This Instant Pot Chicken Tenders recipe will show you how to cook moist and juicy chicken strips in a fraction of the time using a pressure cooker and fresh or frozen tenderloins!
Chicken tenderloins are also called chicken tenders. And they are very tender meat from under the breast of the chicken.
They are also known as chicken strips or chicken fingers.
But, whatever you call them, the Instant Pot is going to make sure they’re cooked perfectly, even from frozen!
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Why We Love Instant Pot Chicken Tenders
- Super Quick Recipe
Ready in less than 30 minutes!
- Very Family-Friendly Dish
Adults and kids alike will love this homemade chicken tenders recipe with yummy dipping sauces.
- Versatile Meal Or Snack
You can serve them as an appetizer or snack or pair them with your favorite side dishes for a super easy and totally delicious dinner.
🎯 TFN Pro Tip
Buy thick asparagus (about 3/4″ in diameter) as thinner spears are more likely to overcook when roasted.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Olive oil – be sure to use high-heat cooking oil for this recipe
- Seasonings – paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt, ground black pepper. You can also use your favorite seasonings. Italian, Cajun or even ranch dressing mix would all be great options.
- Chicken tenderloins – fresh or frozen (see instructions below for frozen).
Chicken Tenders Instant Pot – Tips For Success
- Press chicken into seasonings to coat.
After chicken has been brushed in oil, press the tenderloins gently into the seasonings so the herbs and spices adhere to the chicken.
- Sauté chicken strips before pressure cooking.
The tenderloins will get a delicious light coloring on the outside.
- Pressure cook chicken on a metal trivet or silicone sling.
This keeps the chicken out of the broth and allows the outside to remain golden brown.
Instant Pot Chicken Tenders Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, use an Instant Pot sling or anything that raises the chicken strips above the broth.
If the chicken is cooked in Instant Pot for too long it can become rubbery. Use the recommended cook time as a guide, and check for doneness early.
Cooking chicken tenderloins in the Instant Pot will take about 5 minutes at high pressure. Plus, 3 minutes for a natural pressure release and 1-2 minutes to sauté. So, the total cook time will be about 10-12 minutes.
Sides To Serve
This versatile main dish is delicious with just about any side.
- How about Fried Wontons, Loaded Hash Brown Potato Casserole, Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, or Instant Pot Basmati Rice?
- Or serve it with fresh veggies like asparagus, Instant Pot Fresh Green Beans, or broccoli.
- Enjoy tender chicken strips with your choice of dipping sauces to compliment the meal. They are perfect with Homemade Buffalo Sauce, Bbq Sauce, Spicy Honey Mustard, or ranch dressing.
How To Store
- Store cooked and cooled chicken strips in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- They also freeze well! Put them into a ziplock bag or storage container and keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Thaw frozen chicken strips in the fridge overnight before reheating. To reheat, cook in the oven at 350°F. Or, heat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until warmed.
Love chicken tenders recipes? Try our Nashville Chicken Tenders (KFC copycat) for an easy meal that tastes restaurant quality. Kids love our Shake and Bake, Baked Chicken Tenderloins, and Bisquick Chicken Tenders. Each meal comes out golden brown and crispy. You’ll get rave reviews from even picky eaters.
Instant Pot Chicken Tenders
- trivet or sling
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound chicken tenderloins (fresh or frozen) *for frozen, see notes below*
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 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.
- 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.
- Using tongs, remove chicken tenderloins from the pot. Press cancel. Use pot holders to drain the chicken broth from the pot.
- 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.