Pickle-Brined Baked Chicken Tenders

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These juicy, flavorful chicken tenders are marinated in pickle juice then breaded and baked in the oven or air fryer!

These juicy, flavorful chicken tenders are marinated in pickle juice then breaded and baked in the oven or air fryer!

While I was on set doing the photography for my next cookbook in Charleston, I was chatting with the food stylist and Helene, my photographer about (what else) food and we got to talking about Chick-fil-A somehow and Abbie mentioned the secret to their amazing chicken is pickle juice. What!!? My daughter Madison LOVES pickles, and we go through jars of them each month and I always hate tossing the juice, so I loved the idea of reusing it.

These juicy, flavorful chicken tenders are marinated in pickle juice then breaded and baked in the oven.

Helene shared a recipe she often makes from The Southern Made Fresh Cookbook where she brines her chicken breast and pan fries them, I was inspired to try this when I got home! I didn’t follow the recipe from the book, but I did brine my chicken for 8 hours as instructed in her cookbook. Glorious results, I loved this so much I even created a short video! This is a recipe I will be making again and again!

How To Make Pickle Brined Chicken Tenders

pickle brined chicken tenders

pickle juice brined baked chicken tenders-2

pickle juice brined baked chicken tenders

These juicy, flavorful chicken tenders are marinated in pickle juice then breaded and baked in the oven or air fryer!
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4.75 from 47 votes
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Pickle-Brined Baked Chicken Tenders

244 Cals 37 Protein 10 Carbs 6 Fats
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Yield: 4 Servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: American
These juicy, flavorful chicken tenders are marinated in pickle juice then breaded and baked in the oven or air fryer!

Ingredients

  • 12 (1 & 1/4 lbs) chicken tenders or skinless breasts cut into strips
  • 1- 1/4 cup dill pickle juice, enough to cover the chicken
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup seasoned panko
  • cooking spray

Instructions

  • Place chicken in a shallow bowl and cover with pickle juice (enough to cover completely). Marinate in the refrigerator 8 hours.
  • After 8 hours, drain and dry the chicken completely on paper towels; discard marinade.
  • Preheat oven to 425F. Spray a large baking sheet with generously with oil.
  • Combine egg, egg white, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs and panko.
  • Dip chicken in the egg wash, then into the breadcrumb mixture and shake off excess.
  • Place the chicken onto the prepared baking sheet and spray the top generously. Bake in the lower third of the oven until the bottom is golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Turn and bake 6 minutes, until golden.

Air Fryer Directions:

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400F. Spray the chicken on both sides with oil. Cook in batches in a single layer 5 to 6 minutes on each side.

Nutrition

Serving: 3tenders, Calories: 244kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 37g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 150mg, Sodium: 422mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g
WW Points Plus: 6
Keywords: Air Fryer Pickle-Brined Chicken, Pickle-Brined Baked Chicken Tenders, Pickle-Brined Chicken

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372 comments

  1. My fiancé said this is the only way he wants to eat chicken from now on 😁. Great recipe, thank you!

  2. My favorite Skinnytaste recipe and that’s really saying something!!

  3. I started marinating these for dinner tonight. Our dinner plans have changed and we won’t be able to eat them until tomorrow night. Do i leave them in the pickle juice?

  4. This. Was. Amazing. Pickle juice is the game changer. I accidentally marinated for WELL over 8 hours (three times over 😣) and it still came out great. Luckily my husband is obsessed with pickles so the extra flavoring was his favorite part. Also, I will mix my breadcrumbs from now on; far better taste and texture in my opinion. Thank you!!!

  5. These turned out great. Very moist and tasty. 

  6. I made this for dinner tonight and was not sure what to expect! We loved them. Definitely will be making again. Followed other suggestions by heating pan as oven warmed up and  baking in lower 3rd of oven at 450. So food!

  7. I know this is probably a long shot but is there a way to do these dairy and yeast free? My husbands allergies don’t allow those but I love pickles and trying new things so if there were a way to make these for him to try that would be awesome!!

  8. I made these last night. They were tender and juicy on the inside and crispy crunchy on the outside. Just perfect! The brine was wonderful

  9. Awesome recipe! Thank you! I skipped the egg but I am sure it makes it even richer.

  10. Mild pickle flavor.  Such a great recipe! 

  11. Can you make this with tofu or other vegetarian options?

  12. These turned out so delicious. We bribed ours overnight. Will definitely make again.

  13. We really liked this recipe!  The chicken is SO tender and tasty.  
    My husband had a questioning expression when I said “pickle-brined”, but once he tasted it, he was won over.  I made sweet potato fries to go with, and made the reviewer-suggested Come Back Dipping Sauce which was delicious with both the chicken and the fries! 
      Thank you, Gina.  We are never disappointed with your recipes. 

  14. Very tasty! Loved earlier comments that were helpful:
    1) brining 8 hours really ensures the pickle flavor
    2) drying the chicken pieces after brining is a MUST
    3) suggest adding a pinch of cayenne pepper to the breadcrumb mixture gives it a little kick
    4) preheating the oven, and cooking at 450 worked for my oven
    5) sliding the baking sheet in the oven while preheating helps crisp the chicken
    6) don’t use parchment paper or foil, just cooking spray is good
    7) spraying the top before and after flipping the chicken is a must, but don’t soak
    8) cook times – 10 min, flip, six more – is just about right
    9) Come Back dipping sauce was a winner (google…you’ll find lots of recipes)

    Serve with sauce and coleslaw was a nice relaxed Friday night dinner. 

  15. We love these!!  We make them low carb using Pork Panko and canned parm cheese. Delicious!  

  16. I bought a Ninja Foodi on Black Friday, and was so excited to use the air fryer.  Sadly, I was disappointed in this recipe. The coating came off and  I was left with pickle-y green chicken.🥲

  17. Just made these with zesty pickle juice…gives them a nice kick even after only being brined for 4 hours. Kids thought I was nuts, but not after they ate almost all of them! Will definitely make again.

  18. I made this last night and it was great! I was only able to bribe for 2 hours and it still had great pickle flavor. Next time I’ll definitely do it for longer. I also added cayenne pepper to the breadcrumb mixture and served with a honey mustard dipping sauce. Even my picky husband loved it! Will absolutely make again!

  19. Incredibly great. A def. keeper. Used the Air Fryer, worked out perfectly. Thanks Gina!