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Instant Pot Chicken Tenderloins

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Pressure cooked chicken tenders are quick, easy, and super family-friendly. Ready in less than 30 minutes, Instant Pot chicken tenderloins are perfect as an appetizer or main meal any night of the week. Plus, you can even use frozen chicken tenderloins – no defrosting needed! The pressure cooker magic and a wonderful garlic and herb seasoning mix ensures perfectly juicy and tender chicken strips every time.

a platter of chicken with mustard and BBQ dipping sauces

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Tenderloins

Chicken tenderloins – typically called chicken tenders – are pieces of deliciously juicy and, well, tender meat from under the breast of the chicken. They are also often known as chicken strips or chicken fingers… Whatever you call them, the Instant Pot is going to make sure they’re cooked perfectly – even from frozen.

Adults and kids alike will love to enjoy these homemade chicken tenders with yummy dipping sauces. Serve them for an appetizer or snack, or pair with your favorite side dishes as a nearly effortless and totally delicious dinner.

NEW TO THE INSTANT POT? Read How to Use the Instant Pot 101 first. And, my Tips & Hacks for the Instant Pot is terrific for new owners and seasoned IP-ers alike!

Instant pot next to chicken tenderloins and spice seasonings

Ingredients Needed to Make Chicken Tenders in the Instant Pot

There are very few, wholesome ingredients in this super easy recipe. Most of what you need are seasonings, and these can be omitted or swapped as you like.

Here are the ingredients you need to make our tasty Instant Pot chicken strips recipe:

  • Olive oil – or preferred high-heat cooking oil
  • Seasonings – paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt, ground black pepper
  • Chicken tenders – fresh or frozen (see notes in recipe)
  • Chicken broth – I recommend low sodium
Sautéed tenderloins inside of pressure cooker

How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Strips

Follow these 3 easy steps for cooking chicken tenders in the Instant Pot:

  1. First, add olive oil to the pressure cooker and turn on the sauté function. It will take a few moments to heat up. Meanwhile, lightly brush the chicken tenderloins with oil, and combine the seasonings together in a shallow dish. Dip the chicken strips into the seasonings, pressing gently all around to coat.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the seasoned chicken tenders to the pot. Sauté for a minute or two on each side until browned. Use tongs to remove the strips from the pot and transfer to a plate. Next, pour the chicken broth into the pressure cooker and add the metal trivet. Place the chicken tenderloins on the trivet, and seal the lid. Cancel the sauté function, and switch to manual pressure cooking function for 5 minutes.
  3. After the Instant Pot cooking is done, allow the pressure cooker to do a natural release for 3 minutes before initiating a manual quick release. Serve the chicken tenders warm.

Keep reading for tips and steps for making this Instant Pot chicken tenderloins recipe with frozen chicken!

For frozen chicken, reverse the cooking order:

  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 before initiating a manual quick release.
  2. Using tongs, remove chicken tenderloins to a plate. Press cancel, and using pot holders, drain chicken broth from the pot.
  3. Press sauté function button, add oil to bottom of the Instant Pot and allow to heat. Lightly brush the chicken tenderloins with oil, and 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.

How to store leftovers: put cooked and cooled chicken strips in a sealed container and keep 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.

cooked tenders on a platter with dipping sauces next to the pressure cooker

Frequently Asked Questions for Cooking Chicken Tenders in the Instant Pot

Can I cook the chicken strips in a pressure cooker without a trivet?

Yes, use an Instant Pot sling or anything that raises the chicken tenders above the broth.

How do I make Instant Pot chicken tenderloins with frozen chicken?

For frozen chicken tenderloins, simply reverse the process for perfectly sautéed chicken. Start the recipe by first pressure cooking the frozen chicken per the recipe below. Then once done, drain the broth from the Instant Pot and sauté the chicken strips in olive oil until browned. See directions in “notes” section of recipe.

What sides go well with Instant Pot chicken tenderloins?

This versatile main dish is delicious with just about any side, including fried wontons, loaded potato casserole, mashed potatoes, cilantro rice, and fresh veggies like steamed green beans or broccoli.

Enjoy tender chicken strips with your choice of dipping sauces to compliment the meal. They are yummy with barbecue sauce, honey mustard, or ranch dressing.

How should leftovers be stored?

Put cooked and cooled chicken tenders in a sealed container and keep 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.

Platter of cooked tenderloin strips with rice and bowls of dipping sauces and instant pot

Here’s the Full Recipe for Making Chicken Tenders in a Pressure Cooker:

platter of Instant Pot chicken tenderloins
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4.92 from 12 votes

Instant Pot Chicken Tenders

Family-friendly Instant Pot chicken tenders are ready in under 30 minutes with our easy Instant Pot chicken strips recipe. You can even make this delicious appetizer or dinner with frozen chicken tenderloins!
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword frozen chicken tenders instant pot, how to cook frozen chicken in a pressure cooker, instant pot chicken strips, instant pot chicken tenderloins, instant pot chicken tenders, pressure cooker chicken tenders
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 and press the sauté function button. While 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 tenders for a 1-2 minutes on each side, until light golden in color. Use tongs to remove the strips from the pot and transfer 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 pressure cooker to high pressure for 5 minutes.
  • Once pressure cooking is done, allow 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 using 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 before initiating a manual quick release.
  2. Using tongs, remove chicken tenderloins to a plate. Press cancel, and using pot holders, drain chicken broth from the pot.
  3. Press sauté function button, add oil to bottom of the Instant Pot and allow to heat. Lightly brush the chicken tenderloins with oil, and 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 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

Try These Other Delicious Instant Pot Recipes:


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6 thoughts on “Instant Pot Chicken Tenderloins”

  1. The included photo shows rice on the same plate – is that the cilantro rice others have commented on? It looks yummy!

    Reply
  2. I can’t stop thinking how good this is with cilantro rice. The chicken itself is flavorful and tastes even better with cilantro rice!

    Reply

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