Have you ever wished you had a huge list of chicken tenderloin recipes? So have we, and we’ve pulled together the definitive list of chicken tender recipes to get you through about a month’s worth of dinners.
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Chicken tenderloins are a great alternative when you’re cooking for one or two people because you can cook as few or as many as you want. This cut of meat has a little more fat than the chicken breast, and the fat makes it super flavorful whether you’re frying, baking, or grilling it.
If you’re wondering how to cook chicken tenderloins, rest assured that there are nearly countless easy chicken tenderloin recipes that you can be creative with.
Whether you want easy an easy chicken tenders recipe for frying chicken tender meals, a chicken tender recipe for your air fryer, grilled chicken tenders recipes, or baked healthy chicken dinner recipes, there’s something for you on this list.
Recipes for chicken tenders are all over the internet and in family cookbooks. After all, recipes using chicken tenders have been around for a long time because chicken tenders are easy to make and families love them.
Let’s learn more about the delicious chicken tenderloin.
What Exactly Are Chicken Tenderloins?
Are chicken tenders just cut-up chicken breasts? Not at all. The chicken tenderloin is a thin strip of white meat that is located underneath and to the side of a chicken breast.
Every chicken has exactly two chicken tenderloins, and chicken tenders are more tender than a chicken breast. Also, chicken tenders are also an excellent source of protein.
The reason chicken tenderloins are more tender than chicken breast meat is that chicken tenderloins are harvested from the chickens when they’re underdeveloped and young. However, chicken tenderloins are also found on a whole chicken. You can also buy chicken tenders in large bonus packs.
Cooking chicken tenderloins is quicker because this cut of the chicken is much smaller.
Chicken Tenderloin vs. Chicken Breasts
When you’re using chicken breast tenderloin recipes, can you simply substitute chicken breasts or chicken breast strips? You absolutely can.
Chicken breasts have about one-third of the calories of the chicken tenderloin. This is because a four-ounce chicken tenderloin has about 20.1 grams of fat. Meanwhile, four ounces of chicken breast has only 3 grams of fat.
Besides the fat and calories, chicken breasts are also lower in sodium and have a higher protein content.
What about nutrition? Well, chicken breasts are the winner in terms of vitamins and nutrients, too. Every chicken breast has plenty of zinc, potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin B6. The chicken tenderloin offers far less in terms of nutrients.
If you’re keeping a tight watch on your caloric intake, chicken breasts are a clear winner. However, chicken breasts are a bit more difficult to cook with and they’re not nearly as tasty as chicken tenderloins.
Another consideration is that chicken breasts can be slightly tough and dry. That extra fat in the chicken tenderloin really makes a huge taste difference.
What Can You Serve With Chicken Tenders?
If you’re trying to figure out what to make with chicken tenders, just think about it like this. Anything you would make with baked chicken, fried chicken, grilled chicken, or roasted chicken is also delicious with a chicken breast tenderloin.
Chicken tenderloin is delicious in all types of cuisine, so they lend themselves beautifully to everything from BBQ sauce to teriyaki sauce.
Here is a shortlist of what to make with chicken tenderloins:
- French fries
- Baked potato
- Sweet potatoes
- Pasta or zoodles (zucchini noodles)
- Sweet potato fries
- Baked beans (or any type of beans)
- Baked or grilled veggies
- Pasta salad
- Fried apples
- Macaroni and cheese
- Waffles (chicken and waffles, anyone?)
- Rice dishes
Are you ready for the best list of easy chicken tenders recipes? Let’s dive in and discover 26 amazing chicken tender recipe ideas.
When you need a healthy chicken tender dinner that will satisfy the entire family (or a bunch of kids!), these chicken tenders that are seasoned with the exceptional flavors of garlic, lemon, and parmesan will hit the spot.
To cook chicken tenders in your oven, all you need to do is grease a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Then, arrange your chicken tenders on the baking sheet with the crumbed coating on the pan.
The next step is crucial. You need to spray them with a cooking spray made with extra virgin olive oil. This is what makes the chicken tenders crispy and golden.
Pesto isn’t just for pasta. You can use pesto to create a delicious chicken tender meal, too.
Even better, this pesto chicken tenders dinner takes just five minutes of prep time before you stick it in the oven.
You can make this easy chicken tenders meal in advance, and you can even freeze it to create a dump chicken recipe.
The world is crazy about sriracha hot sauce, and it’s super easy to bring the delicious and spicy sriracha flavor into chicken tender recipes.
These chicken tenders aren’t breaded, so they’re a little easier on the calories, too.
The glaze for this chicken strip recipe is made with sriracha sauce and honey, so there is a delightful contrast between spicy and sweet.
Other seasonings in this sriracha chicken tenders recipe are sea salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and dried minced onions.
These are baked chicken tenders, so they’re perfect to serve with a baked potato or green salad.
Are you craving an old-fashioned fried chicken dinner, but want to enjoy fried chicken without the guilt and calories?
These delicious Tex-Mex chicken strips are baked, not fried, so they are one of the healthy chicken tenders recipes.
Spices used to make these chicken strips are garlic powder, cumin, sea salt, and black pepper.
This recipe translates beautifully to chicken strips if you want to use chicken breast strips instead of chicken tenders.
You can also cut your chicken strips or tenders into bite-sized pieces (like a chicken nugget) to make them super easy to enjoy.
The search for healthy chicken tenderloin recipes will lead you to fried chicken tenders cooked in the air fryer, and we’re all about it!
Modern technology is amazing, right? Technology has given us the Instant Pot and the air fryer and these small kitchen appliances have transformed how we cook.
Serve these air fryer fried chicken tenders with some French fries that you also cook in the air fryer.
Dip your fried chicken tenders in a delicious honey mustard sauce.
If you’re avoiding bread or bread crumbs, you’re going to be delighted with this recipe for the famous Cracker Barrel chicken tenders.
Equally healthy is the fact that these chicken tenders can be prepared in your air fryer for an air fryer chicken tender recipe.
Bisquick has been responsible for saving dinner for decades, and this all-purpose baking mix can also make your breaded chicken tenders come together quickly and easily as a main dish meal.
First, the chicken tenders are dipped into an egg wash. Using a ziplock bag, add the Bisquick mix, garlic salt, grated parmesan cheese, and paprika.
After just 15 minutes in your oven, you’ll have a delicious chicken dinner on the table.
We found this recipe for chicken tenders wrapped in bacon and we knew we had to include it in our list of baked chicken tenderloin recipes.
Both chicken tenders and bacon have such rich flavor, and when you combine the two, you’ve got pure decadence.
This recipe for bacon wrapped chicken tenders are also keto chicken tenders. The chicken tenders have no breading and you can use whatever type of dipping sauce you like.
This chicken recipe is made using red curry paste and sweet hoisin sauce, so these chicken tenders have the perfect balance of spicy and sweet.
You can also modify this recipe to make it with other chicken cuts, including ground chicken or even ground turkey.
When you use panko crumb and shredded sweetened coconut for this chicken tenders recipe, you get a crunchy exterior that is completely addictive.
The chicken tenders are dipped in an egg that’s seasoned with black pepper, sea salt, and garlic powder. Then, the chicken tenders are coated with panko bread crumbs and shredded sweetened coconut.
Alternatively, you can also make these chicken tenders with coconut flour, almond flour, whole-wheat flour, or regular flour.
You can serve these crunchy coconut chicken tenders with a tropical fruit salad, but these chicken strips are also perfect with a plain green salad with a sweet salad dressing.
If you’re looking for boneless skinless chicken tenderloin recipes that you can cook in one pan, you’re going to love this sheet pan chicken tenders recipe.
This chicken tenders meal is easy to whip up, but that doesn’t mean it’s simple on taste.
With this chicken tenderloin recipe, you get loads of delicious flavor thanks to the Dijon mustard, garlic cloves, honey, and balsamic vinegar.
You could add other veggies, too, including summer squash, zucchini, asparagus, tomatoes, and more.
Do you love everything bagels? These delicious bagels are so perfect when toasted or baked and served with creamy cream cheese.
You can get these same amazing flavors with your chicken tenders by using the everything bagel seasoning blend.
The garlic, onions, poppy seeds, sea salt, and two delicious types of sesame seeds make this seasoning blend something super special. Why not bring this flavor to your quick and easy chicken tender meals?
Your chicken tenders are dipped in an egg wash of egg and milk. Then, they’re dredged in a mixture of panko bread crumbs, plain breadcrumbs (or Italian breadcrumbs), smoked paprika, and everything bagel seasoning.
We all know that you can make everything better by wrapping it in bacon, and that includes chicken tenders.
These healthy baked chicken tenders are wrapped in delicious bacon slices and cooked to perfection.
But the best part is the jalapeno cream sauce that’s served with the chicken tenders.
With the bacon flavor and the jalapeno cream sauce, the flavor of these chicken tenders is absolutely explosive (in a totally awesome way!).
The jalapeno cream sauce is made with heavy cream, whole milk, jalapenos, garlic cloves, garlic salt, cayenne pepper, onion powder, and grated parmesan cheese.
Everyone loves crispy fried chicken tenders, but when you back them in the oven, you have a healthy chicken tenders meal.
The secret to getting these baked chicken tenders perfectly crispy is to toast the breadcrumbs in your toaster oven or your oven before coating the chicken tenders.
Here’s a bonus to coating your chicken tenders with toasted bread crumbs: no dirty and sticky fingers!
Another tip for getting super flavorful baked chicken tenders is to add some mayonnaise and mustard to the egg.
For healthy chicken tender recipes, you can always turn to salads, and this cobb salad made with crispy chicken tenders is the perfect light lunch or dinner recipe.
What we love about a cobb salad is all of the extra goodies that it has in it, and it’s perfect for meal prep.
For example, chopped boiled eggs, fresh green lettuce, tomato, red onion, bacon, and tangy blue cheese dressing all make cobb salad a full meal that’s utterly delicious.
When you add some crispy chicken tenders on top, you’re loading a nutritious salad up with even more protein and goodness.
A restaurant called Wingers makes some delicious sticky chicken fingers and we found the perfect copycat recipe to make this delicious chicken dinner at home.
This is a super easy recipe because it calls for chicken strips that are already breaded and frozen. However, you can use your favorite homemade from scratch chicken strips recipe, too.
To make wraps, you can wrap these sticky chicken fingers in lettuce leaves or warm tortillas.
These sticky chicken finger wraps are perfect to serve with celery sticks and carrot sticks. You can also serve them with fried rice for an Asian cuisine dish.
For easy chicken tender recipes for dinner with few ingredients, these grilled chicken tenders are perfect.
To make this grilled chicken tenders recipe, you need a marinade of garlic, fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, Italian seasoning, black pepper, sea salt, and chopped parsley flakes.
Serve your chicken tenders with a baked potato or green salad. Be sure to have some lemon wedges for squeezing fresh lemon juice onto the grilled chicken tenders.
Also, when you have the grill already heated up, why not grill some veggies while you’re at it? You can grill squash, potatoes, corn on the cob, asparagus, and more.
You can also serve honey mustard sauce with these grilled chicken tenders.
If you’re eating a low carb, keto, or paleo diet, you will appreciate these chicken tenders that are created using an almond coating.
The almond coating uses almond meal and an easy homemade spice mixture to create delicious chicken tenders that will taste like they have a lot more calories than they do.
Do you want another reason to love these almond chicken fingers? They’re ready to eat in less than half an hour.
Serve these chicken tenders with baked sweet potato fries for a perfect low-carb meal.
Wingstop made the garlic parmesan combination hugely popular with their fried chicken wings, and you can have the same flavors at home with these delicious chicken tenders.
The breading is a panko mixture that’s made with garlic and parmesan cheese, and the chicken tenders are baked until they’re perfectly crispy and golden brown.
You need minced garlic for this recipe, and the other seasonings are dried basil and smoked paprika.
You can use freshly grated parmesan cheese or the grated parmesan cheese that comes in the green container.
Sometimes you need boneless skinless chicken tenderloin recipes that are fast and easy. That’s where this 15-minute recipe for tasty honey garlic chicken comes in.
Cut your chicken tenders into cubes to make this recipe. Soy sauce, garlic, honey, and red pepper flakes (optional) add all of the wonderful flavor.
The sauce for this chicken tenders dish is perfect for serving over basmati rice or brown rice.
Just add a fresh green salad or a side of steamed broccoli and you have a complete meal in minutes!
If you’re looking for chicken tender dinners that are keto and paleo friendly, you’re going to love this recipe for chicken tenders in a lemony mushroom cream sauce.
Also, this chicken tenders recipe is low carb and gluten free, so it’s a winner on all counts.
The mushroom cream sauce is full of delicious ingredients such as heavy cream, garlic cloves, fresh lemon thyme, chili pepper, nutmeg, butter, extra virgin olive oil, nutmeg, and chives.
Garlic and pasta go so beautifully together, and when you pair this timeless meal with crispy chicken fingers, you have a feast fit for a king (or at least for your dinner crew).
This creamy garlic and lemon sauce is so creamy on the pasta, and the contrast of the crispy chicken tenders is absolutely perfect.
You can make this creamy garlic pasta recipe with chicken breasts, chicken strips, or chicken tenders.
The pasta is made with heavy cream, grated parmesan cheese, fresh lemon juice, garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper, and chopped fresh parsley.
In this list of best chicken tenders recipes, we’ve covered chicken tenders coated in Doritos and chicken strips coated with cornflakes.
Well, we can’t do this list without baked chicken tenders that are coated in potato chips.
For this chicken tenders recipe, you can also use chicken breast strips. Either one works fine for this particular recipe.
The recipe author recommends using Kettle brand chips in sour cream and cheddar flavor. Sounds pretty delicious to us!
This recipe also comes with instructions for making homemade honey mustard dipping sauce.
Similar to how crushed Doritos add tons of flavor to your chicken tender meals, crushed cornflakes cereal can do the exact same thing.
You can use plain cornflakes to make these cornflake chicken tenders, but we love to use honey nut cornflakes for a surprising pop of flavor.
Another reason to love this recipe for cornflake chicken tenders is that cornflakes are gluten free.
Serve this chicken tender meal with fried rice and sweet chili sauce for an Asian-inspired dinner.
Are there people in the U.S. who don’t love Nacho Cheese Doritos? If so, we don’t know them!
To make these Dorito chicken tenders, crush the chips by putting them into a gallon zipper bag and rolling over them with a rolling pin.
Also, you don’t need to use an egg to coat the chicken tenders. This recipe calls for the chicken tenders to be coated in mayonnaise.
Although we’re all about saving money, we do recommend using real Doritos for this recipe (not the generic cheesy tortilla chips). The extra dollar you spend will pay off in amazing flavor for your chicken tenders.
You can probably remember when buffalo wings became popular, and for sure, you can likely remember the first time you tried them.
Well, now you can get that delicious buffalo wings flavor with juicy chicken tenders.
These buffalo chicken tenders are baked, so they have a lot less fat than traditional fried buffalo wings.
Serve your buffalo chicken tenders with ranch dipping sauce or blue cheese dipping sauce. Be sure to have the carrot sticks and celery sticks that you would normally serve with buffalo wings.
How would you like to learn how to make air fryer chicken tenders paired with a copycat version of a famous Chick-fil-A sauce? Watch the air fry chicken video below.
26+ Easy Chicken Tenderloin Recipes (+Air Fryer Chicken Tenders)
- 2 lbs. chicken tenderloin strips
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- 2 eggs
- Olive oil spray
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup panko crumbs
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- Dry the chicken tenderloins and sprinkle with salt.
- Dredge with breadcrumb and spice mixture.
- Air fry at 400°F for 8 minutes, turning halfway through.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.