Easy Marinated Grilled Chicken Tenders are such an easy summer dinner! If you’re looking for a simple summer grilled chicken recipe, get ready to fall in love with this one!
These Chicken Tenders are made using a simple marinade that will have your taste buds dancing and craving more. And best of all? You’re never going to have to search for more summer grilled chicken recipes because this one is the best!
Easy Marinated Grilled Chicken Tenders Recipe
The best part about this simple chicken recipe is that it opens up the door for some amazing side dishes to go along with it.
When it comes to summer grilling, this is literally one of my favorite chicken marinade recipes to make. It’s because it’s really, really simple and that flavor of dijon mustard and sugar really pair perfectly together to create a stellar taste.
You can even make one of my amazing dipping sauces to really up the flavor for your tastebuds.
Last but not least, this grilled chicken tenders marinade takes minutes to make but really packs in a ton of flavor. And I really love how the leftovers taste the next day!
You can create this simple chicken marinade in no time at all. And after you place the chicken in and let it marinate for a few hours, it’s geared up and ready to grill!
Many people tend to just buy premade marinade at the store, but that’s not how I like to roll. I’d prefer a homemade marinade any day over anything store-bought!
Ingredients for Marinated Chicken Tenders
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- White vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Jarred pesto sauce or fresh pesto
- Garlic, minced – Two cloves of garlic is equal to about 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic. Use this amount if you are using pre-chopped, jarred garlic.
- Granulated sugar
- Kosher salt
- Pepper to taste – I use about 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper but feel free to use less if you like a more subtle spice.
- Chicken breast tenderloins – Make sure you clean the tenderloins, removing any extra fat or muscle.
Here are a few ingredient substitutes and alterations you may want to try.
- Replace the white vinegar with apple cider vinegar for a sweeter, milder-tasting marinade.
- Use full-sized chicken breasts in place of tenderloins. When using large chicken breasts, I like to let the meat marinate overnight, allowing the flavors to really permeate through the chicken. You will also need to grill the chicken longer to ensure the internal temp of the meat is at least 165 degrees F. Whole chicken breasts typically cook on the grill for 10 minutes on each side.
- Use red pepper flake in place of ground black pepper for a spicier chicken.
How to Make Marinated Grilled Chicken Tenderloins
- Marinate the chicken: In a large bowl, add the vinegar, dijon, pesto, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine, Add the chicken tenderloins, cover, and chill for at 2 hours, but not longer than 6 hours.
- Boil the marinade: Remove the chicken from the marinade and let come to room temp, about 20 minutes. Add the remaining marinade to a small saucepan and bring to a boil 1 minute and then take off the heat.
- Grill the chicken: Heat the grill to high and prepare it for cooking. Lower the heat to medium, place the chicken directly on the grates, and brush with the leftover marinade every 30 seconds or so. Turn occasionally until cooked through, about 3-5 minutes per side.
You can also cook the marinated chicken tenderloins in a skillet on the stovetop. Add the marinated chicken to a large skillet and cook over medium high heat for 4 minutes, flip, and cook for another 4 minutes. This is a great way to enjoy this chicken in the colder months when you may not want to grill outside.
The easiest way to know that your grilled chicken tenders are done is to have a meat thermometer and pull them off the grill once the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F.
Grilling the chicken tenders isn’t hard and you’ll find that it’s a simple and easy process. The biggest thing after following the steps on the recipe is to ensure that the internal temp is at least 165 degrees and that you’ve used up all the marinade on the chicken while they’re cooking on the grill!
Marinating the chicken tenders overnight is a great way to make the meat moist and tender. Brushing the chicken tenders with extra marinade while they are grilling will also help prevent them from drying out.
Grilled Chicken Tenders
- Mixing bowl
- Pastry brush
- Meat thermometer
- Small pot
- ⅔ Cup white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons jarred pesto sauce or fresh pesto
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Pepper to taste
- 2 pounds chicken breast tenderloins
- In a large bowl, add the vinegar, dijon, pesto, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine. Add the chicken tenderloins, cover and chill for at least 2 hours, up to 6 hours.
- Take the chicken out of the marinade and let come to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Add the remaining marinade to a small saucepan and bring to a boil, boil for 1 minute, take off the heat.
- Heat the grill to high and prepare it for cooking. Lower the heat to medium, place the chicken directly on the grates, brush with the leftover marinate every 30 seconds or so. Turn occasionally until cooked through, about 3-5 minutes per side. They are ready when the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Make sure to use all the marinade up while the chicken is on the grill, this makes it extra flavorful!