Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Fingers.

Extra crispy chicken fingers marinated in honey and BBQ sauce. Baked, not fried! They’re so simple; your whole family will love them.

Baked Chicken Fingers! Honey BBQ flavored - your whole family will love these! @sallybakeblog

Another savory recipe for you today. And it’s one of my favorites!

I don’t get too creative with dinner that often. All of my creativity goes into things like peanut butter brownies and pina colada cupcakes. A giant sweet potato and quinoa patties are usually a meal for me. Or even a “bucket sized salad” (as Kevin calls it) with beans, avocado, and a little mango guac on the side. Alright, now I’m hungry.

But my favorite protein-packed dinner? Something I could eat forever and never tire of it? My birthday meal of choice every single year? Good ‘ole BBQ chicken. I am a huge sucker for it, as you may already know

Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Fingers by

I made these chicken fingers a lot last summer because they’re on the healthy side and quite easy. Plus, who doesn’t like eating with their hands?! I spotted a steal of a sale on chicken the other day and stocked my freezer. Looks like baked honey BBQ chicken fingers will be on the dinner (and lunch) menu a lot this month. No complaints here! These crispy chicken tenders are so dang good.

I spotted this recipe on Rachael Ray and have switched things up over the past year the more often I make it… like adding the honey BBQ marinade step. Best decision ever.

Let’s talk about that marinade for a second. 3/4 cup of Sweet Baby Ray’s (the one and only BBQ sauce I’ll eat… and I am in no way affiliated with Sweet Baby Ray’s. But if Sweet Baby Ray’s is reading my blog, I may just faint in excitement. I love you sweet baby ray.) and some honey. I usually let the chicken marinate for 1-2 hours. If you’re in a rush, 30 minutes is fine. Just know that the longer it marinates, the more flavorful the chicken.

Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Fingers by

The chicken fingers are baked, not fried, and breaded in Panko. Not familiar with Panko? Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb traditionally used as a coating for fried or baked foods. It’s available in all major grocery stores near the stuffing. This recipe is developed using Panko and there are no substitutions yielding the same exact result.

Here’s why Panko is better than regular breadcrumbs in this recipe: Panko is made from crustless bread and is coarsely ground into airy, large flakes. Panko tends to stay crispier longer than regular breadcrumbs because they don’t absorb as much grease and liquid.

Before the Panko, you’ll coat the chicken in some whole wheat flour, salt, pepper, and seasonings – then in a quick dunk into beaten eggs. The flour allows the egg to stick, the egg allows the Panko to stick, the Panko gives the chicken fingers their crispy texture.

Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Fingers by

Bake the chicken fingers in a hot oven at 400F. The timing will depend how big and/or thick your chicken fingers are. Just bake until golden brown and the centers are cooked through. Mine always take around 20 minutes. Flip the chicken fingers after 10 minutes.

These extra crispy chicken fingers marinated in honey and BBQ sauce. Baked, not fried! Easy recipe at

Serve with extra honey BBQ sauce for dipping. Who says baked versions of fried food just aren’t the same? Clearly they’ve never had these chicken fingers before. We’re obsessed.

They’re so crispy!

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Fingers

Yield: serves 3-4

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Print Recipe

Extra crispy chicken fingers marinated in honey and BBQ sauce. Baked, not fried!


  • 1 and 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or tenders
  • 3/4 cup your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey1
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour) (measured correctly)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika2
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 cup Panko (or more, as needed)
  • nonstick spray like PAM, olive oil spray, or coconut oil spray (found mine at Trader Joes!)


  1. Combine barbecue sauce and honey in a large bowl. If using chicken breasts, pound down and cut into strips. If using boneless, skinless chicken tenders (chicken tenders are the lean strips of meat found attached to the underside of chicken breasts - they can also be purchased separately.) - cut in half lengthwise. Add the chicken strips to the bowl and stir to coat. Cover tightly and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and up to 4-6 hours. The longer, the more flavorful your chicken.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or coat heavily with nonstick spray.
  3. Combine flour, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika in a shallow dish. Beat eggs in another shallow dish. Pour Panko breadcrumbs into a third shallow dish. Coat each chicken strip in flour, shaking off any excess. Then, dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then generously roll in the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess. Add more Panko to the dish if you are running low. Place the chicken strips on the prepared baking sheet. Spray each with nonstick spray to "seal" the breading, which will prevent the breading from staying raw and allows it to bake onto the chicken fingers.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn each piece over and continue baking until the outside is crisp and the centers are cooked through, about 10 minutes more. Baking times may vary, just make sure yours are cooked through. If you like them more brown, bake longer.
  5. Serve chicken fingers with more BBQ sauce. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. 
  6. Make ahead tip: Chicken fingers freeze well, up to 2 months. Bake frozen for about 18 minutes, flipping once, at 350°F (177°C).

Additional Notes:

  1. You can simply use a honey flavored BBQ sauce. I find that there isn't enough honey flavor for me, so even when I do use a honey BBQ sauce, I still add honey to the marinade. Test until you find what you like.
  2. I love to use smoked paprika for added flavor - use your favorite seasonings if you do not have any on hand.
  3. Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb traditionally used as a coating for fried or baked foods. It's available in major grocery stores near the stuffing. Panko is heavily preferred opposed to regular bread crumbs because they tend to stay crispier longer. You can buy seasoned or unseasoned and then add more/less seasonings to your breading if preferred. I use unseasoned.

Adapted from Rachael Ray

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

How about a stack of crispy onion rings on the side?

Crispy Onion Rings

Or a pile of baked sweet potato fries!

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

See more savory recipes like this.


Baked Chicken Fingers @sallybakeblog
These extra crispy chicken fingers marinated in honey and BBQ sauce. Baked, not fried! Easy recipe at




116 Responses to “Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Fingers.”

  1. #
    Aliceposted June 26, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    I am currently making these as I type! Quick question though (for next time I make them, as I’m sure this recipe is a winner): after the chicken fingers are breaded, could they be kept in the fridge for a short time, and subsequently baked? I live in a small apartment, with a tiny kitchen and even smaller oven, and prepping ahead, even if only by a half hour or so, really seems to help cut down on the craziness of using the oven for multiple dishes. Funnily enough, I have your pineapple upside down cake in the oven now, and have some down time, so I was pondering going ahead and breading the chicken. Any thoughts on if this would be ok? My concern was the marinade softening the panko crumbs down too much. Thanks, as always, for your recipes and feedback!


    • Sallyreplied on June 27th, 2014 at 8:28 am

      Hi Alice! I would say they would be OK in the fridge after breading for about 1 hour – not much longer than that because you don’t want the honey bbq to soak up all the Panko. You can always bake these and freeze the baked chicken fingers for 2-3 months. My freezer is full of them!


  2. #
    Maryposted July 4, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    is it absolutely necessary to ‘seal’ the breading onto the chicken with the olive oil spray?

    also, how many chicken breasts are equal to 1.5 pounds?


    • Sallyreplied on July 5th, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      I feel it sticks better with the bit of olive oil. And the quantity of chicken breasts depends on their size.


  3. #
    Laura Pposted July 16, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    I made these tonight for the first time & they were a big hit. My daughter tried to trick me though. She said,”Ew, I don’t like these.” And then broke into a big smile adding, “I love these!”


    • Sallyreplied on July 17th, 2014 at 9:44 am

      Hahahaha well I’m glad they get your daughter’s approval! Thanks for reporting back Laura.


  4. #
    Binkaposted July 28, 2014 at 6:50 am

    I have been baking my 4 lb batch from the freezer for three weeks now and they are still as delicious as when I made originally them. I have been using whole wheat flour in small doses to add whole grains and fiber to my diet and I was glad to see you used them here. I put whole wheat bread crumbs in my meatballs and you cannot tell the difference! Thanks for all the wonderful recipes.


  5. #
    Susanposted July 29, 2014 at 11:06 am

    These were tremendous! I made them last night. My husband who typically doesn’t say much about my cooking (I don’t blame him) gave them a big thumbs up! Thanks for the great recipe which will definitely be a new regular.


  6. #
    Jamieposted August 22, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    These tenders were amazing. Great flavor and crunch! We have a problem in our house now. One of my kids likes these tenders best and the other likes the pretzel crusted tenders best. I guess I will just have to make both now.


  7. #
    Dunyaposted September 11, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Hello Sally! Which BBQ Sauce do you use?


    • Sallyreplied on September 11th, 2014 at 5:11 pm

      I like sweet baby rays.


  8. #
    brookeposted September 24, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Thanks for a great recipe, I made them last night and they were awesome! :)


  9. #
    Ninaposted September 25, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Hi Sally!
    These sound delicious and I’ve been wanting to try them. I was wondering….do you think the recipe could be adapted so that instead of using BBQ sauce and honey as the marinade,I could use a honey mustard salad dressing, such as Ken’s? My boyfriend loves creamy honey mustard dressings on his chicken fingers, so I got the idea, but I’m not sure if the salad dressing would work (too thick/creamy/not sticky enough/etc.) as the marinade. Any thoughts….or should I just give it a try?
    PS: your wedding pics were beautiful! Congrats!


    • Sallyreplied on September 25th, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      Absolutely, Nina! That would be a fantastic marinade here – it’s the right consistency, too. Now I need to try it next. Thanks for the congrats!


  10. #
    Michelleposted October 10, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Hi Sally, I just made these tonight for dinner and they were tasty. Good flavour. 2 questions because I have never made homemade chicken fingers before. Do you use the regular flavour Sweet baby ray’s bbq sauce? I used regular and the flavour was too strong for my kids. However they are picky. Lol. Also, I followed this recipe exactly and the Panko did stay on the chicken but I found in the first bite, the chicken would pull out of the breading and leave an empty finger shell. Still tasty but I must have done something wrong. Love your website, also made your peanut butter cookie recipe today and they were super delish!!


    • Sallyreplied on October 12th, 2014 at 7:14 pm

      Hi Michelle – yep, I use plain (original) sweet baby ray’s bbq sauce. I would simply find a sauce’s flavor your kids enjoy. How about a lighter dunk into the eggs? A real light dunk and then a heavy dunk in the panko. That should help.


  11. #
    miraposted October 13, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    I love baked chicken fingers and this honey bbq version is just perfect ! Will try them soon, I just hope breading stays on , since I’ve had problems with that! Pictures are amazing! Pinned!


  12. #
    Jocelynposted November 2, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Hello Sally, these are to die for! They’re so delicious! Do you by any chance know the calorie count for the recipe? Or calorie count for one chicken tender?I made 14 tenders with the ingredients listed. If you have any idea that would be great!



    • Sallyreplied on November 3rd, 2014 at 11:17 am

      I do not.


  13. #
    Danielleposted November 6, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    What a wonderful recipe! Light, yummy, and tasted even better than fried from a restaurant. My roommates loved this recipe. I love that you get to have chicken fingers but without the guilt that usually comes with eating them. Will be making again for dinner, thanks Sally!


  14. #
    Izzyposted November 10, 2014 at 10:27 am

    If I don’t have access to non-stick spray, would you use nothing, or an alternative?


    • Sallyreplied on November 10th, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      A light drizzle of olive oil works.


  15. #
    Natalieposted November 27, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Oh WOW, these were so good! I love how you don’t even really need sauce to dip in because it’s sort of built-in to the strips (but dipping is always fun, so why not?) I plan trying other sauces with this method (hot sauce, teriyaki, etc.) Thanks for a great chicken finger recipe! The coating was the perfect thickness and I had no problems with it staying on.


  16. #
    Jacyntheposted February 3, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Totally making these tonight!!! Bought Panko just to try this recipe !!! :)


  17. #
    Amberposted February 8, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    I just made these and think I did something wrong. I thought I did all of the steps correctly, and I didn’t leave any steps out. I found that the panko layer was too thick and it slid right off of my chicken while we were trying to eat it. :( I might have to re try these again because the flavor was really good! A little disappointed because your recipes are usually a slam dunk!


  18. #
    Melanieposted February 9, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    I’d love to try these but my son is allergic to egg. Any suggestions for skipping the egg step?


    • Sallyreplied on February 9th, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      How about trying milk? That should work for helping the coating to stick.


  19. #
    Naomiposted February 19, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Made these tonight and OMG!!! This is the best BBQ Chicken I’ve ever had, absolutely stellar! Thank you Sally for sharing ☺


  20. #
    carmenposted March 28, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    Does the silicone baking sheet make any difference in how the chicken cooks?


    • Sallyreplied on March 29th, 2015 at 8:14 am

      Not at all. I just love its convenient nonstick surface on baking sheets.


  21. #
    Brittanyposted May 16, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    The chicken strips were much crispier than I have made in the past with similar recipes; I will definitely make them again, Thanks!


  22. #
    Caroline Kaufman Nutrition (@sweetfoodie)posted May 22, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Hi Sally! I made these for the second time last night, and both times they came out flawlessly. They’re SO GOOD!! Crispy, tons of flavor, and fun to dip. I used chicken tenders both times and cut them in half like you said and they make a ton of chicken fingers (maybe the tenders I buy are smaller than other ones), so I have to double the flour mix, eggs and panko to finish them all. I found that they get much browner when cooked on the baking sheet than the panko, although they all taste great. Thanks so much! :)


    • Sallyreplied on May 24th, 2015 at 11:08 am

      So glad that you love them too Caroline! Thanks!


  23. #
    Elizabethposted May 26, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    I finally made these and they turned out great! I found an easy BBQ sauce recipe that rivaled Sweet Baby Ray’s so it was a win all around! 


  24. #
    Cookiemonsterposted August 12, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Could I marinate these more than 4-6 hours as in the night before?


    • Sallyreplied on August 13th, 2015 at 7:09 am



  25. #
    Faraposted September 6, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Hi Sally, was just wondering if instead of boneless chicken I could use chicken with the bone? Will it affect the taste at all? Thank you!


    • Sallyreplied on September 7th, 2015 at 7:20 am

      Yes, absolutely. Will be just as tasty.


  26. #
    Shellyposted September 10, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    I made these the other night and they were such a hit with my boyfriend!  I’m not going to have to make a bunch of these and stick them in the freezer for easy meals!  Thanks so much Sally!


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