Chicken tenders have never been so delicious! Cooked in the Instant Pot, they are ready to serve in 15 minutes and make for a great appetizer or main meal. Juicy, succulent, and rubbed in a garlic and herb seasoning mix.
What’s in this Instant Pot Chicken Tenders Recipe?
One of my go-to appetizers and finger foods is chicken tenders. They are always a crowd pleaser, and when cooked in the Instant Pot they come out perfectly succulent and juicy.
- Seasonings: Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, and ground black pepper give this chicken a classic Italian flavor.
- Chicken Tenders: You can buy pre-cut chicken tenders, or buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cut them lengthwise into tenders.
- Chicken Broth: Helps keep the chicken ultra-moist while it cooks.
Pro Tip: Use a trivet to cook the tenders. If you place them straight into the pot, the bottoms will burn.
Variations on Instapot Chicken Tenders
These chicken tenders are so versatile! To serve them with other cuisines, simply swap out the seasonings for your favorites.
Taco seasoning, blackened seasoning, herbs de Provence, chicken seasoning, lemon pepper, or barbecue would all be delish!
Cooking times can vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken tenders. As a general guideline, cooking chicken tenders in the Instant Pot usually takes around 5-8 minutes on high pressure with a quick release of pressure. It’s important to always check the internal temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches 165°F.
Yes, you can use frozen chicken tenders in the Instant Pot. However, you may need to increase the cooking time to ensure they are fully cooked. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cooking frozen meat in the Instant Pot.
Using the sauté function before pressure cooking is optional but can help enhance the flavor and texture of the chicken tenders. Searing them briefly on each side in some oil or butter can provide a nice golden color and a bit of crispness. However, you can also skip this step if you prefer.
To prevent chicken tenders from drying out, it’s important not to overcook them. Follow the recommended cooking times and use a meat thermometer to ensure they reach the correct internal temperature of 165°F. You can also add some liquid like broth, sauce, or even water to the Instant Pot to help keep the chicken moist.
The Instant Pot cooks food through pressure cooking, which may not result in crispy chicken tenders. However, after pressure cooking, you can transfer the tenders to a baking sheet and broil them in the oven for a few minutes to achieve a crispy exterior.
How to Store and Reheat
These chicken tenders are great straight out of the pressure cooker, but they will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can eat the cooked tenders cold, added to salads and sandwiches, or reheat them in the oven at 350°F until warmed through.
How to Freeze
Freeze chicken tenders in an airtight container or Ziplock bag for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Instant Pot Chicken Tenders
- Combine the seasonings in a bowl and season both sides of each chicken tender to taste.1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon ground pepper, 2 pounds chicken tenders
- Set the Instant Pot to sauté (you can also do this step stovetop) and brown the chicken tenders on each side for 1-2 minutes. This step is optional but seals in flavor.
- Place trivet inside the Instant Pot.
- Pour chicken broth into the pot (directly over the chicken).1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- Seal cooker and set to HIGH pressure for 6 minutes.
- When it’s done, release the pressure valve and wait for pressure to release, then let the chicken rest another 5 minutes.
- Serve with your favorite sauce and enjoy!
- I browned the tenders and really liked that it helped seal in the flavor. It also gives the tenders a nice texture on the outside if you want to enjoy them like chicken fingers or tenders and dip them in sauce. Browning is completely optional.
- Shredding was a breeze with the cooking time of 6 minutes.
- Use a trivet to cook the tenders. If you place them straight into the pot, the bottoms will burn.