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Chicken Tenderloin Recipes

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Chicken tenderloin recipes are quick, easy, and absolutely delicious. This recipe roundup of over 20+ recipes for chicken tenders is kid-approved and ready in under 30 minutes. The perfect chicken recipe is waiting for you, from keto-friendly chicken strips to oven-fried chicken tenders!

You can’t beat recipes with chicken tenders for quick and easy dinners. They’re perfect weeknight dinner recipes with a short cooking time – usually about 10 minutes of prep time and just 20 minutes of cooking time.

Whether oven-baked chicken, seasoned air fryer chicken fingers, or fried chicken strips, they’re all equally delicious.

What are Chicken Tenderloins?

Chicken tenderloins are juicy and delicious strips of chicken that come from the chicken breast. Because of their size, chicken tenders cook quickly. You might see them breaded and baked or fried.

But, you’ll find many recipes here without any breading that are low carb and keto-friendly. In fact, there are lots of variations for cooking chicken tenderloins in the easy chicken recipes shared below.

Chicken Tenderloin vs Breast

What is the difference between a tenderloin and the breast? If you’re not familiar with chicken anatomy, you may not know where to find the tenderloin.

Tenderloins are part of the overall breast. They’re long and thin and connected by a thin line of tissue to the breast. They come by their name, honestly. They really are juicy and tender white meat.

two trays of chicken tenderloin strips, one in an egg dip

Each bird has two tenderloins because they have two breasts. Tenderloins are sold separately at the store. However, you can use the entire breast for any of these chicken tender recipes.

How to Make Chicken Tenders from Breasts

It’s easy to make chicken tenderloin recipes from breasts. There’s no need to buy them separately.

  1. Just take the whole breast and find the piece that hangs off the side and pull it from the breast. Now you have a tenderloin!
  2. Next, slice the rest of the breast from top to bottom with a sharp knife into 2-inch strips. If the breasts are very large, slice them in half by placing your hand flat against the top of the chicken and carefully slicing horizontally through the chicken.

This will allow you to make tasty chicken strips from the entire breast with no waste, and that’s always a plus!

What to Do with Chicken Tenderloins

These recipes for chicken tenders cover a wide and delicious range of how you can cook them.

Since chicken tenderloin or strips are thin, it’s easy to use frozen chicken tenders in many recipes without thawing them. Especially when pressure cooking, like with Instant Pot Chicken Tenderloins. They go straight into the pressure cooker without defrosting, then are pan-seared for that crispy golden exterior.

Use raw chicken tenderloins straight from the package to make air fry chicken tenders, cook chicken tenders in the Instant Pot, or make oven-baked chicken tenders in a preheated oven.

Meals to make with Chicken Tenderloins

As you can imagine, chicken tenders are very versatile. They cook quickly and are also easily substituted for boneless chicken breasts or even thighs in most recipes. Simply shorten the cooking time to 3-5 minutes for the tenderloins.

Since chicken tenders cook so quickly, use a digital instant-read thermometer to check the temperature. When the center of boneless chicken is 165º Fahrenheit, it’s fully cooked.

Did you know you can get a reliable digital instant-read thermometer for under $15? This is our favorite budget-friendly digital thermometer from Amazon (we use it when grilling).

Get over 20 simple chicken tenderloin recipes for easy meals below. Great recipes such as Keto Chicken Tenders, Blackened Chicken Tenders, Mushroom Chicken, Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken, Easy Homemade Chicken Fried Chicken, and Pickle Fried Chicken Tenders.

What’s good with chicken tenders

There is such a wide variety of dishes below that many great sides and dips can pair well with them.

For the skillet recipes in a sauce, some great sides may be white or brown rice, a pasta salad, grilled or roasted vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts.

For the crispy chicken tenders, some great dips are in order. Some ideas are bbq, ketchup, ranch, tzatziki, gravy, cheese sauce, or sriracha mayo.

Frequently asked Questions

Are chicken tenderloins and chicken strips the same thing?

Yes, recipes using chicken tenders are the same as chicken strips. Actual chicken tenderloins come from the chicken breasts, which chicken strips or chicken tenders might be from slices of chicken breasts. The names come from the same meaning of long thin chicken pieces.

Why are chicken tenderloins so tender?

This piece of the chicken is connected to the breast, and when it’s cooked, it becomes very tender. Overcooking can make them touch, so check the temperature of chicken tenderloin frequently. It’s ready when the center of the chicken is 165º Fahrenheit.

20+ Easy Chicken Tenders Recipes

Instant Pot Chicken Tenders (from fresh or frozen tenderloins)
Pressure-cooked chicken tenders are quick, easy, and super family-friendly. These chicken strips are ready in less than 30 minutes!
Check out this recipe
Bisquick Chicken Tenders – The Feathered Nester
Crispy, crunchy Bisquick chicken tenders are a classic kid-friendly dish the whole family loves! Homemade chicken fingers can be oven baked or made in the air fryer in only 20 minutes.
Check out this recipe
a plate of garlic butter chicken tenders
Garlic Butter Chicken Tenders from Little Sunny Kitchen
Garlic Butter Chicken Tenders
Healthier chicken tenders cooked in a simple delicious garlic butter sauce. The chicken tenderloins turn out so tender, juicy, succulent, and flavorful. A weeknight dinner ready in just 15 minutes! This one of the easiest
Check out this recipe
a plate of garlic butter chicken tenders
Mustard Baked Chicken Tenders
This Mustard Baked Chicken Tenders recipe is super simple and deliciously spicy. The mustard sauce is perfect over rice or a salad.
Check out this recipe
Easy Oven Baked Chicken Tenderloins
Easy Oven Baked Chicken Tenderloins is crispy and delicious! Bakes up in 20 minutes and makes for a quick weeknight dinner!
Check out this recipe
Baked Honey Mustard Chicken Recipe (EASY!) | Good Life Eats
Baked Honey Mustard Chicken — chicken tenderloins are baked in a sweet and savory honey mustard sauce with sprigs of fresh rosemary. So good!
Check out this recipe
Honey Garlic Instant Pot Chicken Breasts – Kristine’s Kitchen
Honey Garlic Instant Pot Chicken Breasts are always moist, tender and flavorful! Cook from fresh or frozen in minutes in your pressure cooker!
Check out this recipe
Keto Chicken Tenders | Low Carb Air Fryer Chicken Tenders!
These Keto Chicken Tenders are the absolute best low carb breaded chicken tenders out there! They’re so good and so easy to make in your air fryer!
Check out this recipe
Air Fryer Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenderloins
Air Fryer Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenderloins tastes just like the real deal! Using an air fryer helps keep them super moist – and so good!
Check out this recipe
a white platter of cracker barrel chicken tenders
Blackened Chicken Tenders Recipe
Love Popeyes blackened chicken tenders? Make this tasty and easy blackened chicken tenders recipe at home for dinner.
Check out this recipe
Mushroom Chicken (with homemade cream of mushroom)
These creamy mushroom chicken tenderloins are inspired by a dinner craze from way back in the day. Made with an easy homemade cream of mushroom sauce.
Check out this recipe
10 Minute Healthy Chicken Fingers {GF, Low Cal}
These Healthy Chicken Fingers have the same crunch of fried chicken for a fraction of the calories. Made with just 4 ingredients and Gluten Free!
Check out this recipe

more chicken tender recipes…

Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken | Good Life Eats
Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken is a perfect summer grillinh recipe. These chicken tenderloins are marinated in a sweet and savory honey mustard sauce with sprigs of fresh rosemary and lemon juice.
Check out this recipe
Air Fryer Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders | Kitchen Dreaming
This easy Chicken Tender recipe is low in fat and calories. Don’t let that fool you, they are packed with flavor! Ready in just 12-minutes, this is one meal your entire family will love!
Check out this recipe
Italian Chicken, Mushroom, and Zucchini Skillet (One Pan Meal) | Good Life Eats
30 minute meal only takes 1 pan to make! Wow with this flavorful recipe for Italian Chicken with Zucchini and Mushrooms. Such an easy Chicken Skillet Recipe!
Check out this recipe
Easy Homemade Chicken Fried Chicken | Sprinkles and Sprouts
This easy and delicious recipe for Chicken Fried Chicken is a comforting meal that packs so much flavor into every bite! Everyone loves this.
Check out this recipe
a skillet of honey garlic chicken tenderloins
Honey Garlic Chicken from The Gunny Sack
Honey Garlic Chicken Recipe
This Honey Garlic Chicken recipe is so easy to prepare and will be a family favorite! Made with chicken breasts and a four ingredient honey garlic sauce.
Check out this recipe
a skillet of honey garlic chicken tenderloins
Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
Easy and flavorful air fryer chicken tenders. Ready in just 20 minutes, you will love how crispy and juicy these chicken tenders are.
Check out this recipe
Pickle Fried Chicken Tenders
Check out this delicious recipe for flavorful chicken tenders. Pickle Fried Chicken Tenders offer a delicious hint of dill pickle flavor in each crispy bite
Check out this recipe
Easy Doritos Chicken Tenders – Dancing Through the Rain
This easy Doritos Chicken Tenders recipe is the perfect way to get your kids to eat dinner or lunch! Adults will love them too!
Check out this recipe
Best Grilled Chicken Tenders Recipe – Little Sunny Kitchen
Succulent and juicy grilled chicken tenders made very quickly on the grill! The chicken tenders are marinated in a herb lemon and olive oil marinade.
Check out this recipe
Baked Cornflake Chicken Tenders
Crispy Baked Cornflake Chicken Tenders are perfect low-calorie, quick and HEALTHY family meal. Served with homemade Honey Dijon Sauce, these tenders are delicious party, game day finger food too. It’s addictive and so good!
Check out this recipe

Try this Easy IP Chicken Recipe That’s Keto Friendly and Gluten Free:

a plate of Instant Pot Chicken Tenders with honey mustard and barbecue dipping sauces
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4.93 from 13 votes

Instant Pot Chicken Tenders

Family-friendly Instant Pot chicken tenders are ready in under 30 minutes with our easy chicken strips recipe. You can even make this delicious appetizer or dinner with frozen chicken tenderloins!
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack, Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword instant pot chicken tenders, pressure cooker chicken tenders, instant pot chicken strips, instant pot chicken tenderloins, frozen chicken tenders instant pot, how to cook frozen chicken in a pressure cooker
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Time to bring pot to pressure and NPR 10 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 166kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot (or any electric pressure cooker)
  • trivet or sling

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 lb chicken tenderloins (fresh or frozen) *for frozen, see notes below*
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Instructions

  • Add 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil to the pressure cooker. Press the sauté function button. While the pressure cooker is coming to pressure (this takes a few minutes) lightly brush the chicken tenderloins with 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Combine the seasonings together in a shallow dish. Dip the chicken strips into the seasonings, pressing gently all around to coat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the seasoned chicken tenders to the pot. Sauté chicken strips for 1-2 minutes on each side, until light golden in color. Use tongs to remove the strips from the pot and transfer them to a plate.
  • Add chicken broth to the pot, and add the metal trivet to the pot leaving the handles up. Place the chicken strips on the trivet. Press cancel and manually set the pressure cooker to high pressure for 5 minutes.
  • Once pressure cooking is done, allow the pot to naturally release pressure for 3 minutes. Then manually perform a quick release of the pressure. Serve the chicken tenders warm with your favorite dipping sauces like ranch, BBQ, or honey mustard.

Notes

For frozen chicken tenderloin:
  1. Pressure cook the chicken first. Pour the chicken broth into the pressure cooker and add the metal trivet. Place the chicken tenderloins on the trivet, and seal the lid. Select manual high pressure cooking setting for 5 minutes. After the Instant Pot cooking is done, allow the pressure cooker to do a natural release for 3 minutes. Then, initiate a quick release.
  2. Using tongs, remove chicken tenderloins from the pot. Press cancel. Use pot holders to drain the chicken broth from the pot.
  3. Press the sauté function button. Then add oil to the bottom of the Instant Pot and allow to heat. Lightly brush the chicken tenderloins with oil. Combine the seasonings together in a shallow dish. Dip the chicken strips into the seasonings, pressing gently all around to coat. Sauté chicken for 1-2 minutes per side until golden in color. Serve homemade chicken tenders warm, with your favorite dipping sauces.
Serve homemade chicken tenders with your favorite dipping sauces.
Put cooked and cooled chicken strips in a sealed container and keep them in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. They also freeze very well! Seal in an airtight bag or storage container and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 4ounces | Calories: 166kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 638mg | Potassium: 477mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

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