Easy Marinated Grilled Chicken Tenders

Grilled Chicken Tenders

 dsnyder427 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 4 servings

These easy chicken tenders are marinated in Caesar salad dressing, and then they're grilled or broiled to perfection. Use a charcoal or gas grill or a tabletop indoor grill or stovetop grill pan. The chicken can also be broiled in the oven. The chicken tenders are flavored nicely with a Caesar dressing marinade and some simple seasonings. See the tips for a quick and easy homemade Caesar dressing substitute.

Chicken tenders are usually breaded and fried or baked, but this version is much lighter. They're lower in fat and carbs, and the marinade keeps them juicy and full of flavor. You could even use a low-fat Caesar dressing to reduce the fat content even more. The recipe could also be made with boneless chicken breasts instead of tenders. If you use chicken breast halves, pound them gently to a uniform thickness so they will cook evenly. Alternatively, you could cut the chicken breasts into strips about 1 inch in width.

Serve the chicken tenders with hot boiled rice or potatoes and your family's favorite side vegetables. These chicken tenders would make a fabulous topper for a Caesar salad, tossed green salad, or a classic Greek salad. The chicken tenders make delicious sandwiches as well.


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken tenderloins
  • 1/2 cup Caesar salad dressing (creamy or homemade, see below)
  • Optional: dash garlic powder (if extra garlic flavor is desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion (or a few teaspoons minced fresh onion)
  • Dash freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large, nonreactive bowl or resealable food storage bag, combine the chicken tenders with the creamy Caesar salad dressing, garlic powder (if using), basil, onion, and pepper. Seal or cover and refrigerate the chicken for 1 to 2 hours.

  3. Preheat the grill or broiler. (If broiling, position the rack about 4 inches from the heat source.) Oil the grill grate or rack of the broiler pan. 

  4. Grill or broil the chicken tenders for about 5 to 8 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned and thoroughly cooked.


    According to the USDA, the minimum safe temperature for chicken is 165 F (73.9 C). If in doubt, check for doneness with an instant-read food thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a few of the chicken pieces.

  5. Serve and enjoy!

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.

Recipe Variation

  • For a quick homemade substitute for the Caesar dressing, combine 3 cloves of mashed garlic with 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons of vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 1/4 cup of olive oil, and lemon juice, to taste. Whisk to blend thoroughly and add it to the chicken tenders.