These Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenders come out moist, tender and even better than the real deal! Bring Cracker Barrel’s famous home cooking and comfort food into the comfort of your kitchen.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Simple, easy and perfect for any night of the week, these Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenders are sure to earn a permanent spot on your rotation of family dinners!
I mean, what’s not to love!?!? The delicious marinade that really makes this chicken pop has only 3 ingredients! Then, just let the chicken hang out in the marinade for an hour or two and you’re ready to cook!
This is a super kid-friendly family meal that even picky eaters will love! And it’s so versatile, you can serve it with a side dish or chop it up to put it on a salad or into a wrap! And they are gluten-free!
We baked ours and they came out fantastic. But Cracker Barrel does GRILL their Chicken Tenders. We are all about shortcuts, that is why we used the oven, but we’ve also included instructions for Grilled Chicken Tenders too! Not only that, but we’ve got directions to coom them on the stovetop or even in the Air Fryer!
Copycat Cracker Barrel Recipes
Because it’s a recipe that is famous for comfort food and good old home cooking, it’s so fun to make copycat versions of their recipe in your own kitchen. This is actually the FOURTH Cracker Barrel Copycat Recipe we’ve published on here. If you are looking for more ways to enjoy their meals in the comfort of your own kitchen, check out our versions of their:
- CRACKER BARREL FRIED APPLES
- CRACKER BARREL BISCUITS
- CRACKER BARREL BROCCOLI AND CHICKEN
- CRACKER BARREL CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS
How To Make Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenders
Just 3 ingredients to make this marinade, that’s it! And you may already have these ingredients in your house! Why would you ever by store bought marinade when you can make your own and know exactly what you are putting into it!!?!?
For step-by-step instructions, check out the printable recipe card below. But here is what you’ll need to get started:
- CHICKEN TENDERLOINS – Please note that chicken tenderloins are not the same as boneless skinless chicken breasts. Tenderloins are much more tender. Some people like to thin out or flatten their tenderloin before cooking. We don’t think that is necessary for this recipe but you can if you’d like.
- ITALIAN DRESSING – Make sure you are using the “clearer” vinaigrette style Italian Dressing and not the “creamy” italian dressing.
- LEMON JUICE – The lime juice really gives this chicken that tangy flavor that works with the Italian Dressing.
- HONEY – Any quality honey will do. If you want to add a little kick to this recipe, you can use spicy honey!
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can reheat in the microwave, in the oven or in your air fryer.
You can also freeze Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenders. Allow to fully cool, then put them on a baking tray in the freezer. Once they are hard, you can put them all together in a freezer bag or freezer safe container.
Thaw overnight in your refrigerator.
What To Serve With Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenders
These tenders go great with just about anything. But here are some suggestions!
- ARKANSAS GREEN BEANS
- BACON RANCH PASTA SALAD
- CHEESECAKE FACTORY MAC AND CHEESE
- CROCKPOT GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
- FUNERAL POTATOES
- GARLIC BUTTER GREEN BEANS
Other Ways To Cook Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenders
STOVETOP – The best way to cook them on the stovetop is to get a Cast Iron Grill Pan nice and hot over a medium heat. Cook about 5-6 minutes each side, until the internal temperature is 165 degrees. If you don’t have a cast iron grill pan, you can use a cast iron skillet or even a plain non-stick skillet if needed.
GRILL – Let your grill heat up until it’s about 400 degrees. Spray the grill with some cooking spray or rub some olive oil on it to prevent the chicken tenders from sticking. Cook chicken tenders until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
AIR FRYER – Preheat your Airfryer to 390 degrees. Make sure you are not overcrowding the air fryer basket. Chicken Tenders should be cooked in an Air Fryer for 14-16 minutrs. All air fryers cook a little different, so just keep an eye on them.
Do You Need To Use Chicken Tenderloins?
No, you don’t. This recipe works best with the tenderloins. But you could also use boneless skinless chicken breasts (and cut them into strips), chicken thighs or drumsticks. Just note that the cooking time may alter if you change the protein.
We hope you enjoy this copycat recipe for Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenders. We’d love to hear how they turn out in the comment section! Drop us a line!
Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenders
- 1.5 pounds chicken tenderloins
- 1 cup Italian dressing
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup honey
- Whisk together the Italian dressing, lemon juice, and honey.
- Place the chicken tenderloins in a large zip-top bag. Pour the marinade over the top of the chicken and seal the bag.
- Place the bag in the refrigerator and allow the chicken to marinate for at least one hour.
- When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spread the chicken in an even layer over a baking sheet.
- Bake the chicken for 20 to 25 minutes, then turn on the broiler and broil until golden brown, around 5 minutes.