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29 Easy Chicken Tenderloin Recipes For Any Meal or Diet

Our fantastic roundup of chicken tenderloin recipes is full of delicious ideas! Chicken tenders are a great ingredient for any meal and diet - from classic chicken crispy chicken fingers to keto chicken tenders and healthy salads.
29 Easy Chicken Tenderloin Recipes For Any Meal or Diet
29 Easy Chicken Tenderloin Recipes For Any Meal or Diet
Anna at SideChef
Content Creator. Bitten by curiosity bug. Obsessed with words. Fuelled by coffee. Powered by Google. Love cheese, chocolate, and cherries. Don’t judge your taco by its price.
Love This Recipe?
Anna at SideChef
Content Creator. Bitten by curiosity bug. Obsessed with words. Fuelled by coffee. Powered by Google. Love cheese, chocolate, and cherries. Don’t judge your taco by its price.

It's no surprise that chicken tenderloins are incredibly popular with home cooks! This delicious part of everyone's favorite protein choice is just as versatile as its numerous nicknames.

Chicken fingers, chicken tenders, chicken goujons, chicken strips, chicken nuggets, or chicken filets - call it whatever you'd like. What doesn't change is that you can cook this extra tender part of chicken breast in various ways to suit any taste or diet.

What Are Chicken Tenderloins?

Chicken tenderloins are thin strips of meat attached to each breast's underside. These strips of white meat are located on either side of the breastbone, under the breast meat (pectoralis major).

Each chicken has two breasts and thus also has two chicken tenders.

The name is self-explanatory - chicken tenders are usually more succulent and soft. They also require less cooking time, making them an excellent choice for a quick lunch or dinner dish.

You can find chicken tenders sold separately in packs of 10 to 20 in any supermarket. They quickly turn into a delicious foolproof meal in about 15 minutes - bake them, fry them, or throw them on the grill.


Chicken Breast vs. Chicken Tenderloin: Is There a Difference?

Chicken tenderloin and chicken breast are two different parts of the bird, each offering unique benefits. Chicken breasts are large pieces of white meat attached to the breast bone; they often require more cooking time due to their tough muscles and low-fat content.

Chicken tenderloins, on the other hand, are much softer, juicier, and more flavorful since they're composed of parts of the breast muscles that aren't used by the bird often. When it comes to cooking time, chicken breasts typically take longer than tenderloins since they need to be cooked thoroughly to avoid any dryness or toughness.

Looking at nutritional value, chicken breasts contain a much higher amount of protein with fewer calories, fat, and sodium; however, tenderloins still offer good nutritional value and unbeatable flavor and texture.

Ultimately it's up to you to decide which is right for your meal plan or diet goals. But it's important to note that both provide valuable nutrients that support overall health, yet with just a few extra calories and good fats, chicken tenders deliver flavor like no other. Whether you choose chicken tenderloin or chicken breast, you can always enjoy a delicious meal!

You can find a simple nutritional breakdown for one portion of chicken tenderloins (4 oz.) VS the same amount of chicken breasts below.


What to Serve with Chicken Tenders

Chicken tenders are a classic favorite, especially when whipping up a quick, foolproof meal for the family or preparing meals for large groups. Whether you’re looking for a kid-friendly dinner or a leisurely lunch option, chicken tenders are always sure to please. Chicken tenders can make for a delicious and flavorful meal when served with the right side dishes.

In fact, we have compiled a list of 15 types of side dishes with many recipes for chicken tenders for you too!

  • Salads are an excellent accompaniment for chicken tenders as they provide plenty of crunchy texture and brighten the plate. A simple green salad topped with shredded carrots and croutons pairs nicely with the mild flavor of the chicken.

    For those who prefer something heartier, a grain-based salad like quinoa tabouleh offers great taste alongside the chicken while still packing plenty of nutrients.

  • Classic crispy fries. For a comforting side dish everyone will love, try serving chicken tenders alongside homemade fries. Try adding herbs like parsley or rosemary for added flavor to take your fries up a notch.
  • Pasta. If you’re looking for something more substantial than salads and fries, cheesy pasta bakes, like mac and cheese, make great sides to serve with chicken tenders. Baked macaroni and cheese is an old favorite that never goes out of style.
  • Roasted vegetables bring plenty of color and texture to your table. Roasted potatoes or Brussels sprouts tossed in garlic butter are delicious when served alongside crispy fried chicken tenderloins!

With so many different ways to make chicken tenderloins – and an even larger variety of delicious flavors that can be added – it's no wonder why this versatile cut of poultry remains one of the most popular items in a home cook's kitchen.

So let's start discovering all the amazing things you can do with tasty and succulent chicken tenders and dive into our recipe ideas.

Fried Chicken Tenderloin Recipes

If you're a classic southern-style comfort food fan, there's nothing quite like fried chicken tenderloins to hit the spot. This delicious dish combines crunchy breading with juicy, tender chicken that can be served as a main course or an appetizer - it's up to you!

1. Buttermilk Chicken Tenders


Buttermilk Chicken Tenders

SideChef Everyday

These buttermilk chicken tenders are a classic and easy chicken tenderloin recipe that the whole family will love. They are extra crispy and juicy and only require a few simple ingredients. Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce or any side from our list above!

2. Crispy Chicken Tenders


Crispy Chicken Tenders

In the Kitchen with Jonny

This is a slightly classier and more seasoned version of your typical chicken fingers. Try these if you want more spice and kick to your taste buds.

3. Chicken and Waffles


Southern Style Chicken and Waffles

Garlic & Zest

If you like buttermilk fried chicken tenders and cornmeal waffles, then Southern-Style Chicken and Waffles are for you! This sweet and savory recipe for fried chicken and waffles is simple and beyond delicious! It's a fantastic indulging weekend lunch to make for your loved ones!

4. Korean Fried Chicken Strips with Gochujang Aioli


Korean Fried Chicken Strips with Gochujang Aioli


Have you heard of the famous Korean chili paste
Gochujang? If this is the first time you hear about it, do yourself a favor and immediately check out this fantastic umami-packed ingredient!

These crispy deep-fried tenderloins are marinated in a spicy sauce, adding to their incredible taste, and served with a tangy homemade gochujang aioli. We used Chung Jung One's Gochujang Korean Chili Sauce for a real authentic flavor. Trust us; you will not be sorry!

5. Pan Fried Chicken Fingers


Homemade Pan Fried Chicken Fingers

Olive and Artisan

It doesn't get more classic and comforting than these pan-fried chicken fingers. The ultimate comfort food. Easier than you think and taste like they’re from a restaurant.

Baked Chicken Tenderloin Recipes

Are you looking for less oily recipes with this protein-packed ingredient? Then baked chicken tenders are a fool-proof choice with endless possibilities.

Whether you're searching for tender, juicy flavor or bold seasonings that pack an unforgettable punch, these recipes feature all the variety needed to spice up your mealtime routine. Plus -they make clean-up afterward easy too!

6. Baked Chicken Fingers


Baked "Fried" Chicken Fingers


Nobody could say no to a basketful of hot, golden, crispy, and succulent fried chicken. This version is slightly healthier and less oily but not in the least less yummy!

7. Baked Orange Chicken


Orange Chicken

Picture The Recipe

This isn't your typical orange chicken - it's seasoned to perfection and baked in the oven! You won't order Chinese takeout again once you try this recipe!

8. Chicken Crepes


Chicken Crepes

Where Your Treasure Is

These savory crepes are the ultimate crowd-pleaser and versatile enough to serve as an easy lunch entrée or an elegant brunch item. And each heavenly bite is filled with a medley of creaminess, crunchiness, and flavor, making it delicious enough to have you all return for more.

Our recipe is a flavorful reminder of home-cooked comfort food that's sure to please everyone. Starting with chunks of succulent chicken, we add creamy mushrooms with hints of onions and peas for an extra layer of rich flavor.

9. Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders with Ranch Dressing


Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders with Ranch Dressing

Domesticate Me

These baked chicken fingers are all kinds of epic. They're the juiciest, most insanely flavorful buffalo tenders you've ever had. The awesomeness is mainly due to the chicken tenders being marinated in ranch dressing, so each fiery bite has a tangy ranch baked in.

10. Baked Parmesan Chicken


Baked Parmesan Chicken

Simon at SideChef

Chicken tenderloins are breaded with flavorful crumbs, herbs, and Parmesan cheese, then baked for the easiest, quickest chicken dish ever.

11. Potato Chip Crusted Baked Chicken


Chip Crusted Baked Chicken

Jeanie and Lulu's Kitchen

This is a beautiful recipe with chicken tenders breaded in crispy potato chips. They're baked to perfection for dinner the whole family will love!

12. Parmesan Cous Cous Crusted Chicken Strips


Parmesan Cous Cous Crusted Chicken Strips

One Pot Chef Show

Parmesan Cous Cous Crusted Chicken Strips is a hassle-free meal. Our delicious recipe is easy to make and sure to please everyone around the table.
The secret is in the texture: the crunchy, crusted coating holds up perfectly during cooking and seals in all those unique flavors. Enjoy our Parmesan Cous Cous Crusted Chicken Strips as a main dish, or cut into more petite strips and serve as finger food at your next party.

13. Baked Cheddar Chicken


Baked Cheddar Chicken

Betty's Kitchen

The Baked Cheddar Chicken Tenderloins recipe is a crowd-pleasing meal that you and your family will love! It's the perfect comfort food for those cozy nights at home or delightful lunches with friends.

Easy Chicken Tenderloin Recipes

If you are looking for something quick and easy but don't want to settle for the most obvious dishes, this chicken tenderloin recipe section is for you!

Do you know the secret to perfectly cooked chicken tenderloins? It's easier than you might think! With these easy chicken tenderloin recipes, even novice home cooks can prepare flavorful, healthy meals in no time. Whether you prefer grilled, roasted, or pan-seared tenders, we've got some surefire methods for creating deliciousness from common pantry ingredients with minimal prep.

14. Chicken with Cashew Nuts


Chicken with Cashew Nuts

Wok & Skillet

This is a quick, easy and tasty meal. The sauce has so much depth of flavor. The chicken is moist and tender. The best part about it is that it just takes minutes to prepare—no need to marinate. You can make this dish with chicken thighs or chicken tenders.

15. Buffalo Chicken Wrap


Baked Buffalo Chicken Wrap

Chef Savvy

Calling all buffalo chicken diehard fans! We've taken all of the classic, amazing flavors you love and made them even better. With juicy chicken tenders lightly coated in delicious panko breadcrumbs, this wrap is an easy way to satisfy your buffalo chicken cravings while still being light and flavorful. The crispy and crunchy texture makes it perfect for lunch or dinner any day of the week.

16. Balsamic Chicken Tenders


Balsamic Chicken

Simon at SideChef

A sweet, tangy balsamic vinegar marinade gives these pan-fried chicken tenderloins flavor and color. They are perfect over a bed of your favorite greens!

17. Chicken, Broccoli, and Cheddar Risotto


Chicken, Broccoli, and Cheddar Risotto

Jeanie and Lulu's Kitchen

It seems fancy, but it is so comforting and easy to make you can easily add this dish to your weekly rotation.

18. Buffalo Chicken Tacos


Buffalo Chicken Tacos

Mama Gourmand

Buffalo Chicken Tacos has quick and easy buffalo marinade flavoring chicken tenders wrapped in soft tortillas and topped with creamy blue cheese and cilantro slaw. Yum!

19. Chicken Curry Delight


Granny's Chicken Curry Delight

The Devilish Kitchen

This is one of the easiest comforting meals you can make using chicken tenders. It comes together in just under half an hour and is a foolproof way to have everyone's bellies full and happy.

20. Spicy Caribbean Chicken Wrap


Spicy 'Nduja Chicken Wrap

Mi Terruño Food

Succulent chicken pieces stir-fried with spicy and smoked Calabrian Nduja wrapped in a Mexican tortilla with creamy avocado, zesty lime, and sweet tomatoes.

21. Chicken Quesadilla


Chicken Quesadilla

Food Guru

If you got any leftover chicken from other meals you made during the week, this quesadilla is a surefire idea to put to good use.

22. Loaded Fried Chicken Curry Tacos


Loaded Fried Chicken Curry Tacos

Climbing Grier Mountain

Homemade chicken tacos in less than 30 minutes? Yes, please! Make these for your next taco Tuesday!

Keto Friendly Healthy Chicken Tenderloin Recipe Ideas

Are you looking for delicious and healthy chicken tenders that will still fit into your keto lifestyle? Not only are these ideas healthier than your average fried chicken, but they're also quite simple to prepare and make great meals for lunch or dinner.

23. Healthy Baked Chicken Tenders with Baked French Fries


Kids Chicken Tenders with Baked French Fries


Imagine a moist breaded chicken cutlet; now imagine it kid friendly. We present you with our Chicken Tenders. Why should adults be the only ones to enjoy fresh, wholesome ingredients homemade with a bit of love and a lot of goodness?

24. Keto Chicken Nachos


Keto Chicken 'Nachos'

The Skinny Fork

These Chicken 'Nachos' are more of Chicken 'Not-Chos' since no chips are involved here. Instead, the entire nacho is based on the pieces of chicken themselves. Once these 'nachos' are cooked, they are loaded with plenty of cheesy goodness and even some chives to really get that nacho look and feel!

25. Crispy Keto Chicken Tenders


Crispy "Breaded" Chicken Tenders


This Keto Chicken Tenders recipe is the best low-carb breaded chicken tenders you will ever have! Crunchy, flavorful, and gluten-free, these low-carb and keto-friendly “breaded” chicken tenders hold up just as well with all your favorite dipping sauces as their higher-carb counterparts do. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.

26. Garlic Chicken Stir Fry


Garlic Chicken Stir Fry

Scarlett Wang at SideChef

This quick and easy Garlic Chicken Stir Fry dish features tender chicken strips and fresh green veggies coated in delicious, flavorful Asian-style garlic sauce. It goes well with rice or noodles on the side. Whether a busy weeknight or a lazy weekend night, this one-skillet dinner fits all kinds of situations.

27. Almond Crusted Chicken and Veggies


Almond Crusted Chicken and Veggies

Cotter Crunch

This kid-friendly, healthy chicken dinner is sure to be a favorite. When you are short on time to prepare a healthy dinner, making a sheet pan meal like this is an absolute dream! Not only will you save time cooking the meal, but you can also do the prep work ahead.

28. Grilled Chicken Salad


Grilled Chicken Salad

Cooking with Tovia

A simple, delicious, and healthy Grilled Chicken Salad is the perfect no-fuss solution for anyone trying to eat healthily.

29. Lemon Chicken Strips


Straccetti di Pollo (Lemon Chicken Strips)

The Fit Mediterranean

A classic Italian dish - Straccetti di Pollo - was slightly revised to make it healthier and leaner. We replaced beef with organic chicken and flour with tapioca starch to make it Paleo-friendly, healthier, and much lighter!

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