We Found the Best Frozen Chicken Tenders at the Supermarket
Even foodies love a fast food-style treat once in a while! Our Test Kitchen found the best frozen chicken tenders to stash in your freezer for a quick dinner or fun snack.
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Taste of Home
Craving a quick dinner but don’t want to run to the drive-thru? We hope you’ve got a package of frozen chicken tenders in the freezer! Packaged foods like these can be a real life-saver on evenings when you don’t feel like doing much cooking. But when it comes down to it, do you really know what brand of chicken strips taste the best?
That’s where you can rely on our Test Kitchen. Our crew is serious about finding the very best products to fill your pantry, fridge and freezer. Find out which brands our team enjoys most (we think you’ll love them too).
How We Found the Best Chicken Frozen Tenders
We take testing seriously at Taste of Home, even for convenience foods like chicken tenders. For this test, our crew wrangled up nine of the most popular frozen chicken tenders and sampled them in a blind tasting. Here’s what our Test Kitchen considered while snacking:
- Flavor: How does the chicken tender taste? Is it something we could imagine buying to keep in our freezers? Would we go back for seconds (and thirds)?
- Breading: What’s the texture of the breading like? Is it crispy? Does it have extra seasonings and flavor? Is it in the right proportion to the tender?
- Quality of chicken: For this test, we focused on chicken strips—not processed chicken nuggets. We wanted strips that looked and tasted like real chicken—no gristle or unpleasant textures.
Want to learn more about how our Test Kitchen chooses their favorite products? Check out our testing methods.
Our Test Kitchen-Preferred Chicken Tender Brands
Taste of Home
After plenty of crunching and munching, our Test Kitchen picked four brands that really stood out.
Best Breading: Tyson Crispy Chicken Strips
The breading is often what sets good frozen chicken tenders apart from great frozen chicken tenders, and our Test Kitchen says that Tyson Crispy Chicken Strips are great. The breading on these chicken strips was perfectly crunchy and golden with the crispy (but not too crispy) texture our team was looking for.
In fact, these reminded many testers of their favorite fast-food chicken strips with moist, tender white meat inside. This just proved to us that if you’re looking for a great chicken tender, reaching for the biggest name in chicken is always a good idea.
Best Organic Option: Perdue SimplySmart Organics Lightly Breaded Chicken Strips
With a fast food-style offering like chicken tenders, you wouldn’t expect a healthier option to rise to the top. Well, you wouldn’t until you tried Perdue SimplySmart Organics chicken strips. These tenders were a bit lighter on the breading which many testers enjoyed; this let the tender, flavorful chicken really shine. But don’t mistake lighter breading for lack of crunch—our testers found these to be plenty crispy and crunchy. If you’re looking for a tender option that’s slightly better for you and organic, this is the bag to buy!
Crispiest Tenders: Foster Farms Crispy Strips
For many, the signature of a good chicken strip is all in the crunch. If you’re looking for a crispy, crunchy tender, snag a bag of Foster Farms Crispy Strips. Our testing crew went crazy for this brand’s extra crispy breading. The crunch and nooks and crannies of the breading made these strips the perfect companion for dipping sauces. Even if you love to drench your tenders in extra barbecue sauce, you won’t find that they get soggy—Foster Farms holds up!
Flavor-wise, these crispy strips were savory and had just the right amount of salt and pepper and the chicken inside was tender and delicious. If you’re bored of the usual ones, then try these delicious buttermilk chicken tenders.
Best Budget Buy: Great Value Chicken Strips
Looking for a good tender for a little bit less? Grab a bag (or two) of Great Value Chicken Strips. This 25-ounce bag of chicken strips costs less than $5 but delivers on flavor, quality and crunch.
These chicken strips were highly ranked because the white meat inside was juicy and tender—exactly what we were looking for. As for the breading, it had a little kick! Our Test Kitchen found it to be crispy, golden and pleasantly peppery. This little extra zing might not be for pickier kids but definitely pleased our adult kitchen crew. Uncover the subtle flavor and texture differences between chicken tenderloin vs. breast.
What to Make with Chicken Tenders
When it comes to frozen chicken tenders, you might just want to fire up the oven (or air fryer), grab your favorite dipping sauce and call it a quick dinner. Sometimes that hits the spot! But you can also use these frozen chicken strips to make some great recipes like these too-tempting chicken Parmesan sliders or shortcut chicken and waffles. The are so many options for you; check out some of our favorite takes:
Check Out More Test Kitchen-Preferred Products
Note: This blind taste test was performed by our staffers and was not part of a sponsorship. All opinions shared are our own, and have not been influenced by advertisers.