Crunchy on the outside and soft and juicy on the inside, these easy Cheeto chicken fingers might just become your next favorite snack.
Recently, I have been trying my hands at bite-sized snacks that need just a few ingredients to whip up. And after a bit of experimentation and tweaking, I found the recipe for these lip-smacking delicious and crunchy Cheeto chicken fingers.
They’re just what they sound like- soft chicken tenders, perfectly seasoned and covered in crushed Cheetos for that crunchy outer. Tempted already? Here’s everything you need to know about how to make it.
What Can I Use Instead of Red Hot Cheetos?
I personally recommend Red Hot Cheetos since they have a nice spicy kick to them which is exactly what you need for these chicken fingers. However, if you don’t have those, you can substitute with any other Cheetos flavor you have.
I know of a few people who’ve crusted chicken tenders with Dorito crumbs too, so if that’s what you want to try out, go ahead.
Can I Air Fry the Chicken Tenders?
You sure can! Air frying is actually a super healthy way to enjoy your favorite crunchy foods and snacks, minus the guilt. Baking them is cool too, which is what I did.
Another option is to pan fry the chicken tenders, just like you would pan fry dumplings. This way, you can have a much better control over the temperature you’re cooking them, and you don’t risk burning them.
Tips & Tricks to Nail the Cheeto Chicken Fingers
Ready to make these spicy Cheeto chicken fingers? Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind.
- Regardless of how you’re cooking your chicken fingers, make sure they’re sprayed with cooking spray or placed on a lightly greased surface so that they don’t end up sticking to the cooking surface.
- Another important tip to remember is to cut the chicken fingers or pieces in roughly the same size, so they’re all perfectly done.
- Remember to keep the chicken pieces a bit spaced out, as opposed to crowding them all on your cooking surface.
- Don’t have eggs? You can actually make do by just dipping the chicken tenders in some mayo and follow the rest of the recipe as is. This will keep the chicken soft and juicy, and help the coating stick well too.
Serving Ideas & Suggestions
Thinking of whipping these up for the next get-together you’re having at home, or just for a weekend movie night? Here are a few serving ideas & suggestions to get you going.
- Anything that’s spicy automatically tastes great when paired with some Ranch dip, so if you’re looking for a foolproof way to serve your Cheeto chicken fingers, this is it.
- If you love going all-out with the spice, you can also serve the chicken fingers with some hot sauce drizzled on the top.
- I also sometimes like to pair these with my low carb BLT dip. It tastes amazing and is super healthy too.
- When I’m in the mood to go for something extra to team up these chicken fingers with, I always make my favorite keto garlic cheese chips.
Cheeto Chicken Fingers
- 1 ½ lb chicken tenders approximately 3 breasts
- ½ c milk
- 2 eggs
- 4 c Red Hot Cheetos
- ¼ c all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and then place an ovenproof rack over top. Set aside.
- Place the Cheetos in a food processor and blitz until finely ground. It's okay if the texture isn't completely uniform. (You can also use a large ziptop bag and crush the Cheetos with a rolling pin.)
- Place the Cheetos in a shallow dish and set aside.
- In a second shallow dish, whisk together the eggs and milk. Set aside.
- In the final shallow dish, stir together the all-purpose flour and seasonings.
- Dip each chicken tender in the flour mixture, then dip in the egg mixture, then finally coat completely in the Cheeto crumbs.
- Place the Cheeto-coated chicken tenders on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes, until chicken tenders reach an internal temperature of 165F.
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