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Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenders

by insanelygood

Looking for a fool-proof way to add nutrition to your family’s diet? These Cracker Barrel chicken tenders are all you need.

Even the pickiest eaters can’t say not to Cracker Barrel chicken tenders. Each bite gives you tender and juicy chicken coated in a sweet and savory glaze. How amazing is that?!

Grilled Chicken Tenderloins with Vegetables

And they’re good for you, too. There’s absolutely no guilt involved when enjoying this dish. 

Who says you have to pay a visit to Cracker Barrel just to enjoy this finger-licking goodness?

This copycat recipe will give you the exact same chicken tenders you know and love, minus the long drive.

Delicious, nutritious, easy to make, and affordable. You don’t often get that combination, so this recipe is definitely a keeper. Let’s get cooking, shall we?

Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenders

Cracker Barrel is a well-loved Southern food chain known for its scrumptious comfort foods. It may be old-fashioned, but its cozy vibe can make anyone feel at home. 

Cracker Barrel has a slew of homemade dishes on their menu. But among their best-sellers are the grilled chicken tenders.

You really can’t go wrong with sweet, tangy, tender, juicy chicken grilled to perfection. It’s not only a crowd-pleaser – it’s healthy, to boot.

Apart from the flavor and nutrition, it’s also hard not to feel nostalgic. Remember dining at a Cracker Barrel during a family road trip?

Vacations are not the same without this iconic stopover!

That’s why I was so ecstatic when I came across this recipe. It was only then that I discovered that these lip-smacking tenders are actually a breeze to make!

They’re so easy that it only takes four ingredients, and most are probably already in your kitchen. 

All it takes is to combine honey, lime juice, and Italian dressing, and voila, your marinade is made. Soak the chicken for an hour to absorb all those beautiful flavors and grill for 8-10 minutes.

With this easy peasy copycat recipe, you and your family can enjoy your favorite Cracker Barrel dish without leaving your home.

One bite will not only bring joy to your taste buds but happy childhood memories as well!

Ingredients for Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenders

With a total of just four ingredients, Cracker Barrel chicken tenders could not be any simpler. Here is everything you need:

Chicken Tenders. 1 pound will yield 4 servings. You’ll want to use actual tenders here, not chicken breast. More on this later.

Italian dressing. Seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices, Italian dressing adds a zesty flavor to your chicken.

Honey. For that sweet, thick, and golden glaze.

Fresh lime juice. It enhances the flavors of the Italian dressing and honey, giving the marinade an even deeper, brighter taste.

Tips for Making Chicken Tenders

  • Give the chicken enough time to rest in the fridge and soak up all the flavors of the marinade. Be sure to do so in the fridge! If you marinate at room temperature, your chicken will be exposed to bacteria, which can lead to food-borne illnesses.
  • Do not over-marinate, especially since this recipe calls for lime juice. If soaked for too long, the acid will change the texture of the chicken. Don’t go beyond 3 hours.
  • The chicken will cook for 8 to 10 minutes overall. Make sure to flip it halfway to cook both sides evenly.
  • Want to grill your chicken during winter? Top a grill pan on the stove and grill away.
  • If you have leftovers, which is unlikely, store them in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to 3 days. Use them as a filling to tacos, burritos, sandwiches, or wraps. It’s a great addition to salad as well!
  • Make sure you cook the chicken over medium heat. It’s the most ideal temperature to get those golden brown on the outside, perfectly cooked on the inside tenders. Give your grill or skillet enough time to heat up. 
  • Don’t overcrowd the skillet, otherwise, you’ll steam the chicken instead of grilling it.
  • Serve as is or garnish with parsley, fresh dill, green onions, chives, or thyme. A sprinkling of lemon juice does wonders, too!

Chicken Tenders Vs. Chicken Breast

These two are commonly mistaken for each other, and they may be similar, but they’re not the same. 

Also known as “hanging tenders,” chicken tenders are the little meat strips attached to the underside of the breast. 

Unlike the chicken breast, the tenders are not muscles, thereby, they’re softer, juicier, and quicker to cook.

Grilled Chicken Tenders and Veggies

What to Serve With Chicken Tenders

Chicken tenders are a light dish, so you’ll want to serve them with something more substantial to turn them into a full meal. Here are some fantastic pairing ideas:

If you’re super hungry, match them with a starchy side such as rice, mashed potatoes, pasta, or baked sweet potatoes.

For a healthier alternative, go for a green salad or roasted veggies.

Chicken tenders also taste even better with dip! You can’t go wrong with the classics – ketchup and barbecue sauce. Want a lighter option? Dip them in hummus!

How to Make Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenders

Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenders

Servings

2

servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken tenders

  • ½ cup Italian dressing

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

  • 1 ½ teaspoons honey

Directions

  • In a large bowl, stir together Italian dressing, lime juice, and honey.
  • Add chicken tenders and toss until completely coated. Cover bowl in plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for 1 to 3 hours.
  • Place chicken in a greased skillet or grill over medium heat. Cook uncovered until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. You can use a meat thermometer to ensure doneness. It should be at 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Note: You can also cook the chicken with the sauce for a thicker glaze. Here’s how:
  • Place chicken and marinade in a skillet over medium heat. Cook for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to avoid sticking. You’ll know it’s done when the marinade has reduced into a thick, caramelized glaze.
Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenders

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