A dinner with chicken tenders doesn’t have to be boring. Need some help jazzing up your weeknight favorite, here are some ideas of what to serve with chicken tenders that will make everyone asking for this dinner on repeat.
If you’re like most families, your kids love chicken tenders and want them on the rotation for weeknight dinners. While I like crispy chicken tenders, it’s the sides that you serve with them that make the whole family happy.
You can go with a classic side dishes like regular french fries. sweet potato fries or potato salad, but next time, try serving some of these delicious side dishes with those crispy chicken tenders and they will become a family favorite, and not just with the kids!
To start with you need a recipe for delicious chicken tenders. The best way to get them super crispy is to cook them in a skillet in just a little butter and olive oil. Coat them in panko and parmesan cheese for flavor and crunch. Parmesan crusted chicken tenders can be made in just 10 minutes giving you plenty of time to make the best side dishes.
Another great option is to cook chicken strips in an air fryer or bake them after a coating of Ritz Crackers.
These sides would also go great with nut crusted chicken or with chicken wings.
What is a chicken tender
Chicken tenderloins are the small strips of white meat just beneath each chicken breast. There are two on each chicken and while they taste the same as the breast, they tend to be more tender when properly cooked. Sometimes they are called chicken finger, chicken strips or chicken fillets.
How to cook tender moist chicken tenders
Since chicken tenders are thinner then a chicken breast they can easily be overcooked. Use a meat thermometer and let them come to 160º then remove from the heat and they will continue to cook for a few minutes.
If cooking on a skillet, it will only take about 2-3 minutes per side depending on how hot the skillet is. The general rule of thumb is that the cooking time will be half of what you would cook a regular sized chicken breast.
Since they are so thin, you don’t need a marinade or brine for juicy chicken tenders. Save those for the chicken breasts.
FAQ’s and tips
A chicken tender is attached to the underside of the breast. While it tastes the same, it is not the same as the breast.
Chicken breasts and tenders should be cooked to 165º.
While a buttermilk marinade will make chicken tender and juicy, this is not needed for chicken tenders. They are naturally more tender and their small size make it easier to cook them without drying them out.
Once you’ve decided on how you’re going to cook them, the fun part is what delicious side dish to serve with chicken tenders. While you might think of chicken tenders as a quick weeknight meal, they can also be the star of a bbq or cookout or family gathering when paired with a perfect side dish.
If I’m making a weeknight meal, I’ll stick with just one tasty side dish, but if there’s a larger gathering, start with an appetizer, choose a starchier side and a green salad ,and end with an easy make ahead dessert. Of course around here, I can’t resist throwing in a batch of buttermilk biscuits.
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