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CHEEZ-IT Baked Chicken Tenders

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Are you ready for things to get crazy in the world of college basketball over the next few weeks? Have you placed your bets? Planned your parties? No, what are you waiting for? I will make things easier for you by sharing some of my favorites, starting with these delicious CHEEZ-IT Baked Chicken Tenders…..

cheez-it baked chicken tenders shaped to look like basketballs stacked on a square white plate surrounding an orange bowl of ranch dressing

served with Bacon Ranch Dressing, aka “Slam Dunk Sauce”. Seriously, ranch and bacon together are a flavor packed slam dunk in my world. Paired with these crunchy, yet baked CHEEZ-IT® Chicken Tenders and you have yourself a delicious appetizer for game day or kid friendly meal for dinner time!!

Aren’t those cute? I was originally going to use Nori sheets of seaweed to create my “lines”, but I couldn’t find it. So I went with Arame instead…..

Cheez-It Baked Chicken Tenders soak cookingwithcurls.com

How to make Cheeze-It Baked Chicken Tenders:

We need to pulverize the crackers! You can pour them into the bowl of your food processor and pulse to chop them up. Or, you can place them in a zipper top bag and roll a rolling pin {or beat with said rolling pin} until they are crushed….your choice.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner and set aside.

Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap, and pound with a rolling pin until they are an even thickness. We don’t want paper thin, just a nice even piece of chicken. You will need a circle shaped cookie or biscuit cutter to cut each piece of chicken to make the basketballs…..

Cheez-It Baked Chicken Tenders cut cookingwithcurls.com

Have a knife or kitchen sheers handy just in case your cutter isn’t sharp enough, mine wasn’t. 😉

Dredge your chicken tenders through rice flour {it sticks much better than regular flour}…..

Cheez-It Baked Chicken Tenders flour cookingwithcurls.com

Then dip into the beaten egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon of water. Sorry, my camera can only handle so much food in it’s crevices.

Dredge through the cracker crumbs…..

Cheez-It Baked Chicken Tenders crackers cookingwithcurls.com

and place on the prepared baking sheet…..

ked Chicken Tenders pan cookingwithcurls.com

To make the basketballs, drain the Arame that has now tripled in size while soaking for the past 10 minutes…..

Cheez-It Baked Chicken Tenders drain cookingwithcurls.com

Dip the Arame into the egg wash and place on top of the chicken…..

Cheez-It Baked Chicken Tenders bake cookingwithcurls.com

Some pieces were more pliable than others, and some stuck to the cracker crumbs better than others. Do your best, they are still adorable. 🙂

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes, or until no longer pink inside. Serve with Slam Dunk Sauce {Bacon Ranch Dressing}, or your favorite dipping sauce…..

cheeze-it covered chicken tenders surrounding a small bowl of ranch dressing sitting on a basketball court table cloth

like Homemade Ranch Dressing, or Avocado Ranch Dressing. Can you guess what my favorite dressing is? 😉

Since we are talking parties, you are going to want to start out with this amazing Bacon Cheddar Cheeseball…..

bacon cheddar cheeseball covered in shredded cheddar cheese and minced olives designed to look like a basketball sitting on a white plate surrounded by crackers

that is also shaped like a basketball.

These chicken tenders are moist and delicious with or without the basketball lines…..

cheeze-it covered chicken tenders on a white plate with a small bowl of bacon ranch dressing

and we all know how much kids love to dunk things…..

cheexe-it baked chicken tender dunked in ranch dressing

More delicious finger food recipes:


cheeze-it covered chicken tenders on a white plate with a small bowl of bacon ranch dressing

CHEEZ-IT Baked Chicken Tenders

Delicious CHEEZ-IT Baked Chicken Tenders served with Bacon Ranch "Slam Dunk Sauce" are perfect for game day, or a family meal...and kid's love them!!
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: crackers, chicken, recipe, game day, dipping, sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 868kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson


  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs beaten with 1 Tablespoon of water
  • 2 cups CHEEZ-IT Crackers crushed
  • 1 cup arame Japanese seaweed soaked in cold water


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat liner and set aside.
  • Place chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a rolling pin until they are an even thickness. You don't need paper thin, just even.
  • To make basketballs: Use a round cookie or biscuit cutter to make circles. Mine is 2 and a 1/4 inches in diameter.
  • Mix rice flour and black pepper together on a large plate, set aside. {you can substitute cayenne pepper if you prefer spicy}
  • Beat eggs and water together in a small bowl, set aside.
  • Place 2 cups of CHEEZ-IT crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. You can also place crackers in a zipper top bag and roll a rolling pin over them to crush them.
  • Pour cracker crumbs onto a large plate, set aside.
  • Dredge chicken tenders/circles through the flour.
  • Dip into the egg.
  • Dredge through the cracker crumbs, pressing lightly if needed to make the crumbs stick.
  • To make basketballs: Cover seaweed "strings" with cold water in a small bowl. Allow to sit for 10 minutes to re-hydrate. Drain and set aside until ready to use.
  • Pick out each piece of seaweed one at a time and dip in the egg wash. Place on top of cracker coated chicken circle to resemble the lines on a basketball.
  • Place on prepared baking sheet and place in oven. Bake for 12 minutes, or until no longer pink inside.
  • Allow to cool slightly and serve with Bacon Ranch Dressing, or your favorite dipping sauce.


Calories: 868kcal | Carbohydrates: 111g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 217mg | Sodium: 1160mg | Potassium: 489mg | Fiber: 4g | Vitamin A: 185IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 183mg | Iron: 1.1mg

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  1. Oh man, these chicken tenders look amazing! I’m pretty sure I would eat that entire bowl of Slam Dunk Sauce, too. I’m ready for college basketball to kick it into overdrive in the next few weeks, and I’m pretty sure these chicken tenders will need to appear next to me on the couch. Thanks for sharing! #client

  2. Can chicken nuggets be cute?! These sure are! 🙂 My boys would love these and wouldn’t want chicken tenders any other way!

  3. This looks incredible! I’m drooling right now. Pinned and tweeted. We are so thrilled to have you at our party. Please stop by on Monday at 7, so we can see your amazing projects. Lou Lou Girls

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