Parmesan-Ranch Chicken Strips

With all of the serious “Staying Whole” posts lately I feel like we haven’t really . . . talked. What’s going on with you? Have you started grilling yet? Are you antsy for SYTYCD to start? Are you ready to pull out a trampoline and kick-start your labor?

Oh wait, that’s me.

Things are just peachy here. I’m about a month away from my due date, and I’ve officially decided to stop bending over to pick up stuff off the floor. Thank goodness for (somewhat) obedient children who haven’t hit the lazy teenager stage yet or our floors would be a lot more cluttered than they are.

My girls are pretty patient with me. Especially when it comes to dinner, which is different almost every night. It’s a blessing and curse, though. If I pull out leftovers more than once or if I make the same thing twice in three weeks suddenly they’re “tired of eating that”. (They would, however, eat pancakes or pizza for every single meal and never complain.)

Luckily they’re good about trying new things (which happens most nights because there are only a few things I make over and over). Whether they actually eat it and like it is a different story. That’s why I try to cater to them sometimes and make more “kid-friendly” food.

Like chicken strips. But unlike their processed-and-fried-in-nastiness counterparts, I tried to clean them up a bit.

This time I tossed them with some Homemade Buttermilk Dressing Mix and a cozy buttermilk marinade.

Then I dredged them in some fluffy panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.

I served them with some Creamy Avocado & Spinach Pasta (“Green Noodles”) and raw veggie sticks. Both girls kept saying how much they loved dinner. They inhaled all of it.

Steve and I liked them, too. They were so moist and had such a great flavor! We didn’t even need dipping sauce, but they’d be great in honey mustard, Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dip, or marinara sauce.

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Parmesan-Ranch Chicken Strips

Yield: Serves 4

Total Time: 25 minutes + marinating


2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5 lbs)
juice from 1 lemon (about 3 T)
2 Tablespoons dry Ranch dressing mix (see link to Homemade mix within post)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs (whole grain would be better)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Slice chicken breasts into 1/2-inch strips and place in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with a couple of generous pinches of salt and add lemon juice, dry Ranch mix, and buttermilk. Use your hands to toss chicken and ensure everything is coated evenly. Cover and chill for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil (optional) and coat it with nonstick spray or a smear of oil.

In a shallow dish combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Remove 2 or 3 chicken strips from the bowl, letting the excess buttermilk coating drip off. Dredge them in the breadcrumb mixture and lay them on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken strips.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until they are no longer squishy to the touch. If you want them a little more brown on the top, broil them for the last minute or so of cooking. (Watch them close! Those breadcrumbs burn quickly.)

from Perry's Plate

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13 Responses to “Parmesan-Ranch Chicken Strips”

  1. #
    Julia {The Roasted Root} — May 10, 2012 @ 5:52 am

    I LOVE So You Think You Can Dance! My girlfriends and I used to plan our weeknights around it. I’d gladly watch SYTYCD while eating a plate of the parmesan ranch strips :)


  2. #
    Jen at The Three Little Piglets — May 10, 2012 @ 7:23 am

    I make chicken strips at home for my kids often because they are so much better than processed ones and you can do so much more with flavor!


  3. #
    Katy M — May 10, 2012 @ 7:45 am

    I love your whole food series. We stay away from all of the processed stuff as well. This is by far my families favorite meal. Much better than fast food. I’ve been using pretty much this recipe with panko and buttermilk from a site called in sock monkey slippers but I’ve never thought of adding powdered ranch. good tip I’ll try it next time! yum.


  4. #
    DancingMooney — May 10, 2012 @ 8:11 am

    My how time flies! Only a month to go Natalie?? :)
    I love finger foods, going to have to try this! xo!


  5. #
    Jodi J. — May 10, 2012 @ 10:56 am

    Ah, these chicken strips look yummy but the pasta looks awesome! My kids have been begging me to make some green pasta (homemade spinach fettucine or spaghetti) but I’ve been lacking the drive to do it! I’ll have to try out the green noodle recipe with these chicken strips! Thanks


  6. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — May 10, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

    only a month left?! You must be itching to be done at this point. I’m all for not picking up whats on the floor until I step on something lol. These tenders sound so good!


  7. Pingback: Recipe Roundup – May 2012 – Week 1 « A Merry Journey

  8. #
    Nicole — May 10, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

    Congratulations on the little one coming in June! Those chicken strips look a million times better than processed. Real food is always so much better!


  9. Pingback: Recipe Roundup – May 2012 – Week 2 « A Merry Journey

  10. #
    Joanne — May 11, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

    I’m so excited for you to have the baby! Jumping on the trampoline at least sounds like a FUN option for kickstarting labor…

    I plan on never letting my kids even know what processed chicken fingers are so that they never crave them or ask for them. Somehow I’m sure they’ll come across them eventually, but I can dream…


  11. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — May 17, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

    One month away? Congrats! You must be so excited!

    These chicken strips look amazing. I’ve never tried the parmesan-ranch combo but I’m excited to give it a try. I’m sure I’ll love it.


  12. #
    Lindsay — January 19, 2013 @ 7:57 am

    Hi, I was wondering if it would work to use something other than buttermilk for the liquid when making these chicken strips… I can never seem to use a whole carton of buttermilk, even when I have multiple recipes in a week that call for buttermilk. Thanks!


    • Natalie Perry replied: — January 19th, 2013 @ 8:05 am

      Hi Lindsay! Just go ahead and use regular milk. If you have a lemon, squirt half of it into the milk to add some acidity. It will work out just fine!

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