Packed with flavor and just the right level of heat, these blackened chicken tenders make a delicious quick dinner and are a perfect addition to a weekly meal prep.
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This recipe was born somewhat of a necessity. You see, I am not ashamed to admit that I have become slightly addicted to the blackened chicken tenders at Popeyes. That wouldn't really be a problem, but unfortunately, the Popeyes near me just shut down.
The first step for making these blackened tenders was creating the perfect homemade blackening seasoning. Once I got that down, I have to admit that I was a little surprised by how easy these tenders were to make. I won't even let my mind fathom how much money I could have saved by making these by myself all these years.
If you are looking for a breaded chicken tender be sure to check out my recipe for low-carb crispy tenders. You can even add some blackening seasoning to the breading for the best of both worlds!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Chicken Tenders or any boneless, skinless chicken pieces
- Avocado Oil or any oil suited for high heat
- Blackening Seasoning
- Butter - optional
See the recipe card for quantities.
This recipe is seriously easy. As in just a few steps and 25 minutes from start to finish e-a-s-y.
Before you get started, go ahead and line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and preheat your oven to 425° F.
Now, Place the chicken tenders, avocado oil, and the blackening seasoning into a gallon zip-top bag or a large bowl. Toss everything together to fully coat the tenders with the seasoning.
Next, heat the remaining oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat.
Tip: For best results do not use a non-stick skillet. Not only is it unsafe to cook at high heat with most non-stick coating, but you won't be able to achieve a good sear. I recommend a cast-iron skillet (affiliate link), which is very affordable and will literally last forever.
Once the oil is hot, carefully add the chicken tenders in an even layer. Sear the tenders for 1 ½-2 minute on each side working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding your pan.
After searing the chicken, transfer it to the prepared sheet pan and bake for 6-10 minutes or until they reach a minimum internal temperature of 165° F.
While the chicken is in the oven, add the butter to the skillet used to sear the chicken. Stir the butter around until it is melted. After the chicken is out of the oven, carefully brush the melted butter over the chicken tenders.
Hint: Chicken breast can go from fully cooked, to dry and chewy in the matter of just a few degrees. I can not recommend a meat thermometer enough! I prefer one that has an oven-safe probe that will alarm when the chicken reaches 165 degrees.
This recipe doesn't require any special equipment. You will only need measuring spoons, a container for mixing the chicken with the seasoning, a heavy-bottomed skillet, tongs, a pastry brush, and a baking sheet.
There are a few items that make this recipe much easier to cook and clean up:
- Gallon sized zip-top bags make coating the chicken in the seasoning a zero mess expierence snd make it really easy to fully coat all of the chicken.
- A cast iron skillet (affiliate link) is perfect for getting a great sear.
- Using a meat thermometer with an oven saf probe and an alarm setting prevents overcooking which is the biggest enemy of chicken breast.
Cooked chicken tenders can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for 6 months. Reheat in the microwave or the oven for the best results.
Generally blackening chicken (or any other food for that matter) means that it has been coated in a mix of spices and cooked over high heat, creating a dark 'crust'.
Yes! By just about any way you measure it, blackening is a great way to add a TON of flavor without carbs, fat, sugar, or calories.
Blackened chicken is very versatile and can be used with a large variety of meals. Here are some of my favorite accompaniments:
Sauteed Fresh Green Beans
Slow Cooker Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Keto Corn Pudding
In addition to these side dish options, these chicken tenders are great added to salads, used in sheet pan fajitas, or served with chipotle sauce on these beer bread slider buns.
Make sure that your skillet is piping hot when you are searing the tenders. They should have a good sear in less than 2 minutes.
Blackened Chicken Tenders
- Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and preheat your oven to 425° F.
- Place the chicken tenders, 1 tablespoon or avocado oil, and the blackening seasoning into a gallon zip. top bag or a large bowl. Toss the ingredients to coat the tenders with the seasoning.2 lbs Chicken Tenders, 3 tablespoon Avocado Oil, 3 tablespoon Blackening Seasoning
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of avocado oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat.3 tablespoon Avocado Oil
- Once the oil is hot, carefully add the chicken tenders in an even layer. Sear the tenders for 1 ½-2 minutes on each side working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding your pan.
- After searing the chicken, transfer them to the prepared sheet pan and bake for 6-10 minutes or until they reach a minimum internal temperature of 165° F.
- While the chicken is in the oven, add the butter to the skillet used to sear the chicken. Stir the butter around until it is melted. After the chicken is out of the oven, carefully brush the melted butter over the chicken tenders.3 tablespoon Butter
The nutrition information listed here is only an estimate and is simply provided as a courtesy. It nor any other information within this post should constitute medical or nutritional advice. Be sure to read all packaging and ingredient labels for potential allergens.