Those frozen, pre-breaded chicken tenders you picked up from the store or that you prepared ahead of time can be more versatile than you think. You don't have to just fry and serve them plain; you can get just as creative with them as you would with unbreaded chicken, using them in baked meals, as toppings and in a host of other creative dishes.
Instead of frying, you can bake the pre-breaded chicken tenders on a baking sheet in the oven. If the chicken tenders are uncooked, they may take roughly 20 to 25 minutes to cook at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. If they are already cooked, you can pop them in the oven or the microwave until heated through. Make chicken Parmesan with the tenders by adding a spoonful of spaghetti sauce onto each one, topped with a thin slice of mozzarella. Melt the cheese under the broiler until it's bubbling and serve over spaghetti. Or, dice up the chicken tenders and use them in any type of casserole dish you prefer. The breading will only add more flavor, especially if it's well-seasoned.
Cook or heat the pre-breaded chicken tenders in the oven or microwave and allow them to cool to the touch. Slice them up and add the chicken tenders to your favorite salad, whether it's a simple iceberg lettuce salad or a hearty chef's salad. You could also cut them up into tiny chunks and use them to top a baked potato. Make a mashed potato bowl by adding one layer each of mashed potatoes, corn, shredded cheese, gravy to a bowl and top with the the chopped chicken tenders
Enjoy hot pre-breaded chicken tenders on toasted burger buns, with a slice of cheese if you prefer. You can also make crunchy chicken tender wraps. Lay out a tortilla and add either mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce or a creamy dressing of your choice. Lay lettuce and sliced tomatoes in the center of the tortilla, then add the hot chicken tenders. Carefully fold one side of the tortilla over the chicken, then the other.
The texture of pre-breaded chicken tenders enhances a variety of dishes. You can slice up the cooked tenders and throw them into an Asian stir-fry, adding them at the last minute to help the breading maintain as much crunch as possible. You can also turn the tenders into orange chicken, sesame chicken or teriyaki chicken by dousing the chicken in the appropriate sauce. Re-crisp them by placing the sauce-covered tenders under the broiler for a few minutes.
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Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.