5-Ingredient Sweet & Spicy Chicken Tenders w/ Honey + Sriracha
There’s something so freeing about a healthy, reliable, stupid-easy dinner.
Having a slew of tried-and-true dinners at your fingertips is always a smart idea, and this is exactly one of those dishes. Obviously there are times when all I want to do is cook something fantastically innovative, insanely complicated, or down-right difficult. But most days I’m craving quick-fix solutions that keep me fed, full, and feeling lean. And that’s why I’ve come to rely on these delightful chicken tenders — 5 ingredients, 45 minutes, and dinner is served.
From the lack of fussy ingredients to the wonderfully mindless preparation, this is go-to meal material. Simply salt & pepper the chicken, whisk together a sexy little sauce — tomato paste, sriracha, brown sugar, and honey — then bake!
That’s literally as complicated as this gets.
The key to this recipe is the balance of sweet and spicy flavor. In one single bite you get a rush of spice, a barrage of sweetness, and a finishing hint of mellow heat. It takes boring, boneless chicken tenders to a whole new level of deliciousness. And after one taste, you’re going to be hankering for it constantly.
The sauce here is fairly thick, creating a regal-red cloak that drapes over the chicken to the point that it practically disappears. This might look suspicious while you’re prepping it, but relax! By literally suffocating the tenders in saucey sexiness, you end up with the most moist, flavorful chicken ever. The first bite will make you a believer, but the smell alone should be convincing enough.
If tomato paste isn’t hanging around your pantry — It should be, but I digress — ketchup can be substituted here, though that will add a lot of sugar to the recipe and throw the sweet/spicy equilibrium out of balance, so only do this if necessary. And as you might have assumed, this can easily be scaled down to feed just two (cut the recipe in half), or doubled or tripled as needed. If you feed this to a crowd, pair it with some bacon-wrapped asparagus and a side of ‘mashed – You’ll get raves from everyone, guaranteed.
And what else? Not a damn thang.
Make it, eat it, rinse & repeat it.
5-Ingredient Sweet & Spicy Chicken Tenders w/ Honey + Sriracha
- 1 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Tenders
- a few pinches of Salt & Pepper
- 1/2 cup Tomato Paste (a little less than one 6oz can)
- 3 tbsps Water
- 2 – 3 tbsps Sriracha
- 2 tbsps Brown Sugar (I prefer dark)
- 2 tbsps Honey
- Diced Scallions to garnish (optional)
- Cooking spray to grease
- Pre-heat oven to 425F. Lightly grease baking dish with cooking spray.
- On cutting board amply salt and pepper chicken tenders on either side, then transfer to greased baking dish. Next, in mixing bowl combine the tomato paste, water, sriracha*, brown sugar, and honey, whisking until smooth — If you’re sensitive to spice, use just 2 tbsps of sriracha at first, then add more if you’d like.
- Pour marinade over chicken until the tenders are completely covered — It will look as if they’ve disappeared, but that’s okay! The marinade is fairly thick. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until chicken is cooked through, then immediately plate and serve, garnishing with diced scallions if desired.
>> The tomato paste + water can be substituted with 1/2 cup Ketchup
* Use 2 tbsps Sriracha at first, then add another if you’d like more spice
What a fabulous idea Christine! This is gonna bring some serious traffic the 5 or less ingredient thing is HUGE! Especially with your Buffalo chicken tender’s success! Hope to get on Buzzfeed again soon myself!
thanks so much Sophia! yes I know everyone is really into the handful of ingredients thing, so I’m aiming to please! xx
This looks helllah easy and delicious – so perfect for a weeknight meal! I’m going to make this with some brown rice and veggies next week!
sounds perfect Rachel!
This look super delicious!! I’m definitely keep this in mind for the days I want something simple. It’s always a shame how early in the week, I think up all these things I want to try when Friday and the weekend come around, but by Friday, I’m just like, bleccch I’m too tired to cook – honey, where do you want to order take-out from? Problem solved, thanks to you!
haha I know exactly how you feel, weekends are my cooking rest time too! thanks girrrl 🙂
Made this for dinner tonight!! It was just as easy and tasty as you said 🙂
I am all about chicken tenders right now! And a sweet and spicy version sounds perfect. TRYING! xoxo
I love me some chicken tenders, but spicy and sweet? I need to give these a try!
You’re so right, I do need this ASAP. Sweet and spicy – yes please. Loving these low ingredient, quick meals!!
yes they make life so much easier! thanks Alyssa
I am all about sriracha lately! Can’t beat 5 ingredients. Definite week night dinner win.
I’m so with you… this whole blogging thing is a blessing and a curse. You end up discovering so many new recipes, but you feel bad repeating the same ones over and over. We always feel the need to expand and branch out… but sometimes I just want what I make best!
Loving these chicken tenders… that honey sriracha combo is calling my name!
totally agreed Chris, I’m so glad you hear what I’m saying! I guess in the end it’s all a good thing – whichever way we end up, we’re still eating pretty tasty stuff!
So happening for dinner tomorrow I tell you! xx
Okay, another great recipe! No joke, super easy and amazingly good. I added sliced serranos (because I’m a chili junkie) and marinated this while I worked out. Thought it might be a tad too sweet, but it was a perfect balance of sweet, tangy and spicy. Thank you! … I’m envisioning this in a wrap… thoughts? ; p
I’m so glad you liked it Holly!!! it’s a great weeknight fix anytime – and yes, wrap these babies up with some cheddar cheese stat! xx
I made this for dinner tonight, but I’m sad to say that it was SOOOOO spicy I couldn’t eat it which was too bad because I could tell that the flavor would have been delicious without so much heat. I double checked the recipe and definitely only used the amount of Sriracha recommended in the recipe 🙁 Could I ask which brand of Sriracha you use? I’m wondering if that could make a difference.
oh no Lucy, I’m sorry to hear that! the recipe is definitely tailored to a more spicy palate, so it might have just been too much heat for your tastebuds. I’d try it again but add the sriracha to the sauce last, just one tablespoon at a time. this will make sure the flavor is in your comfort zone – you probably only need 2/3 tbsps for your tastes 🙂 good luck!
Could the sriracha be replaced with hot sauce?
hi Yolanda! you could, but it wouldn’t give you that particular tangy spice that sriracha has and works so well in this recipe. but you never know, give it a whirl!
Cooked it tonite, it was both easy and delicious! Thanks for sharing.
that’s wonderful Ken, thank you for sharing!
Hey! I loved the sound of this dish as I’m a huge fan of sweet sour spicy food. Was a little apprehensive about the ketchup/sugar quantities but gave it a whirl tonight and I can see why some its popular but was way too sweet and claggy for me. Next time I would leave out the ketchup and reduce the sugar. A recipe in progress for me but thanks for the inspiration to try a new dish!!!
Justo made it.I didn’t have the sriracha so I use my home made pineapple Hot sause and is awesome!!!
So delicious! I’ve been looking for a recipe like this a really long time. They came close but not exact. This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!
I was wondering if this can be made without the spicy? I need a chicken tender recipe but my three year old doesn’t like spicy.
Trying the recipe for dinner with beyond meat chicken strips instead. Can’t wait to dig in.