24 Chicken Tenderloin Recipes

There are so many great ways to cook chicken tenderloin. Today, we are going to share with you our favorite chicken tenderloin recipes. We tried to cater to everyone. We have keto and gluten-free options, and some super simple dishes for less seasoned cooks. Let’s get straight to it.

bacon wrapped chicken tenderloins on skewer-min

Chicken tenderloin could be considered the premium cut of the universally-loved bird. There’s nothing wrong with good old chicken breast. (We see you Chicken Cordon Bleu). Chicken tenderloin, however, is much more tender. And let’s be honest, we’ve all destroyed a chicken breast at one point in time, turning it into a dry and tough mess. 

What are chicken tenderloins?

Chicken tenderloin is a strip of muscle attached to the underside of a chicken’s breast. Every chicken has 2 tenderloins. Generally, they are removed and sold separately from the chicken breast. They are quite small, so you can easily miss them. This is especially true for less-seasoned cooks.

With that said, chicken tenderloins should not be mistaken for chicken tenders. The chicken tenderloin is a muscle, while a chicken tender is white meat cut from the chicken breast.

It can get confusing as some people refer to chicken tenderloins as chicken tenders or even as chicken mini filets in the UK.

Chicken breast vs chicken tenderloin, what’s the difference?

Chicken breast is considered more healthy than chicken tenderloin. It contains fewer calories and more protein. In a serving of 100 grams, chicken tenderloin has 100 more calories than chicken breast.

The breast is considered more nutritious as it has more vitamins. It has more magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Chicken tenderloin has around six times more sodium, and they’re both free of carbohydrates. Also, chicken tenderloin has around 5 times more fat than chicken breast. 

But, with all that said. Chicken tenderloin isn’t bad for you. Chicken tenderloin is much more tender than chicken breast. That’s because the tenderloins aren’t muscles that the chicken uses regularly. 

Finally, chicken tenderloin is more expensive than chicken breast. The reason is that there are only 2 tenderloins per bird. The butcher has to go through a little extra work to remove them from the breast.

Easy Chicken Tenderloin Recipes

Doritos Chicken Tenderloins

Featuring the crushed iconic chip as breading, this chicken recipe only requires 4 ingredients. You can use sour cream and onion chips, or replace it with Hot Cheetos. And you can bet the kids will ask for more.

Naked Italian Chicken Tenderloins

This golden brown Italian chicken tenderloin recipe is light and full of flavor. It is great served with mac and cheese and can be ready in less than 20 minutes.

Garlic Butter Chicken Tenderloins

This delicious garlic butter chicken tenderloin recipe is so simple that it only takes 15 minutes to cook. The tenderloins are marinated in olive oil, garlic, butter, paprika and Italian seasoning.

almond crusted chicken tenderloins

Almost Crusted Chicken Tenders

If you’re a fan of chicken tenders, take them to the next level by using chicken tenderloin. They will come out moist and delicious. Dip in honey mustard sauce or your favorite dipping sauce.

Lemon Pepper Chicken Tenderloins

Marinated in oil and lemon juice overnight, this lemon pepper chicken tenderloin will make your taste buds do backflips. This super-simple recipe is a must-try!

Baked Pesto Chicken Tenderloins

This baked pesto chicken tenderloin recipe only requires 4 ingredients and 15 minutes to cook. You can start to bake this for your weeknight dinners. You can serve it on top of spaghetti with tomato sauce, for example.

Spicy Thai Chicken Tenderloins

Here’s another recipe that only takes 20 minutes to cook. The spicy Thai chicken tenderloins are tossed in sriracha sauce and are perfect to serve with some Thai noodles. But they’re just as delicious on their own!

Honey Garlic Chicken Tenderloins

The honey garlic chicken tenderloin recipe is so simple that anybody can cook it in 20 minutes! The Asian-inspired sweet sauce has soy, garlic, honey glazes, and red pepper flakes to add a little kick. You can’t go wrong with Asian spices!

Air Fryer Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenderloins

The air fryer cracker barrel chicken tenderloins recipe is so simple to prepare. It’s great as something you can whip up for a quick weeknight dinner. It’s marinated in honey, Italian dressing, and some fresh-squeezed lime juice. Yum!

Air Fryer Buttermilk Chicken Tenderloins

The air fryer buttermilk chicken tenderloins are tender and coated in a gold, crispy breading. They are soaked in buttermilk, salt and garlic powder, adding even more tenderness. 

Air Fryer Naked Chicken Tenderloins

One of the best ways to enjoy some low-carb, tender chicken tenderloins is to air-fry them with no breading. It is also both keto and gluten-free and can be ready in less than 15 minutes.

Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Tenderloins

These BBQ chicken tenderloins are juicy, tender, and delicious on their own. Or, they can be served in a salad or part of a healthy bowl.

Keto Chicken Tenders

Keto Chicken Tenders bring a healthy twist to a beloved comfort food. With a crispy almond flour coating, these low-carb, high-protein tenders deliver all the satisfaction of traditional versions, but are baked instead of fried, making them a wholesome choice without sacrificing taste or texture.


Sweet And Spicy Sticky Chicken Tenderloins

When we say these recipes are easy, we really mean it! This sweet and spicy sticky chicken tenderloin recipe only requires 7 ingredients and barely any time to cook. Dipped in some ranch or breakfast sauce, it makes for a great appetizer. 

Panko-Coated Air Fryer Chicken Tenderloins

This chicken tenderloin recipe is coated in Panko bread crumbs. It comes from a particular white bread with no crust. Serve it with some BBQ or buffalo sauce and watch everybody go quiet.

Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenderloins

The greatest thing about this buffalo chicken tenderloin recipe is its versatility. You can use tenderloins or chicken breast, and you can also cook it the low-carb or paleo method. 

Keto Chicken Tenderloin Recipes

Keto Baked Chicken Tenderloins

These keto baked chicken tenderloins are great to serve as finger food when you’re having guests. Don’t you just want to bite into that beautiful crispy crust?

Kid-Friendly Keto Chicken Tenderloins

Are your kids difficult with food? Super moist and both keto and gluten-free, these kid-friendly keto chicken tenderloins are sure to please the whole family.

Crispy Keto Fried Chicken Tenderloins

Although this crispy fried chicken tenderloin recipe is keto, it is still a meal that will please the whole family. It is fried in pork rinds and almond flour, parmesan cheese, salt, and smoked paprika. 

Popeyes-Inspired Chicken Tenderloins

This Popeyes-inspired recipe with Cajun seasonings made us salivate as soon as we saw it! They’re keto, low-carb, and low-fat; a healthy meal with no guilt. Love some Cajun seasoning? Try out our Cajun boiled peanuts or our Cajun chicken pasta recipe.

Gluten-Free Chicken Tenderloin Recipes

Almond Flour Chicken Tenderloins

These almond flour chicken tenderloins are great served with a boom boom dipping sauce or a Sweet and Tangy Dr. Pepper® Sauce. Southwest salad dressing or hot pepper jelly are also great options. This recipe only takes 15 minutes to cook, making it great to add to your weeknight meal rotation.

Blackened Chicken Tenderloins

The true joy of blackened chicken is that it’s a great way to cook any type of chicken. From breasts to thighs, to tenderloin. It’s great for meal prep and throwing on top of some yummy pasta when you’re pinched for time.

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Tenderloins

Bacon and chicken – name a better duo. This gluten-free bacon-wrapped chicken tenderloin recipe comes with a brown sugar and chili sauce. You can easily reheat these in a microwave or in an air fryer. Finger licking good!

Coconut Chicken Tenderloins

This super simple coconut chicken tenderloin recipe only requires 6 ingredients! It is gluten-free and low-carb, so it’s a good option if you’re watching your weight.

bacon wrapped chicken tenderloins on skewer-min
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Chicken Tenderloin Recipes

Chicken tenderloin recipes are juicy and easy to cook. From air fryer to keto to gluten-free recipes, we've got them all.
Prep Time2 mins
Course: Dinner
Keyword: chicken recipes, chicken tenderloin recipes, chicken tenderloins
Servings: 6 servings


Easy Chicken Tenderloin Recipes

  • Doritos Chicken Tenderloins
  • Naked Italian Chicken Tenderloins
  • Garlic Butter Chicken Tenderloins
  • Almost Crusted Chicken Tenders
  • Lemon Pepper Chicken Tenderloins
  • Baked Pesto Chicken Tenderloins
  • Spicy Thai Chicken Tenderloins
  • Honey Garlic Chicken Tenderloins
  • Air Fryer Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenderloins
  • Air Fryer Buttermilk Chicken Tenderloins
  • Air Fryer Naked Chicken Tenderloins
  • Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Tenderloins
  • Sweet And Spicy Sticky Chicken Tenderloins
  • Panko-Coated Air Fryer Chicken Tenderloins
  • Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenderloins

Keto Chicken Tenderloin Recipes

  • Keto Baked Chicken Tenderloins
  • Kid-Friendly Keto Chicken Tenderloins
  • Crispy Keto Fried Chicken Tenderloins
  • Popeyes-Inspired Chicken Tenderloins

Gluten-Free Chicken Tenderloin Recipes

  • Almond Flour Chicken Tenderloins
  • Blackened Chicken Tenderloins
  • Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Tenderloins
  • Coconut Chicken Tenderloins


  • Choose recipe.
  • Gather ingredients.
  • Cook and enjoy.

Chicken Tenderloin FAQs

What are chicken breast tenderloins good for?

Chicken breast tenderloins are perfect for recipes that require quick cooking times due to their thin size. They are a great choice for stir-frying, grilling, sautéing, pan frying, or baking, and they work exceptionally well in recipes like chicken tenders, sandwiches, salads, or pasta dishes.

Is chicken tenderloin the same as chicken tenders?

Chicken tenderloin and chicken tenders aren’t exactly the same thing, but they are related.

The chicken tenderloin is a specific part of the chicken’s anatomy. It’s a small strip of meat that’s attached to the underside of each chicken breast. It’s called the “tenderloin” because it’s one of the most tender parts of the chicken, given that it’s a muscle that gets very little exercise.

Chicken tenders, on the other hand, are a type of food product that can be made from various parts of the chicken, but are often made from the tenderloin because of its tenderness. Chicken tenders are typically breaded and fried (although they can also be baked), and are a popular choice for fast food and frozen food products.

How do you cook chicken tenderloins so they aren’t dry?

To ensure that chicken tenderloins remain juicy and tender, avoid overcooking them, as they can become dry quickly due to their small size. Using a marinade can also help to keep them moist. If you’re baking or grilling them, it’s best to cook at a higher heat for a shorter amount of time.

What is the difference between chicken breast and chicken breast tenderloin?

Chicken breast and chicken breast tenderloin are parts of the same muscle, but the tenderloin is a specific cut. The tenderloin is a strip of meat that is part of the chicken breast but is located on the underside, making it a smaller and thinner piece. It’s often considered more tender than the larger chicken breast.

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Chicken Tenderloin Recipes - pinterest pin

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