These two-ingredient Easy Grilled Chicken tenders are the perfect fuss-free summer meal. Enjoy this flavorful chicken as is or add to salads or sandwiches.
Why you will love this
- Just two ingredients - This grilled chicken couldn't be easier. Just two ingredients (plus some black pepper) and some marinating time stand between you and a delicious, fuss-free meal. Delicious food doesn't need to be complicated!
- Minimal clean-up - I love grilling because there are always fewer dishes to clean afterward. Marinate the chicken in a zipper-top plastic bag for even less clean-up.
- Extremely versatile - These easy grilled chicken tenders can be served as a main dish with a variety of side dishes. Try summer pasta salad, buffalo potato salad, or grilled fingerling potatoes. This recipe is also perfect for meal prep. Grill a large batch and use it throughout the week in salads, sandwiches, soups, or casseroles. Make chicken salad croissant sandwiches or chicken caesar pasta salad.
- Chicken breasts - Use boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders for this recipe. If using chicken breasts, slice them in half lengthwise to create smaller strips. The smaller pieces cook faster, and the marinade can penetrate the smaller pieces more quickly.
- Italian salad dressing - Italian salad dressing infuses the chicken with tons of flavor and helps to keep the chicken moist while it cooks. For added ease, use bottled dressing. Reach into your pantry for your favorite variety. If you prefer homemade, go for it!
How to make
- Place the chicken in a zipper-top plastic bag.
- Add the salad dressing and pepper.
- Seal the bag and massage the bag to ensure the chicken is evenly coated with the dressing.
- Refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Allow the chicken to come to room temperature before grilling.
- Preheat the grill to medium heat, around 350 degrees. The grill does not need to be oiled - there is enough oil in the salad dressing marinade.
- Grill the chicken for 5-6 minutes per side until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Serve or cool then store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- For beautiful grill marks, place the chicken on the hot grill and let it be. Don't attempt to move it. When the chicken is ready to be turned, it will release from the grill.
- If using sauces with high sugar content (such as barbecue sauce), wait to baste the chicken with the sauce until the last few minutes of grilling. Otherwise, the sugars in the sauce will burn.
No, this chicken doesn't have to be grilled. You can cook the chicken indoors on a grill pan or in a skillet - cast-iron works great. The chicken can also be oven-baked.
The grill temperature should be around 350 degrees. This temperature will cook the chicken evenly without drying it out. The chicken should be cooked until its internal temperature reads 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
Absolutely. Room temperature meat cooks more evenly and will retain more of its juices. Cold meat will dry out on the outside before the inside is cooked.
Ways to use
These easy grilled chicken tenders work beautifully for meal prep. Marinate and grill up a double batch to use throughout the week.
- Slice and add to salads, like Mexican Cobb Salad
- Use for sandwiches or wraps, like Caprese Chicken Sandwich
- Add to Chicken Taco Salad Bowls
- Use as a topping for make-your-own pizza night
- Make Barbecue Chicken Nachos
- Use in Hot Chicken Salad
- Add to Fettuccine Alfredo with Mushrooms or Pesto Pappardelle
These easy grilled chicken tenders go with just about anything. These are some of my favorite side dishes for serving.
- Easy Creamy Coleslaw
- Greek Lemon Orzo Salad
- Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad
- Ultimate Baked Beans
- Mango Pineapple Salsa
- Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad
- Roasted Broccolini with Pistachios and Lemon
- Roasted Green Beans with Orange Butter and Crispy Pancetta
- Cheesy Twice-Baked Potatoes
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Easy Grilled Chicken
- 1 ½ - 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ½-¾ cup Italian salad dressing
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise. (Note 1) Add to a large zipper-top bag. Pour the dressing over the chicken and add the pepper. Seal the bag and ensure all of the chicken is coated with the dressing. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
- Preheat grill to medium heat. The grill does not need to be oiled - there is plenty of oil in the marinade.
- Cook the chicken over medium heat for 5-6 minutes on each side until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. (Note 2)
- Serve immediately or cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
- Cutting the chicken breasts in half lengthwise creates smaller strips like tenders. These smaller pieces cook faster and more evenly.
- After placing the chicken on the grill, let it be. The chicken will release from the grill when it is ready to be turned.
- If using sauces high in sugar (such as barbecue sauce), wait until the last few minutes of cooking to baste the chicken. Sauces high in sugar burn easily.
Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary depending upon the exact amounts and specific ingredients used.
Author's note: This post was originally published in May 2020 and has been updated.