Perhaps you are looking for a healthy, quick meal low in fat, tasty, and filling? These easy chicken tenderloin recipes are here to help you!
There are many chicken breast recipes out there, but busy cooks know that chicken tenderloins or chicken tenders are an excellent option for a healthy meal that cooks very quickly.
These recipes are great for parents because kids love the handheld chicken tenders that go well with a dip or sauce for dunking.
Chicken tenders are also great for meal prepping because they are so versatile! You can use them in so many ways throughout the week to create healthy meals.
Whether you are looking for crispy fried chicken tenders, stir-fried Asian chicken tenders, tangy Ranch chicken tenders, or a comforting one-pan chicken and rice, these recipes are sure to please everyone in your family.
But before we get to the yummy recipes, let’s discuss what chicken tenders are and how they differ from chicken breasts.
What are chicken tenderloins?
Chicken tenderloins are part of the chicken breast. If you have cut a chicken breast before, you may have noticed a strip that sits under the breast meat and on the breast bone.
They are about 1 inch in width and a few inches long. Chicken tenderloins are naturally low in fat and very healthy. They cook quickly and are juicy and meaty.
What is the difference between chicken breast and chicken tenderloin?
Chicken tenderloins are part of the chicken breast. They are long, thin, run under the breast meat, and attached to the breast bone.
You may notice a thin line of white tissue or tendon attaching to them. Chicken breasts are the rest of the meat the sits on the breast bone.
Every chicken has two chicken tenderloins and two chicken breasts. You can find tenderloins sold separately, or you will see it if you cut up a whole chicken.
What to do with chicken tenderloins?
Chicken tenderloins can be used in many ways that chicken breasts are, but due to their size, they cook quickly.
They also come in a perfect handheld size and are great when featured on a salad or in a sandwich or wrap. These can be sauteed, grilled, or fried to make a delicious chicken dish.
Keep reading for some fantastic chicken tenderloin recipes that you will love.
How To Make Chicken Tenders from Breasts?
If you buy a bone-in chicken breast, you can cut the tenderloin from the breast. It will be a narrow strip on one breast side between the breast meat and the bone.
Once you have removed the chicken tender, you can use the breast to make more chicken tenders.
You can then slice the chicken breast meat up into similar-sized strips chicken breast meat.
These should look like strips about 1 inch in width and 2-3 inches in length.
1. Honey Garlic Butter Chicken Tenders
These honey garlic butter chicken tenders are perfect for meal prepping! Butter, garlic, apple cider vinegar, and honey are whisked together and marinate chicken tenders.
After a few minutes, these are browned in olive oil in a skillet. These cook up so quickly and are perfect to use on top of salads, in wraps, or as a main course.
Many people said they often make large batches of these to use throughout the week or to freeze for later.
2. Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
Who doesn’t love crispy fried chicken tenders? This version gives you the crispy breading and the juicy chicken you love, but without the guilt of deep-frying them.
Thanks to an air fryer, these are baked until crispy. Chicken tenders are first marinated in mayonnaise, dijon mustard, and garlic. Then they are breaded in a mix of plain and Panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.
Finally, they are sprayed with cooking spray and baked in an air fryer for a few minutes until nice and crispy.
They are perfect for dunking in your favorite sauce or make an excellent topping to a green salad!
3. Chicken Scampi with Garlic Parmesan Rice
If you love shrimp scampi, you will love this chicken scampi too! Juicy chicken tenderloins are seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic and then browned in olive oil.
Then a delicious rice pilaf is prepared with butter, garlic, chicken broth, white wine, and everything is finished with Parmesan cheese.
This dish is so succulent and savory. Your family will love it. This dish takes about 45 minutes to prepare, so you could make it on a weeknight or even on a weekend evening for a casual yet elegant supper.
Serve this dish with garlic bread and a Caesar salad for the perfect meal.
4. Copycat Cracker Barrel Grilled Chicken Tenderloins
Do you love the grilled chicken tenderloins at Cracker Barrel? Get in line! Make this dish! You won’t believe how easy this chicken breast tenderloin recipe is, and the final result is so delicious!
Chicken tenders are marinated in Italian dressing, honey, and lime juice.
Then everything is cooked together as the sauce reduces and the chicken turns golden brown. Due to the marinade and cooking in the sauce, the chicken stays moist, juicy, and flavorful.
These would pair well with mashed potatoes and a roasted vegetable.
5. Chicken with Garlic Parmesan Rice
It’s chicken and rice, all dressed up! Juicy chicken tenders are paired with fluffy, flavorful rice cooked with garlic, butter, chicken broth, white wine, and Parmesan cheese.
A pan sauce is drizzled over everything to give this dish a lovely finish. This dish goes well with warm whole-grain rolls and a Cranberry-Walnut Spinach salad or a Balsamic Kale salad. And since this only takes about 40 minutes to prepare, you could make this on a weeknight easily.
6. Bacon Brown Sugar Chicken Tenders
If you love sweets and savory chicken, then this recipe is for you! This is one of the best ideas for using chicken tenders.
These Bacon and Brown Sugar Chicken Tenders are great for a casual Friday night or game day! And best of all, this recipe only calls for five simple ingredients!
Chicken tenders are tossed with brown sugar, salt, and pepper and then wrapped in a slice of bacon.
Any remaining brown sugar is sprinkled on top of the chicken tenders, and then these are baked for about 20 minutes.
You could broil these for a minute or two at the end to make the bacon crispy and give the dish a lovely brown color.
OTHER CHICKEN RECIPES YOU MIGHT ENJOY
- 26 Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Recipes
- 21 Best Boneless Skinless Chicken Thigh Recipes
- 25 Easy Crockpot Chicken Recipes
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- 24 Easy Diced Chicken Recipes
7. Oven-Baked Ranch Chicken Tenders
Who doesn’t love Ranch dressing? These chicken tenders are a real crowd-pleaser, and kids love them! Chicken tenders are marinated in Ranch dressing for about half an hour.
Then they are tossed with baking mix, paprika, salt, and pepper. These are then baked for about 20 minutes.
These are perfect for dipping in extra Ranch dressing or your favorite barbecue sauce or salsa.
Serve these chicken tenders with mashed potatoes and steamed green beans for a classic yet comforting dinner!
8. Lemon Garlic Butter Chicken Tenders
This one-pan meal will become a regular in your meal planning! Everyone loves this recipe, and it only takes 30 minutes.
Chicken tenders are combined with trimmed green beans, butter, garlic, paprika, onion powder, salt, pepper, lemon juice, chicken stock, and hot sauce.
The secret is microwaving the green beans first, slightly steamed before finishing them in the skillet in butter with the chicken tenders.
Lemon slices, fresh parsley, and red pepper flakes garnish this meal beautifully. This would go well with your favorite rice dish, couscous, or roasted potato wedges.
9. Air Fryer Chicken Tenders without Breading
Here’s a healthy way to make flavorful chicken tenders! These are so good. You will want to make big batches of these to use throughout the week in salads, wraps, or as a main dish.
Chicken tenders are combined with olive oil and a dry rub and then are cooked in the air fryer! In less than 10 minutes, these tenders are done… it doesn’t get more simple!
These chicken tenders are gluten-free and are kets-friendly as well as Whole30 compliant, so it’s a great healthy choice.
10. Creamy Ranch Chicken Casserole
Here’s another recipe for those Ranch dressing lovers! This recipe combined chicken tenderloins with cream of chicken soup, sour cream, Ranch seasoning, cheese, and crushed crackers.
This only takes about 40 minutes to make, including the bake time. You can freeze this recipe for later, so you may want to double the recipe to make one for dinner and freeze another for later!
This dish pairs well with warm rolls and a steamed or roasted vegetable or a green salad.
11. Asian Lemon Chicken Tenders
These Asian lemon chicken tenders are so yummy. You will be making these instead of ordering takeout, guaranteed!
Chicken tenders are seasoned and then dredged through flour, into buttermilk, and back through flour to make a crispy breading.
Then these are pan-fried until golden brown and crispy. These are then drizzled with a luscious lemon sauce that combines honey, soy sauce, pineapple juice, and more. It’s sweet, savory, and tangy… you will want to use this sauce on everything!
12. Simple Chicken Tenders
This simple recipe is sure to please everyone! These chicken tenders are delicious. You will be making them again and again!
Chicken tenders are seasoned with smoked paprika, cayenne, garlic, Italian seasoning, and browned in butter.
Lemon juice is added at the end of the cooking process, and then the dish is sprinkled with parsley.
There are some great tips for cooking these tenders perfectly, so they are juicy and not overcooked, dry, or rubbery.
These would be great when served with a simple pasta dish with parmesan or cream sauce and a roasted vegetable.
13. Baked BBQ Chicken Tenders
This is a great way to feed kids their favorite chicken tenders, but they are baked, not fried.
Chicken tenders are marinated in oil and seasonings. Then they are placed in a baking dish and baked.
They are brushed with your favorite barbecue sauce at the end. These are so great for a weeknight because they take about half an hour to prepare. And because most of the time is spent baking, you can prepare some side dishes!
You could roast some potato wedges on the side and steam up a vegetable that your family loves!
14. Taco Chicken Tenders
If it’s a busy Taco Tuesday, then this recipe is your best friend! These taco chicken tenders are so delicious, and they pair perfectly with the lemon garlic butter zucchini noodles.
Chicken tenders are tossed with your favorite taco seasoning and then stir-fried in butter. Then a delicious sauce is prepared in the same pan with lemon juice, hot sauce, and chicken broth.
Finally, zucchini noodles are added until cooked, and then the chicken tenders are added back in to make a delicious skillet meal.
This recipe is keto-friendly and low in carbohydrates, so it could be great for those who are watching their carbs.
15. Healthy Baked Chicken Tenders
These healthy chicken tenders are baked, not fried, but are still moist, juicy, and crispy! Chicken tenders are dredged through flour, then through egg, and finally covered in seasoned breadcrumbs.
These are then baked for just a few minutes. The secret to these tenders is that they are breaded in Panko breadcrumbs that are super crispy and Parmesan cheese which is delicious.
You can add your favorite herbs and spices to make these unique.
These are great when served with a honey mustard dipping sauce or your favorite barbecue sauce!
16. Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders
Honey mustard and chicken tenders are a match made in Heaven! First, a honey mustard sauce combines Dijon mustard, shallots, honey, olive oil, lemon juice, and rosemary.
This is used to marinate the chicken tenders, and then they are grilled. While grilling, reserved honey mustard sauce is brushed on the tenders to infuse them with even more flavor.
Since these can be marinaded up to 8 hours, these could be great on a weeknight… make the sauce the night before, and then dump over the chicken tenders in the morning!
17. Ritz Chicken Tenders
When chicken tenders are paired with the buttery and crisp taste of Ritz crackers, the results are excellent! Ritz crackers are crushed and combined with seasonings.
Chicken tenders are dunked in egg, then rolled in the cracker crumbs. The tenders are then baked and brushed with melted butter.
You can serve these as a main dish and pair them with your favorite side dishes, or these would be great in a wrap or on top of a salad!
17 Best Chicken Tenderloin Recipes
- 2 lbs (900g) chicken tenders
- 4-5 medium zucchini, rinsed and spiralized
- 4 tbsp butter, divided
- 2 tbsp taco seasoning
- 1/4 c (60ml) low-sodium chicken broth
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
- If you buy a bone-in chicken breast, you can cut the tenderloin from the breast. It will be a narrow strip on one side of the breast between the breast meat and the bone.
- Once you have removed the chicken tender, you can use the breast to make more chicken tenders. You can then slice the chicken breast meat up into similar-sized strips chicken breast meat. These should look like strips that are about 1 inch in width and 2-3 inches in length.