33 Chicken Tenderloin Recipes for Speedy Dinners

For dinner tonight, whip up one of our quick and delicious chicken tenderloin recipes. You'll have a meal on the table in no time!

It’s smart to keep a pound or two of chicken tenderloins in the freezer, or cooked chicken in the fridge. This economical cut cooks up quickly and, as the following recipes prove, is full of possibilities. Of course, you’ll find lots of twists on beloved breaded chicken tenders, but we’ll take you way beyond with sandwiches, salads, tenders, stir-fries and more. Need something on the side? We’ve got you covered there too.

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Southern Fried Chicken Strips

There’s no shortage of ways to cook chicken tenderloins, but the most popular has to be crispy, crunchy chicken fingers. Use 1-1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder to make these chicken strips supremely irresistible.
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Sheet-Pan Pineapple Chicken Fajitas

Making fajitas in the oven instead of on the grill or stovetop helps you get dinner on the table in a flash, with a lot less mess. To make cleanup a breeze, line your sheet pans with heavy-duty aluminum foil first, or use truly nonstick cookware that needs little more than a quick rinse.
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Air-Fryer Nashville Hot Chicken

Nowhere near Nashville, but have a hankering for the city’s famous hot chicken? This recipe will bring an authentic taste of Music City directly to your kitchen, wherever it may be.
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Buffalo Chicken Tenders

For the best of Buffalo wings without the bones, make easy Buffalo chicken tenders instead. To keep your fingers clean, cut the chicken tenders into bite-size pieces before breading and frying. Then serve your Buffalo popcorn chicken with toothpicks.
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Dinner Poppers

Turn jalapeno poppers from an appetizer into a proper entree with this recipe for cheese-stuffed dinner poppers. Poblanos or bell peppers work well for milder palates; use spicier peppers if you like feeling the burn.
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Air-Fryer Everything Bagel Chicken Strips

Your Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning may not belong on everything, but it definitely belongs on these tasty chicken strips! If there isn’t a TJ’s nearby, you can find a similar seasoning at these stores.
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Chicken Piccata Pockets

You can enjoy chicken piccata just about anywhere you please when you make it portable! These are wonderful when hot out of the oven, but you can enjoy them cooled for a workplace lunch or in an elegant picnic basket.
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Baked Chicken with Bacon-Tomato Relish

Try something different with breaded chicken tenders—smother them with a fresh tomato relish that’s equal parts sweet, tart and smoky. You’ll want to serve this sauce again on grilled fish, pork chops or sandwiches, so double the recipe! Next, learn how to make panko chicken tenders.
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Air-Fryer Sweet Potato-Crusted Chicken Nuggets

Tired of the usual chicken nuggets? Give this version a whirl. It uses pulverized sweet potato chips to make a salty-sweet coating. For dipping, make a batch of spiced maple mustard or spice up ranch dressing with a spoonful of adobo from a can of chipotles.
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Taste of Home

Honey-Dijon Chicken Salad

This delightful main-dish salad has an easy dressing that lends a sweet-tangy flavor to the mix. You can follow the recipe as-is, or add in whatever healthy salad toppers you have on hand.

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Chicken and Shrimp Satay

Why choose between chicken or shrimp? You can have both! Marinated in a blend of garlic, green onions and citrus, and served with a tangy peanut sauce, this recipe packs an unbelievable amount of flavor onto every single skewer.
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Hoisin Chicken Wraps

This recipe is inspired by Vietnamese chicken banh mi, particularly the fresh carrot, cucumber and radish topping. With so much fresh flavor, color and crunch, this wrap is wonderful for a quick lunch or easy dinner.
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Grecian Chicken

The caper, tomato and olive flavors will whisk you away to the Greek isles in no time at all! Serve this with a big Greek salad on the side, plus plenty of salty feta cheese and a basket of homemade pita.
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Tex-Mex Chicken Strips

These chicken strips have serious crunch thanks to a coating make of crushed-up corn chips. If you like to dip chicken strips, use homemade guacamole, sour cream or ranch.

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Skillet Plum Chicken Tenders

For a dinner that’s deliciously different, saute chicken tenders with sliced fresh plums. The flavor explosion doesn’t stop with fruit—there’s sweet apple jelly, savory red onion, spicy gingerroot, soy sauce and a bright pop of acid from balsamic vinegar.
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Grilled Chicken Chopped Salad

Have a trifle bowl that’s gathering dust? Put it to with this chopped salad, which layers zesty chicken and crisp romaine lettuce with tender grilled vegetables. For extra texture, add a few layers of seasoned croutons.
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Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This recipe looks so stunning, it’s hard to believe the wraps come together in less than 30 minutes! You’ll love the spicy Asian flavors against the cool lettuce with the added crunch of peanuts and water chestnuts.
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Citrus-Honey Chicken

Oranges and chicken will always be a match made in heaven. In this easy recipe, chicken tenderloins are tossed in orange juice before being dredged in a breading spiked with orange zest. Add even more citrus flavor with a splash of freshly squeezed OJ in the warm honey butter sauce!
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Mango & Grilled Chicken Salad

This awesome fruity chicken salad is a weeknight standout, delivering a ton of big, bold flavor in a short amount of time. If you’d rather not use store-bought dressing, make your own raspberry vinaigrette at home.
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Crispy Sage Chicken Tenders

For a more grown-up take on crispy chicken tenders (and for a fun way to use up the bounty of a kitchen herb garden), this recipe loads up the breading with plenty of aromatic sage. If you don’t have fresh sage on hand, use dried or frozen herbs instead.
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Apricot Cranberry Chicken

Outside of chicken, olive oil and salt, you’ll only need five pantry ingredients to make this chicken dish. It simply explodes with autumn flavors, so serve with simple sides, like rice pilaf and an easy side salad.
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Crispy BBQ Chip Tenders

These crunchy potato chip-crusted chicken tenders are a whole lot of fun. If you have extra time, roast a head of garlic and add it to the sauce.
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Apple-Mustard Chicken Tenders

Have an excess of apples from an apple-picking trip? This five-ingredient recipe is a great way to put them to work. Use Granny Smith apples for a bit of tartness, though any cooking apple will work wonderfully.
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Buffalo Chicken Wraps with Bacon

This fuss-free meal combines tender chicken, tortillas, crunchy vegetables and spicy buffalo wing sauce. This 10 minute lunch can be served with chips, fries or even more veggies.
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Mexican Skillet Rice

This skillet dinner is colorful with just a bit of bite. The classic blend of Tex-Mex ingredients combined with the use of jarred salsas and peppers make it not only convenient but also a sure-fire hit.
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Basil-Lemon Chicken

This herby chicken sits on a bed of thin angel hair pasta for a light but satisfying dinner. The lemon-wine sauce can be doubled for a creamier dish.
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Chicken-Pepper Alfredo

This rich and creamy pasta uses jarred sauce for extra convenience. The roasted red pepper Alfredo sauce, bacon and mushrooms give the quick dinner a full flavor. The smokiness from the bacon really complements the seasoned chicken.
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Slow-Simmered Meat Ragu

After a day of simmering in the slow cooker, this ragu is not your typical spaghetti sauce. Full of pepperoni, sausage and tender braised chicken tenderloins, it’s almost like a stew, so feel free to skip the pasta!
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Seasoned Chicken Strips

These savory strips are designed for kids, but tasty enough for company. The tender strips are moist and juicy and would be great on top of a Caesar or kale salad.
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Lime-Ginger Chicken Tenders

Even if you’ve never cooked a single thing in your life, you can make this ultra-flavorful chicken dish and be completely blown away. All you need to do is toss chicken tenderloins in a baking dish with bold, simple ingredients like lime juice, cilantro and cumin, bake for 20 to 25 minutes, and enjoy!
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Chicken Soba Noodle Toss

This dish gets from the stove to the table faster than takeout gets to your front door. Using a bag of fresh broccoli stir-fry blend vegetables helps save time; if you’re not big on broccoli, any package of stir-fry vegetables will do.
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Sausage Chicken Jambalaya

For anyone who enjoys entertaining, this Creole jambalaya is the perfect one-pot meal to feed a crowd. It’s comforting, spicy and easy to make. FYI: Here’s the difference between Cajun and Creole food.
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Italian Chicken Tenderloins

Consider this a slightly lighter take on chicken Parmigiana. Instead of being coated in bread crumbs and fried in oil, the chicken tenderloins are coated in a mixture of flour and ground Parmesan cheese, gently sauteed and topped with a light tomato-based sauce.

Allison Robicelli
Allison Robicelli is a James Beard-nominated food and recipe writer, humorist, and the author of four (quite good) books. Her writing credits include the Washington Post, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Wine Enthusiast, Eater, Food52, The Takeout, and other major publications. Before becoming a full-time writer, she spent over a decade as a working chef, and was the co-owner of the acclaimed Robicelli's Bakery in Brooklyn. In addition to food and comedy, she also writes about history, parenting, and cannabis. She lives in Baltimore with her two teenage sons and four patient cats.