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Cilantro Pesto Chicken Tenders

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Category Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine American/Italian


Chicken tenders get coated in pesto then seared in a hot pan until golden brown and juicy with a crispy crust on the outside.


  • 1 ½ pounds chicken tenders, tendon removed
  • Morton kosher salt
  • ½ cup Cilantro Pesto or pesto of choice
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil


  • Season chicken lightly with salt. Toss chicken with pesto to coat.
    chicken tenders coated in pesto in a glass bowl
  • Heat a 12-inch high-quality non-stick skillet over medium-high for 2 minutes; add oil and heat until just shimmering.
    pesto chicken tenders in a nonstick skillet
  • Add chicken tenders in an even layer, (spread any leftover pesto from the bowl over top) and cook until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165ºF (73ºC), about 3 minutes per side.
  • Serve over a salad or pilaf, in a sandwich, or on its own.


If you find you want a bit more pesto on the tenders, mix a few tablespoons with a light drizzle of olive oil then spoon over cooked tenders and finish with flaky sea salt and pepper.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat over low heat in a skillet or in the oven at 325ºF (162ºC), just until warmed through. You can also give them a quick zap in the microwave, but this is out least favorite option as it tends to dry out meat. 


Serving: 1/4 of recipeCalories: 378kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 42gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 304mgSugar: 2g
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