Pan Fried Chicken Tenders

Healthy pan fried chicken tenders are a staple dish in our home. The secret to crispy pan-fried chicken with no breading is cooking it on a cast-iron skillet.

These delicious cast iron skillet chicken tenders will be a meal your entire family will love. The recipe is easy to make and will quickly become a household favorite.

Pan Fried Chicken Tenders

Pan Fried Chicken Tenders in Cast Iron Skillet

Chicken tenders are a quick and easy dinner perfect for weeknights when your schedule is packed. These tenders are crispy outside with an inside that is juicy, tender, and flavorful.

They have all of the qualities of pan fried chicken in a healthier version! With these easy instructions, you can easily make these chicken tenders in a cast-iron skillet on the stove.

There are many possibilities for using healthy pan-fried chicken tenders in meals all week long. Cook up a large batch, and serve them with pan-fried asparagus alongside a healthy side dish like loaded cauliflower casserole or cast iron skillet sweet potatoes.

How Long Do Chicken Tenders Take to Fry?

Frying chicken tenders in a cast iron skillet is one of the easiest ways to cook them. You can make a whole batch at once, and it will only take around 10 minutes in total to fry a batch. The best part is that you don’t need anything but a cast-iron skillet, some seasoning, and some oil.

Can I Pan Fry Chicken Without Flour?

Pan-frying chicken without flour is a healthier alternative to traditional fried chicken. This recipe adds a delicious crunch and keeps the pieces crispy on the outside. If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional fried chicken, pan-frying with seasoning and herbs is your best bet.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • Quick and Easy: If you’re looking for an easy and quick way to get dinner on the table in no time, you can use this flavorful chicken tenders recipe to create any number of amazing meals!
  • Makes Great Leftovers: By making a large batch of homemade healthy pan fried chicken tenders and storing the leftovers in the refrigerator, you’ll have delicious ready-to-go protein and healthy and convenient meals for easy lunches throughout the week.
  • Versatile: Chicken tenders are an easy, versatile option for a meal. They can be paired with a blackened sauce and served as their own dish or in wraps, salads, or other dishes.
Pan Fried Chicken Tenders

Kitchen Essentials You May Need

This post contains affiliate links; I make a tiny commission off any purchase that you may make. This small commission helps keep Rocky Hedge Farm going at no additional cost to you. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

You can find my favorite essentials can be located in my Amazon storefront. While I often try to link to the exact products you see in my photos and videos, my pieces are usually vintage and thrifted. However, I try to find and link replicas as much as possible, made in the USA or by other small shops, as I believe in supporting hardworking American families.

  • Cast Iron Skillet: Cast iron skillets are a must-have in my kitchen. They are the most efficient and natural way to cook food because it retains heat well and cooks food evenly. Whether you’re using a budget-friendly Lodge or, my favorite, the Field Company skillet, cast iron is the best way to fry chicken tenders.
  • Stoneware Mixing Bowls: My favorite mixing bowls in the kitchen are stoneware. These bowls are durable, usable for cooking and serving, and can be passed down from generation to generation.

Ingredients for Healthy Pan Fried Chicken Tenderloins

I always believe in using raw, organic, or fresh local ingredients. For bulk pantry ingredients like organic spices and herbs, I order from Azure Standard.

  • Chicken Tenders: you can substitute with boneless skinless chicken breasts that you slice into strips.
  • Eggs and Milk: these two ingredients create the bonding for the seasoning to stick to the chicken tenders.
  • Seasoning: garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper are used to season the chicken tenders.
  • Oil: refined coconut oil, organic lard, or bacon grease have all been proven to work for getting crispy pan fried chicken tenders.

How to Pan Fry Chicken Tenders

Pan-frying chicken tenders are a fantastic way to create delicious, crispy chicken without deep frying. I’ll walk you through the steps of creating your own homemade pan-fried chicken tenders without the need for breading with flour.

Pan Fried Chicken Tenders

Step 1: Rinse and Dry Chicken

Rinse chicken tenders and pat dry, and cut off any extra fat if needed.

Step 2: Mix Eggs, Milk and Mix Herbs, Spices

Crack two eggs in a small mixing bowl and whisk. Add in half-n-half or milk and mix well. In a separate small bowl, combine the herbs and spices.

Step 3: Season Chicken Tenders

The best way to make chicken tenders is by dredging them individually in the egg and milk mixture before dipping them in the herb/spice mix. The egg mixture will help keep the coating on the chicken tenders.

Pan Fried Chicken Tenders

Step 4: Heat a Cast Iron Skillet

Preheat your cast-iron skillet to medium-high and add oil. Allow both the pan and the oil to heat up well.

Step 5: Pan Fry Chicken

Once the cast iron skillet is hot, add the chicken. Cook the chicken tenders in the skillet for 3 minutes or until the edges begin to turn white. Flip the chicken tenders over once the edges are white, and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

The perfect pan-seared chicken tender is juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Don’t flip or turn your chicken over too early; otherwise, you will prevent it from getting a nice golden color.

If you are cooking large amounts of chicken tenders, once cooked, place them on a baking sheet in an oven at 200 degrees to keep them warm. This will ensure that the chicken tenders stay warm and crispy while the others are frying in the cast iron skillet.

Pan Fried Chicken Tenders

Step 6: Serve

After the chicken is cool enough to handle, serve warm.

Tips for Cooking Crispy Pan Fried Chicken Tenders

  • Cooking Time: How long to fry chicken tenders on the stove will depend on the thickness of the chicken. Thinner chicken tenders will take 3-4 minutes to cook, while thicker chicken tenders will take 5-6 minutes.
  • Use a hot cast iron skillet. Placing the chicken in a cold skillet can cause the chicken tenders not to brown properly and may result in overcooking.
  • Do not flip chicken tenders too early. Wait until they have cooked for at least 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, the pan-seared chicken tenders should be golden brown before flipping.
  • Minced Onion and Minced Garlic: I love using minced onion and minced garlic in my recipe to give it a bit of an extra crunch. However, if the chicken is not watched closely, the garlic and onion can burn. So, I recommend using onion and garlic powder if this is a concern for your family.

How to Keep Chicken Tenders Warm

Once the crispy pan fried chicken tenders have been cooked in the cast iron skillet, place them on a baking sheet in an oven at 200 degrees to keep warm. This will ensure that the chicken tenders stay warm and crispy while the others are frying in the cast iron skillet.

How to Reheat Pan Fried Chicken Tenders

To keep leftover fried chicken tenders crispy, reheat them in a preheated oven on a wire rack at 400 degrees until heated through.

Pan Fried Chicken Tenders

What to Serve with Fried Chicken Tenders

I like to keep it simple in our home with easy side dishes like loaded roasted cauliflower, sweet potatoes cooked in a cast-iron skillet, or green beans. If you love a homemade sauce, try one of my favorite dipping sauces, blackened chicken sauce! It is so delicious.

More Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Recipes

Now that you have this delicious crispy pan-fried chicken tenders recipe try several of my other favorite cast iron skillet recipes!

Healthy pan fried chicken with no breading in a cast-iron skillet is a wonderful way to enjoy flourless fried chicken. I hope you enjoy this main dish as much as our family does.

Printable Recipe Card for Pan Fried Chicken Tenders

Yield: 12

Pan Fried Chicken Tenders

Pan Fried Chicken Tenders

Pan-fried chicken tenders are a staple dish in our home. The secret to crispy pan-fried chicken with no breading is cooking it on a cast-iron skillet.

These delicious cast iron skillet chicken tenders are sure to be a meal your entire family will love. The recipe is easy to make and will quickly become a household favorite.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds chicken tenders
  • 4 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 4 tbsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 3 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 largs eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk or half-n-half
  • 6 tbsp Refined Coconut Oil or Organic Lard

Instructions

Step 1: Rinse and Dry Chicken

Rinse chicken tenders and pat dry, and cut off any extra fat if needed.

Step 2: Mix Eggs, Milk and Mix Herbs, Spices

Crack two eggs in a small mixing bowl and whisk. Add in half-n-half or milk and mix well. In a separate small bowl, combine the herbs and spices.

Step 3: Season Chicken Tenders

The best way to make chicken tenders is by dredging them individually in the egg and milk mixture before dipping them in the herb/spice mix. The egg mixture will help keep the coating on the chicken tenders.

Step 4: Heat a Cast Iron Skillet

Preheat your cast-iron skillet to medium-high and add oil. Allow both the pan and the oil to heat up well.

Step 5: Pan Fry Chicken

Once the cast iron skillet is hot, add the chicken. Cook the chicken tenders in the skillet for 3 minutes or until the edges begin to turn white. Once edges are white, flip the chicken tenders over, and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

The perfect pan-seared chicken tender is juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. To achieve this don’t flip or turn your chicken over too early, otherwise, you will prevent it from getting a nice golden color.

If you are cooking large amounts of chicken tenders, once cooked, place them on a baking sheet in an oven at 200 degrees to keep them warm. This will ensure that the chicken tenders stay warm and crispy while the others are frying in the cast iron skillet.

Step 6: Serve

After the chicken is cool enough to handle, serve warm.

Notes

Tips For Cooking Crispy Pan-Fried Chicken Tenders

  • Cooking Time: How long to fry chicken tenders on the stove will depend on the thickness of the chicken. Thinner chicken tenders will take closer to 3-4 minutes to cook, while thicker chicken tenders will take 5-6 minutes.
  • Use a hot cast iron skillet. Placing the chicken in a cold skillet can cause the chicken tenders to not brown properly and may result in overcooking.
  • Do not flip chicken tenders too early. Wait until they have cooked for at least 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, the pan-seared chicken tenders should be golden brown before flipping.
  • Minced Onion and Minced Garlic: I love using minced onion and minced garlic in this recipe to give it a bit of an extra crunch. However, if the chicken is not watched closely, the garlic and onion can burn. So, I recommend using onion and garlic powder if this is a concern for your family.

Did you make this recipe?

If you make this recipe and love it please leave a review and feel free to tag me on Instagram @rockyhedgefarm

Originally Posted: January 5, 2021, Recipe and photos updated April 15, 2022

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