Let these chicken tenderloin recipes be your simple solution for creating an absolutely delicious meal, and in under 30 minutes! With over 10 quick and easy chicken tender recipe ideas to choose from, there’s at least one that’ll make your family happy.
If you’re tired of making the same chicken recipes week after week, this collection has plenty of new ideas to inspire you.
Whether you call them chicken tenders, fingers, strips, or tenderloins, we’ll help you find a way to love them even more than you already do!
- Reasons to Love Chicken Tenderloin Recipes
- What to Make with Chicken Tenderloins
- Baked Chicken Tenderloin Recipes
- Healthy Chicken Tender Recipes
- Healthy Instant Pot Chicken Tender Recipes
- Healthy Chicken Tenderloin Recipes for Stovetop Cooking
- Other Favorite Chicken Tender Recipe Ideas
- How to Make Chicken Tenders from Breasts
- What to Serve with Chicken Tenderloins
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Reasons to Love Chicken Tenderloin Recipes
- They help prepare stress-free dinners in a flash!
Most of these are 30-minute chicken recipes! This means, they require very little prep work, so there’s no need to stress out when you’re short on time.
- Many different ways to cook them.
It can be frustrating when you find something you want to cook, but you don’t have the special equipment or appliance the recipe calls for. After all, not everyone has an Instant Pot, Air Fryer, and Crock Pot.
If this is you, no worries! This collection also includes recipes for chicken tenderloins on the stovetop and in the oven, too.
There are plenty of great ways to cook chicken breast tenderloins. Some of the most popular are:
- deep frying
- pan frying
Not exactly. Chicken tenderloins are a separate piece, attached to the underside of each chicken breast.
Chicken tenders, strips, and fingers, are simply different names for slices of boneless chicken breast.
Despite the difference in names, tenders and tenderloins both describe lean, white chicken meat. So, either one of the cuts is a good substitute for the other.
That “string” is actually a piece of connective tissue, called a tendon. It attaches muscles to bones. They’re safe to eat, but they don’t have any flavor.
If you notice a tendon attached to chicken tenderloins, just use a pair of kitchen shears or a knife to remove it.
Using a brine or marinade can help keep the meat moist. However, not every recipe includes one.
What works even better for preventing dry, tough poultry is to cook chicken tenderloins at a temperature no higher than 350° to 375°F.
For more information about this versatile cut of poultry, read our post, “What is a Chicken Tenderloin?”.
FYI: Turkey breasts also have tenderloins, and turkey tenderloins are also incredibly versatile!
What to Make with Chicken Tenderloins
Some of our favorite chicken tender recipe ideas include breading, but there are healthier meals you can make with chicken tenderloins.
Using something as simple as chicken taco seasoning can add flavor, while also keeping the meal low carb and keto friendly.
Although marinating poultry isn’t really necessary (because the white meat is lean to begin with), using a chicken marinade is a healthy way to add flavor. Many people use them as a healthy grilling option instead of coating the meat with sugar-based sauces.
Baked Chicken Tenderloin Recipes
Some of our favorite chicken tenderloin recipes are shown below, broken out by cooking method. We hope you’ll find a few new ones to try!
Helpful Tips for Preventing Dry Chicken
To avoid over cooking poultry, we highly recommend using a digital instant-read kitchen thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat.
Chicken tenderloins and all other cuts of chicken are safe to eat when the thickest portion of the meat reaches 165º Fahrenheit.
Did you know you can get a reliable digital instant-read cooking thermometer for under $15? The photo below shows our favorite budget-friendly model. It works well for grilling recipes, too!
Healthy Chicken Tender Recipes
As we mentioned earlier in this post, it’s perfectly fine to substitute chicken tenderloins for tenders, and vice versa. Use whatever you have on hand to make these healthy chicken recipes!
Healthy Instant Pot Chicken Tender Recipes
Healthy Chicken Tenderloin Recipes for Stovetop Cooking
Other Favorite Chicken Tender Recipe Ideas
By the way, it’s easy to use frozen chicken tenders in many of our chicken tenderloin recipes, and you don’t even need to thaw them first.
How to Make Chicken Tenders from Breasts
Grocery stores and butcher shops typically sell packages of ready-to-use chicken tenders. The problem is, the cost per pound is much higher than buying whole breasts.
You can save a lot of money by shopping for boneless, skinless breasts. Not only will you be able to cut chicken strips from them, but underneath the breast is the most tender piece of poultry – the tenderloin!
Doing this allows you to make tasty chicken strips from the entire breast with no waste, and that’s always a plus!
- Remove the tenderloin from the breast.
Just take each whole breast and flip it over. The piece attached near the side is a chicken tenderloin. Use a knife or kitchen shears to cut it away from the breast.
- Slice the breast into strips/tenders.
Next, use your knife or scissors to cut vertical (top to bottom) strips, about 2 inches wide. If the breasts are very large, you can slice each of the strips in half. Simply place the tenders side by side on a cutting board. Then, place your hand flat against the top of the them, and carefully slice horizontally through the strips.
What to Serve with Chicken Tenderloins
Meals that include a sauce go well with a starchy side like white or brown rice, pasta or noodles. Of course, you can never go wrong serving healthy vegetable like asparagus, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts.
When making tenders or tenderloins with breading, be sure to include a variety of dipping sauces. Easy dipping sauce ideas for breaded chicken tenderloin recipes are:
- BBQ sauce (our recipe has just 3 ingredients!)
- honey mustard
- mango chili sauce
- ranch dressing
- tzatziki (cucumber sauce)
- brown or white gravy
- cheese sauce
- sriracha mayo
Please leave a comment below! We want to know which of the chicken tender recipe ideas shown here you plan to make first!
This recipe collection, first published in August 2021, was updated in March 2023.