Here is a really easy to make recipe for Air Fryer Chicken Tenders-no breading! A simple to make chicken recipe that is healthy and delicious! The chicken tenders are juicy and perfect for a fast lunch or dinner.
Since there are no eggs, breadcrumbs, or flour, this recipe is keto-friendly, low-carb, Whole30 and Paleo. Naturally gluten-free and also totally dairy-free. It’s a super easy beginners chicken recipe for any new cooks at home.
My air fryer has become my new best friend! And yes, it is super simple to also pan fry these or bake in the oven. But it is so much more convenient to pop it in the air fryer. It is a really healthy quick lunch, healthy snack, or dinner, that always comes out tender and perfectly seasoned.
As soon as the chicken tenders are cooked (less than 15 minutes!), you can layer them in a salad, make lettuce wraps, or even with your favorite grains. A really flavorful protein for meal prep. Cook some up on Sunday and enjoy during the week with your favorite healthy sides.
Why we love air fryer tenders:
- Simple seasonings results in outstanding flavors!
- No need to bread these tenders. The seasoning becomes the coating once it’s air fried.
- Lunch or dinner is ready in under 15 minutes.
- Nice and light, no oily clean up.
- Delicious for Whole30 or paleo meal prep.
What ingredients are in air fryer chicken tenders?
Let’s go over the list of what you’ll need:
- Chicken tenders-Boneless and skinless work perfectly for this recipe.
- Seasonings-All you need is probably in your pantry. Oregano, paprika (sweet or smoked), garlic or onion powder (or both), salt, and freshly ground pepper is the perfect spice combination.
- Oil-I have a spray bottle with olive oil. I also have cooking spray with oil. So either one will work perfectly for this recipe.
How to air fry chicken tenderloins (without breading)
It’s really easy! Gather together the ingredients.
Place the chicken in a bowl or a large zipped lock bag.
Drizzle a little oil on the chicken (about 1 tablespoon of olive oil or a mild flavored oil you like).
Sprinkle on all the seasonings and combine it with the chicken (if it’s in a bag, seal the zipped bag and rub the spices and seasonings all around the chicken).
Spray the air fryer inner basket with a little oil. Preheat the air fryer.
Once it’s reached the temperature, add the chicken to the basket (I have a smaller air fryer, so I couldn’t space them out. But if you have a larger air fryer, keep space between the chicken tenders).
Spray the tenders with some olive oil spray and cook on 380° F for 12-14 minutes (chicken is ready when internal temperature reaches 165° F ). You do not need to flip the chicken.
Serve with your favorite sauces!
How long does it take to air fry chicken tenders?
Air fry chicken tenders on a temperature of 380ºF for 14 minutes. So, depending on your air fryer, the time may vary (also, depending on how thick your tenders are cut). Mine were ready at just at 13 minutes.
To be totally safe, use an instant read thermometer and check the temperature (the chicken will be safe to eat once it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF).
Can you make air fryer chicken with frozen chicken tenders?
Yes, just make sure to thaw the tenders first. Once they’re thawed, you can rub the seasonings all over them and follow the rest of the recipe below.
Can air fryer tenders be made ahead of time?
To save time with the prep, you could combine the tenders in the seasonings. Store it an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before you air fry them.
Do I have to preheat the air fryer?
I preheat my air fryer when making these chicken tenders. I do recommend preheating the air fryer when making these unbreaded chicken tenders. If you do not preheat the air fryer, you may need to cook for another 3-5 minutes to get them the correct internal temperature of 165ºF.
Are unbreaded chicken tenders healthy?
Since there is no breading, the recipe is healthier for various reasons. The tenders are gluten-free, low carb, dairy free. Perfect for a Whole30 cycle. Definitely add this recipe to your healthy air fryer recipe repertoire.
Can these be baked instead of air fried?
Absolutely! It’s really easy to bake the chicken tenders. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Lay the seasoned tenders on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. You could also cook them in your toaster oven on 400ºF.
Tips and FAQs
- No air fryer, no problem. You could make them in a skillet or in the oven.
- I made 1 pound (which is about 6-7 tenders, depending on their size). It could be a lunch for two or a healthy snack for 3 people.
- The tenders do not need to be touched in the air fryer. They’ll cook evenly on both sides without turning them over.
- Use cooking spray or brush some oil on the chicken before you cover them in the seasonings.
- Serve them with your favorite sauces (sweet or spicy). I did a combo of a sweet sauce and a spicy sauce. Really, any dipping sauce will work great! If you’re following Whole30 or are paleo, make sure you’re using a ketchup that is Whole30/Paleo approved (or make your own!).
- Enjoy them for lunch or dinner, over a salad. You could serve them on top of grains with some veggies, in lettuce wraps, with a side of roasted vegetables (the possibilities are truly endless!).
How to store air fryer chicken tenders?
- Refrigerator: Once the tenders have cooled completely, store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- Cold: They’re also delicious cold in a salad or grain bowl.
- Reheating: Heat up any leftovers in the air fryer (or in the oven)for a few minutes. It may dry out once you reheat it.
One last thing…I promise!
Just a quick request: if you enjoyed this really easy steak with garlic and rosemary (tagliata di manzo) as much as we did, would you kindly leave me a 5-star rating and a short (or long!)comment–the ratings are what helps get my recipes and hard work discovered, so I can keep leaving you more delish recipes!
Your comments mean the world to me….and I really SMILE when I read them. Thank you so much! XX
Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- 1 lb. chicken tenders approx. 7 tenders
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder or onion or a combo of the two
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt or more, to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- olive oil spray or nonstick spray
- Place the chicken tenders in a large bowl or a in a large zipped lock freezer bag.
- Add all the spices to the chicken and combine it. If it’s in a bowl, use your clean hands to rub the spices all over the chicken. If you have it in a zipped lock bag, let all the air out of the bag and seal it shut. Squeeze the bag and rub the spice mixture all over the chicken tenders.
- Spray or brush the air fryer with nonstick cooking spray (or olive oil).
- Next, preheat your air fryer to 380° (this should take 2-3 minutes).
- Add the chicken tenderloins into the basket of the air fryer in a single layer (if you have a larger air fryers, space them out nicely).
- Spray with some olive oil spray (or cooking spray) and cook on 380° F for 12-14 minutes (chicken is ready when internal temperature reaches 165° F ). No need to flip the tenders.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauces and enjoy!