Chicken tenders go by many names: chicken goujons, chicken strips, chicken nuggets, and chicken fillets. No matter what you call them, they are delicious!
Restaurants often classify them as kids’ food or appetizers. But they can be part of a complete dinner if you make suitable side dishes. You are likely wondering, what goes with chicken tenders?
The simple answer is a lot of food!
We have all the answers to what to serve with chicken tenders.
Let’s go to The Chalkboard.
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What To Do With Chicken Tenders For Dinner
Chicken tenders are an excellent starting point for dinner. They are high in protein and a big crowd-pleaser. They are often relegated to the appetizer menu but are much more than a starter. Here’s how to make them into a filling dinner.
Make them a component of the meal but not the star. Chop the chicken and place it on top of your favorite salad. Be sure to use hearty greens like kale or romaine to hold up to the chicken and creamy dressings.
If you want the chicken to shine, just serve it with a side dish. A salad, raw or cooked veggies, or even macaroni and cheese complement it well; the sky is the limit!
Chicken tenders are also a great addition to an appetizer platter. Add mozzarella sticks, dumplings (we love Trader Joe’s version), chopped vegetables, and your other favorite starters on a platter, and have everyone graze. It’s a simple dinner that everyone will love.
Make it into a sandwich! if you want a hearty hero but don’t want to cook too much, use chicken tenders. Top with marinara sauce and mozzarella or bbq sauce and provolone for a delicious sub everyone will love!
What Goes With Fried Chicken Tenders?
Almost anything goes with chicken tenders! They work well in salads, wraps, and with many side dishes. But before you start prepping dinner, here are some things to consider.
When planning a meal, it’s all about balance. Since the tenders are fried, they pair well with fresh fruits and vegetables for added nutrition.
Food visuals are important, too. Chicken tender side dishes should be in colors other than brown to make the plate more appealing. Greens are a great addition here, whether cooked or raw in a salad.
Want recipes and specifics? Here’s exactly what to serve with chicken tenders.
Healthy Sides To Eat With Chicken Tenders
Most salads make great chicken tender side dishes. We love ones that include hearty greens like romaine and kale. This Italian Chopped Salad from The Cozy Apron is a Chalkboard Favorite made frequently in our house. Try this Kale Salad with Apples from the NYT Cooking if you like a darker green. It comes together in a flash, and the salty-sweet combination of the apples and cheeses has every bite packed with flavor.
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Besides adding color to your plate, sweet potatoes are excellent sources of vitamins A, B6, C, potassium, and fiber. If you are baking your chicken tenders in the oven, the potatoes can cook simultaneously. Poke some holes in the sweet potatoes and then place them in a preheated 400-degree oven for 40-50 minutes. If you are time-pressed, use the crock pot! Rinse the potatoes (do not dry) and cook on low for 6-7 hours. It really is as simple as that!
Sweet Potato Fries
If you want more of a pub-style meal without all the calories, try sweet potato fries instead of french fries. Follow these tips from Cookie and Kate for the crispiest baked sweet potato fries. I’ve made these many times, and the recipe is perfect. Be sure to measure the cornstarch. If you use too much, it will stay on the outside and make your fries gummy.
Broccoli is one of the best side dishes for chicken tenders. The cruciferous vegetable is well-liked all around. But the crunch of roasted broccoli is the perfect complement to chicken tenders.
This side dish has all of the crunch and flavor of chicken wings without deep-frying. Try this easy buffalo cauliflower recipe. If you use ranch dressing, it can double as a sauce for the tenders.
Roasted brussel sprouts may not come to mind when thinking about what to serve with chicken tenders. But they are delicious. For something lighter, grate raw Brussel sprouts and create a salad. I love this recipe from Cookie and Kate. It yields a lot, but it’s a great lunch.
Low Carb Sides For Chicken Tenders
Sautee kale, collard greens, chopped bok choy, or other green vegetables in olive oil with a few pieces of garlic for the simplest low-carb sides, perfect for chicken tenders.
The answer many people have to what to serve with chicken tenders is mashed potatoes. While those are a personal favorite, other veggies mash well and have different health benefits. Mashed turnips are made the same way as potatoes, and you can season them similarly, too.
A few years ago, cauliflower had a moment. It was in everything, and people pushed the boundaries pretty far. I’m looking at you, cauliflower tacos. But the standard preparations of cauliflower, including mashed, steamed, and roasted, are delicious and the perfect side dishes for chicken tenders. To cut prep time, use riced cauliflower.
Despite being loaded with vegetables, many broccoli salad recipes wouldn’t fully classify as healthy as they contain heavy dressings and bacon. This broccoli salad recipe from Love and Lemons is crisp and tangy without the meat and added sugar.
Nothing screams summer more than fresh Caprese salad; the tomato pairs well with the salty mozzarella cheese.
Zoodles are lower in carbs and calories than traditional pasta. If you don’t have a spiralizer, a box grater works. Cook them for a few minutes to soften. Here’s a tutorial if you’ve never made them before.
Easy Side Dishes For Chicken Tenders
In “My Cousin Vinny,” Sheriff Tipton states, “no self-respecting southerner uses instant grits. I take pride in my grits.” Well, I take pride in mine, too, but I use instant. They are ready in minutes and delicious with added cheese.
Peel and chop carrots, celery, and bell peppers and serve alongside chicken tenders. Sauces for chicken tenders can do double duty for the veggies.
Macaroni and Cheese
I love an excellent homemade macaroni and cheese, but most parents know kids love the stuff from the box. Boxed mac and cheese is a great side if you have little ones at home.
Make an Italian feast. Top cooked chicken tenders with marinara sauce and mozzarella and broil until melted. Serve with pasta and sauce.
What Sauce To Eat With Chicken Tenders
- Chick Fil A Sauce
- Dukes Best Burger Sauce
- Duck Sauce
- Halal White Sauce
- Green Goddess Sauce
- Blue Cheese
- Buffalo Sauce
What Do You Think?
How do you answer the question of what to serve with chicken tenders? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to read.