Ranch Chicken Tenders

Are you ever bothered by an open bottle of ranch dressing sitting in your fridge? I have been looking for the perfect brand of ranch dressing for years. In a restaurant somewhere I’ll have a salad, order ranch dressing with it and it will be a perfect balance of creamy tartness that takes the whole salad up a notch, but I just can’t find a brand or a recipe that gives that to me at home. So it has begun to bother me a bit.

Recently I endeavored to copy a tex-mex salad from a restaurant that had become a favorite, bought a brand of ranch dressing I had not tried before with high hopes, but no – it was really just too sour. If anyone has any ranch dressing tips please comment below!

Meanwhile, here is the open bottle sitting in my fridge every day reminding me of my frustrated attempts. Something palatable must be done with it. I found a recipe online that marinates chicken breasts in it, then you coat it with bread crumbs and bake it. The problem with that is my oven doesn’t currently work, and I felt too tired that night to mess with breadcrumbs.

So what I tried is getting a package of chicken tenders from the store, I marinated three strips in a bowl of ranch dressing for just about 10 minutes(I froze the rest of the chicken for future use), then I coated it in flour and pan fried it. Wasn’t too sure how that would come out, but it was nice – the dressing and flour sort of combined and got sticky and golden in the oil without falling off the chicken. The flavor was also very nice, as somehow the sourness of the dressing dissipated when heated up. Overall, it was a success.

I served the chicken tenders that night over simple boiled rice with boiled broccoli on the side because I always have that around, with pats of butter melting on top. Another night I made these with mashed potatoes and broccoli and that was also very nice.

Ranch Chicken Tenders

1/2 cup long grain white rice

1 cup water

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup bottled ranch dressing

3 chicken tenders

1/4 cup all purpose flour

Safflower or olive oil

1 cup broccoli spears

Butter, salt


Place rice, water and salt in a small pan with a lid and bring to a simmer. Stir so that rice doesn’t stick, then cover and turn the heat down to very low. Cook for 20 minutes then turn the heat off but leave the cover on. Let rice sit for another 5 minutes to finish absorbing all the liquid.

While rice cooks, add ranch dressing and chicken to a bowl and turn chicken to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for 10 minutes. Place the flour on a plate and add about 2 Tbsp of oil to a non-stick skillet. Take the chicken out of the marinade and coat in the flour. Heat oil over medium heat and add the floured chicken, cooking about 3-4 minutes per side, until golden and cooked through.

While chicken cooks, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and add the broccoli spears. Boil about 7 minutes, then drain.

Plate the rice and broccoli and add pats of butter and a sprinkle of salt on top of you like, and serve the ranch chicken tenders alongside.

1 serving

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