How to Make Doritos Chicken Tenders

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If you love Doritos, then these Doritos chicken tenders will be right up your alley.

Make just about any food Doritos-flavored and you have yourself a pop-culture social media phenomenon. Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos, anyone?

The latest Doritos food craze to hit TikTok and Instagram? Doritos chicken tenders! Imagine tender white meat pieces of chickens coated in an extra-crispy Doritos breading. Count us in!

Drooling? Keep reading to snag our recipe for the best Doritos chicken tenders with options for baking and frying. And if you love chicken tenders, try one of these top-rated homemade chicken tenders recipes next.

Doritos Chicken Tenders Recipe

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

ingredients for Dorito Chicken TendersLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

  • 3 cups Doritos, finely crushed (any flavor, we used Nacho Cheese)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound chicken breasts; cut into 1-inch strips (or tenderloin pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Editor’s Tip: If you don’t keep buttermilk on hand, here are five easy buttermilk substitutes.

Homemade Doritos Seasoning, optional

arranged spices on a plateLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

Editor’s Tip: While these Doritos chicken tenders have plenty of Doritos flavor without extra seasoning, we couldn’t resist adding a final dusting of this homemade Doritos seasoning blend for a little extra punch.

Directions

Step 1: Prep the Chicken

raw chicken on the counterLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

If working with whole chicken breasts, slice them into 1-inch thick strips. Set aside.

Step 2: Marinate

Dorito Chicken Tenders 061022 Toh 03 Lauren Habermehl For Toh JveditLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

In a gallon-size zip-top plastic bag, add the chicken, 1 teaspoon of salt and buttermilk. Seal, and let marinate for 30 minutes.

Step 3: Mix the Seasoning

Meanwhile, combine the copycat seasoning blend ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Step 4: Make the Doritos Coating

Doritos mixtureLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

When ready to cook, combine the flour and crushed Doritos in a shallow bowl.

Step 5: Coat the Chicken

raw chicken getting covered in Dorito crumb mixtureLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, shaking to remove any excess, and dredge each piece through the chicken breading mixture. Repeat until all the chicken is coated.

Editor’s Note: For maximum crunch and Doritos coverage, be sure to really press the coating onto the chicken pieces firmly to ensure it sticks well to the chicken.

Step 6: Bake

Dorito Chicken Tenders on a baking panLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a sheet pan with wire baking racks coated with cooking spray.

Arrange the Doritos chicken tenders on the sheet pan and lightly drizzle both sides with the melted butter. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and crispy—the chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°.

Editor’s Tip: Why the wire racks? They help the heat circulate around the chicken in the oven and allow any juices from the chicken to drip below—keeping the underside of the chicken tenders crispy. No flipping required!

Step 7: Season

putting spices on Dorito Chicken Tenders after bakingLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Remove the chicken tenders from the oven and then, if using, immediately sprinkle liberally with the homemade cheesy Doritos seasoning mix.

Step 8: Serve

Serve immediately plain or with your favorite dipping sauces. This Jalapeno Ranch Dip, homemade Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing, or Easy Queso are all excellent options.

How to Make Fried Doritos Chicken Tenders

If you’re loyal to frying rather than baking, fear not. For fried Doritos chicken tenders, preheat a deep skillet or Dutch oven with 1-inch of canola oil to 350°. Add the 2 to 3 Doritos-crusted chicken tenders to the skillet and fry until deeply golden on one side. Flip and continue cooking until the chicken is fully cooked. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and season generously with the seasoning. Repeat with remaining tenders, then serve.

Cool Ranch Doritos Chicken Tenders Variation

To make Cool Ranch Doritos chicken tenders, opt for Cool Ranch-flavored chips for the coating. In the spice mix, reduce the amount of each spice by half, and add 1 tablespoon of ranch powder from a packet of seasoning mix.

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Lauren Habermehl
Lauren Habermehl is a recipe developer, food photographer and creator of the blog, Frydae. She is a prolific quoter of FRIENDS, lover of weekend DIY projects and procrastinating fitness enthusiast who enjoys exploring the Milwaukee-area with her husband, daughter and ugly mutt named Tyson Doodles.