A very much kid-approved recipe, these Ranch Chicken Strips (or also called ranch chicken tenders and Ranch Chicken Fingers) are an easy-to-make, tasty crispy fried chicken strips recipe. This homemade Chicken Strips recipe is a fun twist on the traditional chicken strips as it has the ranch flavor already cooked in the breading!
Ranch Chicken Tenders
These Ranch Chicken tenders are a huge hit in my house and a favorite with both the kids and adults. Whenever I ask the kids for dinner ideas when I’m meal planning, they almost always (unanimously) ask for ranch chicken fingers!
My kids call these ranch chicken fingers and I call them ranch chicken strips and the husband calls them ranch chicken tenders. Personally, I think my kids just like to have fun saying they are eating a chicken’s fingers. LOL! Whatever you call these, the end result is crispy, tasty strips of chicken ready to be dunked in your favorite dipping sauce. (Or not – these are so flavorful that we sometimes skip the extra sauce!).
Why you will love this recipe
These crispy chicken strips are made using my dad’s secret recipe. He always made the best chicken strips when I was growing up (back then I was the one begging for these for dinner like my kids do now!), without a fancy fryer or a three step dipping method. All he had was a cast iron pan and his secret ingredient – Ranch salad dressing!
Not the powdered ranch seasoning mixed in with the bread crumbs but actual ranch dressing! This is used in place of any type of egg wash to create a crisp outside. Because ranch dressing is so thick, more breadcrumbs stick to it to create an amazing crunch when you bite into these fried chicken strips!
Another thing I love about these ranch chicken fingers is that you really don’t need a dipping sauce! If you have a toddler, you know how amazing that is because toddlers who insist on dipping their own chicken strips in sauce ALWAYS ends up with a giant mess. With these ranch chicken strips, the sauce and flavor is already there! (Though no judgement if you do decide to dip these in even more ranch!)
What to Serve with Ranch Fried Chicken Strips
Since cooking these homemade chicken fingers is a pretty hands-on process, I like to opt for sides that are quick and easy. My go-to is microwaved sweet potatoes! They’re healthier than fries and everyone loves them!
Of course, you can serve these with whatever you want – from french fries and mashed potatoes to healthier options like broccoli. If you are looking for more side dishes for chicken fingers, be sure to check out some of oour favorites.
- Baked Mac and cheese
- Cheesy Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
- Parmesan Asparagus
- Whole Roasted Cauliflower
- Green beans with bacon
Can I Freeze These?
Yes, absolutely! I actually love making extra homemade chicken strips so that I can freeze them and have an easy lunch or dinner whenever I need to! If you plan on freezing your ranch chicken fingers, prepare them according to the directions and then let them cool completely. Place into a freezer bag or container and pop in the freezer. They’ll last for about 3 months!
You can reheat by baking them in the oven, frying them, or even popping them in the air fryer, all directly from frozen!
What type of ranch dressing should I use?
You can use any ranch dressing you want, though you’ll want the thick bottled kind not the super-runny kind you’ll often get in restaurants. We always use our favorite Hidden Valley Ranch dressing.
Tips for Making Fried Chicken Strips
Don’t over crowd the pan. When you are cooking the chicken strips in the pan it is important to not oveeer crowd them.
Drain on paper ttowel. To remove any extra oil after cooking them, place the chicken strips on a paper towel lined plate and then place th ecooked chhicken strips on top of the paper towel while you cook the others. This will drain the extra oil off.
Use thick ranch dressing. You can use any ranch dressing you want, but you want the thick bottled kind not the super-runny kind you’ll often get in restaurants. The thick dressing is what will keep the breading on the chicken strips.
Make sure the pan is hot. Adding chicken to a cold pan with cold oil will just give you soggy chicken strips. It is important that the oil and the pan are hot before cooking the chicken.
Keep the mess small. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably made a mess once or twice when breading homemade chicken strips or the like before. My tip for a mess-free experience? Use one hand for dipping the chicken in the ranch dressing and the other hand for the breading. That way you don’t want end up with fingers coated in ranch dressing AND bread crumbs.
Get the kids involved! I assign one kiddo to the the dressing dip and another to the breading. They love helping me in the kitchen and this is an easy way for them to do so! I love that I can create special memories with them while also making something they love – and I think for them it makes digging into these crispy ranch chicken fingers even better!
Variations of this recipe
Use chicken tenderloins. If you do not want to use chicken breasts and cut them you can use chicken tenderloins instead to make these homemade chicken strips.
Add more ranch flavor. You can add some dry ranch seasoning to the bread crumb mixture for even more ranch flavoring.
Ranch Chicken Fingers Ingredients
- 3 pounds boneless chicken breast
- 2 cups ranch dressing
- 1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 2-3 cups peanut oil or canola oil
How to Make Ranch Chicken Strips
Slice your chicken breasts in half so you have six thin chicken breast. Slice those breasts into one-inch thick strips.
Place your ranch on a pie plate.
Combine both the bread crumbs in a pie plate.
Heat your oil over medium heat in a large cast iron saute pan.
One at a time dip a chicken strip into the ranch making sure you do not have too much ranch on the chicken. Than place that strip into the bread crumb mixture and coat the strip. Repeat this with all of your chicken.
Place the chicken in batches into the hot oil making sure you do not crowd the pan. Cook each side until golden brown than place them onto a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
More Easy Chicken Recipes
- Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
- Dorito Chicken Casserole
- Firecracker Chicken
- Panko Crusted Chicken
- Chicken Potato Casserole
- One Pot Chicken Alfredo
Ranch Chicken Strips
Ranch Chicken Strips Directions
- Slice your chicken breasts in half so you have six thin chicken breast. Slice those breast into one inch thick strips.
- Place your ranch in a pie plate.
- Combine both the bread crumbs in a pie plate.
- Heat your oil over medium heat in a large cast iron saute pan.
- One at a time dip a chicken strip into the ranch making sure you do not have to much ranch on the chicken. Than place that strip into the bread crumb mixture and coat the strip. Repeat this with all of your chicken.
- Place the chicken in batches into the hot oil making sure you do not crowd the pan. Cook each side until golden brown than place them onto a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
30 Weight Watchers SmartPoints per serving