Skillet Blackened Chicken Tenders

Skillet blackened chicken tenders are TONS healthier (and just as yummy) as fried chicken fingers, and they can be whipped up in less than half an hour!skillet blackened chicken tenders

This skillet blackening technique is one of the easiest, most flavorful ways I’ve found to cook chicken tenders. There is no marinating required, and the tenders can go from fridge or freezer to the table in less than half an hour.

The chicken: I usually keep a bag of Costco frozen chicken tenders on hand so that I can whip these yummy tenders up at a moment’s notice. I actually prefer frozen tenders in this recipe, as the fresh ones are softer and more pliable and don’t seem to stand up to the skillet blackening as well.

The seasoning: I love The Fresh Market blackened spice rub. It is a mixture of sea salt, garlic, sweet paprika, black pepper, thyme, oregano & cayenne pepper. The spice rub, along with extra virgin olive oil and a hot skillet sear, gives the chicken a lovely exterior and seals in the flavor. One of the butchers at The Fresh Market recommended this to me, so I tried it and fell in love with it. If you don’t have a TFM, there are many other great blackened seasonings that will also work.

IMG_0388The skillet: I love the rustic exterior and deep flavor this chicken gets when cooked in a cast iron skillet. Cast iron is one of my favorite cooking methods, and I have most every size skillet to pass down to my girls one day (a well-seasoned cast iron skillet is a treasure:-). If you are new to cast iron and want to buy one piece, the one that is most versatile would be this Lodge 12-inch pre-seasoned cast-iron skillet.

If cooking frozen tenders, the skillet will need to be covered during part of the cooking process so that the chicken will cook throughout. Covering the skillet traps the heat and kind of “steams” the meat~ensuring that it cooks inside to the correct temp. If using a cast iron skillet, just cover it with a pizza pan or cookie sheet.

My fave alternative to cast iron is this T-fal nonstick skillet with glass lid.. I have 2 of these and often use both at the same time when preparing a meal. The pan is lightweight, truly nonstick, perfectly sized, and a wonderful price point.

Please let me know if you try these, and send any ideas, tweaks or suggestions my way!!! As always, thanks so much for stopping by! Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!


Skillet Blackened Chicken Tenders

Kickin' blackened chicken is super easy and super delicious!

5 min

15 min

20 min

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 8-10 frozen chicken tenders
  • 2-3 TB extra virgin olive oil (extra for drizzling)
  • The Fresh Market Blackened Spice Rub
  • canola cooking spray


  • Heat EVOO in skillet over medium-high heat until very hot.
  • Spray tenders with cooking spray until coated.
  • Sprinkle spice rub on tenders.
  • Add tenders to hot skillet, drizzling with more EVOO.
  • Sear on each side until crust forms.
  • Cover skillet, reduce heat to medium, cooking for 2-3 minutes.
  • Turn tenders, cover skillet, and cook 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove cover, cooking until tenders are 165 degrees.
  • Turn up heat at the very end to give golden exterior.
  • Let tenders rest before serving to seal in juices.

skillet blackened chicken tenders