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!

Super crunchy Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites on sallysbakingaddiction.com. These are SO easy and delicious!

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.

Super crunchy Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites on sallysbakingaddiction.com. These are SO easy and delicious!

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.

Super crunchy Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites on sallysbakingaddiction.com. These are SO easy and delicious!

Super crunchy Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites on sallysbakingaddiction.com. These are SO easy and delicious!

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.

Super crunchy Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites on sallysbakingaddiction.com. These are SO easy and delicious!

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.

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

Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon print print icon squares squares icon

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 16 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: serves 3-4
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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!


Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or tenders
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 cups finely crushed pretzels (or more, as needed)
  • nonstick spray like PAM, olive oil spray, or coconut oil spray (found mine at Trader Joes)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or coat heavily with nonstick spray.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Baked chicken bites freeze well up to 2-3 months. Bake frozen chicken in a 350°F (177°C) oven for 20 minutes or until warmed through.
  2. Larger Batch: Recipe may easily be doubled or tripled.

Keywords: pretzel crusted chicken bites

90 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. Pretzels and chicken? Winning, this is such an awesome recipe in many ways Sally!

  2. Matt Robinson says:

    Love this idea! I know my boys would devour these in no time. Such a great recipe!

  3. Julie @ Tastes of Lizzy T says:

    Pretzel chicken was my favorite dish at O’Charleys…then they took it away. 🙁 It’s so fun to make at home, though! Looks great!

  4. YUM, Sally! I’m loving the idea of the salty pretzels used for breading! You’ve done it again 🙂

  5. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    I want these NOW. Seriously. I would love them for lunch. If only I could pull an I Dream of Jeannie trick 😉

  6. Trisha @ Home Sweet Homemade says:

    I love how innovative these are! I always have a bag a pretzels laying around for snacks… I don’t always have panko though! Just the thought of dipping these into a sweet and tangy honey mustard makes my stomach growl!

  7. Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps says:

    Crispy bite-sized chicken? Always a YES!

  8. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain says:

    Mmmmm chicken fingers coated with pretzels?! Brilliant! These would be the perfect solution to my salty cravings. 😀

  9. These look so amazing! I know me and my kids would love them for sure!

  10. it’s too bad that s’mores day is over… But a nice savoury dish is always a good change. I’ll be sure to try this one! And I do love pretzels!!!

  11. Why have I never thought of this before?? What a great idea – thanks Sally!

  12. I made these for dinner tonight! My two year old loved them! We like a lot of flavor in our house, and we only had plain pretzels, so I added some honey, yellow mustard, thyme, and red pepper flakes to the egg bath. I wish I would have seasoned the flour a bit more. I think these would be GREAT with the flavored pretzels. Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Great to hear, Andrea! We love these too.

  13. Laura (Tutti Dolci) says:

    That pretzel crust is brilliant, what a crowd pleaser!

  14. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel says:

    I’m most definitely making these ASAP — they look exactly like chicken nuggets but BETTER because A) I know exactly what’s going into them, and B) because they’re coated with cheesy pretzels — so genius!

  15. I made these tonight. I did not get my pretzel crumbs small enough to look quite as nice as yours. But my family loved them. They were great and easy. Even my picky you gets son really liked them. Love how crunchy they are. Congratulations on your wedding too!

  16. Tried these tonight and they were great. I ended up doing larger strips, and I added dijon mustard with the egg to give a bit more flavor. Thanks for the great idea!

  17. Yum! And, totally adaptable for my little one with Celiac! When Daddy has a night meeting, the boys often get a “snack-y dinner” so last night it was this (with tater tots and green beans). It’s a KEEPER!

    For gluten-free flour, I used Arrowhead Mills Organic Brown Rice Flour, which I seasoned with some onion powder and garlic powder (I skipped the salt since the pretzels are so salty). I put a little pepper on the chicken, and tried to remember your “hands” trick, but wound up using a fork, instead. I used Gratify GF pretzels, which I could not get to look as nice as yours – in fact, the end result looked somewhat like a big, hairy spider. But, as I said, I have boys…so that’s a good thing!

    I searched GF recipes for pretzel chicken and none looked as complete as yours (the four/egg/pretzel steps, the baking spray), so yours is a clear winner! If I can get the pretzels into a finer crush without pulverizing them into powder, I will even use this as a snack/appetizer for friends/family!

    Thanks again, Sally!

    1. Thanks so much for reporting back, Allyson! I’m so glad you were able to make these GF for your little one!

  18. Thalia @ butter and brioche says:

    i am so loving the look of these chicken bites! they look SO crisp and delicious.. loving the idea of a pretzel crust. pinned and saved to recreate, thanks sally!

  19. thanks for the dry/wet hand tip! love this, cant wait to try it!

    I’ve just discovered your blog and i really love it! Here’s my blog if you have a chance to take a look!

  20. Amy @ Amy's Healthy Baking says:

    3-cheese pretzel chicken?? That sounds incredible Sally!! Much better than boring fried chicken. My guy’s addicted to that stuff (the fried version, not the baked), and although I really wish he wasn’t… At least it comes with lots of fries I can steal! 😉

  21. These look awesome! Will definitely try these and freeze them for my kids’ lunches at school. My daughter’s middle name has become chicken nugget (for all you haters – I know if I didn’t buy them she wouldn’t be eating them. Hate all you want until you step into my shoes!) These look like they will go far in getting her away from less healthy choices and giving me a better choice on those crazy, time-crunched mornings.

  22. I cannot wait to make these!! I’ve been looking for something other than panko crumbs and pretzels are suuuuuch a good alternative! I’m positive my step-daughter is going to enjoy these chicken bites as well! Hooray for finger foods!

  23. These are so yummy!!!! Perfectly crispy with just the right amount of saltiness! Thanks for sharing!

  24. Bob Fairlane says:

    You can use tongs for coating the chicken, instead of your hands. You may need a spoon or something to help spread the ingredients or stir them in the bowls.

  25. i made these last night for my ultra picky boyfriend and i and they turned out SO AMAZING. the texture of the crust is perfection. i just used regular rold gold pretzel sticks (next time i make them i’m gonna add in some garlic powder and cayenne, couldn’t this time cos the boy doesn’t like those).

    and thank you so much for the coating tips! made it go so much faster.

  26. I made these tonight and my picky 5 yr old loved them! Can’t wait to try different flavored pretzels!!

  27. Oh my gosh! I just made these and am eating them right now! delish! I also made your cheese dip today, your crunchy chick peas AND your apple chips!! You are amazing ! thanks for sharing all of these amazing recipes!!
    -Colleen

  28. Made these last night for my boyfriend and I; we devoured them! I used the jalapeño jack pretzel thins, so yummy! Thank you for sharing! So easy and absolutely delicious.

  29. I thought these would have tasted better! I was disappointed. The pretzels weren’t a good substitute for bread crumbs. Unfortunately, I won’t be making these again 🙁

  30. Just made these tonight and my husband and two young daughters gobbled them right up!! We have celiac, so I used gluten free pretzels and dredged in brown rice flour. They were perfectly browned and crispy on the outside and moist and tender on the inside! Definitely making again! 

1 2 3

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe. Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

Sally's Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

×