Chicken Breast or Tenderloin – Finding differences

Chicken Breast or Tenderloin – Finding differences

Key Takeaways

1. Delve into the nuances of tenderness, size, cost, and cooking techniques between these two popular cuts of chicken. Uncover how they differ in taste and texture, guiding your meal choices.

2. Learn about the nutritional disparities between chicken breast and tenderloin. Discover how chicken breast offers higher protein content and lower sodium levels, making it a healthier option compared to tenderloin.

3. Unlock the secrets to preparing tenderloins for optimal juiciness and flavor absorption through proper marination techniques. Explore the best methods for grilling or baking chicken breasts to create mouthwatering dishes that satisfy your cravings.

4. Expand your culinary horizons with a diverse array of recipes showcasing both chicken breast and tenderloin. From classic favorites like chicken strips to gourmet delights such as grilled chicken kebabs, discover endless possibilities to elevate your cooking repertoire.

It is clear from the statement that both of these things, chicken breast or tenderloin is not the same. But what is the difference between them? Let’s find it out together. Before this discussion, you need to know what a tenderloin is. I guess every one of us knows about the chicken breast piece so let’s see what a tenderloin is.

What is tenderloin?


Tenderloin is a specific tender part of the chicken breast, or we can say that it is behind the chicken breast. They are smaller than the breast piece’s size, but if you cook them properly, they will taste the same and will be tender and moist.

Some people also name them chicken tenders, and they are two in every chicken. These are the muscles that we call pectoralis minor.

The difference between Chicken Breast and Chicken Tenderloin

Now that you know what a chicken tenderloin or chicken tender is, let’s come to the main point from where we started. What are the differences between the chicken breast piece and chicken tender?

  1. Chicken tender, as the name suggests, is tenderer than the chicken breast.
  2. The chicken tender is one of the minor muscles, whereas chicken breast piece is made up of a major muscle.
  3. Chicken tender is small in size than chicken breast.
  4. The chicken breast piece is commonly used, but most people don’t even know what a chicken tender is, and so the use of it is also less.
  5. Chicken tender needs a bit more delicacy while you cook them, but they both will taste the same.
  6. The expensive tag goes to the chicken tenderloin. They are more expensive than the chicken breast piece.
  7. As for the nutritional value, the tenderloins have a low-calorie count but high sodium levels. The rest of the nutritional value of both the breast and the tenderloin is almost the same.

These are a few differences between the chicken tender and chicken breast pieces.

Nutritional differences between chicken breast pieces and chicken tender.

Although both of these parts are attached, they differ a little in their nutritional value. Overall the breast piece is more nutritious than the tender part. Let’s see the values for 100 grams of both types:

  • Chicken breast has 165 calories while chicken tender has 136.
  • The fats value is 3.6 for breast and 3 for tender.
  • The carbohydrates are 0 in both of them.
  • The protein value is 31 grams for chicken breast and 25 grams for tender.
  • The sodium value is 74 mg in chicken breast and 52 mg in
  • The calcium, iron, vitamin B, magnesium is almost the same but more in the chicken breast by 1 or 2 %.

These are the nutritional differences between both parts of the chicken.

How can we remove Chicken Tenderloin from the chicken breast?

Chicken tenderloin is hidden in between the breast and the breast bone. It is attached underneath the breast bone, and it is attached to the breast piece with the help of the tendon. To remove it from the breast piece and not miss it, you need to be careful while handling it.

  1. Put your bone attach with chicken breast on the cutting board.
  2. Flip it so the breast bone is facing upwards; you can see the tendon going under the breast bone.
  3. Take your knife and cut across the breast bone underneath.
  4. Cut the tendons off that attaches the tenderloin to the breast.
  5. Now take to thin tenderloin slice out.

You can watch this video to see how to do it.

Can we substitute chicken tenderloin with chicken breast pieces or vice versa?

Chicken tenderloin tastes the same as chicken breast. They are only smaller in size. You can sure replace them with each other as the taste of your food will not alter, but take care of the marinating and cooking time as the tenderloin takes less time than the breast piece. Rest is all fine to replace them with each other.

What can we make out of chicken tenderloin?

chicken tenderloin


As it is a piece of chicken, you can cook a lot of dishes out of it.

  1. Chicken strips.
  2. Chicken tenders.
  3. Baked chicken.
  4. Chicken fajita.
  5. Skillet plum chicken tenders.
  6. Chicken piccata pockets.
  7. Citrus honey chicken
  8. Crispy sage chicken tenders.
  9. Lime ginger chicken tenders.
  10. Italian chicken tenderloin.

These are the few names of the recipes in which you can use chicken tenderloin, and they will taste great.

How to prepare a chicken tenderloin for cooking?

Chicken tenderloin is a tender part that needs proper handling before cooking. You need to marinate it properly so that it won’t go dry while you are cooking it. It is recommended to use lime or lemon juice along with the seasonings for the marinating. Make some thin cuts o the chicken tender to absorb the maximum flavor of marinating in them.

You need to leave it for 30 minutes to 8 hours to be juicy and tasty when you cook them. Now let’s see the ways by how you can cook the tenderloins?

What are the ways to cook tenderloins?

You can cook your tenderloin after marinating in three ways.

  1. Steaming – it will maintain the moisture in and will not make the tenderloin dry.
  2. Poaching – it is another way in which you can cook your chicken in salted simmering water.
  3. The baking – third option is baking. You can bake your tenderloin on parchment paper.

What can we make out of chicken breasts?

Chicken breasts are more commonly used than tenderloins. The recipe list is also vast. We will see a few of them get an idea:

  1. Chicken curry.
  2. Pan-fried chicken.
  3. Grilled chicken.
  4. Honey chicken sliders.
  5. Garlic chicken.
  6. Caribbean chicken and rice
  7. Grilled chicken kebab
  8. Lemon chicken pasta
  9. Pancetta chicken
  10. Chicken noodles.

The list literally can go on and on. You can make versatile dishes from chicken breast pieces.

What are the ways to cook chicken breast?

Chicken breasts can be made in different ways according to your choice and liking.

Two ways are usually common:

  1. Grilling – you can grill your chicken breast if you want to have the original taste. You can skip oil and sauces with the grilling.
  2. Baking – the other option to cook chicken breast is baking. You can bake your breast with parchment paper or a bag. You can also do the marination before baking your breast pieces.


I believe now you know everything about the differences between chicken breast and chicken tenderloin. Now you can select the one you want and enjoy your meal accordingly.

Related Questions:

Q. Which one is better to choose? Chicken breast or chicken tenderloin?

Both of them taste the same. While chicken breasts have more nutritional value and the other one has less. And chicken breast is also less expensive than the tenderloins. So the conclusion goes towards the chicken breasts unless you want to intake fewer calories in the chicken tenderloin.

Q. What is the white part attached to the tenderloin?

Underneath the breast bone, the tenderloin is present. It has a white tendon attachment. Most people like to remove that part before cooking.

Q. Is chicken strip or chicken tenderloin the same?

The chicken strip is any chicken part that is cut in a stripped shape. It can be tenderloin, or it can be any other part taken out of the chicken.

Q. How can we tender the chicken breast?

To make them tender, you need to flatten and season them. Then cook the chicken breast on the heated pan for 1 minute. After a minute, flip them and reduce the heat to low—cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Please turn off the heat now and let it cover for an additional 10 minutes.