Smoky Pistachio Crusted Chicken Tenders

As part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias®,  I created these Smoky Pistachio Crusted Chicken Tenders paired with Lipton Iced Tea as a quick and delicious meal idea. #TEArifficPairs #CollectiveBias

Smoky Pistachio Crusted Chicken Tenders | Melanie Makes

Although Summer is drawing to a close, the season for needing quick and delicious meal ideas never ends.  Especially with the start of school just around the corner!  These Smoky Pistachio Crusted Chicken Tenders are an adult spin on a childhood favorite, yet will be enjoyed by your entire family.  Perfect as an appetizer, lunch or dinner, they’re packed with flavor and take just minutes to prepare.

Smoky Pistachio Crusted Chicken Tenders | Melanie Makes

This specific day, I enjoyed them as a quick and protein-packed lunch on a bed of baby arugula.  And that dish over there on the side?  That’s just a little smoky aioli I whipped up using the same ingredients that I coated my chicken with prior to baking.  I’ve decided I’d bathe in that aioli I love it so much.  Too much info?  Believe me, after you try it you’ll be filling your bathtub with it as well.  Or perhaps you’ll just double the recipe and serve it in a large bowl next to your chicken.  Your choice.

Smoky Pistachio Crusted Chicken Tenders | Melanie Makes

The shopping list for this recipe is short and sweet.  Perfect for when you’re unloading and loading three small children for a quick Walmart trip.  First, I needed to make a stop for tea.  I’m a Lipton girl and have been for as long as I remember.  That iconic yellow box is easy to spy and a quick grab off the shelf.  I’ve mentioned before that I drink iced tea on a daily basis year round so being without a box in the pantry isn’t so much an option.  There’s no other beverage that goes perfectly with any meal you create like iced tea does!

Smoky Pistachio Crusted Chicken Tenders | Melanie Makes

The other items on my grocery list?  Chicken tenders, pistachios and a jar of Hellman’s mayonnaise.  I prefer the Hellman’s with Olive Oil.  The mayo is used as a key ingredient to not only the chicken tenders but also the aioli.  Only 1 cup of mayonnaise provides so much flavor!

Smoky Pistachio Crusted Chicken Tenders | Melanie Makes

Chicken tenders are dipped in a coating of mayonnaise spiked with cumin, paprika and chili powder and then covered with crushed pistachios.  The smoky aioli uses the same spices as well as some olive oil and a squeeze of lemon to create the perfect dipping sauce.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Smoky Pistachio Crusted Chicken Tenders
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
Chicken Tenders
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1.5 pounds chicken tenders
  • 1 cup pistachios, crushed
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • squeeze of lemon
Chicken Tenders
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together mayonnaise, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin and chili powder.
  3. Add chicken tenders to bowl and gently stir to combine.
  4. Coat both sides of each tender with crushed pistachios and arrange in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 8 minutes on each side, turning once to brown both sides evenly.
  1. In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients together.
  2. Sprinkle with additional paprika prior to serving, if desired.

Smoky Pistachio Crusted Chicken Tenders | Melanie Makes

The smokiness of the mayonnaise coating the chicken combined with the salty crunch of the pistachios results in such an amazing flavor combination.  These Smoky Pistachio Crusted Chicken Tenders are sure to be a new favorite!


  1. I am drooling just looking at your photos – I love how you got the pistachios to stay on the chicken!

  2. These look great! More protein on the protein! LOL.

  3. This looks really, really, really, really good. Like really.

  4. These look delicious!

  5. These sound FABULOUS. I love smoked paprika on everything. And chicken tenders are totally all about the dipping sauce. Your homemade one looks great!

  6. What an awesome chicken tender idea, I know my boys and I would love them!

    • Thanks so much, Matt! They were a hit with everyone at our house, including my 6 year old who loved the green color. :)

  7. I seriously LOVE aioli, too! Nobody knows how easy it is to make, but it tastes like you’re a real chef – haha!

  8. only wish you didn’t shop at Walmart. recipe looks great.

    • Hi, Gigi – thanks for the kind words! As this was a sponsored post, one of the requirements was to shop at Walmart for the key ingredients.

  9. Glenda Ryan says:

    Can NOT wait to make these! Do you have a calorie count per serving?

    • Hi, Glenda – I don’t have a calorie count available but you should be able to plug the ingredient list into an online calculator to get the information you need.

  10. Yum… I love that you used pistachios here! Looks like the perfect crunchy, healthy dinner :)

  11. I’m pretty much obsessed with anything pistachio. HIGH FIVE to thee for this recipe! <— that rhymes.

  12. Oooooh these look terrific Melanie! Mayo does something amazing to chicken and I love that pistachio crunch!!

  13. I love adding pistachio as a crust. I love to top my salmon with the salty crunch. These look like the perfect dinner for the family!

  14. What a great combination of spices you used on the chicken, smoked paprika is a favorite spice of mine. Your pictures are beautiful, by the way. Can’t wait to try this!

  15. Hmmm, now if only pistachios could survive in our house without be eaten first… Looks so delicious!

  16. MMM! What a great idea! These look so good!

  17. Dang if these wouldnt be good right about now!

  18. I seriously love the idea of crusting chicken with pistachios. Delicious!

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