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Sesame Chicken Fingers with Spicy Orange Dipping Sauce

Sesame Chicken Fingers with Spicy Orange Dipping Sauce

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Chicken fingers, tenders marinated in buttermilk, breaded with panko and sesame seeds, baked, served with spicy orange sauce

Photography Credit:Elise Bauer

Chicken fingers! The ultimate finger food, perfect for dipping.

The challenge is, how to make crispy tender chicken fingers without having to deep fry them?

With this baked sesame chicken finger recipe we first marinate the chicken tenders in buttermilk. Then we dredge the tenders in a breadcrumb mixture with crispy panko breadcrumbs and sesame seeds that have been browned and mixed with a little olive oil so they don’t dry out in the oven.

We bake the tenders while quickly mixing together a spicy sauce made with orange marmalade and sriracha.

Not counting the marinating time (which you can do hours in advance if you want), the whole dish comes together quickly. It’s kid-friendly, adult-friendly, and party-friendly.

By the way, it took us several tries to land on this particular recipe (my sweetheart can attest to the dry and tough rejects that even he didn’t want to eat), and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result. I hope you like it too!

Sesame Chicken Fingers with Spicy Orange Dipping Sauce Recipe


  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (can sub a scant half cup of milk that has been mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice)
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce


  • 1 1/4 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Dipping sauce:

  • 1/2 cup sweet orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar


1 Marinate the chicken: Mix marinade ingredients (buttermilk, marmalade, soy sauce) in a medium bowl. Add the chicken tenders to the marinade and stir to coat completely with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour (or longer).

2 Prepare the breading: While the chicken is marinating, prepare the breading. Heat a medium sized thick-bottomed skillet on medium high heat. Add the panko breadcrumbs to the dry hot pan and spread the breadcrumbs so they are in an even layer in the pan. Lower the heat to medium and stir frequently until the breadcrumbs begin to brown.

Once you can see visible browning, stir in the raw sesame seeds. Continue to cook in the pan, stirring frequently until the mixture is a deep golden color. Remove from heat.

Stir in the olive oil and the salt and stir until all of the breadcrumbs and sesame seeds are lightly coated with the oil.

3 Dredge chicken in breading: Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Line a roasting with aluminum foil and place a baking rack on top. Brush or spray the rack with a little cooking oil. Place the toasted breadcrumb mixture in a shallow bowl for dredging.

Remove the chicken tenders one at a time from the marinade (do not wipe off the marinade) and dredge them in the bread crumb mixture. Place them on the prepared rack on the roasting pan.

4 Bake: Bake chicken tenders at 400°F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

5 Make dipping sauce: While the chicken tenders are baking, prepare the dipping sauce. In a small bowl stir together the orange marmalade, soy sauce, sriracha hot sauce, and seasoned rice vinegar.

Serve sesame chicken fingers with the spicy orange dipping sauce.

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Orange Sesame Chicken

Chinese is not always healthy so I created my own recipe that is healthy, quick & easy. Once you do the prep, it cooks in less than 10 minutes and toasted sesame oil is key. Get your rice started first and try a side of steamed broccoli. This is really good! - Jenny Jones

  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a small zip lock bag. Add chicken and marinate for 15-20 min.
  2. Combine sauce ingredients in a measuring cup. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan on medium–high heat and add chicken, discarding marinade. Sauté 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Reduce temperature, add sauce & cook 2-3 minutes until thick.
  5. Stir in 1/2 tsp. sesame oil (and toasted sesame seeds if you like).
  6. Serve over rice. A side of steamed broccoli goes really well.

Note: An easy way to steam broccoli is to put it on top of the rice for the last 3-4 minutes of cooking. (Lift the lid quickly, toss in the broccoli, cover back up) By the time the rice stands for 10 minutes, the broccoli is done.

Baked Chicken Fingers with Sesame Orange Dipping Sauce (Gluten Free and Paleo)

I’m not sure how old you have to be to stop enjoying chicken fingers, but I hope I never reach that age. It seems like a sad place to be, devoid of crisp bready outer layers and tender, chewy innards. Not to mention dipping sauces, which are reason enough on their own to eat chicken fingers. I’m not talking about the monstrousities of plastered-together chicken-esq byproduct shellacked with mystery breading that you get at a fast-food outlet, or in the freezer section of the grocery store. That kind of mad science manipulation that holds things in unnaturally perfect shapes belongs in Latoya Jackson’s face, not in the food I eat.

Thanks to what we’ll henceforth refer to as The Latoya Treatment, chicken fingers get a pretty bad rap. And rightly so, given the number of chicken finger options that have been Latoya’d (Treatmented?). But what’s stopping you from making your own? Like anything homemade, this not only allows you to customize them to your taste, but also to know what goes into them – but I think that’s worth mentioning here since chicken fingers are so inextricably associated with processed or fast food. But there is another way.

What cut of chicken do you usually eat? Breast? Thigh? Either should work. I prefer white meat, so I’ve been using chicken breasts for these. Either way, slice your cuts of chicken (or just use tenderloins), dredge them in egg, then a mixture of seasoned almond and tapioca flour (affiliate link) and bake. It’s honestly that easy.

Then you bake them up in the oven until they are ready to be plunged into the dipping sauce. OH, THE DIPPING SAUCE. It’s tahini-based, which makes for a mild, creamy foundation. Tahini, in case it sounds familiar but you can’t quite place it, is the smooth, thick paste made from ground sesame seeds that you probably know as the base of hummus (aside from chickpeas, that is). On top of the smooth, savory base is the bright, sweet flavor of the orange juice and the combination of flavors is just mind blowing. You’ll probably want to slather this on everything, and I’m here to tell you that that’s totally ok.

Chicken Fingers with Dipping Sauce Recipe (Times 3!)

Today is the last day of school for my kids! We’ve already made our summer bucket list, and talked about what I expect of them over the summer. When they were younger, I used to have them work on summer-bridge workbooks. Nothing too intense, just maybe a page a day. But now they are older, and those workbooks I was purchasing, aren’t really designed for older kids. So, this summer, my kids are reading books and writing book reports! I printed off a few grade level recommended reading lists and we are planning to go to the library today. If they read a book, then write a report about it (so I know they read it) every two weeks (5 books total), I’m going to take them to our local amusement park at the end of summer. They have to do it on their own however, I won’t be nagging them to accomplish it. And I am sticking to my promises- if they do it, great! If they don’t- they aren’t coming with the kids that do. : ) Do you have any plans or strategies to keep those brains working this summer?

One thing that happens every summer of course is EATING! Lot’s of eating from my kids being home all day, and all the friends and neighbors walking through the house. My food bill always jumps once they are home. Our first meal of summer is chicken fingers with dipping sauce! This Chicken Fingers with Dipping Sauce Recipe is easy to make, and everyone loves them!

We made three different sauces, because what kid doesn’t love choices, right?? We made a citrus spice, ranch of course, and a honey mustard dipping sauce. The Ranch was a crowd favorite, but all of them got eaten.

  • 3/4 cup Orange juice
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 tsp dried mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 cup Light Sour Cream
  • 1 tsp parsley,dried
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp dill weed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Cup Light Sour Cream
  • 2 TBL Dijon Mustard
  • 2 TBL Honey

We have a few ways that we bake breaded chicken fingers, (like our toddler friendly shaped nuggets) but this one is my favorite. We used

We dipped 1 lb of chicken tenders into the yogurt, and then dipped into the panko. Arranged in an oven safe baking dish, and then drizzled a touch of olive oil over the chicken. This will make it crispier, just like fried chicken!

For a balanced meal, serve with fruit and veggies! Watermelon is perfect for summer dinners, but we also love a green salad!

Crispy Coconut Chicken with Spicy Honey Orange Sauce

Here’s a simple dinner recipe that turned out to be even tastier than I planned. Sure, I had high hopes for this mid-week meal but I never expected it to be THIS GOOD. I think the chicken’s crispiness is what makes it.

And that spicy sweet orange sauce is like icing on the chicken cake. That sounds so weird but you know what I mean. I hope?

Here’s the deal. The chicken’s crust:

√ Has allllllll the coconut.

√ Is all sorts of tropical tasting. Hello perfect warm weather recipe.

√ Has Panko for added crunch and texture. Done and done.

√ Is flash-fried in a little coconut oil on the stove before going into the oven.

√ Is crispy and crusty and sweet and savory and flavorful.

The chicken is coated in the coconut crust in three steps. First, a coating of whole wheat (or regular) flour. The flour helps the egg to stick. Next, a dip into beaten eggs. Coating the chicken in beaten egg helps the coconut to stick. And finally? A generous dunk into coconut/Panko creadcrumbs. Here’s why Panko is preferred: Panko is made from crustless bread and is coarsely ground into airy, large flakes. Panko tends to stay crispier longer than regular breadcrumbs because they don’t absorb as much grease and liquid.

It’s important to chop up/pulse the shredded coconut before using it as a coating. Smaller pieces of coconut adhere to the chicken much easier.

About that “flash fry” step. It’s not crucial, but both Kevin and I liked the pieces of chicken that were briefly pan fried in coconut oil before being baked through. As an alternative, you can simply bake the chicken instead of adding the pan frying step. But that little pan fry in coconut oil adds another wonderful layer of flavor and gives the chicken the golden brown crispy crust we all love.

For the best taste and texture, I don’t recommend skipping this step.

Now, about that sauce. Talk about F-L-A-V-O-R! I remember having a spicy orange sauce with coconut shrimp at a restaurant before and I knew it would be equally as tasty on crispy coconut chicken. All you need is honey, orange marmalade/jam/preserves, dijon mustard, and red pepper flakes. If spicy isn’t your style, leave out the red pepper flakes. There is still so much lovely flavor in this sauce!

Double dipping is encouraged. Scratch that. It’s required.

This chicken is finger-lickin’ good. I don’t like that term though. Maybe it’s the word “lick”? Or just the licking your fingers part? I don’t know, but it certainly describes this coconut chicken. Sticky and sweet, can’t be beat.

This is truly such a simple dish that uses convenient pantry ingredients and boasts huge coconut flavor. All in such little prep time, too. Everyone will go COCO-nuts for this chicken! I’m a nerd.

15 Easy and delicious Chicken Dipping Sauce Recipes

1. Thai Dipping Sauce

If you are looking to spice things up a little bit, there’s nothing better than a Thai dipping sauce like this one from Boulder Locavore. With simple ingredients such as vinegar, ginger root, turbinado sugar, and chili flakes, you’ll create the perfect balance of sweet and sour tastes. A few drops of siracha will add a bit more spice to the sauce and further enhance the flavor of your chicken. You can create this dipping sauce in just five minutes, which you can then pour into small dishes to serve.

2. Homemade Honey Mustard Sauce

Using just three simple ingredients, this classic dipping sauce is one of my all-time favorites. The best thing about this quick dipping sauce is that it’s created using simple ingredients that you’ll probably already have in your pantry. The sweet and sour flavors perfectly complement each other, and the kick of Dijon enhances the taste of the sauce even further. Try this recipe from Pinch of Yum which takes only a few minutes to create and doesn’t require any heating or cooking. You’ll just put the five ingredients in a bowl together and whisk until combined.

3. Mustard and BBQ Sauce

Punch Fork shares this rich dipping sauce with us which involves combining honey mustard with BBQ sauce. This dipping sauce would make a great accompaniment for chicken wings on a game-night, yet it is versatile enough to serve with French fries or any other chicken dishes. The best thing about this dip is that it only takes a few minutes to prepare and is suitable for both vegetarians and those on a gluten-free diet.

4. Mayo And Chives Dip

Are you looking for a refreshing sauce to go with your chicken, steak, or sandwiches? Mantitlement shares this versatile sauce which has a complex range of flavors to create a delicious sauce for any dish. With just a few minutes in the kitchen and a selection of common ingredients, this dipping sauce will be your new go-to when you are catering for friends and family members. It’s made from mayo, mustard, soya sauce, Worcestershire sauce, butter, garlic, and chives. Once it’s made, store it in an airtight jar, as this is a sauce you’ll want to return to over and over again!

5. Garlic Aioli

Garlic aioli is one of the simplest yet tastiest dipping sauces you can make. With just three simple ingredients required to create it, you’ll enjoy the depth of the garlic and the way the addition of lemon juice contrasts with the creaminess of the mayo. It’s the perfect dip to enjoy alongside buffalo chicken wings. The Cookie Rookie shares the easiest way to make this dip, which you’ll make again and again to enjoy at all of your festivities throughout the year.

6. Basil Dipping Sauce

Try this creamy and tasty dipping sauce recipe by Hellmann’s. It’s ideal for serving with chicken skewers for an appetizer or on a buffet. Made with three main ingredients, which are basil, mayonnaise, and garlic, you will end up with a sauce that has a creamy texture and a strong flavor. No cooking is required for this dip since you’ll simply blend together the ingredients and it will be ready to serve! If you can, use the recommended olive oil mayonnaise, as this will give an extra richness to the sauce.

7. Zaxby’s Dipping Sauce

Allrecipes shares with us a different take on a traditional BBQ dip. This dipping sauce is perfect for you if you are looking for something with a similar taste to BBQ sauce yet with even more flavor. This recipe requires just mayo, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce as the three main ingredients. Simply add in a pinch of garlic powder, black pepper powder, and salt, and you’ll be ready to serve this alongside your chicken dippers or wings! For best results, store your dip in the fridge for two hours before serving, to help the ingredients blend together perfectly.

8. Comeback Sauce

Comeback sauce is the ideal dip to serve alongside Southern fried chicken or to add to your finger food buffet. This dip has a hint of heat to it, and once you’ve tasted it, you’ll be hooked! You will need to combine mayo, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and loads of hot sauce for this dip. The great thing about this sauce is that you can customize it to fit you and your guests’ tastes, so if you are serving it to kids and teens, maybe reduce the amount of hot sauce you add. She Wears Many Hats shares detailed instructions for this tasty sauce, which will take you less than ten minutes to create.

9. Tahini Dip

If you are looking for a unique addition to your next party buffet, try out this popular Middle Eastern-inspired dip. Give Me Some Oven shares this simple recipe, and if you love the flavor of tahini, this will soon become one of your new favorite dips. It is super simple to make, and the only ingredients you’ll need are tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and cumin. Prepare this sauce a few hours in advance of serving, so that the flavors mingle together well for the best results.

10. Avocado-Cilantro Dip

Are you looking for a healthy dip to serve with your chicken? Paleo Leap has the perfect recipe for you, and this avocado-cilantro dip is super creamy and full of healthy nutrients. To create this sauce, you’ll just need avocado, cilantro, lemon juice, and garlic, and you’ll simply blend the ingredients together to get a smooth texture. For best results, use a food processor to make this dip, as it will ensure there are no lumps of avocado left after mixing everything together.

11. Mexican Salsa Dip Sauce

Better Homes & Gardens brings you an unusual dip recipe that has a Mexican twist to it. If you love salsa, this dipping sauce is the perfect choice for your next party and would make a great addition to your Taco Tuesdays. It’s super easy to make, and all you’ll need to create this dip is salsa, sour cream, and Mexican cheese. Mix everything together and enjoy the creamy and tangy flavors of this salsa dip with your chicken strips or fajitas.

12. Avocado Ranch

Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom gives you another creamy avocado sauce that kids and teens will love. With just five ingredients, you can create a delightful dip to go with chicken, French fries, and sandwiches. You’ll simply add all of the ingredients into your blender and then blend until you get your desired consistency. Add more ranch seasoning until you get the perfect taste, and to find the perfect thickness, add in one teaspoon of water at a time to ensure it doesn’t get too runny.

13. Spicy Soy Sauce

Are you looking for a simple Asian dip sauce? Try this quick and easy spicy soy sauce from Culinary Ginger. It’s a versatile sauce that can go with almost anything and requires just three household ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. Simply combining soy sauce, honey, and chili flakes, you’ll have a tasty Asian dipping sauce. Just add sliced green onions and sesame seeds to garnish before serving.

14. Pizza Dip sauce

Better Homes & Gardens shares this unusual yet delicious dip that will be enjoyed by adults and kids alike. This Italian-style dip combines pizza sauce, olives, and Italian cheese, and you’ll simply mix everything together before putting your bowl into the microwave. You want to ensure the cheese is fully melted before serving, and you’ll have a creamy and cheesy dip that’s perfect for serving alongside your favorite chicken tenders or pizza.

15. Horseradish Sauce

This creamy and light horseradish sauce will make a great dip for your chicken. It has a rich texture and a tangy flavor thanks to the combination of sour cream, horseradish, and apple cider vinegar. For additional freshness, add chopped chives before serving, as suggested in this recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen. While this is a fantastic option for your chicken, you’ll also enjoy returning to this recipe again the next time you are cooking prime rib or beef tenderloin.

All of these chicken dipping sauces are extremely versatile, and you’ll enjoy using them alongside a variety of meals in the future. They’ll be the ideal addition to your party buffet at your next family gathering, and will go well with almost all types of finger foods. If you feel particularly creative, consider trying to create your own sauce, by adding or taking away different ingredients to suit your personal preferences. All of these dips and sauces are so quick to make, so there’s no excuse when you are next serving chicken to not spend a few additional minutes in the kitchen. When you find the perfect dipping sauce for your chicken dish, there’s nothing better, and it can really help elevate your dinner to the next level!

Crispy Sesame Chicken with a Sticky Asian Sauce

This Asian Crispy Sesame Chicken is a delicious homemade alternative to that naughty takeaway!

I think I need to get me some bees.

The amount of honey we go through on toast (Gracey's obsession) and in cooking makes we wonder why we don't have a honey store like Winnie the Pooh! Honey filled Breakfast lollies, sticky Asian Pork Belly, balsamic-honey salad dressings., Asian Ribs, Sticky Pork Belly Burger, Chinese Crispy Chicken with Honey Garlic Sauce, Chris even uses it in his Chilli Con Carne just install a honey-line into my house and let's be done with it.

This crispy sesame chicken is another one for the honey archives. Sweet, salty, crispy, sticky and a little bit spicy - it covers all the bases for one of these meals that everyone polishes off. Not a scrap left.

Even while photographing this one I caught Chris hovering over the pan that had a few pieces of chicken still in it - waiting till I wasn't looking so he could sneak a few pieces!

I let him off with the proviso that he fed me a piece too whilst I was snapping away.

I love this as an alternative to the Friday night takeaway. Can't deny it's not the healthiest meal - with the honey and brown sugar, and of course a little oil to crisp up that chicken - but it's still way better than take-out. I serve mine with some steamed brocolli and sugar snap peas to just boost the health factor.

One thing I should say is that this isn't a copycat recipe. I know sesame chicken is popular at Chinese takeout restaurants in the US, but it's not something we really see on Chinese menus in the UK. I've never tasted the US version, so I can't say it tastes anything like it.

Sesame-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Spicy Asian Dipping Sauce

Double-sesame chicken tenders: crispy sesame coating, lightly pan-seared in sesame oil with a spicy Asian dipping sauce. A gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free recipe perfect as a cocktail party nibble or family-friendly dinner.


Dipping Sauce
¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 red Serrano chili, finely diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp red pepper flakes

Chicken Tenders
1 egg white
¾ cup sesame seeds
1 lb chicken tenders (about 12)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp sesame oil


For the dipping sauce, whisk all ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

For the tenders, whisk egg white in a shallow bowl until slightly frothy. Spread sesame seeds on a plate.

Pat tenders dry with a paper towel, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Dip in egg white, and then dredge in sesame seeds to coat. Shake off excess.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, until shimmering but not smoking. Place chicken tenders in skillet and cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side (you may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your skillet).

Drain tenders on a paper-towel lined place.

Serve alongside dipping sauce.

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Trim chicken breasts, cutting them into 1-inch by 3-inch strips. In shallow dish, whisk together flour and salt. In another shallow dish, whisk together eggs and water. In third shallow dish, mix together crumbs and sesame seeds.

Dredge chicken strips in flour, coating all sides. Dip chicken in egg then roll chicken strips in crumb mixture to coat well.

In large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, warm half the oil. Add half the chicken and saute until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to baking sheet. Heat remaining oil in skillet and saute remaining chicken strips, transferring to baking sheet when done. Bake chicken until firm and crispy, about 8 minutes. Arrange on platter and serve with dipping sauces.

To make sauces: Mix together all ingredients for each sauce in two separate small bowls. Cover and set aside until ready to serve with chicken.

Hand them round as a starter

I first made these years ago when I was looking for a way to impress my mother-in-law. We’d invited the family around for a barbeque and I wanted to show off my cooking skills, by making these as a starter.

The chicken strips were a great success, but my plan to impress back-fired badly. Ever since then, whenever we were invited around to the in-laws, it was ‘Oh Veronica – I know you love making these chicken strips so I got the ingredients for you‘ and I ended up in the kitchen, frying chicken strips for the starter, while everyone else was outside chatting around the barbeque.

Recipe Summary

  • Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 3/4 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray

In a large nonreactive dish, combine orange zest, both juices, garlic, dry mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, ginger, and nutmeg. Add chicken cover, and refrigerate 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor, pulse breadcrumbs, butter, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper until fine crumbs. Transfer to a shallow bowl. Remove chicken from marinade, letting excess drip off dredge in breadcrumb coating. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet bake until crisp and brown, 12 to 14 minutes.

Meanwhile, strain marinade into a small saucepan. Measure out 2 tablespoons mix with cornstarch in a small bowl. Bring marinade in pan to a boil. Drizzle in cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly boil, stirring, 1 minute more. Let cool slightly stir in honey. Serve with chicken fingers.

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