Baked chicken tenderloins are lean strips of white meat chicken that are healthy and packed with flavor! It takes less than 30 minutes to make chicken tenderloins in the oven, and kids love them. No messy breading is needed – just serve with dipping sauces and enjoy!
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Baked Chicken Tenderloins
Chicken tenders, also known as chicken fingers or strips, are a classic dinner staple that both kids and adults love. This recipe calls for tenderloins, which are equally delicious. Even though they aren’t exactly the same as tenders, most chicken tenderloin recipes can be prepared with strips or tenders.
Related Content – Are tenders, strips, and tenderloins the same thing?
Curious about the difference between tenders and tenderloins? Read What is a Chicken Tenderloin?
“Naked” chicken tenderloins are naturally gluten-free and happen to be keto and paleo-friendly. But healthy baked chicken tenders with no breading are more than just a low-carb option… You won’t believe how delicious they are, too!
Pair them with comfort food side dishes for a quick and satisfying weeknight dinner.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Melted butter – If you’re watching your cholesterol or prefer something plant based, you can use any healthy cooking oil with a neutral flavor. Great options include avocado oil, coconut oil, and sunflower oil.
- Seasonings – paprika, garlic powder, fine sea salt, ground black pepper
- Chicken tenderloins – Actual tenderloins or strips of breast meat will work for this recipe!
Tips for Making Juicy Chicken Tenderloins in the Oven
Simply season the chicken pieces, drizzle with oil, and oven bake for 20 minutes until golden. You can even use frozen chicken! And because this easy recipe does not include any binders or breading (like eggs and flour and/or breadcrumbs), it’s also super healthy.
Shake or dip the chicken breast tenderloins in the butter or oil to coat. Then dredge them through the plate of spices.
Add your favorite fresh or frozen vegetables like green beans, bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, or diced potatoes to the baking sheet for an easy sheet pan dinner.
Below, we prepared chicken tenderloins in the oven with asparagus spears. Sheet pan dinners are great because there are less dishes to wash!
What to Serve with Baked Chicken Tenderloins
To keep this meal healthy, try to avoid serving anything high in starchy carbs. We recommend serving them warm with kid-friendly dipping sauces like ranch, 3 ingredient BBQ sauce, yogurt-based shawarma sauce, or homemade In n Out sauce.
- Mix up the spices however you like. Feel free to swap or add spices, like Italian seasonings, chili powder and cumin, or cayenne pepper for some heat.
- Double the recipe as part of your weekly meal prep, and have plenty of chicken tenders for lunches or quick dinners.
- Air fry chicken tenderloins! After preheating your air fryer to 325ºF, bake or air fry chicken tenderloins for 10-15 minutes or until they reach an internal temp of 165ºF. See the notes in the recipe card at the bottom of this post for full details.
Frequently Asked Questions
Since chicken tenders are small, thin slices cuts of chicken then baking chicken tenderloins from frozen is easy! Just add 3 minutes of baking time, and check the internal temperature of the chicken to be sure they are 165ºF.
Baked Chicken Tenderloins (No Breading)
- shallow baking dish - or rimmed baking sheet
- dipping trays - Ziploc bags, or plates
- 2 tablespoons melted butter or neutral flavor cooking oil
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoons paprika
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1½ pounds chicken tenderloins fresh or frozen *for frozen, see Notes below
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare the shallow casserole dish or baking sheet by spraying it with cooking oil.
- Add seasonings to a ziplock bag, dipping tray, or plate. Use a separate bag, tray, or plate for the melted butter or oil.
- Shake or dip the chicken strips in the butter or oil and to coat on all sides. Then do the same with the chicken tenders and seasonings, pressing gently all around to coat.
- Place dipped chicken tenderloins on the prepared casserole pan or a baking sheet. Add fresh or frozen green beans, asparagus, sliced bell pepper, or broccoli, or diced potatoes (see below), if desired.
- Bake for 15- 20 minutes, until the chicken tenders reach an internal temperature of 165ºF in the center. Serve the chicken tenders warm with your favorite dipping sauces like ranch, BBQ, or honey mustard.
Air Fry Instructions
- Preheat your air fryer to 325ºF. Air fry the chicken tenderloins for 10-15 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the chicken strips to ensure they are 165º internally before serving. Serve the chicken tenders warm with your favorite dipping sauces like ranch, BBQ, or honey mustard.
This post, first published in Nov. 2021, was updated with new content in Feb. 2023.