Lemon Pepper Chicken Tenders

If I got a dollar every time I said "no" these days, I would be a very very rich lady.

It doesn't matter how many alternate phrases for "no" are out there, I am a mom to a highly curious and even more so stubborn toddler, and I find myself saying the word no a lot. 

Add a puppy to the equation...

Let's just say it has become my most popular, but least favorite word in the dictionary.

That said, we got very lucky. Juniper is a very well behaved and loving puppy who is practically potty-trained, sleeps in her crate through the night, sits and lays down and will usually listen when we tell her no. She came to us completely untrained 5 days ago. She even takes a nice long siesta at the same time that Octavian naps and will sleep in the kitchen while I cook or under the table in my studio while I take photos.

Oh yeah, and she doesn't bark. Like, ever.

The transition to owning a puppy has been relatively easy. Too easy. My expectations were much different; much more on the side of bringing a new human baby into the house. And since Octavian wasn't the easiest newborn out there, I was pretty terrified.

So, I guess we'll keep her (jk we would have totally kept her either way).

However, when you ask a puppy and a toddler to live and share the same spaces, that's when things get difficult. I gave birth to a very sensitive little boy who does not like puppy licks or puppy bites (I can't blame him on the biting part) and usually responds with some form of crying or painful whining that makes me want to run in the opposite direction. My child also gets very upset when I shout "NO!" or "OFF!" at Juniper and will typically start the annoying whining again and try to hit me, but it's so gentle I can't really call it that.

Basically, there's been a LOT of extra snuggles going on around here, usually demanded at the least convenient time possible. I don't mind, though. The 80% of the time that he isn't annoyed with her being in his bubble, the are glued at each other's' hips. They're going to be bffs.

Between the extra cuddles and mediating ("no no, Juniper, that's my blankie...MAMA!"), constant picking up of toys, extra walks and training and overall forethought that comes with caring for another living thing, I am EXHAUSTED.

By 6pm I am ready for bed. So, please forgive me this next week or so if posts don't make much sense, my brain is only half awake right now.

Oh yeah, and Octavian decided to spike a 103.8 degree fever tonight out of nowhere. Back to the doctor we go tomorrow (for the third week in a row).

Are you still here? Yayyy! I thought that my long spiel above would have FOR SURE scared everyone away.

Well, lucky for you, this post is also about chicken... Lemon Pepper Chicken.

Octavian is crazy about lemon pepper and eats so much chicken he practically is one, so I thought, combine the two! These chicken tenders are exactly what you would expect: juicy pieces of chicken dipped in rich lemony butter and coated with cheesy, lemony, peppery breadcrumbs. 

Delicious in each bite and a welcome alternative to the everyday "chicken nugget".

Octavian was a BIG fan.

Lemon Pepper Chicken Tenders

Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 25 minutes / Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings


3 pounds boneless skinless chicken tenders
3/4 cup butter, melted
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon lemon zest, packed
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1-2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. In a shallow bowl mix together the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper, onion powder, dried oregano and parsley and the red chili flakes. Set aside.

  3. In a separate small bowl, mix together the melted butter and lemon juice.

  4. Carefully dip chicken tenders into the butter mixture and then coat entire surface with breadcrumbs. Repeat with each chicken tender.

  5. Transfer to a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 400 degrees F for approximately 20-25 minutes.

  6. Remove from oven and serve.


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