20 Of The Most Delicious Fast Food Chicken Tenders

Chicken tenders are a popular menu item in fast food restaurants thanks to how easy they are to make as well as how deliciously finger lickin’ they are!

Almost every fast food restaurant has their own take on the classic chicken tender recipe, but which are the best?

In this article, we are going to be looking at some of the best chicken tenders to be found across the fast food industry so that you know exactly where to go to find the tastiest tenders possible. Let’s get started. 

Jollibee Chicken Dippers

1. Jollibee Chicken Dippers

The Filipino fast food chain that is Jollibee contains a range of fast food items that offer a taste of the Philippines 

Their fried chicken is particularly well known, such as their Chickenjoy fried chicken bucket. However, their chicken tenders are also a popular menu item. 

The tenders have a juicy interior with a crisp, fried batter exterior, and they are perfect for dunking into the hot gravy accompaniment that comes with them.

They are definitely a tasty choice when it comes to fast food chicken tenders. 

2. Carl’s Jr Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders

The chicken tenders are one of the tastiest items on the Carl’s Jr menu, thanks to the breading of the chicken. 

The breading has the perfect mixture of crunch, softness and seasoning to create a beautiful taste.

Not only that, but the actual chicken that is used by the Carl’s Jr franchise is also high quality thanks to being natural as well as free from antibiotics. 

Want another reason to consider the Carl’s Jr chicken tenders? Well they are also well priced too! 

3. Jack In The Box Crispy Chicken Strips

For those who prefer super crunchy chicken tenders that are a little thinner, the Jack in the Box chicken tenders are the perfect option. 

The breading here manages to get that excellent crunch whilst not being overwhelmingly so, offsetting the softness of the chicken meat.

This combination of the crunch of the batter with the moistness of the chicken creates a texture that melts in the mouth thanks to the great job that Jack in the Box does in balancing the different elements. 

The different signature sauces that Jack in the Box offers also work excellently with their chicken tenders. 

If you prefer a stronger flavor, Jack in the Box also have spicy chicken tenders which offers some extra heat. 

4. Sonic Drive-In Crispy Chicken Tenders

Sonic is another fast food franchise that manages to find just the right balance between the chicken and breading to create a tasty take on classic chicken tenders. 

Made from high quality white meat, Sonic offers a choice of either three or five chicken tenders along with side dishes such as tater tots, Texas toast and onion rings. 

Much like Jack in the Box, the Sonic signature sauce is also well suited to their chicken tenders, making for a delicious chicken snack. 

Rally’sCheckers- Fry Battered Chicken Tenders

5. Rally’s/Checkers- Fry Battered Chicken Tenders

The fry battered chicken tenders from Rally’s feature a batter that is similar to the batter that the franchises uses with their fries, which is infused with black pepper and has undertones of garlic. 

The flavor isn’t quite as strong with their chicken tenders as it is with their fries, but it is still there and makes for an extra dose of savory tastiness. 

When it comes to the best sauce from Rally’s for the chicken tenders, either honey mustard or barbecue will work best thanks to the sweetness contrasting well with the savoriness of the tenders. 

6. McDonald’s Chicken Tenders

We all know that McDonald’s is one of the most well known fast food franchises in the world so of course they have their own take on chicken tenders.

The McDonald’s chicken tenders have an excellent reputation, and for good reason. The chicken is super juicy and covered in a crunchy black pepper and buttermilk batter.

The batter is particularly crunchy, whilst the use of buttermilk allows the chicken stay moist. 

The black pepper adds a little kick of heat too, making for a flavorful and delectable take on the classic chicken tender recipe.

7. Popeye’s Chicken Tenders

Popeye’s is known for being a strong rival to KFC in the fried chicken fast food market, and their chicken tenders are definitely some of the best to be food in the fast food industry. 

Available in either spicy or regular, the Popeye’s chicken tenders are so popular that they even rival their signature chicken sandwiches. 

The tenders from Popeye’s are so soft and flaky that they can pull apart with ease, with the chicken staying safely inside the batter as you do so.

The flavor of the tenders is also exceptional, and this goes for both the spicy and the regular variations, with both featuring a Cajun like flavor that explodes on the taste buds. 

This also makes the tenders perfect alongside some of the side dishes that Popeye’s offers, such as red beans and rice and jambalaya. 

Popeye’s chicken tenders are the definition of southern fried chicken done right. 

8. Tully’s Chicken Tenders

The chicken tenders served at Tully’s- a fast food restaurant that tends to be on the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to fast food- are an underappreciated gem that offers crispiness and tender chicken all in one. 

You get five, excellently seasoned chicken tenders at Tully’s, all of which manage to hit that perfect balance of batter and meat. 

Tully’s is a restaurant that is known for being popular with kids, but there is no denying that their chicken tenders can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

9. Raising Cane’s Chicken Tenders

Despite the best efforts of KFC and Popeye’s, Raising Cane’s chicken tenders are quite possibly the very best that you will find across all of the fast food restaurants. 

These are tenders that have been crafted expertly in every aspect, from the seasoning to the quality of the white meat and the breading used for the batter coating. 

The cut of meat that is used for the Raising Cane’s tenders are full tenderloins, which makes all the difference when it comes to the tenderness of the meat. 

Whilst there isn’t a huge amount of seasoning involved- mainly just a dash of salt and pepper- but that allows the juiciness of the chicken to seep through and taste even more fresh and natural. 

Raising Cane’s truly goes above and beyond to create one of the best takes on chicken tenders in fast food. 

10. Chick-fil-A Chick-n- Strips

Chick-fil-A is another fast food restaurant that is synonymous with chicken dishes, and their chicken tenders are a delectable option. 

The difference with the Chick-fil-A Chick-n- Strip tenders is that they are fried in peanut oil, giving them a super flavorful taste as well as a heavenly crunch. 

The chicken is also nice and moist, whilst not being too salty thanks to the well blended seasonings. 

Chick-n-Strips are also well sized, making for a tasty meal all on their own. Pair them with the Chick-fil-A signature fries and sauce to create a delicious fast food meal. 

11. KFC Extra Crispy Tenders

Infamous fast food (see also ‘10 Fast Food Family Meals That Are Simply Wonderful‘) chicken restaurant KFC is- unsurprisingly- one of the biggest providers of chicken tenders across the fast food industry. 

The KFC chicken tenders are one of the crunchiest that you will find out there, much like with their other chicken menu items.

As well as an emphasis on the crunchiness, KFC chicken tenders are also coated with the trademark herbs and spices that the restaurant is well known for. 

This does make them a little stronger in terms of a spicy flavor, especially thanks to that significant burst of black pepper.

However, if this is the kind of taste that you are looking for then you will find no better than the KFC chicken tenders. 

12. Arby’s Chicken Tenders

The chicken tenders from Arby’s are another option that is pretty well sized, but they are also made from excellent quality meat which is always a necessity when it comes to a tasty, well-made chicken tender. 

The breading on these tenders is thick, but thankfully this is well-balanced and doesn’t overwhelm the juices of the chicken meat. 

Seasoning wise, Arby’s also manages to get that balance just right, with the garlic and black pepper tones offsetting the crunchy batter and the moist chicken well. 

13. Dairy Queen Chicken Strips

Dairy Queen might be best known for their ice cream, but they also offer some tasty chicken tenders on their menu!

The versatility of the Dairy Queen franchise is emphasized by their excellent quality chicken tenders, which are not only well proportioned but also feature beautifully moist chicken along with a crispy batter that offers a substantial crunch. 

When it comes to the seasoning, it isn’t too strong which makes them well suited for those who prefer a lighter flavor. 

That being said, there is a choice of various sauces to be enjoyed alongside your tenders, such as cool ranch dressing, which can give you a burst of flavor. 

14. Long John Silver’s Crispy Chicken Tenders

As the name suggests, Long John Silver’s is a fast food franchise that is well known for its seafood rather than its chicken!

That being said, the crispy chicken tenders that the restaurant offers are definitely a delicious choice when it comes to fast food chicken tenders. 

Much like their tasty fish, Long John Silver’s chicken tenders are expertly battered and fried to a crisp to create a delicious crunchy coating. 

The fast food franchise also features a signature seasoning combination within their chicken tenders, which gives the chicken plenty of flavor. 

The crispy chicken tenders are featured in the $5 Reel Deal Box at Long John Silver’s, in which you will not only get three tasty tenders, but also plenty of french fries, a drink, a cookie and hush puppies. 

15. Burger King Chicken Fries

We are separating the Burger King chicken fries from their chicken tenders as they are both different chicken tender products, so it only seems fair to note them here individually. 

The Burger King chicken fries are quite thin and not as thick and juicy as your standard chicken tenders. But the meat itself isn’t where the chicken fries excel. Instead, it is the seasoning that elevates the fast food dish. 

This seasoning is made up of a tasty mixture of onion powder, paprika and black pepper, making for a unique take on your standard chicken textures. 

The zest of the chicken fingers aren’t exactly hot, but it is spicy enough to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. 

When it comes to sauce, the Burger King chicken fries work particularly well with the Burger King barbecue sauce thanks to the combination of zest with the smokey sweetness of the barbecue. 

16. Burger King Chicken Tenders

The regular Burger King chicken tenders are another that are well known across the fast food industry thanks to the popularity of Burger King in general along with the home style flavoring of the tenders. 

The juiciness of the chicken tenders from Burger King is undeniable, thanks to the high quality of the white meat. 

They also offer a huge amount of crunch thanks to the thick breading of the batter, giving the tenders a ton of both flavor and texture. 

In terms of the seasoning, these tenders offer a peppery taste that pairs well with the Burger King barbecue sauce, much like with the chicken fries. 

Church’s Chicken Crispy Chicken Tenders

17. Church’s Chicken Crispy Chicken Tenders

As the name states, Church’s Chicken are best known for their delicious chicken treats, including their succulent chicken tenders.

Church’s Chicken chicken tenders are one of the best on this list, thanks to their fantastically crunchy texture as well as their juicy and moist taste.

This is thanks to the way in which they are prepared, with the tenders being marinated in buttermilk before they are fried. 

They are also beautifully seasoned tenders, with a bit of spice thrown in for an extra kick. 

Pair them with some tasty barbecue sauce to combine the spice with some smokiness to make for a delicious chicken treat. 

18. Culver’s Chicken Fingers

The unique thing about Culver’s chicken fingers is that they are made to order, which is always a positive feature in any restaurant as it means that your tenders will always be piping hot. It really does make a difference! 

The crispiness can be tasted from the first bite, and you will be lucky if you don’t end up inhaling the rest of them in one go. 

Culver’s also offers excellent portions as well as a great balance between breading and chicken as well as high quality meat. 

The tenders are super tasty on their own, but they are also well suited to the various sauces that Culver’s offers, including ranch sauce, honey mustard and barbecue sauce. 

19. Wendy’s Chicken Tenders

The chicken tenders that can be found in Wendy’s feature a generous amount of chicken as well as a well-balanced chicken to breading ration.

That being said, they are a little light on the crunch factor in comparison to some of the other chicken tenders that we have mentioned on this list. 

The chicken is also well flavored and features a good level of consistency, though they might not be as exciting as chicken tenders from the likes of Popeye’s or McDonald’s.

20. Del Taco Crispy Chicken Strips

Del Taco might be known for their- as the name suggests- tacos, but they also offer chicken tenders on their menu and they ain’t half bad! 

The batter on the chicken isn’t quite as thick and crispy as on some of the other chicken tenders on this list, but this might be suitable for you if you prefer lighter breading on your chicken. 

You can get yourself some Del Taco chicken tenders in their fried chicken box, which features three tenders along with french fries. 

There are a few different kinds of sauces available that work well with these chicken tenders, such as ranch dressing, habanero sauce and Caesar sauce. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Fast Food Restaurant Has The Best Chicken Tenders?

From our list of twenty of the tastiest fast food chicken tenders above (see also ‘16 Best WingStop Menu Items‘), there are a few that we would single out as being some of the best. Let’s take a look at them.

  • Popeyes: It is no surprise that a fast food restaurant that is so well known for their delicious fast food chicken has some of the best chicken tenders on the market. The cayenne pepper kick along with the onion powder and garlicky butter that goes into the batter makes it ones of the tastiest choices, as well as a juicy option.
  • Culver’s: The made to order way in which the Culver’s chicken tenders are cooked really does make such a difference, making them even hotter and crispier than your average tenders. The deliciousness that comes about from making these tenders to order allow this choice of tenders to rise to the top tier of fast food chicken.
  • Raising Cane’s: This is truly one of the best chicken tenders in the fast food market thanks to its flavorsome nature, emphasized by the buttermilk, garlic powder and egg seasoning as well as the fresh chicken that they are made of (which is prepared by hand). This creates a well-balanced chicken tender that is the most popular item on the Raising Cane’s menu for a good reason!
  • McDonald’s: You just can’t beat McDonald’s and the same can be said for those McDonald’s chicken tenders! Moist, flavorsome and exceptionally crispy, the McDonald’s chicken tenders are a high ranking choice when it comes to fast food chicken tenders. 

What Is The Difference Between Chicken Tenders And Chicken Fingers?

Whilst we have mentioned both chicken fingers and chicken tenders on this list, there is a bit of a difference between the two. The major difference is the part of the chicken that both the tenders and the fingers are made of. 

Chicken tenders are made from- as the name suggests- the tender part of the chicken! This tender area is called the pectoralis minor, which is the area of the chicken directly beneath the breast.

On the other hand, chicken fingers are made from one of three areas: the muscled area of the inner chicken breast or the regular chicken breast.

Whilst chicken tenders can be baked, fried or boiled, chicken fingers are usually only baked or fried. 

How Can You Make Your Own Chicken Tenders?

Yes! It is very easy to make your own chicken tenders if you would want to give it a try. Let’s go through the steps that you will need to take in order to do so. 

Step 1: Grab Your Ingredients

Although the ingredients can differ depending on the recipe, they tend to stay similar in that they consist of spices and herbs along with meat and breadcrumbs. This particular ingredient list includes:

  • Chicken Tenderloins
  • Dry Bread Crumbs
  • An Egg or Egg Substitute
  • Dried Basil 
  • Paprika
  • Minced Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Mustard

Step 2: Prepare The Breading Coating For Your Chicken

To do this, combine the minced garlic with the egg and mustard in one bowl and the paprika, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs and basil in another bowl. 

Step 3: Dredge The Tenderloins

To dredge your chicken tenderloins, sip your chicken into the egg mixture and then coat them with the breadcrumb mixture. 

Step 4: Bake

Bake them in the oven for around 10 to 15 minutes until completer cooked (no longer pink). 

Step 5: Enjoy!

Voilà! You have your very own, tasty chicken tenders. 

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