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What to Do With Chicken Tenderloins?

Last Updated on February 24, 2024 by Lauren Beck

Chicken tenderloins are a versatile and tasty protein that can be cooked in various ways. Whether you’re seeking a simple and fast meal or a more elaborate dish, there are numerous possibilities to choose from.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what chicken tenderloins are, the difference between chicken breast and chicken tenderloins, and some of the best recipes to try.

What are Chicken Tenderloins?

Chicken tenderloins are a thin strip of meat that runs along the underside of a chicken breast. They are often sold separately from the rest of the chicken and are considered a premium cut due to their tenderness and delicate flavor. Chicken tenderloins are usually sold pre-packaged and are available at most grocery stores.

18 Best Chicken Tenderloin Recipes

  1. Lemon Garlic Chicken Tenderloins – Marinate the chicken in a mixture of lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and herbs before baking in the oven.
  2. Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders – Coat the chicken in breadcrumbs and bake until crispy for a healthier version of fried chicken.
  3. Teriyaki Chicken Tenderloins – A sweet and savory sauce made from soy sauce, honey, and ginger, simmered with the chicken.
  4. Chicken Tenders with Creamy Parmesan Sauce – A rich and flavorful sauce made from heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, and herbs that’s perfect for dipping.
  5. Spicy Cajun Chicken Tenders – Coat the chicken in a mixture of Cajun spices and bake for a spicy kick.
  6. Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders – A simple honey mustard glaze made with Dijon mustard, honey, and spices.
  7. Chicken Tenders with Tomatoes and Basil – Bake the chicken with cherry tomatoes and basil for a fresh and flavorful dish.
  8. Chicken Tenderloins with a Peanut Sauce – A spicy and creamy sauce made with peanut butter, soy sauce, and chili paste.
  9. Sweet and Sour Chicken Tenders – A classic Chinese dish made with a sweet and tangy sauce and crispy chicken.
  10. Chicken Tenderloins with Mushroom Sauce – A rich and savory sauce made from sautéed mushrooms and herbs.
  11. Chicken Tenderloins with a Honey Dijon Mustard Sauce – A tangy and sweet sauce made with Dijon mustard, honey, and herbs.
  12. Chicken Tenderloins with a Sweet Chili Sauce – A sweet and spicy sauce made with chili sauce and honey, perfect for dipping.
  13. Chicken Tenderloins with a Tangy Yogurt Sauce – A light and refreshing sauce made from Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and herbs.
  14. Chicken Tenders with a Crunchy Panko Crust – Coat the chicken in Panko breadcrumbs for a crunchy texture.
  15. Chicken Tenderloins with Garlic Butter – Sauté the chicken with garlic and butter for a simple and flavorful dish.
  16. Grilled Chicken Tenders with BBQ Sauce – Grill the chicken with a tangy BBQ sauce for a summertime favorite.
  17. Baked Chicken Tenderloins – A classic baked chicken dish made with simple seasonings and herbs.
  18. Chicken Tenderloins with Lemon and Rosemary – A fragrant and flavorful dish made with lemon, rosemary, and garlic.

Chicken Breast VS Chicken Tenderloin

Chicken breast and chicken tenderloin are not the same thing. Chicken breast is a larger cut of meat that is usually sold in whole or half portions. It is often used in a variety of dishes due to its versatility and is considered a lean protein. 

Chicken tenderloins, on the other hand, are smaller and more tender, making them ideal for quick-cooking methods such as grilling or sautéing. They are also more flavorful and often used as an ingredient in sauces and marinades.

What to Serve with Chicken Tenders?

homemade Creamy Garlic Chicken Tenders
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Grilled corn on the cob
  • Roasted potatoes
  • Steamed rice
  • Quinoa or other grain
  • Salad greens
  • Baked sweet potatoes
  • Sauteed mushrooms and onions

Are Chicken Tenderloins Healthy?

Yes, chicken tenderloins are considered a healthy choice. They are low in fat and calories and are a good source of protein, which helps to build and repair muscles. Chicken tenderloins are also a good source of essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12 and phosphorus.

Do I Need to Clean Chicken Tenderloins Before Cooking?

Yes, it’s important to clean chicken tenderloins before cooking to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Raw chicken can contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella, so it’s important to wash your hands, utensils, and cutting boards thoroughly after handling raw chicken [1]. To clean chicken tenderloins, rinse them under running water and pat them dry with paper towels.


Chicken tenderloins are a delicious and versatile type of meat that can be prepared in many different ways. From baking to grilling to sautéing, there are many delicious and healthy recipes that you can make with chicken tenderloins. Whether you prefer a classic baked chicken tenderloin, a spicy cajun-style dish, or a tangy yogurt sauce, there is something for everyone. When preparing chicken tenderloins, be sure to clean them thoroughly to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. With its tender texture and delicate flavor, chicken tenderloins are a great option for any meal. So why not try them today and see for yourself why they’re a favorite among many home cooks.


Lauren Beck
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