How to Boil Chicken Tenderloins?

Staring at a pack of chicken tenderloins and wondering how to transform them into a mouthwatering meal? We’ve all been there, myself included. You’ll be glad to know that boiling is an incredibly simple yet effective method, allowing for these lean cuts of meat to retain their moistness and flavor while being thoroughly cooked. But how to boil chicken tenderloins?

This blog post will provide step-by-step instructions on how to boil chicken tenderloins perfectly every time, ensuring they’re safe (reaching an internal temperature of 165°F) and deliciously tender.

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Key Takeaways

  • Boiling chicken tenderloins is a simple and effective method that helps retain their moistness and flavor.
  • To prepare chicken tenderloins for boiling, rinse them under cold water, trim any excess fat or tendons, and season them with salt and other desired seasonings.
  • The recommended cooking time for fresh chicken tenderloins is approximately 8-10 minutes, while frozen ones may take around 10-12 minutes to cook through completely. Use a meat thermometer to ensure they reach an internal temperature of 165°F before removing from the heat.
  • Adding flavor to boiled chicken tenderloins can be done through marinating the chicken beforehand, using flavorful broths or liquids for boiling, adding citrus juices or spices during cooking, infusing herbs into the pot, or tossing the cooked chicken in creamy sauces or roasted garlic paste.

What are Chicken Tenderloins and How to Prepare Them

Chicken tenderloins are lean, boneless cuts of chicken that come from the breast area. To prepare them, gather the necessary equipment and ingredients, such as a pot for boiling and seasonings of your choice.

Begin by trimming any excess fat or tendons from the tenderloins before rinsing them under cold water. Now they’re ready to be boiled and transformed into a tasty meal!

Equipment needed

To adequately prepare and boil chicken tenderloins, it is necessary to have the right kitchen equipment. Here is a list of the items you will need when we talk about how to boil chicken tenderloins:

  1. A sharp knife – for trimming any excess fat or sinew from the chicken.
  2. Cutting board – hygiene is essential when dealing with poultry, and having a dedicated cutting board can help prevent cross-contamination.
  3. A large pot – preferably with a lid, for boiling the chicken tenderloins.
  4. Measuring cups and spoons – these will come in handy when adding water and any desired seasonings to the pot.
  5. A cooking thermometer – this device is critical because it ensures the chicken reaches the safe internal temperature of 165°F mentioned in [IMPORTANT FACTS].
  6. Tongs or a slotted spoon – these tools make it easier to safely remove the boiled chicken tenderloins from the hot water.
  7. Storage containers or food-safe bags – these are needed for storing any leftover boiled chicken tenderloins properly.

Ingredients required

To boil chicken tenderloins, you will need:

  • Fresh or frozen chicken tenderloins
  • Water for boiling
  • Salt (optional)
  • Any additional herbs and spices for seasoning (optional)

Instructions for preparing chicken tenderloins

Preparing chicken tenderloins is a simple process that requires just a few steps. Follow these instructions to prepare your chicken tenderloins for boiling:

  1. Start by gathering all the necessary equipment and ingredients. You will need a large pot, water, salt (to season the cooking water), and of course, the chicken tenderloins.
  2. Rinse the chicken tenderloins under cold water to remove any excess moisture or debris.
  3. Pat the chicken tenderloins dry with paper towels to ensure they are completely dry. This helps them brown better when you boil them.
  4. Season the chicken tenderloins with salt and pepper, or any other desired seasonings. This step is optional but can help enhance the flavor of the boiled chicken.
  5. Fill a large pot with enough water to fully cover the chicken tenderloins. Add salt to the water for seasoning, using about 1 teaspoon per quart of water.
  6. Place the pot on the stove over medium – high heat and bring it to a rolling boil.
  7. Once the water is boiling, carefully add the seasoned chicken tenderloins to the pot.
  8. Reduce the heat to medium – low or low to maintain a gentle simmer, where small bubbles break on top of the surface but do not vigorously boil.
  9. Cover the pot partially with a lid, allowing some steam to escape while still trapping enough heat inside.
  10. Boil your chicken tenderloins for approximately 8 – 10 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (or 74°C). Thicker pieces may require additional cooking time.
  11. To check if they are done, insert an instant – read meat thermometer into one of the thickest parts of a tenderloin without touching bone or gristle.
  12. Once cooked through, carefully remove the boiled chicken tenderloins from the pot using tongs or a slotted spoon.
  13. Let the chicken tenderloins rest for a few minutes before serving or using them in your desired recipe.

How to Boil Chicken Tenderloins

To boil chicken tenderloins, start by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Then, carefully add the raw chicken tenders and let them cook for about 8-10 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F.

Make sure to adjust the cooking time if you’re using thicker pieces.

Steps for boiling chicken tenderloins

Boiling chicken tenderloins is a quick and easy cooking method that results in tender and juicy chicken. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Start by gathering all the necessary ingredients and equipment. You will need:
  • Chicken tenderloins
  • Water
  • Salt or other seasonings (optional)
  • Large pot with a lid
  1. Rinse the chicken tenderloins under cold water to remove any excess debris.
  2. Fill the pot with enough water to completely cover the chicken tenderloins.
  3. Add salt or other seasonings, if desired, to enhance the flavor of the chicken.
  4. Place the pot on the stove over medium – high heat and bring the water to a boil.
  5. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, carefully add the chicken tenderloins to the pot.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium – low and cover the pot with a lid.
  7. Allow the chicken tenderloins to simmer gently in the boiling water for about 8 – 10 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 160°F.
  8. Use a meat thermometer to check that the chicken is fully cooked. The juices should run clear, not pink.
  9. Once cooked, remove the pot from heat and carefully drain out all excess water from it.
  10. Let the boiled chicken tenderloins rest for a few minutes before serving or incorporating them into your favorite recipes.

Recommended cooking time

Boiling chicken tenderloins is a quick and efficient cooking method, but it’s important to ensure that they are cooked thoroughly to avoid any risk of foodborne illness. The recommended cooking time for fresh chicken tenders is approximately 8-10 minutes.

However, the exact cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the chicken tenderloins. Thicker pieces may require a few extra minutes of boiling time to reach an internal temperature of 165°F, which is considered safe for consumption.

If you are using frozen chicken tenders, the cooking time will be slightly longer. Frozen tenderloins usually take around 10-12 minutes to cook through completely when boiled. It’s essential to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature and make sure it reaches at least 165°F before removing them from the heat.

Tips for achieving tender and juicy chicken

how to boil chicken tenderloins

How to boil chicken tenderloins? To achieve tender and juicy boiled chicken tenderloins, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Firstly, make sure not to overcook the chicken as this can result in dry, tough meat. Keep a close eye on the cooking time and remove the chicken from the boiling water as soon as it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

Another tip is to use a flavorful broth or seasoning while boiling the chicken. This will infuse the meat with additional flavor and prevent it from tasting bland. You can prepare your own homemade broth by simmering vegetables, herbs, and spices with water before adding the chicken tenderloins.

Additionally, consider marinating your chicken prior to boiling it. A simple marinade of olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper can do wonders for enhancing tenderness and taste.

Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes before placing it in boiling water.

Seasoning Options for Boiled Chicken Tenderloins

Enhance the flavor of your boiled chicken tenderloins with an array of seasoning options. From classic herbs and spices to marinades and sauces, discover creative ways to elevate this simple dish.

Suggestions for adding flavor to boiled chicken tenderloins

When it comes to boiled chicken tenderloins, adding flavor is key to elevating the taste. Here are some simple yet delicious suggestions to enhance the flavors of your boiled chicken tenderloins:

  1. Marinade Magic: Marinating the chicken tenderloins before boiling can infuse them with incredible flavors. Try a marinade consisting of lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and herbs like rosemary or thyme.
  2. Broth Boosters: Instead of using plain water for boiling, consider using chicken broth to add depth and richness to the chicken tenderloins. You can also add aromatics like onions, garlic, and bay leaves for extra flavor.
  3. Zesty Citrus: Adding a splash of citrus juice, such as lime or orange, during the last few minutes of boiling can bring a refreshing tanginess to the chicken tenderloins.
  4. Spice it Up: Sprinkle your favorite spices or spice blends onto the chicken tenderloins before boiling. Paprika, cumin, chili powder, or even a hint of cayenne pepper can give your boiled chicken a flavorful kick.
  5. Herb Infusion: Fresh or dried herbs can transform your boiled chicken into something special. Try adding parsley, basil, thyme, or rosemary into the pot while boiling for aromatic and earthy flavors.
  6. Soy Sauce Savory: For an Asian-inspired twist, mix soy sauce with minced ginger and garlic before boiling the chicken tenderloins. The umami-rich soy sauce will infuse every bite with savory goodness.
  7. Creamy Delight: After boiling the chicken tenderloins until they’re cooked through, toss them in a creamy sauce made with Greek yogurt or mayonnaise mixed with dill, chives, and lemon zest for added creaminess and freshness.
  8. Roasted Garlic Goodness: Add roasted garlic paste to your cooking liquid when boiling the chicken tenderloins. This will bring a sweet and nutty flavor that pairs well with the tender meat.

Seasoning ideas and recipes

When it comes to boiling chicken tenderloins, there are so many seasoning options that can elevate the flavor and make your dish even more delicious. Here are some seasoning ideas and recipes to try:

Classic Seasoning

  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder

Lemon Herb Seasoning

  • Lemon zest
  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Salt and black pepper

Mexican-Inspired Seasoning

  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder

Italian Seasoning

  • Dried oregano
  • Dried basil
  • Dried thyme
  • Garlic powder

Asian-inspired Seasoning

  • Soy sauce (low – sodium)
  • Ginger (fresh or powdered)
  • Sesame oil
  • Red pepper flakes

Mediterranean Seasoning

  • Dried oregano
  • Dried basil
  • Garlic powder
  • Lemon zest

Spicy Cajun Seasoning

  • Paprika
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder

Serving Suggestions for Boiled Chicken Tenderloins

how to boil chicken tenderloins

Add some excitement to your boiled chicken tenderloins by tossing them in a tangy buffalo sauce or slicing them up for a refreshing salad – the possibilities are endless! Discover creative ideas and delicious side dish recommendations that will elevate your boiled chicken tenderloin meals.

Ideas for incorporating boiled chicken tenderloins into meals

When it comes to how to boil chicken tenderloins and how to incorporate boiled chicken tenderloins into meals, the possibilities are endless. Here are some delicious and creative ideas to get you inspired:

Chicken Salad

Chop up the boiled chicken tenderloins and mix them with mayonnaise, celery, onions, and your favorite seasonings. Serve it on a bed of lettuce or between two slices of bread for a tasty sandwich.


Add sliced boiled chicken tenderloins to a hot skillet with some vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, and carrots. Toss them with soy sauce or teriyaki sauce for a quick and healthy stir-fry.

Wraps or Tacos

Fill a tortilla with sliced boiled chicken tenderloins, along with your choice of toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and cheese. Roll it up for a satisfying wrap or fold it into a taco shell for a handheld delight.

Pasta Dishes

Boiled chicken tenderloins can be tossed into pasta dishes like spaghetti aglio e olio or fettuccine alfredo for added protein and flavor. You can also make a creamy chicken pasta salad by combining bowtie pasta, diced chicken tenderloins, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and ranch dressing.


Add shredded boiled chicken tenderloins to soups like chicken noodle soup or tortilla soup for an extra boost of protein. It’s a comforting and filling addition that will take your soup to the next level.

Grain Bowls

Create a nutritious grain bowl by pairing boiled chicken tenderloins with quinoa or brown rice as the base. Top it off with roasted vegetables, avocado slices, and drizzle with your favorite dressing or sauce.

Lettuce Wraps

Use large lettuce leaves as wraps and fill them with sliced boiled chicken tenderloins mixed with chopped vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, and cucumbers. Drizzle with a flavorful sauce like peanut or hoisin for a light and refreshing meal.

Chicken Quesadillas

Take a tortilla, layer it with shredded boiled chicken tenderloins, cheese, and any other desired toppings like onions, bell peppers, or jalapenos. Cook it on both sides until the cheese is melted and serve it with salsa or guacamole for dipping.

Chicken Caesar Salad

Combine boiled chicken tenderloins with romaine lettuce, croutons, grated Parmesan cheese, and Caesar dressing for a classic and satisfying salad.

Buddha Bowls

Assemble a colorful Buddha bowl by adding boiled chicken tenderloins to a bowl filled with a variety of vegetables, grains like quinoa or brown rice, legumes like chickpeas or black beans, and drizzle it all with your favorite dressing.

Side dish recommendations

When serving boiled chicken tenderloins, there are plenty of delicious side dish options to complement the tender and flavorful chicken. Here are some ideas to consider:

Steamed vegetables

Serve a colorful medley of steamed broccoli, carrots, and green beans alongside the boiled chicken tenderloins. This adds a healthy and nutritious element to your meal.

Roasted potatoes

Toss diced potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs such as rosemary or thyme. Roast them in the oven until golden brown for a crispy and satisfying side dish.

Rice pilaf

Cook fluffy and fragrant rice pilaf to accompany the boiled chicken tenderloins. You can add vegetables like peas or corn for extra flavor and texture.

Quinoa salad

Prepare a refreshing quinoa salad with chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, and fresh herbs like parsley and mint. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil for a light yet filling side dish.

Mixed greens salad

Create a simple mixed greens salad with lettuce, spinach, arugula, or any other leafy greens you prefer. Add toppings such as cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, shredded carrots, and your favorite dressing.

Creamy mashed potatoes

Whip up creamy mashed potatoes using butter, milk (or cream), salt, and pepper. This classic side dish pairs perfectly with tender boiled chicken tenderloins.


Bake a batch of buttery cornbread to serve alongside the chicken tenderloins. The sweet and savory flavors complement each other well.

Grilled vegetables

Slice zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant, or any other grill-friendly vegetables into thick pieces. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper before grilling until tender and slightly charred.

Pasta salad

Toss cooked pasta with a variety of colorful veggies, such as cherry tomatoes, olives, bell peppers, and feta cheese. Dress the salad with a tangy vinaigrette for a refreshing side dish.

Roasted Brussels sprouts

Trim Brussels sprouts and toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven until crispy and caramelized for a tasty and nutritious side to go with your boiled chicken tenderloins.

Tips for Storing and Reheating Boiled Chicken Tenderloins

When storing boiled chicken tenderloins, make sure to place them in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap to keep them fresh.

Proper storage methods

After knowing how to boil chicken tenderloins, it’s important to store them properly to maintain their freshness and prevent any potential foodborne illnesses. Here are some proper storage methods for boiled chicken tenderloins:

  1. Allow the chicken tenderloins to cool down completely before storing them. This helps prevent bacteria growth.
  2. Transfer the boiled chicken tenderloins into an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Ensure that there is no air or moisture getting in.
  3. Label the container with the date of boiling to keep track of its freshness.
  4. Store the boiled chicken tenderloins in the refrigerator at a temperature below 40°F (4°C). This will help inhibit bacterial growth and extend their shelf life.
  5. Avoid stacking or overcrowding the chicken tenderloins in the refrigerator, as this can lead to uneven cooling and potentially spoilage.
  6. If you plan on storing the boiled chicken tenderloins for more than a few days, consider freezing them for longer-term storage.
  7. To freeze, place the cooled-down chicken tenderloins in a freezer-safe bag or container, making sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing tightly.
  8. Label and date the package before placing it in the freezer.
  9. When stored properly in the freezer at 0°F ( – 18°C) or below, boiled chicken tenderloins can last up to three months without significant quality loss.

How to safely reheat boiled chicken tenderloins

Reheating boiled chicken tenderloins is a great way to enjoy leftovers and save time in the kitchen. Here are some simple steps to safely reheat your boiled chicken tenderloins:

  1. Use a microwave-safe dish: Transfer the boiled chicken tenderloins to a microwave-safe dish. Make sure it’s large enough to hold all the tenderloins without overcrowding.
  2. Add a splash of liquid: To prevent the chicken from drying out during reheating, add a splash of chicken broth or water to the dish. This will help create steam and keep the meat moist.
  3. Cover with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap: Covering the dish with a lid or plastic wrap will help retain moisture and heat, ensuring even reheating.
  4. Microwave on medium power: Set your microwave to medium power (50-70% power) to avoid overheating and drying out the chicken. Reheat in 30-second intervals, checking for doneness after each interval.
  5. Stir or flip halfway through: To ensure even reheating, stir or flip the chicken tenderloins halfway through the microwaving process.
  6. Check internal temperature: Use a food thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the chicken reaches at least 165°F (74°C). This ensures that any bacteria present in the leftovers are killed off, making it safe to eat.
  7. Let it rest before serving: Once heated through, allow the chicken tenderloins to rest for a couple of minutes before serving. This helps redistribute juices and improves tenderness.
  8. Enjoy within 2 days: It’s important to consume reheated chicken within two days of its initial cooking date for optimal freshness and safety.


Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about how to boil chicken tenderloins:

1. How long does it take to boil chicken tenderloins?

The cooking time for boiling chicken tenderloins will vary depending on the size and thickness of the pieces. Generally, it takes about 10-15 minutes to fully cook chicken tenderloins in boiling water.

2. Should I add any seasonings or spices when boiling chicken tenderloins?

While not necessary, adding seasonings or spices to the water can enhance the flavor of the chicken. Common options include salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and herbs like thyme or rosemary.

3. Can I use boiled chicken tenderloins in other recipes?

Absolutely! Boiled chicken tenderloins can be used in a variety of dishes such as salads, sandwiches, wraps, stir-fries, and soups. Once cooked and cooled, you can shred or chop them according to your recipe’s requirements.

4. Are there any health benefits to boiling chicken over other cooking methods?

Boiling is considered a healthy cooking method for chicken as it doesn’t require adding extra oil or fat. This helps keep the dish lower in calories compared to frying or sautéing while still retaining moisture and tenderness in the meat.


In conclusion, boiling chicken tenderloins is a simple and convenient way to cook them. By following the recommended cooking times and ensuring that the internal temperature reaches 165°F, you can achieve perfectly tender and juicy chicken every time.

Don’t forget to get creative with your seasoning options and pair your boiled chicken tenderloins with delicious side dishes for a complete meal. Happy cooking!

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