Chili’s Chicken Crispers (Copycat)

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Chili’s Chicken Crispers copycat with the delicious shatteringly crispy crust that Chili’s crispers famously have, but made at home! So easy to make and also a great batter for fish too!

Chili's Chicken Crispers
Chili’s Chicken Crispers

Back to Chili’s today for one of my kids’ favorite chicken tenders of all time. The original Chicken Crispers with that sort of fish and chips texture that’s super different from most chicken tender recipes.

Most chicken tenders have a crispier, more  texture, but these are more of a cross between a tempura texture and a fish and chips texture, smoother, lighter batter and the edges, with the super crispy just batter that fried up is so light in texture you’ll find yourself sneaking pieces of it while cooking.

Does Chili’s use MSG?

Yes, the original recipe does call for MSG, but the copycat recipe swaps out the Accent Seasoning for chicken broth, per Todd Wilbur. In this swap it works well to emulate the same flavors.

Chili's Chicken Crispers on plate

What to serve with Chili’s Chicken Crispers?

Classic chicken tenders are best served with KFC Potato WedgesKFC ColeslawCrispy Sweet Potato Fries or even your favorite potato salads.

Let’s discuss the dipping sauces! There’s two that are our absolute favorites at Chili’s and they’re both so EASY to make.

Chili’s Honey Chipotle Sauce Recipe

  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Add the ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Cook, whisking, for two minutes before turning off the heat.
  3. Cool the sauce before serving as a dip or toss the chicken crisper in the warm sauce if serving fully dipped.

Chili’s Honey Mustard Sauce Recipe

  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup honey
  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Chill in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours before serving.

Chicken Tenders from Chili's

Tools Used In This Recipe:
Deep Fryer: Easy for keeping temperature on point and kind of fun to use!
Chicken Base: I almost never buy boxes of broth because I keep the beef, chicken and vegetable version of this Better Than Bouillon.
Pigtail Flipper: I LOVE this tool for frying. I am able to drop and pick up pieces without removing any breading at all thanks to this awesome tool.



Chili's Chicken Crispers

5 from 15 votes
  • Yield: 12 Servings
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Chili's Chicken Crispers with the delicious shatteringly crispy crust that Chili's crispers famously have, but made at home! So easy to make and also a great batter for fish and chips!    


  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup self rising flour
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenderloins
  • canola oil for frying


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Heat oil in a dutch oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the egg, milk, chicken broth, salt and pepper until well combined.
  3. Add in the self rising flour.
  4. In a second bowl add 1 cup of flour.
  5. Dip each piece of chicken into the batter, then into the flour.
  6. Add the chicken to the oil in small batches and fry for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 12 Servings, Amount per serving: 149 calories, Calories: 149g, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 50mg, Sodium: 418mg, Potassium: 254mg, Vitamin A: 45g, Vitamin C: 1.7g, Calcium: 15g, Iron: 0.9g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Chili's Chicken Crispers
Chicken Tenders from Chili's
Chili's Chicken Crispers Tenders Copycat

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  1. Super delicious! My whole family loved it! Both sauces were also great! We even had fun making it together with the kids! Highly recommended! The dish brought back memories of Chili’s, Friday’s and Bennigan’s!

  2. Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it yesterday for my family, it was so good finished before I could even try it myself! I am about to make it again in a bit, just thought I’d thank you all the way from Kuwait 😉

  3. I was looking for some dinner ideas and ran across this recipe, it was very easy.
    I didn’t have Chicken Tenders, so i sliced up a couple boneless breasts.
    This recipe came out really good. Light and flakey. Had it with a side order of stuffing.

  4. Can’t wait to make these…. Also the KFC potato wedges – found out they just
    discontinued those – My sister’s FAVORITE!! So I’ll have to make those
    for her when I make the Chicken Crispers – she will be so tickled!! Thanks so
    much for your receipes – they all look AMAZING!!!

  5. Can you tell me how a pigtail flipper works? Looked it up on amazon but no instructions. Looks like a tool I could definitely use!
    By the way, I have added many of your recipes to my keepers list after trying and I am a seasoned cook!

    1. You just pierce a little edge of the food and then flip your wrist. It’s so easy to use! We have one in our store on the site if you’re looking to get one. So glad you’re loving the recipes.

  6. I’m hoping to make these tonight! These might be silly questions but I’m hoping to avoid running out to the grocery store so I was wondering about a few substitutions:
    1. Can I use chicken stock instead of broth?
    2. Can I use 2% milk instead of whole milk?
    3. Can I use Olive or Vegetable Oil instead of Canola Oil?

  7. I have made this several times. It is fantastic. I just use boneless skinless chicken breast and then cut them in 3/4 inch wide strips. (I also like to brine my chicken breast in some cold salt water for around a half an hour – it makes it more tender and juicy. Just make sure that you dry off the chicken breasts before you dip them into the batter.) And just cook it until it’s done. Are use a meat thermometer in to make sure I get to 165°-175 in the center of the widest part of the strips. It is seriously excellent. I never have self rising flour but it is easy to make your own. It’s a cup of all purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and a half a teaspoon of salt.

  8. I’ve made these twice for my family. With all of the positive feedback I had to give them 5 stars. I followed the recipe exactly. Even made sure there grease was the correct temperature. The crispers come out with a perfect crunch but not hard. The chicken was also juicy. Would definitely recommend.

  9. Greetings! I love chili’s chicken crispers. However, they have one version that the the chicken comes out Not crispy but soft and tender. Can you advise how I can prepare the batter that will make the chicken NOT CRISP BUT TENDER! ??

      1. I know what she’s talking about, I used to work at chili’s, she’s referring to the battered crispers, it’s a fish n chips type batter just on the chicken

    1. Chicken breasts are going to take slightly longer to cook. Most stores have chicken tenderloins (they are usually cheaper), they are just a different part of the chicken.

  10. Hi Sabrina,
    I’ve been using “Better than bullion” for quite some time now. Love it. According to the jar instructions it appears you would use a little less than a teaspoon for 3/4 cup of broth. Does that sound correct?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  11. These are delicious and my kids constantly ask for me to make them again and again!
    Just one question, ive recently started counting calories. It says 17 servings and 149 calories per serving but not how many chicken pieces in each serving. Is it 1 piece of chicken that’s 149?

    1. I’m glad your kids love them, mine are big fans too! Using standard size tenderloins, the serving size is 2 pcs of chicken and the recipe should make 12 servings.

  12. YES! I’ve been looking for a recipe that’s just like Chili’s for my son’s chicken finger obsession. This one is great!

    1. The print button on the recipe card is working for me, not sure if it was a glitch when you tried. You can also go the the top left of your screen and under file is a print option. I just checked and both are working. Hope this helps!

  13. Hello Sabrina,
    I can’t wait to make this recipe tomorrow night for dinner ?. This looks and sounds sooo good ?. I will make sure to hashtag my photos on my Instagram account ??. Thank you for sharing ?

    1. I’ve never cooked with MSG so I haven’t been able to test it but I would err on the side of caution and start with 1/2 teaspoon and adjust from there. Hope this helps!

  14. Can I make this in an air fryer instead of deep frying? Would you modify the recipe or simply put in the air fryer instead of deep fryer?

  15. We really enjoyed our chicken strips, they were delicious. We will be using this recipe over and over again!

  16. Hi Sabrina ….I am a bit confused … direction number 5 u have written dip chicken in flour and then the batter ….however in one of the comments u have agreeed that chicken to be dipped in flour and then batter 

    1. Sorry, didn’t mean to confuse you. You’ll want to dip the chicken into the batter first then into the flour before placing into the oil to fry.

  17. Hey you have mentioned self raising flour in the batter and the other being just flour to coat….which is this plain flour( whole wheat or Cornflour)?

  18. Looks delicious.  One question.  In direction number five, do you mean to dip the chicken into the flour first and then the batter?

  19. OMG!  I used to love Chili’s chicken tenders, but sadly seven years ago we moved far away from any locations and I haven’t had them since ?. I’m definitely going to try your recipe out and see if it satisfies the odd craving I get whenever I see a commercial for Chili’s.  Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much for catching that! Sometimes when the recipe card gets pulled it, it’s glitchy. I just corrected it.

      1. You’ll just want to make sure you have something with high enough sides that you can fry them without in splattering everywhere.