How much protein is in chicken tenders?

How much protein is in chicken tenders?


Chicken tenders are a popular food choice for many people, whether enjoyed on their own or used as an ingredient in various dishes. One common question that often arises is how much protein is in chicken tenders. Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in building and repairing tissues, supporting immune function, and maintaining overall health. In this article, we will dive deeper into the topic of protein content in chicken tenders to provide a comprehensive understanding of this popular food item.

Protein Content in Chicken Tenders

Chicken tenders are primarily made from the breast meat of chickens, which is known for its high protein content. The exact protein content in chicken tenders can vary depending on factors such as the size of the tender, the cooking method used, and any added ingredients or coatings.

On average, a 3-ounce (85 grams) serving of cooked chicken tenders provides approximately 26 grams of protein. This accounts for approximately 52% of the recommended daily intake of protein for an average adult. It is worth noting that this protein content is for plain, unseasoned chicken tenders without any added sauces or coatings.

The protein content in chicken tenders can be even higher if the tenders are made from chicken breast meat that has been specifically selected for its higher protein content. Some brands may offer chicken tenders that are labeled as “high protein” or “extra protein,” indicating that they contain a higher amount of protein compared to regular chicken tenders.

Protein Quality in Chicken Tenders

In addition to the quantity of protein, the quality of protein is also an important factor to consider. The protein in chicken tenders is considered to be of high quality, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids that the body needs for proper functioning.

Chicken breast meat, which is the primary ingredient in chicken tenders, is particularly rich in essential amino acids such as leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These amino acids are crucial for muscle protein synthesis, making chicken tenders a popular choice among athletes and individuals looking to support muscle growth and recovery.

Other Nutritional Considerations

While chicken tenders are a good source of protein, it is important to consider their overall nutritional profile. Chicken tenders are relatively low in fat, especially if the skin is removed before cooking. However, the protein content in chicken tenders can be accompanied by a higher calorie content due to added ingredients or coatings, such as breading or batter.

Additionally, the sodium content in chicken tenders can vary depending on the preparation method and any added seasonings or sauces. It is advisable to check the nutrition label or inquire about the sodium content if you are following a low-sodium diet.


Chicken tenders are a tasty and convenient source of protein, with an average of 26 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving. They offer high-quality protein, containing all the essential amino acids needed for optimal health. However, it is important to consider other nutritional factors such as fat, calories, and sodium content when incorporating chicken tenders into your diet. As with any food, moderation and balance are key to maintaining a healthy and well-rounded diet.


– USDA FoodData Central:
– American Heart Association:
– Healthline: