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Maple Lemon Garlic Chicken Tenders

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Maple lemon garlic chicken tenders are simple and fast. Only six ingredients are needed to make this easy weeknight dinner the whole family will love!

Chicken strips are marinated in melted butter, fresh lemon juice, maple syrup and garlic. This easy recipe is simple yet flavorful. Serve it with rice, quinoa, pasta or a simple side salad like our strawberry spinach salad recipe.

maple lemon garlic chicken tenders close up in a white frying pan

Easy Chicken Tenders Recipe

  • I love buying a big pack of chicken tenders because they’re so easy to cook and kids love them.
  • These pan-fried chicken tenders use just a handful of everyday ingredients to make the lemon garlic butter sauce.
  • It’s an uncomplicated recipe that works well paired with side dishes like roasted vegetables, green beans, sweet potatoes, and brussels sprouts.
  • Serve it over a bed of brown rice, cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, or quinoa for a healthy meal.
  • This great recipe is cooked in a frying pan but can easily be cooked in an air fryer or outdoor grill.
  • Another recipe you might enjoy is our tortilla chip chicken tenders – these are crispy on the outside and coated with crushed tortilla chips and pumpkin seeds. They’re healthy and delicious!

What Are Chicken Tenders?

Chicken tenderloins are actually parts of the chicken that are attached to the underside of each chicken breast. They’re a smaller cut of chicken.

Technically, every chicken has only two chicken tenders. However, you can also make a version of chicken tenders by using cutting thin strips of chicken breast.

avocado oil, maple syrup, salted butter, two lemons, garlic bulb, container of raw chicken tenders

Recipe Ingredients

  • CHICKEN TENDERS: You can use chicken fillets or chicken tenders depending on what’s available at your grocery store.
  • SAUCE: A combination of lemon juice, maple syrup, minced garlic, butter, cooking oil, salt and pepper are used for the marinade and sauce.
  • VARIATIONS: Lemon juice can be swapped with orange juice, apple cider vinegar or food grade vinegar. Maple syrup can be swapped with honey. Butter can be skipped and extra cooking oil can be added instead. Substitute fresh garlic with garlic powder. Add lemon zest or hot sauce for even more flavor.
cooked maple lemon garlic chicken tenders in a grey frying pan with lemon and parsley behind it.

How To Make Maple Lemon Garlic Chicken Tenders

  1. Mix melted butter, lemon juice, maple syrup, garlic, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.
  2. Add in the chicken tenders and let marinate for 20 minutes.
  3. Cook in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Flip halfway through according to full recipe instructions below.
  4. Add to a plate and drizzle extra sauce on top. Serve and enjoy!
cooked maple lemon garlic chicken tenders in a frying pan with kitchen towel, lemon and parsley surrounding it.

Recipe Tips

  • Melt the butter in the microwave, then add all other ingredients to the bowl to make the sauce.
  • Swap lemon juice for orange juice, apple cider vinegar or food grade vinegar.
  • The frying pan should be hot before adding the chicken tenders to it. This will help seal in flavor and make the meat extra juicy as the chicken is seared on each side.
  • Drizzle the sauce leftover in the pan overtop of the chicken after adding to a serving dish. The sauce also tastes delicious drizzled over rice, quinoa or pasta.
  • Use leftover chicken in a roasted vegetable salad for added protein.
pile of lemon garlic chicken tenders on white plate with striped kitchen towel behind it.

More Chicken Recipes

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Maple Lemon Garlic Chicken Tenders Recipe

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 1 ½ lbs chicken tenders (boneless, skinless) - 0.6 kg
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil - avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil etc
  • ¼ cup salted butter
  • 1 lemon juice, squeezed - about ¼ cup (or use orange juice or apple cider vinegar)
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup - or honey
  • 5 garlic cloves - minced
  • Salt and pepper - to taste


  • Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl. Add in lemon juice, maple syrup, minced garlic cloves, salt and pepper. Mix together.
  • Add the chicken tenders to the sauce and let sit for 20 minutes to marinate.
  • Heat a frying pan over medium high heat. Add half of the chicken tenders to the pan along with half of the sauce. Cook 1-2 minutes.
  • Flip chicken over and cook an additional 1-3 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked and no longer pink on the inside.
  • Repeat the process with the last half of chicken tenders and sauce.
  • Drizzle sauce from frying pan over top of cooked chicken tenders. Squeeze juice from extra lemon slices overtop. Serve while still warm.


Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 201mg | Potassium: 479mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 275IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutritional information provided is an estimate and is per serving.

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