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This month we are gearing up for some really exciting basketball! My husband and I always make brackets and follow along with the games. Most of the time I just do it because it’s a fun way to be a little competitive…and most of the time I win, and who doesn’t love to win (don’t let my 4 year old read that last sentence!)?! Of course while we are watching all the games, we have to cook up some yummy snacks. We had some friends coming over recently, and I wanted to make them something delicious using some new Cheez-It Grooves in the Zesty Cheddar Ranch Flavor, so I ended up throwing together these simple Crunchy Baked Zesty Cheddar Ranch Chicken Tenders.
I headed to Target to pick up the Cheez-It Grooves, they are currently having a sale so they are 3 for $8, and then if you use cartwheel (love that app!), you get an additional 35% off the 3 boxes, so only $5.20 for 3 boxes, or it breaks down to $1.73 per box – this is a fantastic deal! You can find the Cheez-It Grooves in the cracker aisle, and I also found some brand new Cheez-It Crunch'd which are Cheez-It's first-ever crunchy puff made with 100% real cheese.
The Crunchy Baked Zesty Cheddar Ranch Chicken Tenders took less than 30 minutes to prepare and cook from start to finish. I decided to also whip up a healthy Chipotle Greek Yogurt dipping sauce to accompany the tenders as well. They really turned out fabulous, and next time I will be doubling the recipe in hopes that they won’t be consumed so quickly!
I also love just putting these snacks out to eat while we are watching all the games. They get gobbled up and everyone always raves about the Zesty Cheddar Ranch Grooves. My husband was a HUGE fan of the Cheez-It Crunch'd as well, so we will definitely be stocking up with Target’s current promo!
- 1 pound package of boneless skinless chicken tender strips or 1 pound chicken breasts, slices into tender sizes
- 2 egg whites beaten
- 2 cups Zesty Cheddar Ranch Cheez-It Grooves
- 2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of a food processor, add Cheez-It Grooves and Parmesan cheese. Process for 15-30 seconds, or until they are a breadcrumb-like consistency.
2. Place beaten egg whites into a shallow bowl. Place Cheez-It crumbs into another shallow bowl.
3. Place a wire cooling rack on top of a large baking sheet. Spray well with non-stick spray; set aside.
4. Taking one tender, dip into the eggs, then press into the crumbs, turning to coat well. Set tender onto cooling rack (on top of baking sheet), and repeat steps for all tenders.
5. Spray a light spray of oil spray on top of the tenders, then place into preheated oven. Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until cooked through (time will depend on size of tenders, but start checking at 16 minutes). Remove from oven and serve right away with your choice of condiments.
I made a Chipotle Greek Yogurt dip for these tenders which was a great flavor pairing. To make the dip at home, blend 1 cup non fat greek yogurt, 2 TBS milk, and 3 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce together in a food processor or blender. Serve alongside chicken.
And more exciting news – There is a Most Valuable Cheese Contest going on from now through April 2015. Users can vote on their favorite flavors/varieties from six popular Cheez-It flavors and play games for a chance to win $10,000!!! What would you do with $10,000?!?!
Want more Cheez-It inspiration? Check out a bunch of delicious recipes here!
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