Chicken tenders are a classic side dish in western meal plans and are especially known for their popularity in southern cuisine.
Although often associated with kids, this perfect blend of juicy meat on the inside and a crispy coating on the outside is not only a great source of protein, it’s so tasty grownups can’t get enough of it either!
If you finally took the leap and decided to prepare your own version of your favorite fast food chicken, you might currently be staring at a pile of leftover tenders thinking, “what on earth am I going to do with these?”
The first thing we want to say is DO NOT THROW THESE OUT! Chicken tenders make for great leftovers and will ease up your week so that you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time relaxing.
Plus, chicken is packed full of healthy nutrients, including vitamin B, vitamin D, calcium, iron, zinc, and trace amounts of vitamin A and vitamin C (we are just going to ignore the fried exterior for the moment).
Preparing leftover chicken tenders couldn’t be easier and can be completed four different ways: in the oven, air fryer, microwave and even in a frying pan on the stovetop.
With so many options, there’s a method that fits every kitchen’s needs.
So what are you waiting for?
How To Reheat Chicken Tenders In The Oven?
If you’ve got a bit of extra time on your hands, then reheating your chicken tenders in the oven is a super simple and delicious approach.
The longer cooking time for this method is crucial as it will ensure your meat is heating evenly and all the way through.
Warming your chicken tenders this way is ideal as it won’t cause the chicken to dry out and will leave you with delicious and juicy pieces of meat.
- Make sure you preheat the oven before putting the chicken in, as the hot air is crucial for warming up the tenders all the way through and to the desired temperature.
- A convection oven would also work great as the air circulation would help to create an even more thorough and even heating process.
- Lining the baking sheet with parchment paper is not necessary, but it does make the cleanup afterward a lot easier.
- The olive oil is also not necessary but will ensure your tenders are crispy when they come out of the oven. If you feel your chicken is already oily enough, simply skip this step.
- All ovens are different, so make sure to keep an eye out on your tenders, as the cooking times may vary slightly.
- Your best bet is to cut a little piece off and try it to see if it has been heated all the way through.
How To Reheat Chicken Tenders In The Microwave?
In contrast to the previous method, reheating your chicken tenders in the microwave is super quick and is perfect for when you’re in a time crunch and need to get dinner on the table fast.
Although this approach is highly efficient, it isn’t recommended and should be your last resort, as microwaves have a tendency to make food soggy.
However, when you’re in the office and are dying to eat your chicken tender leftovers, the microwave is the best option!
Here’s how to do it
- It’s very important that the tenders do not overlap or touch each other, as this will prevent them from being heated through evenly.
- If you are using frozen chicken tenders, you can set the microwave to “defrost” and warm them up this way.
- All microwaves are different, so make sure to keep an eye out on your tenders, as the cooking times may vary slightly.
- Do not add any oil when completing this method (microwaves already tend to make food more moist than other appliances).
How To Reheat Chicken Tenders In The Air Fryer?
If you don’t have an air fryer, then it’s time to get one because these babies will make your life much easier!
Air fryers do all the work for you, so if you choose to heat up your chicken tenders this way, you can simply sit back and watch the magic happen!
Check out the following chart to see how it’s done
- Don’t skip the vegetable oil step! This will ensure your tenders are extra crispy when they come out of the fryer.
- Ensuring the tenders don’t touch each other is essential as it will allow the chicken to be heated through evenly.
- It’s important that you don’t try to cram as many tenders into the air fryer as possible, as this will prevent the hot air from circulating efficiently.
- If you are preparing your tenders for a big group of people, simply complete the steps in batches.
How To Reheat Chicken Tenders In The Frying Pan?
If you love extra crispy chicken tenders, then we would definitely be going for this method.
Frying your tenders is not only delicious, but it also only takes 3 minutes to prepare!
- Remember you are just reheating the tenders, so make sure to keep an eye out on them so that they don’t over-brown.
- Only reheat your tenders once, as reheating them a second time, as the meat will become tough.
- Be careful when placing the tenders into the oil, as it will be very hot.
- To be safe, wear oven mitts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Chicken Tenders Be Reheated?
Yes, absolutely, chicken tenders make for great leftovers and can be reheated. In fact, there are a variety of ways this can be implemented.
The first method and the one that requires the most time is in the oven. If you’re in a hurry, chicken tenders can also be warmed up quickly in the microwave.
The two other approaches entail heating your chicken in an air fryer or in a frying pan. These methods will produce chicken tenders with the most crisp factor as they are fried.
It’s important to keep in mind that although chicken tenders can be reheated once, we do not recommend reheating them a second time as the meat will be very tough and will no longer taste very good.
How Do You Reheat Chicken Tenders So They Are Crispy?
The best ways to reheat your chicken tenders so that they remain crispy are in the oven, in the air fryer or in the frying pan.
The extreme heat of each of these methods ensures the tenders are warmed up all the way through while maintaining the crunchy exterior.
For extra crispiness, coat your tenders with a little olive oil before heating them.
How Long Do Cooked Chicken Tenders Last?
Storing your chicken tenders properly is crucial for helping them to have the longest shelf life possible.
If you are going to eat your leftovers in the next couple of days, you can store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
After this, you should not consume them as they will be past their prime and may have already developed bacteria.
If you don’t wish to eat your chicken tenders until a later date, you can also freeze them in a freezer-safe bag for up to approximately 3 months.
What Can You Eat With Chicken Tenders?
Chicken tenders pair well with a variety of other dishes, including:
- French fries
- Mashed potatoes
- Corn on the cob
- Mac and cheese
- Fried veggies
Just think of southern cuisine and you’ll be good to go!
Oh and don’t forget your favorite dipping sauce!
Are Chicken Tenders Healthy?
Chicken is packed full of healthy nutrients, including vitamin B, vitamin D, calcium, iron, zinc, and small amounts of vitamin A and vitamin C.
Eating chicken can also help with weight loss as chicken is a lean meat, meaning it has less fat on it.
However, it is important to keep in mind that because chicken tenders are breaded and fried, they aren’t the most healthy way of eating chicken and tend to contain high amounts of fat and carbs.
When you’re craving chicken tenders and want a healthier alternative to the ones you get at fast food restaurants, check out the video below to see how you can DIY them!
Everything in moderation, am I right?
- Chicken tenders
- Olive oil
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Remove chicken tenders from fridge and let them get to room temperature
- Set your oven to a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Retrieve a baking sheet
- Line the baking sheet with parchment paper
- Place the chicken tenders on the baking sheet so that they do not touch each other or overlap one another
- Grease each side of the tenders with a bit of olive oil using a brush
- Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes
- Remove the baking sheet and flip the tenders over
- Increase the temperature of the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- Heat the chicken for an additional 10 minutes
- Remove from the oven and serve hot
- Chicken tenders
- Olive oil
- Microwave-safe dish
- Retrieve a microwave-safe dish
- Place the chicken tenders inside the dish, making sure they do not touch or overlap
- Set your microwave to “reheat” or, if you don’t have this, to a low-heat setting
- Cook tenders for 2 ½ minutes
- Flip the tenders over
- Cook for another 2 ½ minutes
- Remove from the microwave and enjoy!
- Chicken tenders
- Vegetable oil
- Air fryer
- Paper towel
- Remove the chicken tenders from the fridge or freezer and allow them to get to room temperature
- Take a paper towel and pat the tenders to remove any excess moisture
- Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or medium heat)
- Brush some vegetable oil onto either side of the chicken tenders
- Place the chicken tenders in the air fryer basket so that they do not touch
- Cook for 5 minutes
- Turn the tenders over
- Cook for another 5 minutes
- Remove with tongs and enjoy!
- Chicken tenders
- Canola/vegetable oil
- Heavy-bottom skillet
- Paper towel
- Remove your chicken tenders from the fridge or freezer and allow them to get to room temperature
- Pour vegetable or canola oil into the heavy-bottom skillet
- Put the element on medium and allow the oil to heat up to a temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Using tongs, place the chicken tenders into the skillet in single file, so that they don’t touch each other
- Cook chicken for 2 minutes on medium-high heat
- Flip the tenders and cook for an additional minute
- Remove the tenders and place on paper towels to remove excess grease
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