Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Chicken fingers aren’t just for kids anymore. We’ve given this tired school-cafeteria classic an adult update with cayenne, Parmesan cheese, cilantro, and cumin. Using panko crumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs gives these juicy tidbits an extra crunch.

NotesMake-ahead: Before baking, the chicken fingers can be breaded and kept, uncovered, in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.

Tip: Panko crumbs are Japanese dried breadcrumbs. They can be found at Asian markets and most grocery stores.

Cooking Methodbaking



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCocktail Party, Family Get-together, game day

Recipe Coursehors d'oeuvre

Dietary Considerationhalal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free


Taste and Texturecrisp, salty, savory


  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1½ cups panko crumbs or dried breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 bunches cilantro, for garnish
  • Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce with Horseradish, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

  2. Cut each chicken breast on the diagonal into 7 strips. Mix the egg, mustard, and cayenne pepper together in a shallow bowl and toss the chicken strips to coat them.

  3. In another bowl, mix the panko, Parmesan, cilantro, and cumin. Add half the chicken pieces and toss to coat them well. Line 2 baking pans with parchment and arrange the breaded chicken on the pan, leaving some space between the chicken pieces so that they will brown nicely. Drizzle with the butter. Repeat the process with the rest of the chicken.

  4. Bake the chicken fingers until nicely colored and firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. For even browning, it helps to rotate the pans halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve the chicken fingers arranged on a platter, garnished with cilantro, with a bowl of the dipping sauce.

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Chicken strips dipped in honey mustard sauce is one of my favorite lunch choices. I love the stuff, and could live off of it several days a week. This sounds like a much less messy version of my favorite. I can see making this ahead of time and freezing it to pull out for working lunches or busy days. Have you experimented with freezing it and reheating the strips? What was the texture like if you did?

Hi SissieSass - thanks for reaching out! I agree, honey mustard sauce is what really makes a chicken sandwich or chicken fingers. I haven't tried freezing the chicken fingers to use later on, so I am not quite sure how to go about doing that.


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