Chicken tenders, those succulent strips of white meat, are a favorite for many due to their tender texture and adaptability in a myriad of recipes. While they’re often associated with kid-friendly fried dishes, the culinary potential of chicken tenders extends far beyond the deep fryer.
This article ventures into the diverse world of chicken tender recipes, showcasing their versatility in a range of dishes that cater to both classic and contemporary tastes.
What Can You Make With Chicken Tenders?
Chicken tenders, also known as chicken tenderloins, are a popular cut of chicken that’s versatile and easy to cook. Here are some ideas for what you can make with chicken tenders:
1. Grilled Chicken Tenders
Marinate the tenders in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, herbs, and seasonings. Grill them until they’re cooked through and have nice grill marks. Serve with a side salad or grilled vegetables.
2. Chicken Tender Stir-Fry
Slice the tenders into bite-sized pieces and stir-fry with your favorite vegetables in a wok or skillet. Add a sauce made from soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and honey. Serve over rice or noodles.
3. Breaded and Fried Chicken Tenders
Dredge the tenders in flour, dip them in beaten eggs, and then coat them with breadcrumbs or panko. Fry in oil until golden and crispy. Serve with dipping sauces like honey mustard, barbecue sauce, or ranch.
4. Chicken Parmesan Tenders
After breading and frying the tenders (as mentioned above), place them in a baking dish, top with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese, and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
5. Chicken Tender Tacos
Cook the tenders with taco seasoning and slice them up. Serve in tortillas with lettuce, cheese, salsa, and sour cream.
6. Chicken Tender Skewers
Marinate the tenders in your favorite sauce or seasoning, thread them onto skewers, and grill. These are great for barbecues and parties.
7. Chicken Alfredo with Tenders
Cook the tenders and slice them into bite-sized pieces. Toss with cooked fettuccine and Alfredo sauce. Garnish with parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.
8. Buffalo Chicken Tenders
After cooking the tenders (either fried or baked), toss them in buffalo sauce. Serve with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing.
9. Chicken Tender Salad
Grill or pan-fry the tenders and slice them. Lay them atop a bed of greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and croutons. Drizzle with your favorite dressing.
10. Chicken Tender Wraps
Place cooked tenders in a tortilla or wrap, and add lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and a sauce or dressing of your choice. Roll it up for a quick and tasty meal.
11. Chicken Tender Curry
Sauté the tenders with onions, garlic, and ginger. Add curry spices and coconut milk. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with rice or naan bread.
12. Baked BBQ Chicken Tenders
Coat the tenders in your favorite barbecue sauce and bake in the oven. Serve with coleslaw and cornbread.
13. Chicken Tender Piccata
Sauté the tenders in butter and olive oil. Add a sauce made from lemon juice, capers, and chicken broth. Serve over pasta or mashed potatoes.
14. Chicken Tender and Vegetable Foil Packets
Place tenders, sliced bell peppers, onions, and zucchini on a piece of foil. Drizzle with olive oil, season, and fold the foil into packets. Bake or grill until everything is cooked through.
15. Honey Garlic Chicken Tenders
Sauté the tenders until they’re browned. Add a sauce made from honey, garlic, soy sauce, and a touch of vinegar. Simmer until the sauce is thickened.
Chicken tenders cook quickly due to their size, making them perfect for fast weeknight dinners. Whether you’re in the mood for something fried, grilled, baked, or sautéed, chicken tenders can be the star ingredient in a variety of dishes.
What Are Chicken Tenders Good For?
Chicken tenders are lean, boneless strips of meat from the chicken breast, known for their tenderness and quick cooking time. They’re versatile, making them perfect for grilling, frying, baking, or sautéing.
Popular in many cuisines, they can be breaded for crispy chicken strips, marinated for skewers, or added to salads and wraps. Their mild flavor pairs well with various sauces, from tangy BBQ to creamy alfredo. They’re also a favorite among kids, making them a go-to for family meals and snacks.
What Food Goes Well With Chicken Tenders?
Chicken tenders pair well with a variety of foods. Classic sides include crispy french fries, creamy mashed potatoes, and coleslaw. For a healthier twist, they complement green salads, roasted vegetables, or quinoa bowls.
Dipping sauces like honey mustard, barbecue, ranch, or spicy aioli enhance their flavor. They can be wrapped in tortillas with lettuce and tomatoes for a quick wrap or served with pasta in a creamy sauce. Cornbread, garlic bread, or rice pilaf also make delightful accompaniments to chicken tenders.
Chicken tenders, with their quick cooking time and inherent tenderness, are a canvas for a multitude of flavors and preparations. From spicy stir-fries and creamy pastas to grilled skewers and gourmet wraps, the options are as endless as they are delicious.
By diving into the recipes presented in this article, you’ll discover that chicken tenders can be the star in a variety of meals, suitable for casual family dinners or sophisticated gatherings. Embrace the versatility of chicken tenders and let them elevate your culinary repertoire.
Read More: What Do You Put In Chicken Salad?