I will make any excuse to cook with Cheez Its, Extra Toasty to be specific. These chicken tenders not only incorporate my favorite cheesy cracker, but they have my favorite sauce, Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Sauce. If you wanted to, you could definitely deep fry these, but it's way easier to bake them. If you have the time, you can let the chicken sit in the buttermilk overnight for even better results. You could even sub cauliflower or tofu if you wanted this to be vegetarian. Whatever you do, don't skimp on the Frank's or the homemade ranch.

Cheez-Its Crusted Baked Chicken Tenders with Buffalo Sauce and Homemade Ranch

Prep Time
25 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Total Time



2 pounds boneless skinless chicken tenders, or breasts sliced into tenders

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

2 1/2 cups Cheez-Its (I used Extra Toasty)

1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

2 teaspoons garlic power

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1-2 teaspoons black pepper use to your taste

extra virgin olive oil, for brushing

1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce (I used Frank’s)

For the ranch:

3/4 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives

2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

Kosher salt and black pepper


1. In a bowl, combine the chicken, buttermilk, and cayenne. Toss well to coat.

2. Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

3. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse Cheez Its until finely ground (if you don’t have a food processor, you can put them in a large zip top bag and use a rolling pin to crush them by hand). Mix ground cheez Its, Panko, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.

4. Remove each piece of chicken from the buttermilk, and dredge through the crumbs, pressing gently to adhere. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the chicken has been used. Make sure not to crowd your pan, if necessary use two baking sheets. Lightly brush/drizzle the chicken with olive oil. Transfer to the oven and bake until chicken is cooked through and tenders are golden brown, 15-20 minutes, rotating the pan half way through.

5. Meanwhile, make the ranch. Combine all ingredients and season to taste.

6. Drizzle the chicken with buffalo sauce and serve with ranch immediately.