How to cook Chicken Tenderloin: Irresistible Chicken Tenderloins Recipe for Every Occasion

Chicken Tenderloins
Prep. time:
30 min
4 dishes

Picture this: golden, crispy chicken tenderloins, seasoned to perfection and so tender they practically melt in your mouth. This recipe will transform your kitchen into a culinary haven, making your home the go-to spot for family dinners, friendly gatherings, or a satisfying solo meal. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a kitchen newbie, this recipe is designed to be foolproof, versatile, and downright delicious.

Preparation Time

  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes

This recipe serves 4 people and is easy to prepare.


The necessary ingredients (possible in all kinds of variations)

  • 1 pound chicken tenderloins
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (Panko for extra crunch)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for a bit of heat)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Cooking oil (for frying) or cooking spray (for baking)
  • Lemon wedges (for serving)
  • Fresh parsley (for garnish)

Alternative Ingredients

  • Vegan Version: Replace chicken with tofu strips or cauliflower florets.
  • Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free flour and breadcrumbs.
  • Low-Carb: Swap breadcrumbs with crushed pork rinds or almond flour.

Steps of Preparation

The steps of preparation (possible in all kinds of variations)

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) if baking, or heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat if frying.
  2. Set up a breading station: place flour in the first bowl, beat the eggs in the second bowl, and mix breadcrumbs, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and Parmesan cheese in the third bowl.
  3. Dredge each chicken tenderloin in flour, shaking off excess.
  4. Dip the floured tenderloin into the beaten eggs, ensuring it’s well-coated.
  5. Press the egg-coated tenderloin into the breadcrumb mixture, patting it gently to adhere.
  6. For baking: Place the breaded tenderloins on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray. Bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown and cooked through.
  7. For frying: Carefully place the breaded tenderloins in the hot oil, cooking for 3-4 minutes per side until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels.
  8. For air frying: Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C). Place tenderloins in a single layer in the air fryer basket and cook for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  9. For grilling: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Grill tenderloins for 4-5 minutes per side, until cooked through and grill marks appear.
  10. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

Nutritional Benefits

  • High Protein: Chicken tenderloins are a great source of lean protein, essential for muscle growth and repair.
  • Low Fat: When baked or air-fried, this recipe remains low in fat while delivering maximum flavor.
  • Vitamin B6: Supports brain health and metabolism.
  • Phosphorus: Promotes healthy bones and teeth.
  • Iron: Essential for blood production and energy levels.
  • Calcium: Parmesan cheese adds a dose of calcium for bone health.
  • Antioxidants: Garlic powder and paprika provide antioxidant benefits, promoting overall health.

Possible Additions or Upgrades

  • Spicy Kick: Add a dash of hot sauce to the egg mixture for an extra spicy kick.
  • Herbaceous Delight: Mix in finely chopped herbs like rosemary or thyme into the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Cheese Lovers: Add shredded mozzarella or cheddar into the breadcrumb mixture for a cheesy crust.
  • Asian Twist: Replace breadcrumbs with panko and add a splash of soy sauce to the egg mixture.
  • Citrus Zest: Add lemon or lime zest to the breadcrumb mixture for a refreshing twist.


Can I prepare the tenderloins ahead of time?

Yes, bread the tenderloins and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before cooking.

What sides pair well with this dish?

Mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, or a fresh salad make great sides.

Can I freeze the cooked tenderloins?

Yes, freeze them in a single layer and then transfer to a freezer bag. Reheat in the oven for best results.

How do I ensure the breading sticks well?

Make sure to press the breadcrumbs firmly onto the chicken and let them rest for a few minutes before cooking.

Is it possible to use chicken breasts instead of tenderloins?

Yes, just slice the chicken breasts into strips and follow the same steps.

What dipping sauces work best?

Ranch, honey mustard, barbecue sauce, or a spicy aioli are excellent choices.

Can I use an air fryer for a healthier version?

Absolutely, the air fryer is a great option for a healthier, crispy finish.

How do I make the recipe spicier?

Add extra cayenne pepper to the breadcrumb mixture or a splash of hot sauce to the egg wash.

What can I do with leftover tenderloins?

They make great sandwiches, wraps, or a protein-packed salad topping.

Is there a vegetarian alternative?

Yes, use tofu or cauliflower as a meat substitute and follow the same breading process.

Can I use this recipe for meal prep?

Definitely, cook the tenderloins and store them in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven or air fryer.

How do I ensure the chicken is fully cooked?

Use a meat thermometer; the internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C).

From my experience, sharing meals like this one brings everyone to the table with smiles and satisfied appetites. Try it out, and don’t forget to share your delightful creations on social media to spread the joy!

Enjoy this irresistible chicken tenderloin recipe, and happy cooking!

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