Crispy Chicken Tenders dipped in a creamy sauce might be my absolute favorite food. Served with the best sides – coleslaw, potato salad, and cornbread – chicken tenders are one of my favorite meals.

There isn’t much better than some juicy chicken tenders soaked for hours in buttermilk and fried until crispy. My buttermilk fried chicken tender recipe is one of our favorite chicken tenders recipes, and it pleases even the pickiest of eaters. It’s quickly becoming one of the most popular recipes on my site!

Traditional fried chicken tenders are the perfect main course, but they are even better when served with a great side dish.

A collage of images showing fried chicken tender side dishes - coleslaw, green beans, veggies, and cornbread.
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Chicken Tender Dipping Sauces

I love to serve my favorite crispy chicken tenders with a variety of different sauces. Here are some of our favorite sauces:

Cane’s Sauce

Cane’s Sauce is a creamy sauce that is peppery and tangy and is the perfect dipping sauce for chicken fingers.

A jar of homemade raising canes sauce dripping off of a spoon.
Copycat Raising Cane’s Sauce Recipe
4.90 from 321 votes
This Copycat Raising Cane’s Sauce Recipe tastes JUST LIKE the original and is perfect for chicken tenders. It is tangy, creamy, peppery, and addicting.
Cane’s Sauce Recipe

Boom Boom Sauce

Boom Boom Sauce is a great option to serve with chicken tenders, as it has so much sweet chili sauce flavor!

A chicken tender coated in boom boom fry sauce.
Boom Boom Sauce
4.96 from 25 votes
Boom Boom Sauce is a slightly sweet, slightly spicy, and all-around delicious dipping sauce. It takes less than five minutes to prepare and will be an excellent addition to any meal.
Boom Boom Sauce Recipe

Chick-fil-A Sauce

Chick-fil-A Sauce is the perfect blend of honey mustard and barbecue sauce – it is the perfect sauce for dipping tenders!

A chicken nugget being dunked into a small glass bowl of copycat chick-fil-a sauce.
Copycat Chick-fil-A Sauce
5 from 21 votes
Chick-fil-A Sauce is a perfect blend of sweet honey mustard and smoky barbecue sauce. It is sweet, tangy, and is a perfect dipping sauce for french fries and crispy chicken tenders. Now you can make it in your own kitchen!
Chick-fil-A Sauce Recipe

BBQ Sauce

BBQ Sauce goes so well with chicken tenders. I know so many kids who eat chicken nuggets and barbecue sauce exclusively – and I probably could, too!

A jar of barbecue sauce with a ribbon around the top on a gray wooden background.
Sweet and Smoky Whole30 Barbecue Sauce
5 from 8 votes
Sweet and Smoky Barbecue Sauce: Ever wonder how to make barbecue sauce from scratch? My homemade barbecue sauce is the perfect blend of sweet and smoky flavor with a little bit of heat. Once you make your own barbecue sauce, you won't buy another bottle.
BBQ Sauce Recipe


Ketchup is an easy way to please the picky eaters in your crowd. Cook up a bag of frozen regular french fries, and you can’t go wrong.

Tartar Sauce

Ok, I know it sounds weird, but the last time I had some leftover tartar sauce in the fridge, we tried it with our chicken tenders, and it was so good! I mean… it’s pickles and fried chicken, so you really can’t go wrong!

A small bowl of homemade tartar sauce with a fried shrimp in it.
Easy Homemade Tartar Sauce
5 from 17 votes
This Easy Homemade Tartar Sauce recipe is the perfect sauce to dip your crunchy fried fish fillets or crispy fried shrimp in. The tangy flavor pairs perfectly with so many dishes, and it is so easy to make.
Tartar Sauce Recipe

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A collage of images showing what to serve with fried chicken - cornbread, collard greens, fried okra, and potato salad.

BEST Side Dishes for Chicken Tenders

There are so many classic side dishes that go well with delicious chicken tenders. Here are some of my favorites:


Cornbread is a delicious side dish to serve with nearly any meal. You can make sweet or Southern cornbread depending on your crowd – both will be enjoyed!

A cast iron pie pan with baked golden brown southern cornbread in it with a slice on top.
Southern Cornbread
4.88 from 31 votes
Made with cornmeal and buttermilk, this Classic Southern Cornbread Recipe brings out the naturally sweet flavor of corn without adding sugar. Cooked in a cast iron skillet with bacon drippings – it will please even the toughest critics.
Southern Cornbread Recipe
A cast iron skillet with slices of cornbread in it.
Sweet Skillet Cornbread Recipe
4.85 from 33 votes
Sweet Cornbread made in a cast iron skillet is the perfect accompaniment to any meal. This cornbread is sweet, crumbly, buttery, and has a perfect crisp to the edges.
Sweet Cornbread Recipe

Collard Greens

My collard greens recipe is such a popular dish, and for good reason. It is the perfect side dish for so many occasions! I love to serve chicken tenders with collard greens, cornbread, and some Cane’s Sauce. (You can also make collard greens in an Instant Pot if you’re in a rush!)

A bowl of southern collard greens on a metal rack with a yellow towel.
Southern Collard Greens
4.91 from 33 votes
This Southern Collard Greens Recipe is the best side dish recipe. A perfect soul food recipe cooked low and slow with bacon, onions, a ham hock, and garlic.
collard greens recipe

Oven-Baked Potatoes – Fries & Potato Skins

We love all kinds of fries, but I love making fries in the air fryer or in the oven, and I love making baked rosemary potato wedges and crispy potato skins!

Oven Baked French Fries
Oven Baked French Fries
Oven Baked French Fries are coated in olive oil, tossed in delicious seasoning, and baked until crispy. They are easy to make and are so good!
Oven Baked French Fries Recipe

Creamy Coleslaw

Creamy coleslaw goes so well with homemade chicken tenders, and it is such an easy side dish to make. This coleslaw recipe is really easy to make and has a secret ingredient that makes it a little tangy!

Creamy southern coleslaw (shredded carrots & cabbage covered in mayonnaise) up close.
Classic Southern Coleslaw
4.94 from 15 votes
This Creamy Southern Coleslaw recipe is one of my favorite side dishes. The sweet, tangy dressing combined with the fresh, crunchy cabbage is so simple, yet so flavorful.
Coleslaw Recipe

You can also make a Copycat Raising Cane’s Meal and make my Cane’s Sauce, Copycat Cane’s Coleslaw, Texas Toast, and some frozen Crinkle Fries. Don’t forget the sweet tea!

Two homemade raising canes chicken tenders, canes sauce, and canes coleslaw on a white plate.

Pasta Salad

A bowl of pasta salad and a wooden spoon, zoomed in.
Easy Pasta Salad Recipe
4.67 from 3 votes
This Pasta Salad is a bite from my childhood. It's loaded with veggies and cherry tomatoes and topped with Italian dressing. Pasta salad is the perfect side dish and is a family favorite.
pasta salad recipe

Potato Salad

Potato Salad and fried chicken just belong together. This potato salad is such an easy recipe to make, and it is loaded with eggs and pickles. It is so delicious!

A bowl of creamy southern potato salad with a mustard based dressing.
Easy Southern Potato Salad
5 from 11 votes
Creamy potato salad is always a tasty side dish, and it goes so well with fried chicken tenders. It has a creamy, flavorful mayonnaise dressing and is topped with Creole Seasoning for a perfect finishing touch.
Southern Potato Salad Recipe

Southern Green Beans

Southern Green Beans cook all day until they just melt in your mouth. They are so delicious and pair perfectly with fried chicken!

A bowl of southern style green beans cooked in a crock pot with ham, bacon, and red bell peppers.
Crock Pot Southern Green Beans
5 from 16 votes
These Crock Pot Southern Green beans have so much flavor – they are a family favorite. They are the perfect easy side dish for any holiday menu.
Southern Green Beans Recipe
A white bowl of southern green beans and bacon on a gray background.
Instant Pot Southern Style Green Beans
4.85 from 19 votes
It's hard to beat that cooked all day with smoky meat flavor of Southern Style green beans. They are melt-in-your-mouth delicious and are ready in less than an hour.
Instant Pot Green Beans

Side Salad

A fresh green salad on the side can help balance out fried chicken. Some people like to serve green salads with their fried food. Sometimes we are those people. Sometimes we like to fry everything. Life is all about balance.

A bowl of royal street salad and two slices of buttered french bread.
Blue Cheese Salad (Royal Street Salad)
5 from 3 votes
Crispy romaine lettuce, crunchy bacon, and blue cheese in a flavorful, zesty homemade dressing, this Royal Street Salad is perfect as an appetizer, side, or quick lunch idea.
Royal Street Salad

Chicken Tender Salad

I also really like to serve chicken tenders in a salad sometimes for an easy dinner recipe. Tossed in a delicious salad dressing with your favorite salad greens, a little shredded cheese, and some fresh vegetables, it’s a great way to make a meal that the whole family will love.

In my experience, fried chicken tenders make salads a little more exciting than a grilled chicken breast does, and it is a perfect way to eat some vegetables.

Cowboy Caviar

Also known as Redneck Caviar, Texas Caviar, or Blackbean Salad. It is a delicious side dish that goes great with fried chicken tenders! (And fried catfish!)

A small bowl of redneck caviar with black-eyed peas, corn, black beans, and tomatoes with a side of tortilla chips.
Cowboy Caviar
5 from 3 votes
Cowboy Caviar is a Southern Dip and Side Dish that is made with fresh vegetables & a delicious vinegar dressing. Black-Eyed Peas & Black Beans are tossed with fresh summer tomatoes, peppers, and corn to make a simple dip, and you won’t be able to resist scooping a chip in this dip!
Redneck Caviar Recipe

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs are the perfect side dish for crispy fried chicken tenders. They are smooth and creamy and have a little bit of diced pickles in them – pickles and fried chicken pair perfectly together!

Two rows of cajun deviled eggs on a white platter.
Easy Deviled Eggs
5 from 13 votes
With fluffy, tangy, and creamy filling in perfectly-cooked hard-boiled eggs, these Easy Deviled Eggs will be your new favorite side or appetizer. Perfect for a family or a party, these deviled eggs are quick and easy to make and are a crowd-pleaser.
Deviled Eggs Recipe
A collage of images showing chicken tender side dishes.

Sweet Potato Fries

I like to make sweet potato fries by roasting sliced sweet potatoes in olive oil on a baking sheet. It’s a delicious and healthy side dish to serve alongside our favorite crispy chicken strips.


Fluffy Biscuits and Fried Chicken are a match made in heaven. I like to serve biscuits and gravy with chicken tenders with a poached egg or serve chicken tenders with waffles!

A blue bowl with two biscuits topped with sausage gravy and two poached eggs.
Best Sausage Gravy Recipe
5 from 6 votes
Hot, buttery biscuits piled high with the best sausage gravy – my favorite Homemade Sausage Gravy Recipe is southern comfort food that won’t disappoint.
Biscuits and Gravy Recipe
A pile of sour cream biscuits with jelly on them.
Southern Sour Cream Biscuits
4.72 from 14 votes
These Homemade Sour Cream Biscuits are perfectly soft and flaky with a delicious buttery flavor everyone will love. They will quickly become your new favorite biscuit recipe.
Sour Cream Biscuit Recipe
A pile of drop biscuits on a non-stick baking mat.
Quick and Easy Drop Biscuits
4.84 from 6 votes
Drop biscuits are the easiest way to get a buttery biscuit on the table in minutes. Drop biscuits are made with only five ingredients and there is no kneading involved. You can have biscuits for breakfast without all the hassle.
Drop Biscuit Recipe

Mashed Potatoes

If you want to use your chicken tenders to make a main dish, you can serve your chicken tenders with mashed potatoes and gravy with a side of fresh veggies or Roasted Broccoli – the ultimate comfort food meal.

A bowl of buttermilk mashed potatoes with a pool of melted butter and fresh chives on top, zoomed in.
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
5 from 7 votes
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes are my absolute favorite way to make mashed potatoes. The potatoes are smooth and creamy, and the tangy buttermilk adds so much flavor to the potatoes.
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes Recipe
A bowl of cheesy garlic mashed potatoes.
Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes
5 from 5 votes
Mashed Potatoes will be the most popular dish on your table with this perfectly garlicky and buttery Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes Recipe. Mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food, and pressure cooking cuts the cooking time needed to make this easy side dish in half.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes Recipe
Baked Mashed Potatoes
Baked Mashed Potatoes made with sour cream, cream cheese, chives and paprika is the perfect side dish for the holidays or any dinner.
Baked Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Copycat KFC Bowls

Another recipe that we love to make with leftover chicken tenders is Chicken Tender bowls – they are a Copycat KFC Bowl. Mashed Potatoes, Brown Gravy, Chicken Tenders, Corn Kernels, and Cheddar Cheese. So GOOD!

If you have hot oil out anyway, you might as well make some fried sides, right?

Fried Okra

Cornmeal crusted fried okra draining on a paper towel.
Crispy Fried Okra
4.97 from 26 votes
This Fried Okra is dredged in buttermilk and breaded in a flour & cornmeal coating that's loaded with flavor. Fried until crispy in peanut oil, it’s an addictive Southern appetizer, snack, or side dish.
fried okra recipe

Fried Squash

I love to fry up some squash in the summertime when our garden is overloaded with squash. If the deep fryer is already going to make chicken tenders, you might as well make squash, too! (You can also bake your squash if you want to keep it a little healthier!)

Fried squash slices draining on a paper towel.
Southern Fried Squash
4.89 from 9 votes
Southern Fried Squash is a summer delicacy. Fresh yellow squash and zucchini are dredged in buttermilk, breaded with flour and cornmeal, and fried until they are golden brown and crispy. It is such a delicious way to cook summer squash and is the perfect summer side dish.
Fried Squash Recipe

And some honorable mentions are:

A white bowl of creamed corn.
Instant Pot Creamed Corn
4.80 from 15 votes
Instant Pot Creamed Corn is so creamy, delicious, and comforting. This easy to make creamed corn is just a little sweet, with a touch of spice to round it out.
creamed corn recipe
A slice of corn pudding with cheese and jalapeños on a white plate.
Jiffy Corn Pudding
4.95 from 17 votes
Creamed corn, corn niblets, and sour cream baked into sweet, moist cornbread, this Jiffy Corn Pudding is delicious enough for any holiday gathering or dinner meal. Not only does it bring you back to your southern roots, but it’s so quick and easy to whip up!
Corn pudding Recipe
A collage of images showing chicken tender side dishes - cornbread, dipping sauce, coleslaw, green beans, and okra.

I hope this gives you some tasty ideas to help get a delicious meal on your dinner table! The best part about chicken tenderloins is that they are so juicy and really versatile, so you can serve them with so many different things. What are your favorites?

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Hi, I'm Kari!

I am a newlywed, food blogger, health coach, and mama to a hot mess of a border collie. I love to put a new spin on old family recipes and I try to make as many meals as possible with an Instant Pot.

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