15 BEST chicken tender recipes you’ll come back to time and time again! Chicken tenders aka chicken tenderloin make for fast, easy, and cheap dinner recipes! It’s a WHOLE LOTTA YUM!
Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of our chicken tenderloin recipes post, we included a printable recipe card for one of our most popular healthy and simple chicken tender recipes!
Chicken Tenderloins Recipes
Chicken tenders seem to be one of the most undervalued and underused chicken parts. But seriously, they’ve become one of our most beloved go to simple weeknight dinner ideas! Getting your main dish on the table in UNDER 15 minutes is tough to do, but chicken tenders are up for the job!
Whether you’re looking for recipes for chicken tenders in your oven, on the stove, grilled, air fried, in your crock pot, or Instant Pot, we have you covered! We’ve featured a variety of methods to add variety to your meal rotation.
Most of the chicken tenders recipes come from recipes on our website, a few come from other foodie websites we enjoy. If you want to learn how to cook chicken tenderloin you’ll love this resource that features tons of chicken tenderloin recipes using different types of techniques! ALL of the homemade recipes are simple and under 30 minute meals.
Chicken tenders are pieces of chicken meat cut from chicken breasts. If you purchase chicken breast meat with the rib meat attached, that means the chicken tender is also included with the chicken breast. When the tenderloin muscle gets cut off, that’s what is being referred to as a chicken tender.
Chicken tenders and chicken cutlets are one and the same in the sense that they’re both pieces of chicken meat that come from the chicken breast. Chicken tenders are the rib meat attached to the chicken that usually gets removed. Whereas chicken cutlets are chicken breasts that have been cut in half lengthwise to make thinly sliced chicken breast meat which cooks evenly and very quickly.
There are many different ways to cook chicken tenders and several different recipes for them. Some people like to bread chicken strips before cooking them, while others like their chicken tenderloins without breading or seasonings. In chicken strip recipes, chicken tenders are often paired with marinades to add flavor and moisture before being cooked.
Maybe, chicken tenders are a part of the attached chicken breast meat. When people refer to chicken strips they often are thinking of the breaded chicken breast pieces that have been sliced into strips. Sometimes these terms are also used interchangeably.
Be sure to pin the chicken tender recipes post to Pinterest so you can find it again later!
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- 2 lb chicken tenders, raw
- 1/4 cup butter, melted or olive oil
- 2+ Tbsp Chicken rub (store bought or homemade)
- CHICKEN RUB INGREDIENTS
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp ground onion powder
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 Tbsp sea salt or coarse kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 F and put the oven rack in the center position.
- If you're making the homemade chicken rub recipe, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. It makes more than the recipe needs but it'll give you plenty of extra for other chicken (or veggie, or pork) recipes.
- Place the raw chicken on a baking sheet, spacing them out so they'll cook evenly.
- Brush both sides of the chicken with olive oil or melted butter and then sprinkle the rub on both sides of the chicken.
- Bake the chicken for a total of 10 minutes, you can flip it after 5 minutes but it's optional. In our oven, the recipe took 10 minutes to cook but we suggest using a digital meat thermometer and to cook the chicken until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160 F.
- Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes until serving. Enjoy!
Use in your favorite recipe like a chicken salad or eat them as a main dish alongside your favorite dipping sauce like BBQ..
Other seasonings to add- taco, lemon pepper, McCormicks spice blends
You can mix the olive oil and melted butter together instead of just using either or!
The chicken rub we used has a “tiny” bit of a kick, if don't mind the spice be generous with the rub. You can also do a light sprinkle of chicken rub or just coat one side.