Dear Crissy

Copycat Cracker Barrel Grilled Chicken Tenderloins

My husband has been telling me that I need to find a copycat Cracker Barrel grilled chicken tenderloins recipe. It’s his favorite Cracker Barrel menu item, and the dish he always order we visit a Cracker Barrel (usually on family vacations). I have to admit that the Cracker Barrel’s chicken tenders are super delicious. They have such a wonderfully sweet flavor, and I was excited at the prospect of recreating this recipe at home.

After scouring the internet for copycat Cracker Barrel grilled chicken tenderloins recipes, I’ve found that they all contain a few key ingredients. I decided to do a little experimenting in the kitchen with the suggested combinations of Italian dressing, lime juice, and honey. I’ve finally landed on this recipe that my family really loves.

Copycat Cracker Barrel Grilled Chicken Tenderloins

Psst… I don’t actually grill them!

Copycat Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenderloins Recipe - If you're a fan of Cracker Barrel's sweet chicken tenders, you're going to love this quick and easy copycat recipe! These chicken tenderloins are juicy and extremely flavorful!

We usually make our knock-off Cracker Barrel chicken tenders in a non-stick skillet, but you could also use this marinade and take them to the grill. In fact, I love to cut the chicken into smaller chunks and put them on a skewer along with some fresh vegetables. It’s a great alternative to burgers and hotdogs when you’re grilling out with friends and family.

These yummy copycat Cracker Barrel grilled chicken tenderloins are sweet, with just a little tang, and the chicken ends up being so juicy and flavorful. You are going to absolutely love this chicken tenders recipe. My kids are pretty picky when it comes to eating meat of any kind, and they even enjoy it when I make this for dinner.

The last time I made these chicken tenders for my family, I served them with my easy roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes. My entire family loved the meal, and this chicken tenderloins recipe is one that we eat again and again.

There is just something comforting about family meals at Cracker Barrel. This isn’t a commercial for the restaurant chain, just my own observations. We usually visit Cracker Barrel while we’re on family vacations, so the food is very much wrapped up with those warm memories for me. Plus, who doesn’t love playing that classic peg gameCopycat Cracker Barrel Grilled Chicken Tenderloins while waiting for their meal, or shopping in the Cracker Barrel gift shop afterward?

If you’re a fan of Cracker Barrel’s chicken tenders, you’re going to love this quick and easy copycat recipe. Grab the recipe below, and be sure to follow me on Instagram for even more recipe ideas.

Copycat Cracker Barrel Grilled Chicken Tenderloins


  • 1 lb chicken tenders or cut chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice


  1. Place chicken tenderloins into a large plastic bag with wet ingredients. Marinate in refrigerator for at least one hour.
  2. Add chicken and liquid to a large skillet. Cook over medium heat until liquid is reduced and chicken is golden in color, but not dry. Be sure to turn chicken throughout the cooking process.

Leave a Comment


  1. Maribel F — June 7, 2013 @ 1:59 pm (#)

    It looks delicious I think Im going to make this one today I have some chicken tenders already tawed in my fridge . thanks for this recipe yum!


  2. Crystal — June 7, 2013 @ 8:40 pm (#)

    Great recipe!! Thanks for sharing!!


  3. Elizabeth Towns — June 8, 2013 @ 6:44 pm (#)

    I wish I had italian dressing in my kitchen today, because I would definitely try this for dinner. But tomorrow is another day! This is such a simple recipe I can’t help but try it. Thanks!


  4. Stephanie — June 8, 2013 @ 8:58 pm (#)

    I love recipes like this, simple yet delicious. Im going to have to make these for my chicken loving family.


  5. Nancy — August 22, 2013 @ 5:51 pm (#)

    Are you supposed to cover the skillet while cooking?


  6. nancy — October 31, 2013 @ 7:11 pm (#)

    I love chicken and it’s my protien of choice, usually eat it 5-6 x week this sounds so good, but better yet, simple! thanks for sharing


  7. Melissa — November 5, 2013 @ 4:16 pm (#)

    I was looking for an easy chicken tender recipe that wasn’t breaded, and found this on Pinterest. Made it a few weeks ago and loved it! Definitely a keeper!!


  8. Vicky — November 18, 2013 @ 6:21 pm (#)

    Made these delicious chicken tenders tonight after finding the recipe through Pinterest. VERY good! I used 1 1/2 pounds chicken and think there is enough sauce to probably use 2 pounds of chicken. I was very skeptical after 15 minutes of simmering on medium heat because it just looked like pale chicken simmering in way too much liquid. But by 30 minutes the magic was happening and just a few more minutes is all it took to completely carmelize the chicken. What you are left with in the end is not a sauce, though. Its the oil from the Italian dressing. I drained it off my chicken. Will definitely make again. Thank you, Crissy, for posting this!


  9. Ann — November 25, 2013 @ 11:59 am (#)

    Hi, I would like to try this, but unsure of one of the ingredients?
    Please can you give more deals about the Italian dressing? Is it a shop bought or home made, and f possible a brand name so I can look for a UK alternative?


  10. Rebecca — February 5, 2014 @ 6:30 pm (#)

    I’m trying this recipe tonight; however, since i don’t have the right dressing I’m using chipotle ranch dressing instead. I’m hoping it will work well with the lime juice and honey.


  11. Cheryl Dusablon — February 24, 2014 @ 6:21 pm (#)

    Wow! Made these tonight. Absolutely delishious! Didn’t t have lime juice so used fresh lemon juice instead. You do have to be patient, they do take just about 30 minutes for the liquid to reduce and the chicken to carmelize. Oh, but so worth the wait. Served mine with a roasted sweet potatoe and roasted asparagus. Great meal. Thanks!!


  12. Kathleen — March 31, 2014 @ 8:46 pm (#)

    I made this for dinner and it was yummy! I didn’t have honey so I substituted orange marmalade. You really have to wait the full thirty minutes to let the magic happen!


  13. mindyWV — August 22, 2014 @ 3:50 pm (#)

    Marinating now. I’ll update later!


  14. Allison — February 25, 2015 @ 11:05 am (#)

    Could I do this recipe with drumsticks or any other part of the chicken as well? Just as long as I make them about the same size as tenders, right?


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