Game Day Chicken Tenders

Football parties are easy. The entertainment is provided, no fancy clothes are required, and the food is quick and simple! But seriously, how much pizza and wings can one eat? I have tackled this problem and came up with a new idea. I decide to pull popcorn and pretzels from the side lines, and make them the quarterbacks for this recipe. I used these favorite football snacks for a crunchy coating to update classic chicken fingers. And for your gluten free friends-they will feel right at home since you can substitute regular pretzels for a gluten free variety. In minutes you can stir together these quick and easy dips to serve alongside these tenders for a crowd pleasing dish. Get ready for cheers from your friends, as you serve this winning dish at your next party!


Chicken Tenders

  • 1½ pounds chicken tenderloins
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups miniature gluten free or regular pretzels, crushed
  • 2 cups air popped popcorn, crushed
  • ⅓ cup Challenge Butter, melted

Sweet Heat Dipping Sauce

  • ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup peach preserves
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

Creamy Sriracaha Lime Sauce

  • 8 ounces Challenge Cream Cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup Sriracaha Ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lime zest
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • ⅛ cup buttermilk or as needed


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • 2
    Add chicken, buttermilk, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to a large plastic zipper bag. Seal and shake to combine, refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • 3
    While chicken is marinating, make your dipping sauces. For the Sweet Heat Sauce, combine yogurt, preserves and mustard In a small bowl. Stir to combine, refrigerate until needed.
  • 4
    To make the Sriracaha Lime Sauce, combine the cream cheese, ketchup, garlic and lime juice. Add enough buttermilk to create a dipping consistency.
  • 5
    In a large shallow dish, combine crushed pretzels and popcorn. Remove chicken from marinade and dip both sides into the pretzel mixture, patting to help coating to adhere. Place on a parchment paper or foil lined sheet pan for easy cleanup. Drizzle the tops of chicken with the melted butter.
  • 6
    Bake in oven for 20-25. Coating should be crispy and browned, and chicken should no longer be pink.
  • 7
    Serve chicken tenders with dipping sauces.

Recipe By

Living a Creative Life

Suzanne Clark is a mother of five and enjoys living in Phoenix with her husband and her family. Every day is a creative endeavor for Suzanne. A self-taught artist and cook, she creates award winning recipes and decorates homes with her unique style and artwork. See more at Living a Creative Life.