What Makes These So Good
- Cooking these in the air fryer produce delicious, crispy chicken without all the grease. You wont want to cook them any other way after using this cooking method.
- All you need is the frozen chicken. No need to thaw or preheat and so much faster than cooking in the oven.
- Keep a bag in your freezer to use for a variety of different meals.
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Ingredients For Unbreaded Chicken Tenders In Air Fryer
Chicken Tenderloins – Start with raw chicken tenderloins for this recipe. I can almost always find these at the grocery store, but if you can’t, just buy regular chicken breasts and cut them into strips.
Olive Oil – This helps our spices and herbs stick to the chicken and lets them brown up nicely in the air fryer.
Garlic Powder – this warm, sweet spice is great with almost anything, but especially delicious on chicken and other meats.
Kosher Salt – We want our chicken to be well seasoned. Adjust the amount of salt for your own preferences.
Oregano – This warm, earthy herb is delicious with chicken and I add it to most of my spice blends.
Paprika – Ground paprika does double duty here. It adds a warm spiciness and also adds color.
Ground Black Pepper – I like a bit of pepper to give these chicken tenders a kick.
What To Serve With Chicken Tenders
Not sure what to serve with the frozen chicken tenders in air fryer?? You can go two routes here, either serve them with more air fryer frozen snacks like air fryer frozen corn dogs, air fryer frozen mozzarella sticks, or frozen fish sticks in air fryer, OR you can serve the air fried frozen chicken strips as the main dish alongside the following side dishes:
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Are Chicken Tenders Healthier When Cooked In An Air Fryer
Chicken is one of the most abundant meats for human consumption in the US. The USDA estimates that there is an available 65.2 lbs. of chicken per person in the US. Chicken is going to be healthier in some ways if it is cooked in the air fryer. When you cook in the air fryer, you are able to use less oil. This means that it is going to be less greasy and there is not going to be oil pooling on your food. You can also use healthier oils like canola and avocado oil.
How To Cook Frozen Chicken Breast In Air Fryer
Air fryers are a great way to cook chicken breasts. They are quick and easy to use, and this is such an easy yet delicious recipe. Let’s get started!
Preheat the air fryer to 360 degrees F.
Choose equally-sized frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts and place them in the air fryer basket, evenly spaced in a single layer. Overcrowding blocks air circulation, so do not pack the basket full. It is okay if they are frozen together.
Brush the top and sides of the chicken with olive oil. You could also use a cooking spray as an alternative.
Season the top of the chicken breasts liberally with a dry rub.
Try to cover all the chicken breasts with the same amount of seasoning.
Air fry chicken for 6 minutes, then remove the air fryer basket. Break the chicken apart if it was frozen, and flip it over with tongs.
Next, brush the top of the chicken with olive oil.
Next, apply a dry rub.
Air fry the chicken for another 4 minutes.
Then, turn up the heat to 380 degrees F, cook for 5 minutes, flip the chicken again, and cook for five more minutes. The total cook time will be about 20 minutes.
Check the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer. Once the internal temperature of each piece reads 165 degrees F, remove pieces from the air fryer basket. Allow chicken to rest for a few minutes before cutting and serving.
Enjoy with your favorite side dishes or dipping sauce!
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Why You Need Air Fryer Chicken Tenders In Your Life
Still not convinced? Here is everything amazing about this recipe:
- Ready from start to finish in 15 minutes
- Zero carbs
Thats it! Only three ingredients plus an air fryer and youll be making delicious homemade chicken tenders better than anything you could buy at the store and way healthier since there is no breading. And with only five minutes of prep time and ten minutes of cooking, dinner will be ready in a flash.
You can use any chicken seasoning that you like, but if you want to make your own multi-purpose chicken rub, here are some of the spices youll need. I prefer to use my barbecue seasoning or cajun seasoning for these chicken tenders.
- Smoked paprika
- Brown sugar
- Cumin powder
Mix the seasoning together, and you have a delicious low-carb flavoring. Make some extra seasoning, so you always have some on hand for quick, super flavor.
Tip: Make the chicken seasoning ahead of time and store it in these airtight containers so you always have it on hand.
More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
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Can You Put Aluminum Foil In An Air Fryer
The aluminum foil should only go in the basket if youâre using an air fryer.
Recipes for delicious meals that include cooked chicken tenders.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to recipes that include cooked chicken tenders. You can use them in salads, sandwiches, wraps, and even pizza! Here are a few of our favorite recipes that include cooked chicken tenders:
-Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Favorite Air Fryer Meal
- Frozen and precooked chicken tenders are so easy to make that even the kids can make their own after-school or sleepover party snack!
- Serve them over a bed of greens as a healthy salad or add them to a wrap or sandwich and have a healthy, hearty workday lunch!
- Breaded air fryer chicken tenders come out just as crispy and juicy as if they were deep-fried! Save the fat calories and the messy clean-ups!
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More Air Fryer Recipes
There are so many different meals that you can easily cook in the air fryer. Below are just a few recipes that I reckon you will enjoy.
If you like these chicken tenders, you might want to give frozen chicken nuggets a try in the air fryer. You will get roughly the same result, with the crumb being deliciously crisp and the chicken hot.
Our homemade seasoned chicken thighs are an absolute must-try. After fifteen minutes in the air fryer, you will have beautifully seasoned chicken that is tender and loaded with flavor. It is one of the most delicious air fryer recipes, so I highly recommend giving it a try.
I hope that you love these air-fried frozen chicken tenders as much as I did. If you have anything that you would like to add, please leave a comment below.
How Many Calories Are In Chicken Tenders
Calories in chicken tenders vary greatly depending on the type of chicken, cooking method, and seasonings added. This makes it difficult to find exact numbers for chicken tenders calories.
The calorie count for one 1 oz chicken tender is 39 calories. 1 large chicken tender weighs roughly 3 oz, which would equal 117 calories per serving. Calories in chicken tenders are lower if they are grilled versus fried. There are 30 more calories in a chicken tender if it is cooked in oil rather than grilled with no oil. It only takes about 15 minutes to grill chicken tenders, whereas chicken tenders can be fried in two minutes or less.
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Can You Freeze Air Fried Chicken Tenders
You can freeze air-fried chicken tenders. If you are working to freeze this type of chicken, make sure you pre-portion it into either Tupperware or freezer bags that are going to hold your food. Place them in a single layer and allow them time to freeze without touching, if possible. After they have been frozen, you can move the bag around as needed.
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How To Make These Frozen Chicken Fingers In An Air Fryer:
You will love how easy it is to cook these!
Step one: First youll preheat your air fryer to 380F.
Step two: Next you will place the frozen chicken strips on the tray or in the basket of your air fryer. Cook them for 8-10 minutes at 380 F and then let them rest in the air fryer for a few minutes to cool and tenderize the chicken.
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How To Make Them
Can I Use Frozen Chicken Tenders In An Air Fryer
This is another thing I have learned with our air fryer. Yes, you CAN use frozen chicken tenderloins and simply cook them a little bit longer. I will say that in my experience the cooked from frozen chicken tenders tend to be a little drier when cooked. They also create exponentially more mess to clean up in the air fryer basket. For these reasons and the best flavor I highly recommend using chicken tenders that are thawed out. In a pinch though, yes you can use frozen chicken tenders.
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Frozen Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
That is it my friends!! NO non stick spray or olive oil spray is necessary, theyll get crunchy all by themselves with the circulating hot air.
- Theyre great with some air fryer onion rings too though.
Complete meal. Done!! If you have one of these too you can find more Ninja air fryer recipes here, but any brand will work.
I prefer the chicken breast strips variety to air fry. These cost just a bit more, using boneless skinless chicken to make into tenders but so worth it.
Air Fry Chicken Tenders Time
Air fry for 8-9 mins, flipping after 5 minutes. Technically, chicken tenders are so thin its ok to skip the flip, but I seem to do it out of habit.
*** Things that could affect your cook time:
If you didnt preheat your air fryer your cooking time will be extended to 12-14 mins to cook through. Or could take longer than 8-9 if theyre larger chicken tenderloins than we used. Our 1 lb package of raw tenders had 8 pieces.
Cook your chicken tenders until the internal temperature is 160F-165 degrees.
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What Youll Need To Make Perfect Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- Frozen Chicken Strips
- Frozen chicken tenders can be found in the freezer aisle at most grocery stores.
- There are many different brands to choose from. Some of the most common brands are Tyson, Perdue, and Banquet.
- There are many different types of chicken tenders you can buy too. Veggie, vegan, organic and meat sustitute tenders can be a tasty and healthy alternative.
Why You Will Love This Recipe:
- Its quick! Frozen chicken tenderloins take just 15 minutes in the air fryer!
- The air fryer is one of the best ways to cook frozen chicken. No need to turn on the oven or stove!
- Its simple! This recipe requires only a few ingredients. No breading or egg.
- There are so many ways to enjoy chicken tenderloins! They are perfect for lunch, dinner, meal prep, snack,salads, and wraps!
- No need to thaw. You can cook these straight from frozen which will save you a ton of time.
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Tips For Making The Best Chicken Tenders In Air Fryer
Every air fryer cooks differently. For best results, always check your air fryer instructions and/or the directions on the chicken tender packaging.
Try starting with a small test batch of frozen chicken strips to find the ideal cooking time and temperature for your specific air fryer.
Air fryer chicken strips turn out best when cooked from frozen. Dont allow them to thaw before cooking.
Aim for a single layer of frozen chicken fingers in the air fryer oven. Its okay if they touch or overlap slightly. Just leave plenty of room for the hot air to circulate.
For crispy air fryer chicken tenders, make sure they have enough time to cook. Add an extra minute or two until you reach crunchy perfection.
To help ensure even cooking, you can flip the tenders or shake the basket once about halfway through the cook time.
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. The great thing is that you can reheat them in the air fryer and theyll still taste as good as the first time around.
How To Make Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
The key to making the chicken tenders crispy is a combination of regular and panko breadcrumbs.
- The regular breadcrumbs adhere easily to the chicken, so you get a complete coating. Some recipes call for air fryer chicken tenders with flour instead, but I find breadcrumbs yield a better breading that is more reminiscent of the frozen variety .
- The larger panko breadcrumbs add essential texture and crunch.
Ive suggested some light seasoning that gives the chicken tenders flavor without losing the simplicity of their appeal. Feel free to switch them up to suit your and your familys preferences.
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Spritz The Basket With Cooking Spray
Some state that you should not spritz your air fryer basket with oil, as it could ruin the basket. However, others say that this should be fine if you dont put too much on it.
While this might seem somewhat confusing, lets see if I can clarify it for you.
The reason why some people caution against spraying oil on your fry basket is since it depends solely on air circulation, the fry basket needs to have the slots free from any debris, crumbs, or fat.
So when you spray it with oil, it could clog, and the air wont circulate well.
I find it works best to use only a small amount of cooking spray to avoid food sticking and be sure to clean well after the fryer cools.
What To Serve With Chicken Strips:
Frequently asked questions:
How long do you cook frozen chicken tenders in the air fryer?
It takes 8-10 minutes at 380F to cook frozen chicken tenders in an air fryer, assuming you preheat your air fryer to 380F. But if you dont pre-heat your air fryer, you will need to add a few minutes to the cook time.
Can you air fry chicken strips and fries at the same time?
Absolutely! Just note that frozen French fries take longer to cook in an air fryer than frozen chicken tenders, so once the chicken tenders are completely cooked, take them out of the air fryer and continue cooking the French fries until they are done.
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How Long To Cook Frozen Chicken Tenders
Just check out the temp and timing on our chart!
- You too can print this air fryer cook times out and keep it on your fridge.
- Then next time you want to know how long air fryer fish sticks take, or chicken, youll know!
- Of course you should BOOKMARK my website because I share new tips and dinner recipes like this regularly too.
Now it really doesnt matter what brand you buy, but I show a picture of the variety we choose. There will likely be larger and smaller frozen chicken strips inside all packages.
Depending on the size, the smaller one will get crispier and thicker pieces wont get quite as hot.
If you follow the directions below youll notice that we leave them inside the air fryer basket for 5 minutes after the cook time is up. This is important to ensure the middle gets warm all the way.