Chicken Pesto Tenders

One of the best ways to get kids excited about what they eat is to plant your own garden together. It doesn't require a lot of room -- a window box works beautifully -- what's most important is allowing kids to take part in every stage of the process, from planting the seeds through preparing the meal. My favorite part of having a garden is picking the produce when it is ready with my family and figuring out together what we should make with our harvest.

Summer is fast approaching, and that means basil will be growing abundantly in our garden. Most herbs are relatively easy to grow, but basil in particular grows like a weed -- which is good news because I love cooking with it. Basil is a great compliment to so many foods, but the thing I like to make all summer long is pesto. It's a great recipe to prepare and eat together as a family. It's also extremely kid-friendly because of it's nutritional balance -- the greens, nuts and cheese provide plenty of protein and are packed with vitamin A and magnesium to boot.

You will be amazed at how versatile this pesto is. I normally make a big batch and keep it in the freezer so I have it on hand year-round to use as a spread on sandwiches, toss with pasta, put on fish or shrimp or dip chicken in it and roll in bread crumbs like these delicious Chicken Pesto Tenders!


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Chicken Pesto Tenders (Serves 4)

Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 4 mins

nut free


  • 1/2 Cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 Cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 Tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1 1/4 Lb. Chicken Tenders, cleaned and rinsed
  • 1/4 Cup pesto


1. Preheat broiler.
2. Combine first 3 ingredients in a bowl.
3. In another bowl, combine chicken tenders and pesto and toss to evenly coat.
4. Bread each tender with the bread crumb/parmesan mixture and place on a cooking rack with a foil-lined cookie sheet under it.
5. Broil for 2 minutes on one side, turn tenders over and broil another 2 minutes then take them out.
6. Cool and serve.
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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. My passion is creating simple, healthy recipes that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

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  • Lorrie

    Is the cook time for raw chicken? I can't imagine 4 minutes is enough??? Pls let me know...was hoping to make these tonight.

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    • Cindy

      I'm planning my weiddng reception outdoors as well for the same reason. I'm lucky it's at my parent's home so bugs will not be an issue. My dad sprays 3 times a week a month before each event he throws at our house. You may want to see if you can do that if you choose the park. You also need a tent. I don[t care for tents myself.. but you have to have one. What if it rains? Also the tent will prevent your cake from melting and guests will have a comfortable place to sit out of the elements. You could decorate it with lot's of colorful fabric/paper lanterns. We have huge can lights in the colors of our weiddng so at night our tent will be blue and green inside while people dance. I wouldn't worry about decor too much you have to realize you can decorate an outdoor weiddng the same as you would an indoor weiddng reception. You still need table linens- you could pick some really awesome colors which would set the mood, and I would do some relatively simple flowers. I'm ordering white orchids from in bulk and arranging them in glass vases 15 prays to vase. Also, we bought a ton of candles so at night the tent glows. The easiest way to serve guests dinner is a buffet. I personally don't love buffet, but they don't need electricity and everything stays warm. You're also going to want to get some big tubs you can fill with ice and stock with water, soda, whatever you may be drinking. On top of that we just got back from buying a ton of liquor, we've hired two bar tenders to tend a rented bar. Youre also going to have to consider hiring help, because you're not in a hall and it makes it easier to clean up. Is there a power source near this river? If so you could rent a dance floor, get some extension cords, and have a DJ. If not you could always hook your ipod up to one of those portable ipod players and be able to havemusic and dancing that way. Have you thought about bathrooms? If there are not bathrooms very close, you will need to rent portapottie (ick) it's not classy, but a must. What are you thinking for colors? Are you traditional? I have so many decoration ideas for outdoor weiddngs but I need to know more about you References :

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  • Zaeaton

    Ok, Catherine must have a really hot oven (or maybe skinnier chicken? I did buy the tenders)! I did these tonight at 3 minutes a side because I thought 2 wouldn't be enough. My broiler was turned to high and my rack in the closest to the top spot.

    Despite looking golden brown on the outside, the chicken was pink on the inside. This left me very confused as to what to do. So I turned the oven to 350 and baked them 10 more minutes.

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    • Lani

      Thank you for the tip! Making these right now and running into similar issues (re: chicken still raw). Will bake as you suggest.

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  • Zaeaton

    I should add that the flavor and the pesto were delicious. I will absolutely make this again!

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  • Tasty Tuesday: Baked Pesto Chicken Tenders Mod City Mag

    [...] Baked Pesto Chicken Tenders Recipe from [...]

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  • Kari

    I made these for my kids for supper tonight. They were so much easier than most of the chicken tenders I've made before, and they LOVED them (so did I)! I asked them what star rating they would give them out of 5, and my daughter said \"25!\" :)

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