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Keeping Monday fun with these Baked Black Pepper Ranch Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard. Breaded in corn flakes, seasoned with a homemade ranch seasoning blend, oven baked, and served with an addicting creamy, sweet, and tangy honey mustard sauce. These are the grown up version of the chicken fingers we all loved as a kid. And yes, healthier, and so much tastier too. Serve with oven roasted french fries and veggies for an easy dinner that’s different, delicious, peppery, and full of flavor.

overhead photo of Baked Black Pepper Ranch Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard in serving bowl

I figured we’d ease into Monday with a fun recipe. Be honest, who does not love chicken fingers, you know? I think we can all agree that even though chicken fingers are seen as a “kid” food, no matter your age, we all love them just as much as we did when we were 10…admit it.

With May just a day away, it’s the time of year where my brain switches to the “end of the school year”. I’ve been out of school for many years now. But the month of May will forever signify the end of school and the start to summer. It’s a very exciting time of year. And when it comes to food. It leaves me inspired to recreate the foods I loved as a kid… Chicken fingers, preferably eaten by the pool. Pizza, preferably eaten outside on the deck during humid summer nights. And all the ice cream variations you can think of, preferably eaten…all day long!

We still have a few weeks until it’s even close to becoming summer weather. But I was too excited about these chicken fingers to not share right away. Plus, I do feel like they’re a really fun and non-boring Monday recipe…which we all could use!

Honey Mustard

When I originally set out to make these, I was not sure about the combo of ranch and honey mustard. I thought it might be weird, but after texting a handful of family members we all came to conclusion that it sounded way too good to not make.

So, with that confidence boost, I made some chicken fingers. And I made some honey mustard. And oh my gosh, it took me back to being a kid. But it was better. Because these chicken fingers actually have flavor.

And they’re not fried, which means healthier too.

Yes, please.

overhead close up photo of Baked Black Pepper Ranch Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard

Best part? These chicken fingers are so easy to make and every ingredient is a pantry/freezer staple.

Here are the details. Start out by soaking the chicken in some buttermilk. This will help the breading adhere nicely and adds a slight tangy flavor too.

Now, the breading. This is KEY. I use crushed corn flakes as my secret to getting that fried look and taste without actually frying a thing. It’s my go-to when it comes to breading chicken. As you can tell from my recent Korean chicken and my southern chicken, it works like a charm. Every single time.

For the seasonings… Homemade ranch with a spicy kick, dried herbs, a good amount of black pepper, and a pinch of cayenne too. It’s truly the perfect seasoning blend, and my family loves it so much. Spicy and herby! If you happen to dislike spices, or are serving to kids, just reduce the amounts of black pepper and cayenne to your taste.

side angle close up photo of Baked Black Pepper Ranch Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard

While the chicken is baking, make the honey mustard. Traditionally honey mustard is made with mayo, but I wanted to try and keep things a bit healthier. So instead, I made more of a honey mustard vinaigrette, using olive oil in place of mayo. It’s still extra creamy, but with more of a honey mustard flavor.

Basically, it’s better.

The sweet and tanginess is perfect served alongside these spicy ranch baked chicken fingers. And if you want to take things a step further? Serve with two sauces, and mix up my homemade tahini ranch

Double dipping…and lovin’ it.

overhead close up photo of Baked Black Pepper Ranch Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard

If you make this baked ranch chicken fingers, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Watch the How To Video:

Baked Spicy Ranch Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 371 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Honey Mustard


  • 1. Add the chicken to a gallon size zip top bag. Pour the buttermilk over the chicken. Toss well to coat.
    2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
    3. Add the corn flake crumbs, flour, parsley, chives, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and a pinch each of pepper to a medium sized bowl. Stir to combine.
    4. Remove each piece of chicken from the buttermilk, and dredge through the crumbs, pressing gently to adhere. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the chicken has been used. Make sure not to crowd your pan, if necessary use two baking sheets. Lightly brush/drizzle the chicken with olive oil. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
    5. Meanwhile, make the honey mustard sauce. Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and shake or whisk until smooth and creamy. 
    6. Serve the chicken topped with flaky salt, fresh chives and honey mustard for dipping. Enjoy!

horizontal photo of Baked Black Pepper Ranch Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard

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    1. Hey Dalia,
      Sure, that would be totally fine to do! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know how it turns out! xTieghan

      1. I absolutely ADORE the recipe. Thank you so much! I just made a batch to freeze now as part of my meal prep for the week 🤗

        1. Hey Dalia,
          Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad it was enjoyed. Have the best week:) xTieghan

  1. 5 stars
    Made this tonight for dinner. I used Panko breadcrumbs and baked them on a cooling rack placed in a jelly roll pan. Delicious! They will be in my rotation! Thanks!

  2. Omg!!! Another wonderful recipe!!!!! My husband went back for 3rds!!!! This is the 6th recipe of yours that I have made in the last 2 weeks! Thank you for restoring my love of cooking!!!

    1. Hey Jackie,
      I have not tested this, but I am assuming it would work well! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  3. This recipe seems like gold but it didn’t turn out perfectly for me…it ended up not nice and crunchy/crispy on the outside. Trying to decide if there was too much buttermilk before I coated them or if it’s just my oven? I even ended up baking them for a few minutes longer than recommended to get the chicken to temperature. I think that finishing them in the air fryer might have added the crunch I was looking for. Either way thanks for sharing—really great flavor!

    1. Hey Nikaea,
      Thanks so much fro trying the recipe, so sorry it did not turn out as you would have liked. Was there anything you adjusted? I do like to let the buttermilk drip off of the chicken before pressing the coating onto the chicken. Also a drizzle of olive oil definitely helps! xTieghan

  4. I always have difficulty getting breading to stick to chicken using this kind of dredging method… it usually seems to flake off. 😔 any suggestions on how to really get it to stay on?

    1. Hey Amanda,
      Did you try this recipe? This is what works best for me, I press the coating onto the chicken. I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan

  5. Hi! I plan on making these tonight! I’m GF and was wondering if you had a recommendation for corn flake replacement. There is malt in corn flakes which makes them not GF, and I am having a hard time finding a GF version. Thanks!

    1. Hey Audrey,
      I would use chips in place of the corn flakes. I hope you love the recipe, let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  6. Hello! I don’t have buttermilk at home so I wanted to know what substitution I can use or how can I make homemade buttermilk?

    1. Hey Maria,
      I think if you use whole milk this will work just fine. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  7. Living with a full time vegetarian, do you think cauliflower would make an ok substitute for chicken in this recipe? More of “chicken bites” I suppose.

  8. Ok, you have the BEST recipes. My Grandies will love them. DO you think I could use coconut milk instead of buttermilk to make them dairy free? OR another substitute please. Thank you!

    1. Hey Patty,
      Yes, I think that would work well for you. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    We love these . . . I’ve made these multiple times in the oven. Tonight I made them in my new air fryer and they were even better. Delicious served with a salad or the oven fries from HBH Super Simple.

    1. Hey Alyssa,
      I am thrilled that you enjoyed the recipe, thanks so much for giving it a try! Happy New Year! xTieghan

    1. Hey Ellise,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try, I am thrilled that it worked out for you! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

    1. Hey Hassan,
      The recipe for the honey mustard is listed above:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions. Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  10. 4 stars
    These were so yummy!
    My only question is when I dredged them in the corn flake crumbs, the crumbs started to clump up and I couldn’t coat the chicken very well. Then when the chicken bakes the crumbs seems to be a sticky coating more than a crunch. I can’t figure out what I am doing wrong, lol!

    1. Hi Emma! Thank you for trying this one! When making this, you will want to make sure the chicken isn’t still dripping from the buttermilk.. I usually just kind of get off the excess. Otherwise, it will make the cornflakes soggy and unable to stick. Does this make sense? I hope it helps! xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    Made this recipe tonight with a few tweaks (used panko and egg instead of cornflakes and buttermilk), they still turned out tastey, however, now I’m super intrigued by the cornflakes, so I will make it again as the recipe calls for since it got so many rave reviews! The honey mustard was delicious!! I added a bit more of honey to cut the tangy-ness, superb! We had some left over, would you happen to know for how long it could stay in the glass jar in the fridge? Many thanks!!

    1. Hi Michelle,
      So glad you enjoyed the recipe and thanks for giving it a try! I would use the sauce within 2 weeks of making it. I hope this helps! xTieghan

  12. 5 stars
    The flavors in the chicken coating were amazing and I could drink the honey mustard it is so good. One question – my chicken didn’t come out crispy and in some places the coating was soggy. I used LF buttermilk because that is what I had. Could that have been the reason?

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      Thanks so much for trying the recipe, the drizzle of olive oil is key for a crispy coating! I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  13. Can this be cooked on the stovetop or even an air fryer? My kids like them but my oven just went out. I’m looking for this or something similar that doesn’t require an oven

    1. Hi Kari,
      So sorry but I have only tested this recipe in the oven, I think your best bet would be an air fryer. I hope this helps! xTieghan

  14. 5 stars
    This was amazing!!! Restaurant-like. We doubled the sauce, but added more butter and honey as well to tone down the spicy 🙂 tried some in an air fryer and that worked well too!! Just needed a little less time/temperature. Thank you! Loved the ranch chicken tenders with corn flakes as well.

  15. 5 stars
    Being on the coronavirus stay-at-home order, I have been looking for recipes that use things I already have so I knew I wanted to do chicken fingers with cornflake breading. OMG! These were so much more than I expected in all the best ways. The seasoning mix of the breading plus the bright lemon from the honey mustard just made these so good. They even reheated beautifully in the toaster oven the next day.

    The only change I made was to mix some EVOO into the breading mix so it would crisp in the oven instead of brushing with oil, which never ends well for me. Thanks for sharing yet another delicious recipe! These were sooo easy.

  16. Quick question on the buttermilk-do you suggest marinating the chicken tenders for a certain amount of time? I’m new to your site & have been enjoying it. Thx

    1. Hi! I just toss the chicken in the buttermilk, let it 10 minutes, then use as directed! No need to marinate. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  17. 5 stars
    Tieghan, thank you for the recipe. It was absolutely delicious. It was easy to prepare and served with steamed green beans and brown rice.

  18. 5 stars
    I made these last night for dinner with some friends. I even used some of the cornflake coating for tofu nuggets for the vegetarian (before I dredged the chicken of course). They were great even though I had tamped down the peppers for one guest. I forgot the oil and only had to baked for 15 minutes. The crunch was perfect! Will definitely be making again.

  19. I made these last night and they were delicious! I have an extra sheet pan of them that I baked last night also, how would you reheat them?

    1. Hey Emily! I like to reheat in the oven at 325 degree for 10-15 minutes. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I am so glad you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  20. These look delicious! Going to make them tonight. I have made a number of your recipes and they are generally great. How would you recommend reheating leftovers? And how long would you say the honey mustard sauce lasts in the fridge?

    1. Hi Rebecca! I would warm these in the oven, if possible. I would bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes until warmed. Or you can also use the microwave. The sauce will keep for at least a week in the fridge. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  21. 4 stars
    I just made this tonight and I can say it will now be in our rotation of go-to meals. It was so EASY to make and delicous, too. My almost 2-year old couldn’t get enough of it! Next time, I will probably omit the olive oil drizzle on the chicken as it just made those parts soggy. I also used half the amount of oilve oil in the honey mustard sauce. As a personal preference, I have found most dressings and sauces use more oil than I like so I’ve gotten into the habit of using about half of what’s called for and then adding more in if it needs it.

  22. 5 stars
    This was delicious. The entire family wants this meal added to the rotation! Easy to make. Brushing top With oil before cooking makes for a crispy breading without frying. Great recipe!

    1. Hi Tracey! I imagine and air fryer would work really well for this recipe! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  23. This looks amazing! I have a possibly very dumb question: Is it boneless & skinless chicken or just boneless? (Asking for a friend ?)

    1. HI! I like to use boneless and skinless chicken tenders for this recipe. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  24. Do you think it would be possible to make a large batch of these and freeze? If so at what point would you freeze them?

    1. Hi Paige! Yes! I would assemble the chicken fingers, then arrange on a parchment lined backing sheet. freeze until firm, then transfer to a freezer bag. To bake, bake the fingers from frozen and add 8-10 minutes to the cooking time. that works great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  25. Hi Tieghan! Just wondered if you turn the strips at all during the baking time…? Can’t wait to make these tonight! Thank you 🙂

    1. Hey Alison! I don’t turn the chicken throughout baking. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  26. I made this recipe last night and it was amazing! My boyfriend and I loved the spices of the chicken finger batter, and the sweet tanginess of the honey mustard. Will definitely make again! I love your page.

  27. 5 stars
    Great recipe – question though, I left the chicken in for the full 20 min but they didn’t come out very crisp, a little wet instead. Your photos make them look super crunchy/fried-looking! Any tips??

    1. Hi Elizabeth! Did you brush the chicken with olive oil before baking? Was your pan very crowded by chance? I recommend brushing with oil and making sure to not over crowd the pan or the chicken will just steam (you might need 2 pans). Also, you might just need to bake a bit longer, maybe try 30 minutes and see if they are crisp enough for you? Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe and happy 4th of July! Thank you! xTieghan

  28. 5 stars
    I made these last night for a party and they were AMAZING! They got rave reviews and I love this take on the honey Dijon sauce. Highly recommend!!

  29. 5 stars
    I made these tonight – and they were absolutely delicious! The honey mustard sauce really took everything to next-level territory. One small note for me, I added some salt to the cornflake mixture and the spots where I drizzled olive oil before they went into the oven didn’t get as crispy, so I’d skip the oil next time. But these were definitely a 10/10!

  30. 5 stars
    Made this last night and loved the flavor – so bright and bold! What a great way to change up a boring baked chicken routine. We’ll definitely be making this again!

  31. 5 stars
    YUMMO!!! Followed the recipe to a T, and the result was so Amazing. I made these for a group dinner party with a ‘country’ theme, and they went down a treat! Thank you!! Oh, I also used tenderloins and chicken thighs (cut in half) for some variety. Awesome and easy to follow!

  32. 5 stars
    So delicious. I made these chicken strips and put it on a salad and used the dip as a dressing.

  33. 5 stars
    This recipe was so easy for a week night meal, and both my boyfriend and I LOVED it. I had to send it to one of my friends because it was that good. I’m looking forward to adding this to my rotation of easy weeknight meals. You always knock it out of the park!

  34. 5 stars
    OK you have sold me on corn flakes but I need to perfect the coating part and do a better job of drying off the chicken before I coat I think but the taste was spot on!!….. Now this honey mustard dip is too good to be true!! I used left overs two nights later to pour over chicken thighs roasting in my new favorite Staub pan (thanks to you:0) and it was so tasty!! In fact I am using that tonight to coat plain ole chicken thighs. I love your recipes and again thanks to you, I found Staub on sale at Sur La Table and will never go back!!

  35. 5 stars
    These came together very quickly, and the flavor is amazing. I made a few modifications based on some ingredients I had, or was lacking, used dehydrated onion versus powder, and semi- dried chives. It turned out great. That honey mustard sauce, whew, so delicious!

    Also made in my air fryer @400 degrees for 9 minutes flipping halfway.

  36. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight and it was a huge hit! So easy and delicious. This recipe is definitely a winner!

  37. 5 stars
    I made these last night and they were! loved the flavor a crunch and the honey mustard sauce was perfect and so much healthier than the way I usually make it with mayo. I will definitely make these again.

  38. 5 stars
    Can’t wait to try this!!! Just added to our meal planner for next week … whats a good side you’d do with it

    1. Hi Ashley! Homefries, salad, or sautéed veggies! Let me know if you need any recipes! xTieghan

  39. 5 stars
    Hi Tieghan! Made these last night except I dipped the chicken in egg and panko not buttermilk and corn flakes. They were absolutely delicious! And the Honey Mustard…we wanted to drink it!!! Wow! Thanks again for the wonderful recipes and your hard work!

  40. 5 stars
    I made these last night for dinner and they are delicious! They are really easy to make, especially if you own an Emerson blender with a mini food processor attachment!
    I didn’t have dried chives or parsley on hand but I didn’t feel like the tenders were lacking without those ingredients. Do you think they’d freeze well?

    1. Hey Erin! I think that the baked tender will freezer really well! Great idea! I would freeze first on a parchment lined baking sheet for a few hours, then transfer to a freezer safe bag. Please let me know if you have any other questions. So glad you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan