Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites.
Looking for a fun way to serve up some chicken? Coat in crushed pretzels and bake to crisp perfection. Tender on the inside, crunchy on the outside. Everyone loved these!
Chicken fingers are a food everyone seems to love. And we eat them in many different ways – baked (my favorite!), fried, chopped up in salads, lunch, dinner, with ketchup, BBQ, honey mustard, all the condiments.
I recently got in touch with Safeway for a little collaboration. Safeway asked me to make a couple recipes using some of my favorite products from their grocery aisles. Surely you know how much I love pretzels by now, so a recipe combining my beloved chicken fingers and my favorite snack food was an easy choice.
And these awesome pretzel crusted chicken bites blew my mind.
I used the same recipe as my Honey BBQ Chicken Fingers. It’s definitely the crunchy factor that makes them a reader favorite. We make the recipe on the regular and there was no need to alter it here. I simply swapped crushed pretzels for the Panko.
If you want an ultra crunchy coating for your baked chicken fingers – go with crushed pretzels. The crust stays crispy, while the chicken inside stays moist and tender. The texture is the BEST part about the recipe. We ate the whole plate in about 15 seconds flat.
What I love most about this recipe, besides the texture, is that these chicken bites are baked not fried. We felt a little better eating these compared to pretzel coated chicken served at a restaurant. There’s just really no need for oil clogging the coating and taking away from the crunchy, salty pretzel taste.
Use your favorite pretzels, such as Rold Gold® Pretzel Thins. I was feeling a little jazzy in Safeway, so I bought the Three Cheese version. What a great flavor! Regular pretzels will be just fine, though. Save yourself a mess by crushing them up in a large ziplock bag. The less dishes crowding my sink, the better. You don’t want to see what my sink looked like when I was writing my cookbook last summer. So embarrassing. If I hired a dishwashing fairy, he/she would never get a break.
Coating the chicken is a simple 3 step process. My best tip for this is to do it in three separate bowls using two hands. 1 dry hand, 1 wet hand. In other words – use 1 hand to dip into the flour. Use the second hand to dip into the beaten egg. Use the first hand to coat in the crushed pretzels. This will save you from losing your mind/washing your hands between each chicken bite.
Why so many coatings? The flour allows the egg to stick, the egg allows the pretzels to stick, the pretzels give all the mouthwatering I-want-to-make-these-everyday flavor. Don’t leave any of these imperative ingredients/steps out!
Get it? Got it. Good.
I cut the chicken into bite sized pieces so there could be more pretzel coating on each piece of chicken. The second time I made them (in only two days. shocking.), I served them as a little appetizer on toothpicks. With plenty of honey mustard and spicy cheese sauce. I really just wanted another excuse to make the spicy cheese sauce. Try it yet?
If you want to make full size chicken fingers using this pretzel crust, that’s totally fine. Just follow the same recipe but cut your chicken into strips not bites. Duh.
These pretzel crusted chicken bites only take about 10 minutes to prep and 15 minutes to bake and 15 seconds to eat. All making this a recipe that is quick AND easy AND soooo dang tasty.
Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites
Looking for a fun way to serve up some chicken? Cut into bites, coat in crushed pretzels, and bake to crisp perfection. Tender on the inside, crunchy on the outside. Everyone loved these!
Yield: serves 3-4
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
- 1 and 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or tenders
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 and 1/2 cups finely crushed Rold Gold Pretzel Thins (or more, as needed)
- nonstick spray like PAM, olive oil spray, or coconut oil spray (found mine at Trader Joes)
Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or coat heavily with nonstick spray.
If using chicken breasts, pound down and cut into little 1-1.5 inch pieces. 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.) - simply cut into 1-1.5 inch pieces.
Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Beat eggs in another shallow dish. Pour pretzels into a third shallow dish. Coat each chicken piece in flour, shaking off any excess. Then, dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then generously roll in the pretzels, shaking off any excess. Add more crushed pretzels to the dish if you are running low. Place the chicken bites on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly 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.
Bake for 8 minutes. Turn each piece over and continue baking until the outside is crisp and the centers are cooked through, about 6-8 minutes more. Baking times may vary, just make sure yours are cooked through. If you like them more brown, bake longer. Serve chicken bites with toothpicks (if using as an appetizer), honey mustard, or this kicked-up cheese sauce. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. I chopped them up and put on top of a salad. It was so good!
Baked chicken fingers freeze well, up to 2 months. Bake frozen for about 15 minutes (flipping once) at 300F degrees.
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Try my Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Fingers next.
And serve with a side of Baked Sweet Potato Fries.
See more savory recipes.
Bonus for you! Enter the Safeway Summer Sweepstakes:
- The Summer of Savings Sweepstakes is running from August 5 through September 5, 2014
- Enter to win a $100 store gift card daily. Winners are chosen during each of the 30 days, 5 times a day.
- Visit http://safeway.promo.eprize.com/summersavings/ to enter
This post was sponsored by Safeway. Thanks for working with me, Safeway!