How to Microwave Chicken Tenders So They're Not Rubbery

Microwavable chicken tenders are an easy solution for that last-minute meal.
Image Credit: bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images

Cooking chicken tenders in the microwave is a fast and easy solution to your last-minute meal challenge.


Chicken tenders that have only been partially cooked before being frozen, though, can contain bacteria. So look for labels that indicate the nuggets have been fully cooked ahead of time to ensure quick cooking and prevent food-borne illness.

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Things You'll Need

  • Chicken tenders

  • Microwave-safe plate

  • Oven mitts


  1. Remove your bag of chicken tenders from the refrigerator or freezer and take out the number of tenders you're planning to serve.
    • The suggested serving size is around 5 tenders per person, or less if you're making them for a child.
  2. Lay chicken tenders in a single layer on microwave-safe plate. The size of the plate needed depends on the amount of tenders you're making.
    • Use a small plate for 1 or 2 servings, or a larger one for multiple servings. Don't stack the chicken tenders on top of each other, as this causes uneven cooking. If they don't fit in a single layer, use a bigger plate.
  3. Place the plate of chicken tenders in the microwave.
  4. Cook time varies depending on how many you're cooking. For example, 5 tenders require up to 60 seconds to cook, while 15 tenders can take 2 1/2 minutes. Refer to the package for specific cook times.
  5. Take the chicken out of the microwave once fully cooked.
  6. Transfer the tenders to a serving plate using tongs and let the them cool off for up to 2 minutes before eating.
    • The chicken will be hot, and letting them cool is especially important when serving to young children.


Before cooking tenders, check for signs of spoilage, which can include visible mold or a foul smell. If you notice a coating of frost, also known as freezer burn, you can still eat the chicken tenders, but they may not taste great.

When removing the plate from the microwave, use oven mitts to avoid burning your hands.

Chicken tenders left uncooked can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, and up to 3 months in the freezer — as long as the package is resealed tightly.

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