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4 Easy and Flavorful Chicken Tenderloin Recipes for Busy Weeknights

Discover our mouth-watering collection of chicken tenderloin recipes that will take your taste buds on a flavorful journey.

When you search for the best way to cook chicken tenderloins, you probably just get a lot of recipes for different types of chicken tenders. Don’t get me wrong; I love crispy fried chicken tenders as much as the next girl, but I also like variety.

So, today I’m going to share a few of my favorite chicken tenderloin recipes and a few bonus tips from my kitchen. Enjoy!

  1. Key to My Lime 8-minute Air Fried Chicken Tenderloins

Confession: I use my air fryer every. Single. Day. I love it and don’t know how I survived without one for so many years. I’ll try putting anything in there, and I’m rarely disappointed with the results. I especially love putting chicken strips and fish filets in an air fryer because it’s easier to keep the meat juicy, and nobody likes a dry chicken tender.

This is a super easy chicken tenderloin recipe, but don’t skip the “dry the chicken” step. Otherwise, the seasoning you mix up won’t stick well (or evenly).

Bonus tip: Mix a teaspoon of Trader Joe’s Italian-style Soffritto seasoning with the regular Italian seasoning. It’s delicious!

Find the full recipe here.

  1. Little Sunny Kitchen Garlic Butter Chicken Tenders

Garlic AND butter? Say less. This recipe calls for cooking the tenderloins in a pan on the stove, but you can also do this as baked chicken tenderloins in the oven if you want. I appreciate that this dish comes together in about 15 minutes, especially since I can quickly boil some pasta to go with it simultaneously.

The chicken is super juicy and buttery – I have to make a lot of extra if I want leftovers! You can even make these into honey garlic chicken tenderloins by adding a couple of tablespoons of your favorite honey into the melted butter and whisking it together before adding the garlic and chicken.

Grab the recipe here.


  1. Delish Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga Tacos

Ground beef tacos are honestly my least favorite kind. I’m much happier with fish, chicken or even tofu, so these chicken tacos in homemade tomato sauce are a winner in my book. I like to make a double portion so I can use the leftovers in burrito bowls, nachos or a taco salad later in the week.

So far, this is the most time-intensive recipe I’ve shared, but I promise it’s still easy and delicious. Plus, learning how simple it is to make the accompanying avocado cream sauce means you’ll be putting it on everything.

Pro tip: Don’t skimp on the fresh lime! It really makes the dish. Also, grab yourself a little bit of cotija cheese for garnish.

The full instructions are here.

  1. Delish Low-carb Chicken and Waffles

I have some health issues that are only helped by limiting my carb intake. Because of this, I’ve had to get creative about finding ways to eat carb-heavy things I love (like waffles), which means I think this is the best chicken tenderloin recipe on the list. The good news is that there are no carbs in chicken tenderloins, and there are only about six net carbs in one serving of this dish, so I get to have my cake and eat it too.

And by cake, I mean waffles.

Keep in mind that this is a keto diet recipe, so it’s calorie-dense and high in fats. If you want to make it lighter but keep the low-carb part, you can swap in lower-calorie/reduced-fat options for some ingredients; just watch the carb and sugar differences!

Click here to get this tasty recipe.


What is the difference between chicken tenders and chicken tenderloins?

Chicken tenders are strips of white meat cut from any part of the chicken breast. Chicken tenderloin is a specific muscle cut from the breast and is usually more tender than the rest of the meat.

Is tenderloin better than chicken breast?

In terms of taste, most people think a tenderloin has more flavor and it has fewer calories. However, chicken breast has more nutrients and protein overall, so your choice comes down to your preferences.

What are chicken tenderloins good for?

They’re ideal for making extra juicy chicken fingers. But they can also be used for slow cooker recipes, popped in the air fryer or grilled with veggies.


Got any questions about chicken tenderloin recipes? Comment below!

Nicole Hopkins

Nicole Hopkins is a freelance writer for hire that has been sharing her passion for health, wellness and yoga since 2014. When she's not working on getting into crow pose or petting every cat in sight, you can find her writing about science, skincare and mental health at and Kalista Edit. Visit her at or on Instagram at @msmerriam.

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