Juicy Grilled Chicken Tenders Recipe


Grilled Chicken Tenders are the perfect easy dinner for summer that kids and adults alike will adore! Juicy chicken strips are soaked in a spicy marinade, and then grilled until tender.

Love chicken? Make sure to try my majorly delish Homemade Chicken Nuggets! They’re a total duper for Chick Fil A!

Grilled chicken tenders with a bowl of dip.

These Grilled Chicken Tenders Are Easy!!

If I had to guess the most-ordered meal from family restaurants, overall, I would guess chicken tenders. I mean, what’s not to love? I decided to try and make a slightly more healthy version of chicken tenders today…no breading, not frying…just marinate and grill. What you get is ALL the flavor while being way lower fat, and totally low carb!

But, you don’t need to go out to a restaurant to enjoy the treat that is chicken tenders – not when you have this Easy Grilled Chicken Tenders recipe on hand! You will become absolutely hooked on this summer meal because it tastes fantastic, and it’s SO SIMPLE.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are cut into strips, and grilled until juicy on the outside and crispy on the exterior. Before that, though, they’re soaked in a milk-based marinade, which is combined with hot sauce, dill pickle juice, and various spices. Minus marinating time, it won’t take you more than 20 minutes to prep and cook this meal. So, no excuses! Time to indulge your inner-kid and enjoy some delicious grilled chicken tenders.

What You’ll Need

What exactly will you need to make this meal possible? Well, besides the chicken, there are a couple of other essentials that you’ll want to round up before firing up that grill:

  • Chicken: Cut your chicken strips from boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  • Pickle Juice: A bit of dill pickle juice adds terrific tangy flavor to the marinade.
  • Milk: I usually just use 1 or 2% milk, but use whatever kind you like.
  • Hot Sauce: To add a little heat to the chicken! If you’re not a big fan of spice, feel free to leave this out.
  • Spices/Seasoning: Mix kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and celery salt.
marinating chicken in a ziptop bag

How to Grill Chicken Tenders

Now that you’ve got all the ingredients sorted, let’s get into actually making these grilled chicken tenders. As I mentioned before, it won’t take long at all. First you’ll cut the chicken and let it soak in the marinade for a while, then you’ll season it, and pop it on the grill!

Cut the Chicken into Strips: Then place them into a large zip-top bag.

Make the Marinade: Add in the pickle juice, milk, and hot sauce into the bag. Seal the bag and squeeze to combine ingredients and coat chicken. Allow the chicken to marinate for 2 hours.

Season the Chicken: Remove the chicken from the marinade and place onto a large platter. In a small bowl combine salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and celery salt. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture evenly on both sides of the chicken.

Marinated and seasoned tray of chicken tenders.

Grill the Chicken: Heat grill to medium-high. Cook the tenders on the grill for 3 minutes per side.

How Long Does It Take to Grill Chicken?

Depending on how hot your grill is, it can take up to 10 minutes to grill these chicken tenders. Personally, I like to do about 3 minutes on each side of the chicken, so it takes me between 6 and 7 minutes. That number can vary though, and if you slice into a tender and decide it’s still too pink, trust your judgement and cook it longer.

What is the Internal Temp for Doneness?

The most reliable way to know if your chicken is done is to test the internal temperature. It should reach an internal temp of 165 degrees Fahrenheit before you take it off the grill. The best way to know that the tenders have reached that mark is to use a meat thermometer.

Grilled Chicken Tenders Tips for Success

There! You are now, in my humble opinion, officially a chicken tenders expert!

But even experts can use a few tips now and then. So here are some of mine 🙂 :

  • Let the Tenders Soak in the Marinade: Give the chicken time to soak in the flavors. Two hours is great, and overnight is even better. That said, don’t let it soak much longer than overnight because the acid from the pickle juice could alter the texture of the meat.
  • Don’t Overcrowd the Grates: You want to give the chicken room to cook through, and cook evenly. Placing the tenders too close to one another can interfere with that.
  • Preheat the Grill: If the grill isn’t fully hot when you put the chicken on, you’ll have to cook it for longer. Also, a fully-heated grill will give you great char marks on the tenders.
  • If It’s Cold Out: Sometimes I get the chicken tender cravings in the middle of winter! While I can’t fire up the grill, I can put some olive oil in a skillet and cook the tenders on the stovetop that way. It’s not quite the same as grilling them, but it still yields really delicious results.
Plate of grilled chicken tenders with chicken dipping sauce.

Serving Suggestions

Trying to figure out what to serve alongside your grilled chicken? Story of my life! There are almost too many options.

Whether you can’t decide, or are out of ideas, I’ve got a few side dish suggestions that are always hits with my family:

  • Dip: I almost always serve these grilled chicken tenders with this chicken dipping sauce.
  • Fries: Crispy fries are the perfect side for chicken tenders. But, really, anything potato-based is as well. If you’ve got time for mashed potatoes I highly recommend making a batch, and potato salad isn’t a bad idea either!
  • Pasta: You could do a simple bowl of buttered pasta, or serve this meal with your favorite creamy pasta salad recipe. Rice (of any kind) goes well with chicken tenders too.
  • Vegetables: Steamed broccoli, roasted asparagus, sautéed mushrooms, etc. A big green salad is always good (and easy) too.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Store leftover grilled chicken tenders in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, cook them until warmed through over low heat in a pan on the stovetop, or warm them in the oven (at around 350 degrees F).

Can I Freeze Extras?

Sure! You can freeze leftover chicken in an airtight container for 2-3 months. Make sure to let it thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating and eating, though.

Print

Grilled chicken tenders with a bowl of dip.

Description:

Grilled Chicken Tenders are the perfect easy dinner for summer that kids and adults alike will adore! Juicy chicken strips are soaked in a spicy marinade, and then grilled until tender and crispy.


Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup dill pickle juice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt

Instructions

  1. Cut the chicken into strips and place into a large zip-top bag.
  2. Add in the pickle juice, milk, and hot sauce into the bag. Seal the bag and squeeze to combine ingredients and coat chicken.
  3. Allow the chicken to marinate for 2 hours.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place onto a large platter. 
  5. In a small bowl combine salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and celery salt.
  6. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture evenly on both sides of the chicken.
  7. Heat grill to medium-high. Cook the tenders on the grill for 3 minutes per side.
  8. Serve with chicken dipping sauce.

Notes:

Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Keywords:: grilled chicken tenders, grilled chicken strips

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More Summer Grilling Ideas

Want to try some more easy grilling recipes this summer? Here are a few of my favorites:

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