5 Ingredient Sweet & Spicy Chicken Tenders

Let me introduce you to my new go-to dinner.  It’s, like, the most perfect weeknight meal ever.

I mean 5 ingredients?  You can’t go wrong.

Ready in 45 minutes?  It couldn’t be easier.

Tastes so ridiculously good that you and your fiancé eat enough servings to feed a family of five and still fight each other to lick the dish?  It happened.

And….!!  It’s mega healthy.

BOOM.  Just won Friday.

For once I’m not even exaggerating when I say this is going on ultra-high rotation in the house of Cakes.  One of the hardest things I find about blogging is that the demand for new content is so constant, I don’t really get to relive my favorite recipes, and this gives me a serious case of the sads.

Like, I miss my own food.  Is that creepy?  Because sometimes I honestly find myself drifting off to memories of my lobster mac & cheese or creamy cauliflower risotto and then I start to sing sad love songs because I’m 1. completely crazy and 2. really wish I had all the time in the world to cook.

To be fair I’ve made almost all of my recipes at least twice, but sometimes twice just isn’t enough.  So with this latest creation, I’m determined to make it a regular thang.  Because really, what excuse would I even have not to?  It’s literally so easy I could make it while pounding a bottle of wine on one knee, and you know how I like to concentrate when I’m drinking.

I pretty much gave everything away in the intro, but I’ll just go ahead and repeat myself anyway.  Clearly the 5 ingredient thing is a major draw here, hence I gave that detail top billing.  But beyond the short shopping list, the entire gist of this recipe is as simple as make the sauce, marinate with the chicken, and toss in the oven.  Spick, spam, thank you mam! – You’re fed.

And happy.  Very, very happy.

It’s no secret that I’m both a sweet & savory freak and spicy food lovah, so put those two together and I’m straight-up in heaven.  The chicken cooked perfectly moist and took on extraordinary flavor in the process, upping your basic protein into anything but.  And the sauce!  Ohhh how I love this sauce.  It reduces into a thick, almost jam-like consistency in the oven, tempting you to simply slurp it up with a spoon.  And while that first taste might smack you silly (in a good way) with fiery heat, slowly but surely the mellow sweetness washes over your taste buds into a flavor bomb of perfection.  Not too hot, not too sweet, just Goldilocks right.

Happy Weekend! xx

5 Ingredient Sweet & Spicy Chicken Tenders

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 30 - 35 mins

Total Time: 45 mins


  • 1 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Tenders
  • 1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 2 - 3 tbsps Sriracha
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar {Light or Dark is fine}
  • 2 tbsps Honey
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt & Coarse Black Peppercorn - approx.
  • Diced Scallions to garnish (optional)


  1. On cutting board lay out chicken tenders and amply salt and pepper on either side.  Next, in large bowl combine ketchup, sriracha, brown sugar, and honey, whisking until smooth.*  Add seasoned chicken to sauce and toss well to coat, then cover and allow to marinate in refrigerator for at least one hour.
  2. When ready to cook, transfer chicken and sauce to oven-safe casserole dish.  Bake at 425F for 30-35 minutes until cooked through, then immediately plate and serve, garnishing with diced scallions if desired.

* Use 2 tbsps Sriracha at first, then add another if you'd like more spice

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 254 Fat: 2g Carbohydrates: 34g Protein: 26g

you need this ASAP.



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30 Responses to “5 Ingredient Sweet & Spicy Chicken Tenders”

  1. #
    Sophia @ NY Foodgasm — March 28, 2014 @ 3:17 pm

    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!


    • Christine replied: — March 28th, 2014 @ 4:57 pm

      thanks so much Sophia! yes I know everyone is really into the handful of ingredients thing, so I’m aiming to please! xx


  2. #
    Rachel @LittleChefBigAppetite — March 28, 2014 @ 6:44 pm

    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!


    • Christine replied: — March 31st, 2014 @ 10:05 am

      sounds perfect Rachel!


  3. #
    CakePants — March 29, 2014 @ 1:29 am

    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!


    • Christine replied: — March 31st, 2014 @ 10:05 am

      haha I know exactly how you feel, weekends are my cooking rest time too! thanks girrrl :)


      • CakePants replied: — April 19th, 2014 @ 6:45 pm

        Made this for dinner tonight!! It was just as easy and tasty as you said :)

  4. #
    Ashley - Baker by Nature — March 29, 2014 @ 7:23 pm

    I am all about chicken tenders right now! And a sweet and spicy version sounds perfect. TRYING! xoxo


    • Christine replied: — March 31st, 2014 @ 10:06 am

      thanks Ash!


  5. #
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl — March 29, 2014 @ 10:01 pm

    I love me some chicken tenders, but spicy and sweet? I need to give these a try!


    • Christine replied: — March 31st, 2014 @ 10:07 am

      thanks Pam!


  6. #
    Alyssa @ My Sequined Life — March 30, 2014 @ 12:28 am

    You’re so right, I do need this ASAP. Sweet and spicy – yes please. Loving these low ingredient, quick meals!!


    • Christine replied: — March 31st, 2014 @ 10:12 am

      yes they make life so much easier! thanks Alyssa


  7. #
    Natalie @ Tastes Lovely — March 31, 2014 @ 11:57 am

    I am all about sriracha lately! Can’t beat 5 ingredients. Definite week night dinner win.


    • Christine replied: — March 31st, 2014 @ 4:55 pm

      thanks Natalie!


  8. #
    Chris @ Shared Appetite — March 31, 2014 @ 2:34 pm

    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!


    • Christine replied: — March 31st, 2014 @ 4:56 pm

      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!


  9. #
    Consuelo @ Honey & Figs — April 1, 2014 @ 5:06 pm

    So happening for dinner tomorrow I tell you! xx


  10. #
    Holly — June 24, 2014 @ 2:10 pm

    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


    • Christine replied: — October 29th, 2014 @ 12:07 pm

      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


  11. #
    Lucy — October 27, 2014 @ 7:29 pm

    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.


    • Christine replied: — October 29th, 2014 @ 12:09 pm

      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!


  12. #
    Yolanda — November 1, 2014 @ 4:10 pm

    Could the sriracha be replaced with hot sauce?


    • Christine replied: — November 3rd, 2014 @ 10:32 am

      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!


  13. #
    Ken — February 18, 2015 @ 7:36 pm

    Cooked it tonite, it was both easy and delicious! Thanks for sharing.


    • Christine replied: — February 25th, 2015 @ 11:16 am

      that’s wonderful Ken, thank you for sharing!


  14. #
    Munchkin8it — June 9, 2015 @ 5:19 pm

    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!!!


  15. #
    Gloriana (Glory) — August 17, 2015 @ 2:07 pm

    Justo made it.I didn’t have the sriracha so I use my home made pineapple Hot sause and is awesome!!!


  16. #
    Jackie Greenrock — August 27, 2015 @ 9:36 pm

    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!


  17. #
    Elizabeth — August 28, 2015 @ 4:42 pm

    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.


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