Boiling Chicken Tenderloins: A Quick and Easy Recipe

If you’re looking for a hassle-free way to prepare chicken tenders, look no further! Boiling chicken tenderloins is not only simple but also opens up a world of possibilities for delicious recipes. Whether you need precooked chicken for soups, stews, or casseroles, this boiled chicken tenderloins recipe has got you covered. In just 15 minutes, you’ll have tender and juicy chicken ready to be used in a wide variety of dishes.

how to boil chicken tenders in water on the stove

Get Ready for the BEST Boiled Chicken Tenders

Our home is always in need of pre-cooked chicken, and that’s where boiled chicken tenders come in handy. Whether you prefer boiling chicken breast or tenderloins, having a stash of precooked meat is a game-changer for quick and easy meals. In this boiled chicken tenders recipe, we’ll guide you on how long to boil them to get the perfect results.

Plus, once you master the art of boiling chicken tenders, you can whip up mouthwatering dishes like sour cream chicken enchilada casserole, green chili chicken casserole, buffalo chicken dip, or a refreshing keto cobb salad. The options are endless!

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Why You’ll Love Boiling Chicken Tenders

  • Cooking time: With just 12 minutes on the clock, our recipe ensures that boiling chicken tenders becomes the quickest way to precook chicken tenderloin pieces.
  • Fresh or frozen: It doesn’t matter if your chicken tenders are fresh or frozen; this recipe works beautifully for both.
  • Healthy and versatile: Boiled chicken tenders fit perfectly into various healthy eating plans, including gluten-free, keto, low-carb, paleo, Whole30, sugar-free, and dairy-free.
  • Minimal ingredients: You can make this whole recipe with as little as two ingredients!

stovetop chicken tenders in the bottom of a pot before adding water

What You’ll Need to Boil Chicken Tenders

You can keep things simple with just two ingredients for your boiled chicken tenders recipe, or you can explore some variations to add extra flavor and depth to your tenderloin meat.

  • Uncooked chicken tenderloins: Boneless and skinless, fresh or frozen.
  • Water


  • Liquid: Instead of using plain water, you can boil the chicken tenders in chicken broth or stock for added flavor.
  • Seasoning: While seasoning is optional, you can enhance the taste by adding a sprinkle of salt and pepper, fresh herbs, or whole garlic cloves to the pot while cooking.

How to Boil Chicken Tenders

Making boiled chicken tenders is as easy as bringing a pot of water to a boil, cooking the tenderloin pieces, and draining them. With a few simple steps, you’ll have a batch of perfectly cooked chicken tenders ready to elevate your favorite recipes.

boiled chicken tenders before cooking in a pot on the stovetop

Prep Ingredients

  1. Place 1 lb of raw chicken tenders (tenderloins) in a pot.
  2. Cover the chicken with cold water until it is submerged about ½-1″.
  3. Place the lid on the pot.
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How Long to Boil Chicken Tenders?

  1. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Once the water starts to bubble, reduce the stovetop temperature to medium-low. You’ll be poaching the chicken tenders, not cooking them at a full boil.
  3. With the lid on, continue cooking the chicken tenders for 2-3 minutes until they are cooked through, and the internal temperature reaches 160°F.
  4. Use the boiled chicken tenders in any recipe that calls for precooked chicken, whether it’s shredded chicken for salads or sliced chicken for soups or casseroles.

Can You Boil Frozen Chicken?

Yes, you can! To make chicken tenderloins from frozen, follow these steps:

  1. Add the frozen tenders to a pan and cover them with water.
  2. Place the lid on the pot and bring it to a boil.

How Long to Boil Frozen Chicken?

  1. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the frozen chicken tenders for 4-5 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 160°F.

wondering how long to boil chicken tenders? put them in a pot and boil for 2 minutes

Tips for Boiling Chicken Tenders

Here are some handy tips to ensure your boiled chicken tenders turn out perfectly:

  • Cooking time: The cooking time mentioned in this recipe is based on using thawed chicken tenders. If working with frozen tenders, adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • Lid on: Using the lid on your pot will help the water come to a boil faster and keep the heat in the pot while the chicken tender pieces simmer.
  • Doneness: It’s important to cook the chicken tenderloins fully. For the best results, we recommend using a digital meat thermometer to check for doneness.
  • Shredding chicken: Boiled chicken tenders are perfect for shredding. Use them in chicken salad, wraps, or pasta dishes.
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Ways to Use Boiled Chicken Tenders

Once you have a batch of boiled chicken tenders, there are countless ways to enjoy their deliciousness:

  • Shred them and use in salads or sandwiches.
  • Make flavorful chicken tacos.
  • Add them to soups at the end of the cooking time for an extra protein boost.
  • Slice and incorporate them into stir-fries, pasta dishes, and grain bowls.
  • Use them as a protein-rich topping for pizzas and flatbreads.
  • Simply serve them with a side of vegetables and a dipping sauce for a quick and healthy meal.

boiled chicken tenderloins on a black plate after simmering on the stovetop

How to Store This Boiled Chicken Recipe

Here are some guidelines for storing your boiled chicken tenders:

  • Store: After boiling, let the chicken tenders cool to room temperature. Then, transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freeze: For longer storage, place the cooled chicken tenders in a freezer-safe bag or container, removing as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: To reheat, thaw the chicken tenders in the refrigerator and then warm them gently in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in an air fryer until the internal temperature reaches 165°F when checked with an instant-read meat thermometer.

How to Boil Chicken Recipe FAQs

  • Q: Can I use this recipe for boiling chicken breasts instead of tenderloins?
  • A: Absolutely! The technique remains the same whether you’re boiling chicken tenderloins or chicken breasts.
  • Q: Are there any other chicken tender recipes I can try?
  • A: Of course! Check out our keto air fryer chicken tenders, healthy baked chicken tenders, air fryer chicken tenders, pan-fried chicken tenders, instant pot frozen chicken tenders, and frozen chicken tenders in air fryer (frozen chicken strips) recipes for more delicious ideas.
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More Favorites from Whole Lotta Yum

Looking for more chicken tender recipes? Look no further! We’ve got a collection of tasty recipes to satisfy your chicken cravings:

  • Keto Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
  • Healthy Baked Chicken Tenders
  • Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
  • Pan-Fried Chicken Tenders
  • Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Tenders
  • Frozen Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer (Frozen Chicken Strips)

Enjoy cooking up a storm with these delightful chicken tender recipes!

Remember, for more fantastic recipes and culinary inspiration, visit Family Cuisine. Happy cooking!

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