Homemade chicken fingers on a white plate.
Side Dishes

How to Make Chicken Fingers with Canned Chicken

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I am a huge fan of chicken, it is one of my favorite proteins to eat. Ever since I was a kid I liked chicken nuggets, chicken tenders, or chicken fingers. Did you know you can make super yummy chicken fingers at home with canned chicken? These are incredibly easy to make, if I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get started!

Ingredients and Equipment

Canned chicken, cheese, and a few other ingredients on a white countertop.

In order to make homemade chicken fingers you need just 3 main ingredients and 2 optional seasonings:

  • Chicken – You can’t make chicken fingers without the chicken. This recipe is specifically meant for canned chicken, but you can use any precooked chicken that is cut up into little pieces.
  • Cheese – I usually use cheddar cheese, but you can use whatever cheese that you desire as long as it is shredded really small.
  • Egg – The egg will help bind everything together.
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder

NOTE: I don’t normally add any salt because there is plenty of salt in the cheese. But you certainly can add a little salt as well.

Homemade chicken tenders piled on a white plate.


  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Kitchen gloves, optional
  • Sheet pan or cookie sheet
  • Silicone mat or parchment paper

How to make chicken fingers or tenders at home with canned chicken

Bowl of canned chicken, cheese, egg, and a few spices all mixed together.

Seriously you won’t believe how easy this recipe is to make. Begin by preheating the oven to 400F/205C. Place the main rack in the middle position.

Open the can of chicken and drain the liquid. I use the lid to keep the chicken in the can and then tilt it so the liquid comes out of the crack between the lid and the chicken.

In a medium to large bowl mix all of the ingredients together. And make sure to break up any larger chunks of chicken that might have been in the can. I usually start by adding the egg and whisking it a bit, then add the spices, then the cheese, and finally the chicken.

And just like that it is ready.

Form and Bake the homemade chicken fingers

Hands with gloves forming the chicken mixture into finger shapes.

Now all you have to do is form the chicken mixture into finger shapes. Using clean hands or wearing food prep gloves grab some of the chicken mixture and firmly press it together and form it into a “log” or “finger” then place it on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Chicken fingers ready to be baked.

Then repeat the steps until you have formed them all. You should be able to make 8 to 12 of these depending on how large you make them.

If desired you can shape them into smaller “nuggets” instead.

Now bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly golden brown.

Freshly baked homemade chicken fingers on a sheet pan lined with a silicone baking mat.

Once baked allow them to cool for around 10 minutes then serve. I like to serve them with ranch, barbecue sauce, and or ketchup.

It is so incredibly easy to make these!


How long do homemade chicken fingers last?

If stored in an airtight container these will last for 3 to 4 days. They can also be frozen for a few months. Just place them on the sheet pan spread them apart and freeze for 2 hours then they can be placed in a freezer bag and back in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. Reheat them in the oven or air fryer.

Can these be cooked in an air fryer?

Yes! Set your air fryer to 400F/205C and placed the formed fingers in the basket and air fryer for 8 to 12 minutes until golden brown. You may need to flip them at the 6-minute mark depending on your air fryer.

Easy homemade chicken fingers pin for Pinterest.

Here are other chicken recipes you may enjoy:

Air Fryer Chicken Wings

Crispy Fried Chicken

Chicken Nuggets

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

Homemade chicken fingers on a white plate.
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5 from 5 votes

Homemade Chicken Fingers with Canned Chicken

Learn how to make chicken fingers at home with canned chicken.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Cooling Time10 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: crispy, easy, savory
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 313kcal
Author: Matt Taylor


  • Bowl
  • spoon
  • Kitchen gloves, optional
  • Sheet pan or cookie sheet
  • Silicone Mat or parchment paper


  • 1 10 or 12-oz can of chicken 354g
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp of black pepper 1g
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder 2g
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese use whatever kind you want, I like to use cheddar (42g)


  • Preheat the oven to 400F/205C
  • Open the can of chicken and drain the liquid.
  • Mix the egg, pepper, garlic powder, cheese, and canned chicken in a large bowl. Break up any larger pieces of chicken.
  • Using clean hands or wearing gloves pick up a few tablespoons of chicken mixture and press it together firmly to form the chicken finger. Then place it on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Repeat the steps until all the chicken fingers are formed. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
  • Allow them to cool for about 10 minutes then serve.


List of nutritional ingredients for homemade chicken fingers.
Tried this recipe?Mention @WPRecipeMaker or tag #wprecipemaker!


Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 35g


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  2. Joseph Bradberry

    5 stars
    Can you substitute these with fat free cheese, or will they not bind good?

  3. I can’t wait to try this! We are a low income household and were recently gifted a ton of canned chicken, we usually use it for soups and pastas but I think my kids will like trying these 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Just made these! Omgosh delish!! And so easy! Having with ranch dressing and al dente broccoli. 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    I just added this to my go-to recipes! Never thought canned chicken can turned into a super delicious and satisfying chicken fingers!

  6. 5 stars
    Amazing! I had no idea you could make chicken nuggets with canned chicken! This recipe is a lifesaver when I’m overdue for a grocery run or when I didn’t think ahead to thaw frozen chicken in time.

  7. 5 stars
    I loved it! It was a huge hit with my kids! Thanks!

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