These Blackened Chicken Tenders are spicy, juicy, and only take about 15 minutes from start to finish. The heat can also be adjusted to your preference. These also go perfectly dunked into some homemade ranch dressing!
How to make blackened chicken tenders:
The first step is to prep the chicken tenders. You’ll definitely want to remove that annoying little tendon off of the thicker end and trim off any fat. Then you can pat them dry with a paper towel and make the blackening seasoning mixture.
The best blackening seasoning recipe:
Seriously! It’s the best I’ve had and so flavorful! The bit of brown sugar also balances our the heat without tasting sweet. So here are the ingredients and all you have to do it mix it all together in a bowl. (See the recipe card at the bottom of this page for exact measurements)
- Smoked paprika (you can use regular if that’s all you have)
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Black pepper
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Brown Sugar
- Dried Oregano
- Cayenne pepper (you can adjust this according to your spice preference)
You can even make a large batch of the blackening seasoning and store it in an airtight container for later. It’s a great seasoning to have on hand!
Once the chicken tenders have been coated in the seasoning, you can either store them in the refrigerator for a few hours (or overnight) or immediately cook them. I chose to cook my chicken tenders in a cast iron skillet to get them a little crispier but you can also use stainless steel or non-stick.
You’ll want to make sure that you’re cooking the tenders over medium heat. If you go to high, the outside will burn before the inside gets cooked. And if you go too low on the heat, you wont get that nice browning. They should only take about 4-5 minutes per side but be sure to check them as you go. If you’re using a meat thermometer, the inside should get to 165 degrees.
After the chicken has cooked and you’ve removed them from the skillet, you’ll want to let them sit for just a few minutes before cutting (or biting) into them. This will allow them to cool slightly and let the juices redistribute leaving them nice and juicy.
These spicy chicken tenders go so well dipped in come cool homemade ranch! CLICK HERE for the recipe!
Other recipes you’ll love:
- Homemade Buttermilk Ranch
- Cajun Chicken Caesar Salad
- Cajun Chicken Thighs
- Crispy Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders
Blackened Chicken Tenders
- 1 to 1½ pounds chicken tenders (about 8 tenders)
- 2-3 tablespoons cooking oil (I prefer canola or avocado oil for this recipe)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (use less or omit if you don't like too much spice)
- Trim the tendon and any fat off of the chicken tenders and pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Mix the blackening seasonings together and sprinkle over both sides of the chicken tenders.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat (I used cast iron but non-stick will also work). Once hot, add in your cooking oil.
- Add the chicken tenders to the skillet and cook for about 4-5 minutes per side or until no longer pink in the center. (If you're using a meat thermometer, they should come to 165 in the center)
- Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.