Instant Pot Chicken Tenders

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Instant Pot Chicken Tenders are the perfect appetizer or main dish and they cook in just minutes. You will love how easy it is to make healthy and delicious chicken tenders in Instant Pot!

Suitable for Low Carb, Keto, Paleo, Whole30, and Gluten Free diets. Post includes Weight Watchers points.

the completed instant pot chicken tenders recipe

We’re all looking for recipes that are flavorful but make life easier. Those dishes you know you can whip up without a fuss, that turn out perfect every time, and that everyone will love. And this Instant Pot Chicken Tenders recipe check all of the boxes.

Perfect for serving as a party appetizer and filling enough for a quick weeknight dinner, these chicken tenderloins cook in the Instant Pot in just minutes. Seriously folks, you can go from fridge to table in about 15 minutes, and the chicken comes out juicy, tender, and so delicious every time.

If you’re looking for easy meal prep ideas and have picky eaters in your house, you will definitely want to make these Instant Pot chicken tenderloins.  And If you might also like Grilled Chicken Tenders, Parmesan Air Fryer Chicken Tenders and Stovetop Lemon Garlic Chicken Tenders.

one of the finished instant pot chicken tenders being removed from the instant pot with tongs

Why Make This Recipe

  • Good For You – Chicken is a healthy source of protein and cooking it without oil makes it even healthier. 
  • Perfect for Meal Prep – Make a big batch early and use it in recipes all week long. The cooked chicken also shreds well.
  • Kid-friendly – Even picky eaters will usually eat chicken tenders, especially if you pair them with a tasty dipping sauce.  
  • Inexpensive and Easy – Chicken is a relatively inexpensive protein and these cook in about 15 minutes. 
the completed instant pot chicken tenders served on a white plate

Ingredient Notes

  • Chicken Breasts – You can purchase chicken tenders but they are often more expensive and it’s easy to cut your own chicken tenders if you follow our tips below.  
  • Italian Seasoning – Italian seasoning is usually a blend of basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, sage, or coriander.
  • Smoked Paprika – You can use regular paprika, but the smoked paprika adds a delicious smoky flavor. 
  • Garlic Salt – If you prefer, you can salt your chicken to taste and use garlic powder instead. 
  • Onion Powder – Adds a nice depth of flavor.
  • Ground Pepper – Black pepper provides a very mild spice. 
  • Chicken Broth – You will need to add liquid for the Instant Pot to function properly. Chicken broth adds a nice flavor, but you can substitute with water.
the ingredients needed for making instant pot chicken tenders

What Are Chicken Tenders?

Officially chicken tenders are a thin strip of meat located under the chicken breast. When purchasing chicken breast, the tenderloin is attached to the breast with a thin membrane. However, most people call any thin strip of chicken a chicken tender, tenderloin, chicken finger, or chicken strip. 

Instant pot quick start guide image

Best Way To Cut Chicken Tenders

  • Start with boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  • Use a sharp knife and a cutting board dedicated to poultry. 
  • Use the knife to cut the chicken breast against the grain into tenders of equal length and thickness. 

Ready to make this Instant Pot Chicken Tenders recipe? Gather your ingredients and I will show you…

How To Make Chicken Tenders in Instant Pot

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

  1. Combine all ingredients except broth in a bag or bowl. Add the chicken tenders and toss to coat.
  2. Place the trivet into the bottom of the Instant Pot insert and pour in the chicken broth.
  3. Set the chicken onto the trivet. The pieces can touch, but you don’t want them to overlap. 
  4. Place on the lid, turn valve to sealing, and set to manual pressure / high pressure for 6 minutes. When done perform a quick pressure release, open the lid and carefully remove the chicken tenders.

Note: Cooking times listed do not include the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure. 

image collage showing the steps for making chicken tenders in instant pot

Expert Tips 

  • Brown the chicken in the Instant Pot using the sauté function. This step is optional but will lock in the juices and make the tenders more flavorful. 
  • Be sure to cook the chicken on a trivet or it will burn. 
  • Making chicken tenders in Instant Pot is a great way to use leftover chicken breast. 
  • Always check for doneness with a meat thermometer. The temperature should be 165F / 74C when inserted into the thickest part of chicken breasts.
top down view of the completed chicken tenders in instant pot

Delicious Variations

  • Swap the Seasoning – Use your favorite seasoning blends such as Greek Seasoning, Mediterranean Seasoning, or an all-purpose poultry seasoning. 
  • Make it Spicy – Season the chicken with hot paprika, add red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper for some heat. 
  • Add A Dip – Chicken tenders were made for dipping, so serve them with your favorite sauces. 

Prep And Storage

  • Prep Ahead – You will enjoy these Instant Pot Chicken Tenders right away, but they are perfect for meal prep because they can be stored up to 4 days, shred easily, and taste great cold. 
  • Store – Place the chicken in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days. 
  • Freeze – Follow the handy tips below for how to freeze these;
    • Cook the Instant Pot Chicken Tenders as directed and allow them to cool completely. 
    • Wrap tightly or place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. 
    • Store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
    • Thaw overnight in the fridge

FAQs

Are Chicken Tenderloins Healthy?

Chicken tenderloins are a healthy meal option, especially when cooked without oil. These instant pot chicken tenderloins are high in protein and contain a variety of vitamins and minerals. They are lower in fat than other cuts of chicken.

How Long To Cook Chicken Tenders In Instant Pot?

It takes about 6 minutes to cook chicken tenders in Instant Pot. This does not include the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.

top down view of one of the instant pot chicken tenders being removed with tongs

More Recipes You May Like

Serving Suggestions

Weight Watchers Points

There are 0 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.

Thank you for reading my chicken tenders Instant Pot recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice, and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Southern Recipes, and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog. 

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the completed instant pot chicken tenders recipe
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5 from 3 votes

Instant Pot Chicken Tenders

Instant Pot Chicken Tenders are easy to make, ready in minutes, and perfect for meal prep.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time6 minutes
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Western
Diet: Gluten Free
Servings: 6
Calories: 91kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts about 2 pounds (908g)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup (237ml) chicken broth or water

Instructions

  • Slice chicken into tenders and place in a bowl or zip top bag. Add all of the ingredients (except broth) and toss to coat.
  • Place a trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot insert, then pour in the chicken broth.
  • Place chicken tenders on top of the trivet. They can touch but do not stack or overlap.
  • Place on the lid, turn the valve to the sealing position, and set to manual pressure / high pressure for 6 minutes.
  • When done perform a quick pressure release, open the lid and carefully remove chicken.
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Video

Notes

  • To cut chicken tenders, start with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Use a sharp knife to cut the chicken breast against the grain into tenders of equal length and thickness. 
  • Brown the chicken in the Instant Pot using the saute function. This step is optional but will lock in the juices and make the tenders more flavorful. 
  • Be sure to cook the chicken on a trivet or it will burn. 
  • Making chicken tenders in Instant Pot is a great way to use leftover chicken breast. 
  • Always check for doneness with a meat thermometer. The temperature should be 165F / 74C when inserted into the thickest part of chicken breasts.
  • There are 0 WW Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.

Nutrition

Calories: 91kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 619mg | Potassium: 331mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 357IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

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5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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3 Comments

  1. Why does it list smoked paprika twice in the ingredients list for the recipe itself? Was it supposed to be a different spice?

  2. 5 stars
    I made this tonight, and it was delicious! It was easy to prepare, and the chicken was moist and very flavorful. I will definitely be making this again. It’s already on my repeat list! Thanks for such a great recipe!