - 2 Tbsp
- Honey - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Vinegar, red or white wine - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Mayonnaise - 1 Tbsp
- Cheese - Cube cheese. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make dressing - Whisk together olive oil, mustard, honey, vinegar, and mayonnaise. Season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Marinate chicken - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating while chicken marinates.) Combine chicken with dressing (portion for chicken tenders). Tenderize with a fork. Marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 day. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Prep breading - Combine panko, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper in a plastic bag or shallow baking dish. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Tomatoes / Carrots (if not pre-shredded) - Prep as directed.
- Heat oven to 425F / 218C degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil and spray it with nonstick cooking spray or brush with some oil.
- Use a fork to transfer chicken tenders to container with breading (discard any remaining marinade). Turn chicken to coat and firmly press chicken into breading to help it stick.
- Spread chicken out in a single layer on sheet pan. (Note: For a little extra crispness and browning on the top, drizzle chicken tenders lightly with some extra cooking oil.)
- Bake chicken until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.
- While chicken cooks, toss together baby spinach, tomatoes, carrots, and cheese. Divide between serving plates.
- Top each serving with chicken tenders and finish with dressing (portion for salad). Enjoy!
Incredibly tasty, even cold as leftovers. I really loved the simplicity of baking these. I’ve tried many tenders recipes over the years, these are the most flavorful with the least amount if work/mess!1 Helpful
This was good - but we have a version we make in the IP that we like a little better. That recipe uses dry mustard and a little lemon juice - maybe that's the difference?0 Helpful
It was ok. We weren't blown away by how good this was, but we didn't hate it, either.0 Helpful
Quick and easy0 Helpful
Surprisingly tasty for such a simple meal! The chicken tenders and dressing tasted really fun, like something you wouldn’t expect to come with a light healthy salad. Definitely keeping this in the repertoire for an easy, healthy meal in the future!0 Helpful
The chicken was a great hit! I liked the homemade dressing recipe as well. I'll be keeping that for other uses too!0 Helpful
Always a little dubious when cubed cheddar appears in a salad, but can’t deny it was delicious!0 Helpful