26 Chicken Tenderloin Recipes You Can Try

Chicken, like any other meat, has different parts. These parts vary in tenderness, flavor, calories, nutritional count, sodium content, and texture.

You have probably never heard of the chicken tenderloin, and if you have, you might be a bit confused about what makes it different from the chicken breasts. Therefore, what exactly is the chicken tenderloin?

What is chicken tenderloin?

Chicken tenderloin is a premium chicken cut that is semi-circular in shape. It is found attached at the bottom of the bone-in chicken breast.

Do not confuse the tenderloin with tender. Tender refers to the meat from the chicken breast, while the tenderloin is a specific part attached to the breast. 

raw Chicken Tenderloin

However, you will find so many recipes online confusing these two words, therefore do not be confused if you realize I have listed some of the recipes with the word tender instead of tenderloins. 

Tenderloin separates easily from the chicken breast. That is why, when you buy boneless chicken breasts, you will food it missing as this is usually sold as an independent cut.

Also, it is relatively more expensive than chicken breast. This is because it is more tender, fattier, and flavourful. 

Check here on more differences and information on chicken tenderloin vs. chicken breast.

Why is it called chicken tenderloin?

Chicken tenderloin is a word obtained from two words, tender and loin. It is called tender because it is tender. It is a muscle that is found at the bottom of the breast bone.

This muscle is buried below most of the muscles that are often used. This means it is hardly ever used, hence the tenderness.

The word loin in chicken tenderloin originates from the description of loin. Loin refers to the meat along the backbone. This translates to the meat found attached to the chicken breast bone since it extends from the backbone.

Not every cut of a chicken can be cooked using the same recipe. That is why it is ideal to know the different cuts of a chicken. So, if you love tender, flavourful chicken, here are some recipes that you can use to cook your chicken tenderloins. Enjoy.

  1. Easy Blackened Chicken Tenderloins
  2. Whole30 + Keto Spicy Chicken Tenders
  3. Parmesan Ranch Baked Chicken Tenders
  4. Super Easy Marinated Baked Chicken Tenders
  5. Easy Baked Salsa Chicken
  6. Easy Parmesan Chicken Tenderloins
  7. Air Fried Buffalo Chicken Strips: Healthy Comfort Food
  8. Air Fryer Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenderloins
  9. Honey Garlic Chicken Tenders
  10. Chicken Penne Pasta
  11. Chicken Scampi with Garlic Parmesan Rice
  12. Lemon Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes
  13. Garlic Butter Chicken Tenders
  14. Crispy Parmesan Chicken Tenderloins & Garlic Pasta
  15. Grilled Cajun Chicken
  16. Copycat Cracker Barrel Grilled Chicken Tenderloins
  17. Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken 
  18. Lemon Pepper Chicken Tenderloins (bake)
  19. Oven Broiled Garlic Chicken Tenders
  20. Juicy and Tender chicken Tenderloin Roast
  21. Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders Recipe
  22. Baked Cajun Chicken Tenders 
  23. Baked BBQ Chicken Tenders
  24. Crack Chicken Tenders – Plain Chicken
  25. Chicken Parmesan Casserole
  26. Creamy Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe

Healthy chicken tenderloin recipes

1.  Easy Blackened Chicken Tenderloins
Blackened chicken tenderloin is an easy, healthy yet flavourful meal. It tastes so good and would be perfect when having guests over dinner. You can also make it on a weekday lunch or dinner when you have so much work to do.

This blackened chicken tenderloins will be ready in a few minutes. Unlike chicken breasts that are tough and bouncy when you cook, the tenderloins are soft and juicy. You can enjoy the blackened chicken tenderloins at any time of the day with a side of broccoli or your favorite vegetable salad.

The dish is spicy, but you can go easy on the chili powder and black pepper. The trick to having a flavourful blackened chicken tenderloin is in the seasoning. Season your chicken as per the recipe if you are a beginner. However, if you are a pro in the kitchen, you can go the extra mile and be more creative by adding your favorite spices and herbs.

Serve while hot.

2.Whole30 + Keto Spicy Chicken Tenders

I love my food spicy. I find foods that are not spicy quite bland. Spicy spells well on a chicken too. Therefore this is another fantastic recipe in my books. The chicken is tender because you will use tenderloins to make them. They are juicy and perfectly spicy on the inside. The outside is crispy, bringing a fantastic contrasting texture with every bite.

Serve your chicken tender with ranch sauce to use for dipping.

4. Parmesan Ranch Baked Chicken Tenders

This is a yummy and healthy dish. It is perfect when you are on a keto diet. It is low carb and is cooked without breadcrumbs or flour. So if you are looking for a meal that will make your guests rave and praise your cooking, look no further.

Parmesan ranch baked chicken tenders is an easy five ingredients recipe. You can make it on a  weeknight since it only takes 40 minutes to prep and cooks it, with 30 minutes of that time being spent in the oven. 

Serve this crunchy and flavourful baked chicken tenders with your favorite dipping sauce.

Easy chicken tenderloin recipes

3. Super Easy Marinated Baked Chicken Tenders

This marinated baked chicken tender is an easy recipe. The steps are straightforward, and it will take you just a few minutes to make it. The result is tender, juicy baked chicken tenderloins. This recipe is kids friendly; therefore, the whole family will enjoy it.

For full flavor, marinate it a few hours in advance. You can still enjoy these marinated baked chicken tenders by marinating them two days in advance. Then, thread the chicken in bamboo skewers. This is an exciting way for kids to eat the chicken as they will not need to use a fork and knife or touch the chicken.

Enjoy it hot with mashed potatoes, salad, or noodles.

4. Easy Baked Salsa Chicken

This is an easy-baked salsa chicken recipe that is tender, juicy, and divine.  It is baked on cheese on a fresh tomato salsa bed. It is low-carb and keto-friendly, making it perfect for when you are on a diet. The cheese makes it creamier and loaded with flavor.

Enjoy with your side dish of choice.

5. Easy Parmesan Chicken Tenderloins 

These are breaded chicken tenderloins that have a mozzarella and sauce topping. It is a kid-friendly recipe that the adult members of your family and friends will enjoy too. It looks ravishing, and I couldn’t help myself to some bite while preparing it.

These tenderloins are heavenly. They are juicy, and the cheese and sauce make them more flavourful. You can use seasoned breadcrumbs if you like to enhance the flavor. 

Serve hot as a main meal or enjoy it as a snack.

Air fryer chicken tenders

6. Air Fried Buffalo Chicken Strips: Healthy Comfort Food

Fried buffalo chicken strips are yummy. But they are not healthy because of the lots of fats and oil it is subjected to during cooking. However, you can still enjoy your favorite buffalo chicken stripes with this recipe. It is a healthier alternative ad all you need is an air fryer.

It is low carb, and you can skip the panko crumbs to make it healthier and paleo. Every bite of this chicken is a  bite of heaven. It tastes so good; you would never prepare your chicken tenderloins any other way.

When ready, give it a few minutes to cool down a bit and serve with your favorite dipping sauce and salad.

7. Air Fryer Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenderloins

What makes this recipe unique is how the chicken remains moist and juicy even after air frying it. This is a yummy variation of making chicken and should be your go-to method if you are tired of your usual chicken preparation method.

The air-fried cracker barrel chicken tenderloins are tasty and savory. Happily, your children will keep asking for a second serving every time you make this recipe. If you want the optimal flavor, ensure you let your chicken marinate for an hour in lime juice, salt, garlic, honey, pepper, and Italian dressing.

Serve while hot.

Stir fry chicken tenders

8. Honey Garlic Chicken Tenders

Nothing tastes better than sticky chicken bites, and these sticky chicken tenders are not an exception. The sauce is flavourful with enough garlic, honey, hot sauce, and soy sauce. You might want to avoid the hot sauce if you have small kids. But, it will still taste as good.

You can enjoy this delicious, finger-licking tasty dish over plain rice or cauliflower rice if you are on a diet.

9. Chicken Penne Pasta

Anything with bacon? Count me in. That is why I got excited when I came across this recipe. This is an easy recipe to make. It is delicious, aromatic and the taste of the fresh Garlic Tomato Parmesan cream sauce is out of this world. It will take you close to half an hour to prepare it, making it a good, weeknight dinner option.

10. Chicken Scampi with Garlic Parmesan Rice

If you are of Italian descent, you might have been lucky to enjoy this meal growing up. Scampi refers to small lobsters that are common in Atlantic North  Africa and the Mediterranian.

The rice has a rich flavor and will taste like rice you have eaten in a Japanese restaurant. Instead of scampi, you can use shrimp since scampi might not be available in your nearby grocery store.

This recipe will need quite a several ingredients and a cook time of at least 35 minutes. Therefore, I will suggest enjoying it on the weekend over brunch.

Enjoy this butter, garlic parmesan rice with chicken scampi with a side of your choice.

11. Lemon Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes

This is a simple one-pot meal. It consists of chicken tenders, artichoke, creamy lemon sauce, and fresh spinach. It should be your go-to meal if you have kids who do not like eating vegetables. This delicious meal will trick them into eating healthy vegetables, and better, enjoy it.

The cook time is only 15 minutes. Therefore you can enjoy it any day of the week, at any time. Ensure you only use fresh vegetables for the fresh flavors.

Serve hot.

12. Garlic Butter Chicken Tenders

Chicken has to be the best and healthiest meat ever existed, well that and fish, but today is all about chicken. This garlic butter chicken tenders are so delicious and juicy. It is easy to fix and can be enjoyed even on the busiest nights.

You might be confused by the name since chicken tenders are not tenderloin. But when you look at the recipe, you will realize that this is a tenderloin recipe. 

Do not be shy with the garlic. The more the garlic, the more flavourful it will be. Use the seasoning as you desire too. The resulting dish will be a mouthwatering dish that will taste just as good as it looks.

Serve it with your favorite and some fries, or if you are eating clean, a vegetable salad and zucchini rice.

13. Crispy Parmesan Chicken Tenderloins & Garlic Pasta

One of the perks of being a busy mom your family can enjoy takeout as often as possible without feeling judged. However, sometimes you want to surprise your family with an excellent, homemade dish. But since you are a busy mom, you need to know some of the easiest but still fancy recipes that you can fix in no time. Here is one of them.

This is easy to fix yet such a delicious dish. Crispy Parmesan Chicken Tenderloins & Garlic Pasta is great for a busy weeknight, and I guarantee you, it is so addictive it will soon become your favorite dinner meal. The chicken tenderloins are crunchy, and the pasta is garlicky with little oil and no cream.

Sprinkle some red chili flakes to spice up your tenderloins. This recipe works for all chicken cuts. Therefore if you do not have tenderloins, you can still enjoy this dish with chicken breasts or thighs.

Add some herbs like thyme or basil to the pasta to make it more flavourful.

Grilled chicken tenders

14. Grilled Cajun Chicken

Grilled cajun chicken is a mother of flavors. Every bite is bliss, and I have never tasted a more flavorful chicken.  It has a mix of different flavors all at once. It is spicy, smoky, savory with a bit of tanginess warped up with the delicious cajun taste. This should be your go-to meal the next time you are hosting.

You can choose to panfry your cajun chicken, but it would be better if you grilled it on a charcoal griller to get the delicious smoky aroma. The smoky grill will bring out more the bold flavors of cajun than a pan.

Marinate your cajun chicken with some sliced lime and enjoy.

15. Copycat Cracker Barrel Grilled Chicken Tenderloins

Cracker barrel’s chicken ranks on my top five list of super delicious chicken.  They are sweet and flavourful. So coming across this recipe was exciting.

Recrecreating the cracker barrel grilled chicken tenderloins is an exciting endeavor that I believe you will enjoy too. The result is a delicious, sticky, and mouthwatering dish.

Serve with sweet potatoes and mushrooms.

16. Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken 

Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken is a sweet and savory dish that would be perfect for brunch or dinner during the summer.  The aroma from rosemary sprigs and the tanginess of the lemon juice makes it one of the most flavourful tenderloin recipes.

You will cook the tenderloins quickly on a grill. Your kids will love this chicken, I guarantee you.

Serve hot with a side of green vegetables.

Baked chicken tenderloin recipes

17. Lemon Pepper Chicken Tenderloins (bake)

I love straightforward recipes, and this is one of the simplest Lemon Pepper Chicken Tenderloins recipes I have ever come across. I jokingly call it the lemon pepper recipe for the lazy people with my friends. It is so easy to make and is perfect for salad toppers. 

Like most meat dishes, the secret is in the seasonings. Ensure you give it ample time to marinate. At least 2 hours, but marinating overnight would be perfect. The result would be a flavourful and savory dish. 

Serve it hot on top of the salad. I also enjoy it as a main meal with a bowl of rice and soup on the side. 

18. Oven Broiled Garlic Chicken Tenders

Oven broiled garlic chicken tenders are an incredibly delicious, tender, flavorful, and juicy meal.  This recipe will change your life forever. This will soon become your favorite 20 minutes chicken to make. 

Every bite is heavenly and a burst of flavor. Serve the oven-broiled garlic chicken tenders on salads.

19. Juicy and Tender chicken Tenderloin Roast

Would a holiday be a holiday without a roast? Switch things up a little next holiday, and put away your beef or turkey roast recipe. It is time to try out this heavenly recipe that would leave you and your family licking your fingers.

The chicken tenderloin roast is delicious, with lots of complex flavors. Every bite is heavenly, juicy, and tender. You can choose to glaze it with some honey and garlic and add some spices and herbs.  

20. Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders Recipe 

This is another recipe for busy people or people who do not like to spend a lit of time in the kitchen.  It is another quick recipe that will no less yield a delicious bacon-wrapped chicken tender.

The ingredients list is short and is very accessible. You need the tenderloins, some bacon(which I believe are in your fridge), and some condiments in your pantry. I call this my meat fiesta. Chicken and bacon? Absolute heaven.

The wrapped chicken tenders are divine. It is juicy, and the texture is just right. You can add some cheese slices before wrapping it with bacon if you are a fan of cheese. Delicious!

21. Baked Cajun Chicken Tenders 

This is a slight variation to the grilled cajun chicken. It is perfect for winter when using a charcoal grill might be tricky. The result is a juicy, tender, flavourful and delicious chicken. 

Preparing baked cajun chicken tenders is fast, and it will be ready in 20 minutes. This makes it my go-to chicken for dinner whenever I am having a busy night.

22. Baked BBQ Chicken Tenders

This baked BBQ chicken tenders are full of flavor. First, they are perfectly seasoned and then baked. Finally, they are brushed with bbq sauce. Easy peasy, right?

Serve them for dinner, with a side of green vegetables and jasmine rice.

23. Crack Chicken Tenders – Plain Chicken

Crack chicken tenders are such a vibe. These are seasoned with ranch making them more flavourful. They are heavenly, and your guests will love them. Additionally, they are easy to make therefore you will not have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing them.  

Prepare with a side of ranch dressing, and use it as a dipping sauce.

24. Chicken Parmesan Casserole

This is an easy chicken parmesan casserole recipe. All you need are some chicken tenderloins and a few ingredients. If you do not have the chicken tenderloins, you can use leftover rotisserie chicken or stripped chicken breasts.

Add in some cheese, then thrown in some pasta. That’s it. How easy is that?

You can prepare this meal for guests, and gratefully you can prepare it two days in advance and store it in the fridge. 

Serve it with your favorite side dish. 

25. Creamy Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe

I love casseroles. I grew up enjoying different types of casseroles that my grandmother enjoyed making, and I am raising my kids the same way. This creamy ranch chicken casserole has been my all-time favorite. It is warm and comforting. Perfect after a long week at work.

It is simple to make, and the ingredients are easily accessible. It is flavourful. Every bite is a creamy bliss. 

For the toppings, you can use your favorite casserole toppings. I suggest Ritz crackers if you are a beginner, but you can also use soda crackers, corn flakes, french fried onions, or club crackers. Remember, the best topping is one that’s crunchy and buttery.

Serve hot, with butter rice.


Chicken tenderloins have to be the most delicious cut in a chicken. It is flavourful and tender, healthy, and quite affordable. The recipes above bring the most out of the chicken tenderloin. Try them, and soon it will become your favorite chicken cut.


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