Chicken Tenderloins Recipe


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These garlic butter chicken tenderloins are made on the stove top and ready in less than 15 minutes. This family-friendly weeknight dinner recipe is perfect for those busy nights when you need something quick, easy, and absolutely delicious.

Chicken Tenderloins

If you’re on the hunt for a scrumptious weeknight dinner that’s both quick and easy, you’ve got to try these garlic butter chicken tenderloins! I promise you, they’ll become a family favorite in no time.

I absolutely love how these stove top chicken fingers require less than 15 minutes of cooking time, making them an ideal choice for busy weeknights.

The mouthwatering blend of spices and herbs, including Italian seasoning, oregano, and paprika, perfectly complement the juicy chicken strips. And the best part is the delicious melted butter and fragrant garlic that infuse these tenderloins with the most amazing flavor.

Trust me, there’s no need for breading or frying when you cook chicken tenderloins in a skillet like this. Plus, the frying pan method means less mess and a healthier meal!

You can even whip up a homemade honey mustard sauce or ranch dressing for dipping, but honestly, these pan-fried chicken tenders are already so flavorful, they don’t even need a dipping sauce.

So, if you’re looking for a delicious, no-fuss, stove top chicken recipe, these garlic butter chicken tenders are your answer. Just grab your skillet and get ready to impress your loved ones with this fantastic meal!


Chicken Tenderloins: I love using chicken tenderloins because they’re smaller and cook faster than chicken breasts, making them perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.

Oil: A little oil helps to cook the chicken evenly, without drying them out. Olive oil is my go-to choice, but feel free to use your preferred cooking oil.

Spices and Herbs: A combination of Italian seasoning, paprika, and dried oregano leaves adds the perfect flavor to this dish. Feel free to customize the spices to your liking.

Butter: Butter is key to creating the rich and delicious garlic butter sauce. It adds a creamy, indulgent element to the dish that makes it irresistible.

Garlic: Minced garlic adds a punch of flavor to the butter sauce, complementing the chicken beautifully.

The labeled ingredients for chicken tenderloins.

How To Cook Chicken Tenderloins

Prepare the oil and spice mixture in a medium mixing bowl by combining the olive oil, Italian seasoning, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)

Adding the spices to a large mixing bowl and them combining together.

Add the chicken tenderloins to the bowl, tossing them to coat evenly.

Adding the chicken tenderloins to a mixing bowl and then coating.

Heat a large nonstick skillet. Once the skillet is hot, add some butter and swirl it around to melt and coat the bottom of the pan. Place the seasoned chicken in the skillet, and cook them on one side for a couple of minutes. After that, flip the tenderloins and cook for another couple of minutes, making sure to keep an eye on them to prevent overcooking.

Melting the butter in a hot skillet then adding in the chicken tenderloins.

Once both sides of the chicken tenderloins are seared, move them to one side of the skillet, creating some open space in the pan.

In the open space, add the remaining butter, allowing it to melt. After the butter has melted, add the minced garlic to the pan.

Melting more butter ones both sides of the chicken are cooked then adding in garlic.

Sauté the garlic until it’s aromatic, stirring frequently to prevent burning Toss the garlic and chicken together, cooking until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.

Tossing garlic with the tenderloins and then cooking until aromatic.

Pro Tips

  • To ensure even cooking, try to use chicken tenderloins of similar size and thickness. If some are thicker than others, you can gently pound them to even them out.
  • For added crispiness, you can coat the seasoned chicken in a light layer of flour before frying them in the skillet.
  • Don’t overcrowd the skillet when cooking the tenderloins. Overcrowding can cause the chicken to steam rather than sear, which will affect the texture and taste. Cook in batches if necessary.
Fully cooked chicken tenderloins garnished with fresh parsley in a hot skillet next to a napkin.

What Are Chicken Tenderloins?

Chicken tenderloins are the small, tender strips of meat located underneath the chicken breast. They’re lean, tender, and cook quickly, making them a popular choice for a variety of dishes, including pan-fried chicken tenders and stovetop chicken recipes.

Do You Have To Remove The Tendon?

Some people prefer to remove the tendon from chicken tenderloins, as it can be tough and chewy. However, it’s not necessary to remove it, and some people don’t mind the texture. If you prefer to remove the tendon, simply use a knife to trim it away before cooking the tenderloins.

An overhead shot of chicken tenderloins in a hot skillet coated in sauce.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Chicken Tenderloins?

Cooking chicken tenderloins is a breeze! Since they’re smaller than chicken breasts, they cook in about half the time, making them perfect for quick and easy weeknight dinners. This garlic butter chicken tenderloin recipe only needs about 7 minutes to cook.

How Do You Know When Chicken Tenderloins Are Done?

As soon as the thickest part of the tenderloin reaches an internal temperature of 165F on an instant-read meat thermometer, it’s done cooking. Since tenderloins are a smaller cut of meat, it’s important to keep an eye on them so they don’t dry out from overcooking.

What To Serve With Chicken Tenderloins

I love serving this recipe with rice or pasta (like this seasoned rice, this spicy vodka pasta, or this baked mac and cheese with Velveeta) and an easy vegetable side dish (like buttered peas or simple glazed baby carrots).

A close up shot of a skillet full of chicken tenderloins coated in sauce.

Alternative Ingredients

Chicken Tenderloins: You can use chicken breasts cut into strips or even turkey tenderloins as a substitute.

Oil: Swap olive oil for avocado oil, vegetable oil, or coconut oil.

Spices and Herbs: You can experiment with different herbs and spices to suit your taste. For instance, you could use thyme, Herbes de Provence, or rosemary instead of oregano, or add some smoked paprika for a smoky flavor. To add some heat, include crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.

Butter: For a dairy-free option, use a plant-based butter substitute or coconut oil.

Garlic: For a milder garlic flavor, you can use roasted garlic instead of fresh garlic, or use garlic powder if you don’t have fresh garlic on hand.

Alternative Cooking Methods:

Oven-Baked: Preheat your oven to 400°F . Place the seasoned chicken on a baking sheet and bake for about 15-18 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. 

Air Fryer Chicken Tenderloins: To cook these chicken tenderloins in an air fryer, preheat your air fryer to 400°F. Place the seasoned chicken in a single layer in the air fryer basket, making sure they don’t overlap. Cook for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F.

Grilled: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Grill the seasoned chicken tenderloins for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F.

Keep In Touch

I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime

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A Pinterest pin image with a picture of chicken tenderloins, with title text at the top.

Chicken Recipes

Wondering what to make with chicken tenderloins? Be sure to check out these dinner ideas:

Yield: 2 servings

BEST Garlic Butter Chicken Tenderloins Recipe

The best chicken tenderloins recipe.

Garlic butter chicken tenderloins are made on the stove top and ready in less than 15 minutes. The perfect family friendly weeknight dinner!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes


  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound chicken tenderloins
  • 3 Tablespoons butter (divided)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • Fresh chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)


  1. To a medium mixing bowl, add the oil, Italian seasoning, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix together. Add the chicken tenders to the bowl and toss to coat evenly.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once heated, add in 2 Tablespoons of butter, then swirl to melt and coat the bottom of the pan. Once melted, add the seasoned chicken tenderloins and cook for 2 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 more minutes.
  3. Once both sides are seared, move the tenders over to one side of the skillet. To the open space, add the remaining Tablespoon of butter. Once melted, add the minced garlic. Saute until aromatic while stirring frequently to prevent burning (about 30-60 seconds). 
  4. Toss the garlic and chicken tenders together, and cook for 1-2 more minutes, or until the chicken reads an internal temperature at the thickest point of 165F on an instant-read meat thermometer. Chicken tenderloins cook quickly, and you don’t want to dry them out, so be sure to check them after the recommended cooking time.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 476Total Fat: 30.6gCarbohydrates: 2.9gFiber: 1gSugar: 0.2gProtein: 44.8g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.


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Get ready to enjoy this amazing garlic butter chicken tenderloin recipe that’s perfect for a quick and satisfying weeknight dinner!

The best chicken tenderloins recipe.

13 thoughts on “Chicken Tenderloins Recipe”

  1. this was very good and easy to prepare. Served it for dinner for guests visiting for the weekend. Thank you! I used 2 pounds of tenderloins cooking in batches and then putting them in oven while I cooked the rest. After I removed all cooked chicken, took cooked egg noodles and tossed them in the saute pan with chicken juices

  2. I followed the recipe exactly as stated and it was absolutely delicious. I mixed it with rotini pasta, and beans on the side and it was devoured –NOTHING was left! Going to add this to my meal rotations for weekdays as it is sooooo fast and easy to make!

  3. Ok. I just made this. Am an intermediate cook not a good one. So I did not have much garlic (and what there was was powdered and caked) and did not have any Italian seasoning. I did not use the salt and substituted cayenne pepper for the paprika due to availability. Overall, it turned out well, except it was too hot for my taste. Will use 1/2 teaspoons of the pepper in future rather than a whole teaspoon.

    • Hi Geoffrey, Glad to hear that it turned out well for you with those substitutions! It makes sense that it would be too spicy with the paprika being substituted with cayenne. Paprika has a really mild flavor, while cayenne packs a lot of heat. If you try it again with half the cayenne, I’d love to hear what you thought. -Alexa

  4. I made this tonight and it’s definitely being added to my regular recipes. This is great mixture of spices and makes juicy delicious chicken fast. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  5. I made this for dinner and it was excellent, with red beans and rice and fresh green beans! So much flavor, will definitely make again!!

  6. Made this for the kids. They helped pour the seasonings into the bowl. Substituted the Italian seasoning with 1TSp basil, 1TSp Thyme, and couple of shakes of parsley. Did 2lbs of chicken and basically doubled the recipe but cooked in 1LB batches. Cast iron skillet. And used frozen garlic cubes instead of fresh. Kids already asking for more.

  7. I made this recipe tonight and it was great! I added a few extra seasonings into the mixture and then coated them in flour before putting into my cast iron skillet! I definitely recommend the coating of flour, as it makes them crisp up nicer! Made a side garden salad and some rice pilaf. Both teens and the hubby ate a full plate without a morsel of food left on them. I even made more than my usual amount of chicken thinking it would be good for leftovers, but they ate it all! lol. Thanks for the recipe!


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