Baked Panko Crusted Chicken Strips with Apricot Dijon Mustard Dip

8 | March 19, 2012

Chicken fingers, a kid’s best friend. Ever since I realized what exactly goes into a fast food chicken nugget I have steered clear of the mystery meat and dabbled with my own recipes at home. For years upon years now this has been one of the husband’s and I’s favorite meals because I don’t care how old you are, the kid in us all craves chicken fingers. Thankfully, we had a child and now have a legitimate excuse to make them.

I’ve made them every which way: breaded with breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and panko and above all panko is my favorite breading of choice. Panko is a Japanese bread crumb available at most grocery stores in the international food aisle. It’s traditionally used for making tempura batter but is a great tool to bread and bake practically anything giving the coated food a crunchy almost fried texture.

Crisp, crunchy, and incredibly moist, Baked Panko Chicken Strips with Apricot Dijon Mustard Dip is a delicious healthy meal for all ages.

Baked Panko Chicken Strips with Apricot Dijon Mustard Dip serves 4

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 cups Panko Japanese Bread Crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk*
  • cooking oil spray

Apricot Dijon Mustard Dip

  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • pinch salt

* You can substitute an egg wash for buttermilk by whisking 1 egg + 2 tablespoons of water together.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Trim off any excess fat and slice each chicken breast into 1 inch thick strips.

On a plate or a wide bowl, combine panko, paprika, salt, and pepper.

Pour buttermilk onto a large plate or bowl. Create a breading station with chicken strips, buttermilk, and panko. Prep a large baking sheet by covering it with foil. Place a cooling rack on top of the baking sheet and lightly spray the rack with cooking spray. If you don’t have a cooling rack lightly spray the foil with cooking spray. This is one of my favorite kitchen tricks. By placing a cooling rack on top of the baking sheet the heat is able to reach all sides of the elevated chicken strips making crisp never soggy chicken fingers.

Using one piece of chicken at a time, start breading by dipping and coating a chicken strip into the buttermilk.

Next, roll the chicken strip into the panko, making sure it is evenly coated on all sides.

Then place the strip onto the prepped baking sheet. Repeat with remaining strips. Lightly spray the chicken strips with cooking oil spray. Place chicken strips in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the strips from the oven and flip each strip over. Once again, lightly spray the strips with cooking spray and return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes or until cooked through.

While the chicken is in the oven, combine all of the ingredients for the apricot mustard dip in a bowl and whisk until incorporated.

Once the chicken is baked, plate and serve. It’s the end of winter/beginning of spring here in Texas, so tonight we’re using up the last of this seasons brussels sprouts and carrots in this roasted brussels sprouts and carrots with maple glaze side dish. It’s wicked good.

Intensely flavorful and crunchy, these Baked Panko Chicken Strips with Apricot Dijon Mustard Dip are simply delicious.

Just keeping it real. Mia, the resident 3-year-old prefers ketchup with her chicken fingers.




  • Miss @ MIss in the Kitchen

    I think I lived on chicken fingers growing up! I still love them and your dipping sauce sounds right down my alley!

  • Denise@BeBetsy

    Saw you post on Twitter and had to check these out. I’m going to share with hubby, I guarantee he will go crazy for these and even do the cooking!


  • Maureen

    Grammar alert! Should be…the husband and my

    • In Sock Monkey Slippers

      This is a blog that I write with a house full of kids pets and crazy activity. The sheer fact alone that I take what free time I have to produce this a miracle. So thank you for stopping by Maureen. It’s a pleasure to have you here but if you are looking for a perfect read, please by all means open a book. Thank you!

    • Heather

      Why thank you Maureen, that is exactly why I come here. It was for the grammar not for the great recipes. Thanks for the recipe @ in sock monkey slippers

  • mahtab

    oh tnx for your site

  • Nikki

    Can these be frozen and reheated in the oven later? Would love to have them on hand for lunches and dinners

    • In Sock Monkey Slippers

      Of course. I like to reheat them in the oven for the best results. Good question

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