Chili’s Chicken Crispers (Copycat)

12 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

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
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder
  • ½ 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

  • ¼ cup dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ 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.

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Chili's Chicken Crispers

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!    
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 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


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


Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 418mg | Potassium: 254mg | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.9mg
Chicken Tenders from Chili's
Chili's Chicken Crispers Tenders Copycat

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Can’t I make my own Selfrisng flour? Also, can I cut chicken breasts into strips? I don’t have either one of these ingredients and don’t want the expense of purchasing the items in your recipe.

    1. Yes you can make your own chicken strips.
      Make your own self rising flour? Wow, let me know how that turned out!

  2. Don’t reverse flour and dredge! so many people did flour first and you’re missing out on the crunch! I did some flour then dredge, and some dredge then flour, and the dredge then flour came out 10x better. they were so crispy. it’s definitely unexpected, but trust the process

    1. There are many types of flour for cooking and baking. This recipe calls for self rising flour.

  3. Omgosh this recipe is fabulous. I followed as written and spiced up both wet and dry mixes with garlic/onion powders. Using the chicken stock is what makes this a game changer! Thanks

  4. Incredible!! It’s important to note that this recipe is for the CLASSIC chicken crispers, not the “extra crispy” kind. After seeing comments we experimented with battering techniques, unfortunately I can’t post pictures but if you follow her recipe, dry flour then wet batter, you get that fluffy soft awesome batter-y chicken like the classic crispers. If you do wet then dry, you will get the crispy version, but the seasoning is not right for that version, it will be more bland. I’d advise sticking with this recipe if you want fluffy classic tenders, and googling a different recipe for the “crispy” crispers if you want those. Perfect for us!!

    1. Her recipe calls for wet then dry. You said to dip dry then wet batter, which was the fluffy original tenders. Which one do I go with? Yours and hers both say differently. I understand you experimented with the batter. Can you help clarify, please? Thanks

  5. This recipe is just unfortunately not at all like chilis honey chipotle chicken fingers. The batter is all wrong. I should have realized by how theirs looked in the picture.

  6. I reversed it too; dry then wet dredge and they tasted just like Chili’s version – delicious! My whole family loves them and I’ve made them several times now. Thanks for sharing – chicken broth and self rising flour are the key additions to this recipe!

  7. Batter first! I try to make tenders now and then and they are hit or miss – these were amazing! Added some garlic powder, was hesitant about the salt but added all of it and they were perfect! Can’t wait to try the recipe with a fish fry! Thank you so much!

    1. No, you add the self-rising to the wet ingredients and the plain flour in a separate bowl alone. That’s how I read it.

  8. Can I use something other than egg in the batter? I’ve made this recipe dozens of times and it turns out perfect every time. People rave about them! I have someone with an egg allergy and wondered about a replacement.

  9. I don’t know what I did so wrong but batter did not fry up crunchy. And really no flavor to the chicken! I’m going back to my beer batter shrimp!

    1. Your oil was most likely not hot enough you should use Candy thermometer clip on side of pan.I make these all the time Love them they also crisp back up the next day if you put in oven at 375for 12-15 minutes.

    1. Do you mix flour with self rising flour. Or do you use just self rising flour. I usually don’t get confused with recipes sorry. Please help

      1. The self rising flour is part of the wet mix “dredge” and the all purpose flour is used as the final dip after the chicken has been dipped in the wet mix.

  10. I wanted more of a beer batter style so I switched the dipping.. dry them me they were exactly the same as chilis using that method.. delicious and now a family favorite!

  11. I made these on Sunday and they were exactly as described! They were so crispy and delicious, and the batter stayed on. They could have used more seasoning in the batter, I believe. One note: I had to dump the flour halfway thru and get fresh as there was so many clumps of batter from rolling the tenders, it was unusable. They were worth it!

  12. These look so delicious! I look forward to making them. I want to double check before I start, so the chicken goes in the batter and then in the flour? I know usually it’s flour first and then the batter. Thank you!

    1. I made these today and felt there was a mistake on that part as well. I still followed the recipe but it came out more of a crispy/crunchy batter rather than fluffy. It was still amazing but I will be trying the other way next time.

  13. This recipe was awesome and a big hit with my family. The only thing I did extra was that I also seasoned the second round of flour; the outside coating; with salt, pepper and garlic powder. They were delicious! One other note…I also made the copycat Honey Chipotle sauce. The recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of Chipotle powder, but it seemed like a lot to me, so I only added 1 teaspoon, and I thought it was still plenty spicy for me. I also made cream gravy as an alternative and they were good with it as well. I served it with coleslaw and corn on the cob.

  14. I have a dairy allergy but still want to try this recipe. Have you found a good substitute for the milk that still creates the same effect? Thank you!