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Pan-Fried Chicken Tenders (No Breading)

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These pan-fried chicken tenders come out browned and juicy without all the extra calories in deep-fried chicken strips. They are low in carbs and will save you the time needed for breading. This chicken tenderloins recipe uses simple ingredients and takes less than 15 minutes. So, it’s great for a quick dinner on busy nights. Learn how to make tasty pan-fried chicken tenderloins stove top with this easy recipe. 

Pan-fried chicken tenders without breading, garnished with lemon slices.

Why Make Pan Seared Chicken Tenders?

There are so many reasons to make naked chicken tenders. Here are my top few:

  • Low-carb: These unbreaded chicken tenders save you time and calories—no need to batter your chicken strips in a flour mixture and no deep frying.
  • Easy and quick dinner: Since there’s no breading required, this recipe is an easy and quick way to make dinner. 
  • Simple ingredients: You need 4 simple ingredients to make these delectable chicken strips. 

Ingredients Needed

Here is what you’ll need to gather to make pan-fried chicken tenders without breading:

  • Chicken tenderloins: You can use packaged chicken breast tenderloins from the grocery store or buy boneless skinless chicken breasts and cut them into strips. 
  • Cajun seasoning: this is a homemade seasoning blend that includes spices that you probably have in your pantry like garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. 
  • 24 Herb sprinkle seasoning: I use the Bragg’s brand which can be found in the spice aisle at most grocery stores.
  • Avocado oil: You can also use olive oil if that is what you have on hand.

Be sure to check out the recipe card for the full instructions and exact ingredient amounts.

Chicken tenderloins, Cajun seasoning, herb sprinkle seasoning, and avocado oil in separate bowls.

Be sure to check out the recipe card at the end of the post for the exact ingredient amounts and the full instructions. 

How To Cook Chicken Tenders On The Stove

Follow these 4 simple steps for my pan-seared chicken tenders no breading recipe:

  1. Prepare the chicken: Pat the raw chicken tenders dry with paper towels and remove the tendons. Mix the spices together in a small bowl. Add the chicken tenders to a large mixing bowl with the seasoning mix. Toss to coat the chicken evenly.
  2. Preheat the oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. 
  3. Place the chicken tenders in a single layer in the cast iron pan.
  4. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side depending on how large your chicken tenders are.
Four easy steps to make pan-fried chicken tenders.

Recipe Tips & FAQs


  • Mix the spices first: Mixing the spices in a small bowl helps apply them evenly on the chicken.
  • Preheat the oil in the pan: Preheating gives the pan-fried chicken tenders a golden brown sear.
  • Adjust the cooking time depending on your chicken: the chicken is technically cooked when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 165 degrees. So, depending on the size of your tenders you may need an additional minute or two.
  • Allow the meat to come closer to room temperature before cooking. This will help them cook evenly


How do you pan-fry chicken without making it tough?

Cook your pan-fried chicken tenderloins over medium heat to avoid drying them out. You also want to take them out the pan before they reach 165 degrees since the meat continues to cook as they rest.

How are chicken tenders made?

Chicken tenders are parts of a chicken. They are little strips attached to the underside of each chicken breast. Some people also simple make chicken tenders by cutting a whole chicken breast into strips.

Is it okay to fry chicken in a pan?

Yes. This recipe uses a pan to shallow-fry chicken tenders. A shallow fry just means that you are not submerging the chicken in a big pot of oil.

How do you know when chicken tenders are done frying? 

Your chicken tenders will be ready in 6-8 minutes depending on how large they are. Also, the internal temperature should be 165 degrees. I don’t measure with a meat thermometer. Instead, I look to make sure that the juice is clear and that the meat is firm and not soft.

Sauces & Toppings

Like chicken nuggets, you can pair these with a variety of your favorite dipping sauces. Some popular options for pan-fried chicken tenderloins are:

Storage and Leftovers

Leftover chicken tenders can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 

What To Eat Pan Seared Chicken Tenders With

This main dish pairs well with various side dishes. The list below has popular traditional sides, modified dishes great for the whole family, and some easy options for low-carb dieters.

Platter of pan-fried chicken tenders without breading, adorned with lemon slices.

More Chicken Tender Recipes

Pan-fried chicken tenders are amazing, but if you want to try other ways of making chicken tenders, the recipes below are delicious:

Pan-fried chicken tenders without breading, garnished with lemon slices.

Pan Fried Chicken Tenders (No Breading)

These Pan-fried Chicken Tenders are browned and juicy in less than 15 minutes. Uses 4 simple ingredients. Great for meal prep.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 232 kcal


  • 1.25 lbs Chicken tenderloins
  • 1.5 tbsp Cajun seasoning click for homemade recipe
  • 1/2 tsp 24 herb sprinkle seasoning Bragg's seasoning mix
  • 2 tbsp Avocado Oil


  • Mix the spices together in a small bowl.
  • Remove the tendons.
  • Preheat the oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the chicken tenders to a large mixing bowl with the spices. Toss to coat the chicken evenly.
  • Place the chicken tenders in a single layer on the cast iron pan.
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, depending on how large your chicken tenders are.


Calories: 232kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 166mg | Potassium: 587mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 1340IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
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