15 Best Chicken Tender Recipes

The Perfect Solution for a Quick Weeknight Meal

Beer-Battered Chicken Strips

The Spruce

Whether oven-baked, fried, grilled, or smothered in sauce, there is something nostalgic about tender, delicious strips of chicken. Make one of these recipes for a casual weeknight meal, or an irresistible snack, with our best, easy chicken tender recipes.

  • 01 of 15

    Spicy Fried Chicken Tenders

    Spicy Fried Chicken Tenders

    Diana Rattray

    Creole seasoning adds a flavor boost, and a delicious kick of heat, to boneless chicken tenders. Add the seasoning mix both to your buttermilk marinade, and the pre-frying flour dredge for chicken. The result is juicy, crackling, spicy chicken strips that are perfect for munching at game day events.

  • 02 of 15

    Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

    Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

    The Spruce/Leah Maroney

    Crispy chicken fingers with a moist and tender inside, and no messy splatters on your stove, can be yours with this life-changing recipe. All you need are a few common pantry ingredients, plus chicken, and an air fryer. A surprise marinade ingredient (it's pickle juice!) provides a ton of flavor, and locks in moisture.

  • 03 of 15

    Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders

    Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders

    Brian Macdonald/Getty Images

    Wow your family with these restaurant-style chicken fingers. There is no mess from frying, with this oven-baked version that is succulent and tasty, with an awesomely crunchy coating just like the fast-food kind, but much healthier. Crushed garlic croutons are the secret to achieving that crispy crust kids and adults crave.

  • 04 of 15

    Grilled Chicken Tenders

    Grilled Chicken Tenders

    dsnyder427/iStock/Getty Images Plus

    Fire up the BBQ (or your oven broiler) to make these easy grilled chicken strips. This recipe skips the breading and frying, marinating the meat in store-bought Caesar salad dressing instead, for a lighter, low-carb chicken strip that doesn't skimp on juiciness or taste. Use to top salads, or serve with boiled potatoes and a side green veg for a complete family meal.

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  • 05 of 15

    Beer-Battered Chicken Strips

    Beer-Battered Chicken Strips

    The Spruce

    Golden, crunchy, beer-battered chicken strips are a game day staple. This fan-favorite recipe produces the fried chicken fingers of your dreams. All you need is beer, chicken, and a few ingredients that are probably in your pantry.

  • 06 of 15

    Quick and Easy Garlic Baked Chicken Fingers

    Quick and Easy Garlic Baked Chicken Fingers

    Diana Rattray

    Crunchy baked chicken strips with a garlicky coating are a healthier way to let your family enjoy chicken fingers. Serve them with oven-baked French fries, and a carrot-raisin salad, for a kid-friendly meal that is healthy and satisfying.

  • 07 of 15

    Gluten-Free Fried Chicken Tenders

    Gluten-Free Fried Chicken Tenders

    Brian Macdonald/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Is your family eating gluten-free? These easy, tasty, incredibly light and crunchy chicken tenders with a crunchy cereal coating, and dried spices for added flavor, are totally gluten-free, and taste just like your favorite childhood treat. Try the delicious breading recipe on fried fish, too!

  • 08 of 15

    Bacon and Cheddar Chicken Strips

    Bacon and Cheddar Chicken Strips

    Diana Rattray

    The addition of bacon and cheddar takes these easy chicken fingers over the top. Baked, breaded chicken tenders with an irresistible golden crumb that includes crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, and Panko bread crumbs are so unbelievably delicious, you won’t miss the fryer at all.

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  • 09 of 15

    Dominican Deep-Fried Chicken Tenders

    Dominican Deep-Fried Chicken Tenders

    bdcollins/123RF Stock Photo

    You'll love the mouth-watering Caribbean fusion flavors in these Dominican-style fried chicken tenders. Make them for a flavorful upgrade on the usual game day snack, marinating chicken in a savory garlic-soy-lime bath, before dredging it in seasoned flour, and deep-frying to perfection.

  • 10 of 15

    Chicken Tenders With Marsala Sauce

    Chicken Tenders With Marsala Sauce

    Diana Rattray

    Looking for a simple dinner you can make on busy weeknights? You need only 20 minutes to whip up a dish of chicken tenders smothered in a rich Marsala wine sauce, with juicy tomatoes. Mushrooms would make a great addition, if you have them on hand. Serve over rice, with a green side salad, for a complete, nutritious meal.

  • 11 of 15

    Spicy Sriracha Panko Chicken Fingers

    Spicy Sriracha Panko Chicken Fingers

    Diana Rattray

    Spicy Sriracha sauce makes a scrumptious coating for Panko-crusted chicken fingers. Bake them up in the oven for an easy after-school snack, or a weeknight family dinner with a salad, fries, and sweet-and-sour sauce for dipping.

  • 12 of 15

    Buffalo Chicken Strips

    Buffalo Chicken Strips

    Diana Rattray

    Buffalo chicken strips just like the kind you'd get at the pub are easy to make at home with this recipe. These are spicy and saucy enough to taste like a guilty pleasure, but with far less grease than the restaurant version, because you "fry" them in the oven. Serve with the included Buffalo aioli, or a blue cheese dip.

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  • 13 of 15

    Chicken Tender Piccata With Lemon and Parsley

    Chicken Strips Piccata With Lemon and Parsley

    Diana Rattray

    Chicken picatta is a classic, comforting Italian dish that cooks tender chicken pieces in a buttery, lemony sauce with briny capers. Serve it anytime you need a quick and elegant dish for entertaining, garnishing with fresh chopped parsley.

  • 14 of 15

    Spicy Cajun Chicken Strips

    Spicy Cajun Chicken Strips

    Diana Rattray

    You need only 4 ingredients to make these easy, spicy chicken strips. You marinate the chicken tenders in prepared hot pepper sauce, then roll them in Cajun-seasoned flour, before deep-frying. Serve with raw celery or carrot sticks, and a creamy, cooling dip.

  • 15 of 15

    Chicken Strips With Grits and Green Onions

    Chicken Strips With Grits and Green Onions

    Jason Loucas/Cafe Bistro Lunch/Getty Images

    Cook up a satisfying, down-home chicken dinner with this easy, Southern-style recipe. Use chicken tenders, or slice boneless, skinless chicken breasts into strips, and dust with seasoned flour, for browning in a skillet. Combine on plates with sauteed green onions and garlic, and hot cooked grits, for a warming weeknight meal.