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Pesto Mustard Chicken Thigh Tenders

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pesto mustard chicken tenders MAIN

Weeknight meals don’t have to be boring, even when you’re talking simple chicken tenders. This super easy recipe really takes this kid-favorite and family-friendly treat to a more sophisticated level!

I’m sure your kiddos will be more than pleased too, but, let’s face it, us big kids sometimes need a little extra flair in our food! 😉

Not only are these super fun for lunches or supper, they also make a fantastic nibble for game day as well! You can cut the pieces into small bite-sized pieces, and they keep fairly well in a warm oven if need be, too.

Just remember, that if making small nibbles, they will take less time to cook and may or may not need to be baked. Check after frying.

Ok, so who’s hungry? Let’s get started! 😀

Just mix up the simple sauce, slice the chicken pieces in half, stir in the sauce and coat…..


pesto mustard chicken


….then coat extremely well in seasoned bread crumbs, and you’re almost there!

I used boneless skinless chicken thighs, but there’s no reason why you can’t use all or part white meat, (boneless skinless chicken breasts), if you prefer. We just like the richness of the dark meat!


pesto chicken assmbly


I prefer to give these a quickie fry first to get that nice crispiness on the outside, seal in the juices, and have a gorgeous colored crust on the outside!

Then I finished them in a moderate 350º oven to finish cooking on the inside! Sooooo easy!


pesto chicken frying


I’m a selfish dipper. I am. So I had to make a nice sauce to go with, and it turned out SO GOOD that it might get it’s own post!! (I want to be able to find this one again easily, and I’m sure you will, too!!) 😉


pesto mustard sauce


It was that AWESOME!!!! And only 3 ingredients! 😀


pesto mustard chicken tenders MAIN



So kick up those boring weeknight meals, Saturday lunches, and Sunday game day grub, and give some simple chicken tenders a huge boost of flavor! These are so much fun to make, and even more fun to eat! We felt like kids again, but with a more “all grown up”, adult flavor! I even served them with some awesome pepper rings, (recipe coming soon!), and we had a blast enjoying the football games! (Even if both of our teams aren’t playing very well so far this season!)

So, if you’re web-surfing for what to do with that pale, pathetic-looking package of chicken… just found it. 😉


Yield: 3-5 servings

Pesto Mustard Chicken Thigh Tenders

Pesto Mustard Chicken Thigh Tenders


  • 5 large boneless skinless chicken thighs, halved lengthwise
  • 1/8 cup basil pesto
  • 1/8 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tsp. heavy may such as Hellmann's
  • 1 cup italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
  • oil for frying (2" deep in whatever pan you're using)

For Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup heavy mayo
  • 2 tsp. basil pesto
  • 2 tsp. spicy brown mustard


  • Slice chicken into strips and place into large bowl.
  • In small bowl, stir together pesto, mustard and mayo. Add to chicken and toss well to completely coat evenly.
  • In shallow dish or pie plate, add crumbs, garlic salt and pepper, stir well to mix.
  • Coat chicken pieces well, pressing on crumbs to over-coat, and place onto baking sheet lined with a cooling rack. Let rest while oil is heating up. Also preheat oven to 350º.
  • While oil and oven are heating, in medium bowl stir together Dipping Sauce ingredients well, cover, and chill until needed.
  • When oil is hot (about 375º), place a few tsrips in at a time and fry until deep golden, about 5-7 minutes depending on how hot your oil is, and place pieces onto a clean baking rack placed over a baking sheet. Continue until all are fried on the outside.
  • Pop chicken pieces into preheated oven to finish cooking, about 15 minutes.
  • Serve hot with dipping sauce.


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