Chicken Tenders Skillet Dinner

Chicken Tenders Skillet Dinner features boneless chicken tenders (also known as tenderloins) that are easily cooked in a skillet with a flavorful tomato broth. Our mom called this dish “chicken marinara.” It’s an ideal recipe for serve it with a side of rice, couscous, or quinoa for a complete dinner! YUM!

What are Chicken Tenders?

Chicken tenders are also known as chicken tenderloins. They are the meat part attached to the underside of the breast of the chicken, and it is generally removed and sold in packages, separately. They are the most tender part of the bird.

Reasons to LOVE Chicken Tenders Marinara…

  • This chicken dish will take you by surprise!
  • It’s super easy, budget-friendly, and very flavorful.
  • Its aromatic flavors will please your palate immensely.
  • Perfect with a side of steamed rice, creamy mashed potatoes, couscous, or quinoa to soak up its delicious sauce.

This skillet recipe for chicken tenders is positively delicious, you will want to keep this one on a weekly rotation.

A large skillet with chicken tenders in a tomato base sauce. by

Chicken Tenders Skillet Dinner…

When we think of chicken tenders, basically, we think of the ones we order from a local chain restaurant, and usually coated in a thick batter and fried for the kids.

No one ever thinks of them otherwise. Until recently!

We enjoy cooking chicken tenders, simply because they cook up quickly, always juicy and tender, and helps get dinner on the table in no time.

Be sure to try our recipes for chicken pot pie with the pie crust, and our chicken tenders smothered with lemon & parsley. They are quick and easy too!

Let’s get started…

ingredients displayed on white board. by

Ingredients Needed for our Chicken Tenders Skillet Dinner

For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • boneless chicken tenders – at least one pound, or more, about 11 to 12 pieces.
  • olive oil – good quality olive oil is best.
  • butter – if you prefer no butter, just increase the amount of olive oil.
  • seasonings – salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
  • herbs – only dried oregano is required. Also, some freshly chopped parsley.
  • garlic cloves – to give this chicken dish an aromatic flavor.
  • fresh ripe tomatoes on the vine – will create a light sauce.
  • white wine – to enhance overall flavors.
  • Optional: grated parmesan cheese – give it some creaminess and more flavors, but it’s not required.

How to Make Our Chicken Tenders Skillet Dinner? (Step-by-Step directions)

*Plus, our full recipe card below!

Here are a few easy steps, to make this chicken dinner in a snap!

  1. Step 1: Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet. Add the tenders, and season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Sauté for a few minutes, about 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Step 2: Turn each chicken tender over. Toss in the minced garlic, and scatter with oregano. Sauté for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes. Toss the tomatoes into the skillet. Stir and cover with a lid.

3 photos of chicken tenders in the skillet, alone with chopped tomatoes on top.  by

3. Final Step: Pour in the white wine. Cover and simmer on low heat for a few minutes. Taste the sauce, and adjust the seasonings to your taste.

Then open, sprinkle with some freshly chopped parsley on top. Here is where you can sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese on top. And serve!

Notes and Tips for Success!

  • If the sauce seems a little watery, no worries! After cooking, leave the cover off for a while, and as the sauce sits with the chicken, the chicken will continue to absorb some of the sauce.
  • Also, another way to thicken the sauce is to remove the chicken tenders to a nearby serving platter, then simmer the sauce, uncovered for a few minutes longer. Then spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.
  • Optional: For additional flavor, you can sprinkle grated parmesan cheese all over the dish. This will not only give additional flavor, but also, gives some creaminess to the sauce. YUM! 😉

Can we use other chicken parts for this recipe?

Yes, you can. I have made this skillet dish several times. As long as they are boneless parts, such as boneless thighs and even breasts. But with breasts, I prefer to cut them in half and even into strips, like the tenders.

What if I don’t have white wine, what can I use in its place?

You can use either chicken broth or vegetable broth in its place. Either one will suffice.

Chicken Tenders Skillet Dinner by

Additional… delicious chicken skillet dinners…

If you enjoy chicken tenders as chicken fingers, you may try our recipe for oven-fried chicken fingers with Sriracha dipping sauce. It too is delicious!

Yield: 3 to 4 servings

Chicken Tenders Skillet Dinner

A large skillet with chicken tenders in a tomato base sauce.

Chicken Tenders Skillet Dinner is made with boneless chicken tenders (aka tenderloins) sauteed in a skillet with a few fresh ingredients including fresh ripe tomatoes. serve with a side of rice, couscous, or quinoa for a complete dinner that's ready in 30 minutes!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1 to 1.5 pounds of boneless chicken tenders ( about 11 to 12 pieces)
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil - divided
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt - divided
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves - minced (about 1 Tbsp.)
  • 4 ripe tomatoes - chopped
  • 1/4 cup drinking white wine
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
  • Optional: 2 to 4 Tbsp. of grated parmesan cheese


  1. First, rinse chicken tenders and drain. In a large non-stick skillet, heat up olive oil on moderate heat. Toss in 2 tablespoons of butter and add in the chicken tenders.
  2. Season the tenders (while in the skillet) with some black pepper, cayenne, and 1/4 tsp. of salt. Saute the chicken on moderate-low heat for about 4 minutes.
  3. Use kitchen tongs to turn each one over. Then scatter with dried oregano over them. Next, toss in the minced garlic, and simmer the chicken with garlic for an additional 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Turn the tenders over again, and toss in the chopped tomatoes. Next, drizzle additional 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. COVER with a lid. Simmer on low heat for about 5 to 6 minutes.
  5. Pour in the white wine, and add in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley on top. Cover again. This will flavor the sauce. Continue to simmer for a few minutes more, about 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  6. Allow the chicken to rest in the skillet for a few minutes before serving. Optional: here is where you can sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over the entire skillet before serving.
  7. Transfer the chicken to a deep baking dish or platter. Spoon all the remaining sauce over the chicken and garnish on top with chopped parsley and serve.

Serves 3 to 4


It's best to use any drinking white wine you may have on hand. Do not use supermarket cooking wine, it will not enhance this recipe.

Also, if the sauce seems a little watery, no worries! Uncover and simmer the chicken with the sauce for a few additional minutes, until the sauce has reduced a little. Also, stir some grated parmesan cheese. It will give the sauce more flavor and creaminess consistency.

Nutrition Information:


3 to 4 servings

Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 350Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5.7gCholesterol: 97mgCarbohydrates: 6.1gFiber: 1.7gSugar: 3.3gProtein: 34.1g

Did you make this recipe?

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thanks for stopping by…

xo anna and liz

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Welcome! From Anna and Liz

We believe the kitchen is the center and the heart of the home. It is where we cook, eat, and unwind with family and friends, creating memorable traditions! Read more…

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    1. Yes, we agree! They will never dry out this way…. Thanks so much, Sandra. Have a great week! 🙂

    1. Hi Susan! .. and yes, I have made this chicken skillet several times and used chicken breasts, and they too turn out very flavorful. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend! 🙂