How long does it take to cook raw chicken tenders in the microwave? (3 alternative ways to cook chicken tenders)

In this brief guide, we will answer ‘how long does it take to cook raw chicken tenders in the microwave?’ Also, we will look at 3 alternative ways you can cook your chicken tenders.

How long does it take to cook raw chicken tenders in the microwave?

It takes about 4 to 5 minutes to cook raw chicken tenders of uniform width in the microwave over high heat.

Can you cook raw chicken in the microwave?

A microwave is a versatile appliance that is almost used in every household. It can cook your food, steam your food, warm your food, thaw your food and if you are lazy can even get hot water or milk.

Is it advisable to cook raw chicken in the microwave, yes and no. Why? Because the microwave can get the job done i.e. cook your chicken but you can easily mess it up. Leaving behind a rubbery, unpleasant and unappealing looking chicken or sometimes even unevenly cooked chicken.  

It is best to have a meat thermometer to make sure your meat is evenly cooked if you are choosing a microwave to cook chicken before consumption. For chicken, the internal temperature will read 165 degrees F or 74 degrees C.

How to cook raw chicken tenders in the microwave?

Here’s a simple recipe for you so that you can enjoy chicken tenders in the microwave.


  • 4 chicken tenders
  • Barbecue glaze
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • Oil


  • Make sure your tenders are not thicker than ½ – 1 inch and are of uniform width. You can either use a knife to cut the excess or may also use a meat pounder or tenderizer.
  • Place your tenders in a bowl and add salt, pepper, paprika and oil.
  • Place your spiced tenders over your greased microwave-safe rack or plate. Place 1/3 cup of water in a bowl underneath your tenders. This will create steam and aid in proper cooking.
  • Set the thermostat at high and begin at 3 minutes.
  • Take your tenders out and check their internal temperature. If it’s not there give another minute or two till the chicken is cooked through.
  • Glaze your tenders with the barbecue glaze and enjoy.

3 alternative and better ways to enjoy chicken tenders

Here are four other ways you can use to make your chicken tenders.

Deep-fried on stovetop

Hands down this is the best way to enjoy chicken tenders. It gives you crunchy, tender and moist tenders every time with no extra preps or caution. For this you’ll need;


  • 500 grams of chicken tenders
  • Buttermilk
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Any hot sauce according to your liking
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Any neutral oil


  • In a large bowl add your buttermilk, all the seasonings and your hot sauce. Mix it up till all the spices are uniformly mixed.
  • Add in your chicken tenders and make sure your chicken tenders are completely submerged in the liquid.
  • Leave to marinate for 4 hours or preferably overnight.
  • Once marinated, take your tenders out of the fridge.
  • In a large dutch oven or heavy bottom deep pan, heat your oil to 365 degrees F or 185 degrees C.
  • When the oil is heated, bread your tenders by taking them out of the marinade and coating the tenders with bread crumbs.
  •  Fry till golden brown and enjoy.

Baked in oven

You may follow the same recipe as above or try your own or refer here. It’s just the temperature you need to check on. Here we have followed the same recipe but instead of frying in oil, we will bake these.


  • Preheat your oven at 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C.
  • Prepare your baking sheet by greasing it with any neutral oil.
  • Place your breaded chicken tenders on the baking sheet.
  • Spray your tenders with a neutral cooking oil spray. This will give you a more evenly crunchy exterior.
  • Bake the tenders for 10 minutes, take it out then flip and bake for an additional 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Broil for the last 2 – 3 minutes for an extra crunchy exterior.
  • Let it cool and enjoy.

Air fryer chicken tenders

A more healthy and almost close to deep-fried food option is in the air fryer. The only drawback they have is you need to work in batches. Here we have also used the same recipe.


  • Preheat your air fryer at 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C.
  • Spray your basket with a neutral cooking oil spray and line your tenders.
  • Cook the chicken for 5 – 6 minutes, flip and cook additionally for another 5 -6 minutes.
  • When the chicken is done, take the tenders out and enjoy.

Other FAQs about Chicken that you may be interested in.

How many chicken breasts are there in a pound?

Can you eat chicken that has been frozen for a year?

How long is chicken good past the sell-by date?


In this brief guide, we answered ‘how long does it take to cook raw chicken tenders in the microwave?’ Also, we have looked at 3 alternative ways you can cook your chicken tenders.

Hopefully, you found this guide helpful. If you have any questions or comments please let us know.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.