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Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

Air fryer chicken tenders are super simple and delicious. They make for a quick mid-week dinner, a recipe you will use again and again. Serve them with fries and/or a salad for a popular family dinner, or with a dipping sauce as a party snack.

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Air fryer chicken tenders
Air fryer chicken tenders

How to Cook Chicken Tenders in an Air Fryer

Air fried chicken tenders are quick and easy, and great for a quick dinner or easy snack or appetizer. I like to serve them with my pomegranate couscous salad for a healthy and quick dinner.

This recipe is for naked chicken tenders, but includes an easy way to make a breaded version if that is what you prefer (using simple ingredients – no egg and no dipping required!). 

Air frying is such a great way to cook chicken, it is quick and easy, and is great for getting chicken really crispy! Some of my other favorite air fryer chicken recipes are: air fryer chicken wings, air fryer whole chicken, and air fryer chicken patties

Scroll down for the printable card for this air fryer chicken tenders recipe, or read on for all the details!

Ingredients

Chicken tenders: this recipe calls for fresh chicken tenderloins, but you could also use skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch strips.

Seasoning: The recipe below uses salt, ground black pepper, paprika, and Italian herbs (basil, oregano, parsley), garlic powder and onion powder for a simple homemade seasoning mix. You can use store-bought if you prefer. Some great flavors to try are:

  • Lemon pepper seasoning
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Buffalo seasoning

Olive oil: This recipe uses for a drizzle of oil, but to reduce the amount you use you can use an olive oil spray (note: try to avoid using a generic ‘cooking spray’ as these can damage the non-stick coating of your air fryer).  

Air fried chicken tenders
Air fried naked chicken tenders.

Directions

  • Step 1: Preheat air fryer to 360°F/180°C.
  • Step 2: Pat the chicken strips dry, and place in a shallow bowl. Drizzle with a little cooking oil, then add the seasoning and toss the tenders to ensure they are fully coated with the seasoning and oil. Note: this recipe is for unbreaded chicken tenders, but if you prefer crumbed tenders, you can toss half a cup of panko breadcrumbs into the bowl and a little extra oil when you mix with the seasoning. Press the bread crumbs onto the chicken to help them stick. 
  • Step 3: Place chicken tenders in the air fryer basket. They can be touching, but ensure they are not overlapping too much. You may need to cook the chicken in batches, or use a layer accessory. 
  • Step 4: Air fry chicken tenders for 10-12 minutes, until they are golden brown and have reached the safe internal temperature of 165°F/ 74°C.

The exact cook time will depend on a few factors including the size of chicken tenders, and how powerful your air fryer is. To confirm they are cooked correctly, check the internal temperature in the centre of the largest chicken pieces with an instant-read thermometer. 

Chicken tenders in air fryer
Place seasoned chicken tenders in air fryer in a single layer.
Cooked chicken tenders in air fryer
Air fry chicken tenders for 10-15 minutes until cooked through and 165F/ 74C in the center.

Note: you can also cook these chicken tenders in a regular oven, just place them on a lined baking sheet, and cook in the oven at 390°F/ 200°C for 15 minutes until cooked through. 

Serving

This recipe is great for a mid-week dinner (or any time of the week actually). Serve them with a salad, or fresh microwave steamed vegetables, sweet potato fries, or potato wedges for a quick and tasty family dinner. 

Air fried chicken tenders are also real crowd pleasers, and always a hit if served as a party appetizer. Serve cooked tenders with your favorite dipping sauce, I’d recommend hot sauce, BBQ sauce, or ranch dressing. 

Storing and reheating

Store any leftover chicken tenders in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and use within 3 days. 

Reheat chicken tenders in the air fryer at 360°F/180°C for 2-3 minutes until warmed through. 

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Recipe Card

Air fryer chicken tenders
Yield: 2 Servings

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes

How to cook chicken tenderloins in an air fryer.

Ingredients

Seasoning [Note 1]

  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt (kosher or flaked)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herbs (basil, parsley, oregano)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 10 oz raw chicken tenderloins
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat air fryer to 360°F/ 180°C.
  2. Place the seasoning ingredients and a drizzle of olive oil into a large bowl.
  3. Pat chicken tenders dry, and add to the bowl. Toss to coat with the seasoning mix [Note 2].
  4. Place seasoned chicken tenders in air fryer basket so that they are not overlapping.
  5. Air fry chicken tenders for 10-12 minutes until they are cooked through and the center of the largest chicken tender has reached the safe temperature of 165°F/ 74°C [Note 3].

Notes

  1. If using store-bought seasoning use 2 tablespoons.
  2. if you prefer crumbed tenders, you can toss half a cup of panko
    breadcrumbs into the bowl and a little extra oil when you mix with the seasoning. Press the breadcrumbs onto the chicken to help them stick. 
  3. Use an instant read meat thermometer to confirm tenders have reached the safe temperature 165°F/ 74°C before consuming.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 503Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 2195mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 27g

Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.

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