Air Fryer Chicken Tenders (Unbreaded!) is the best and easiest way to cook chicken in the air fryer.
These unbreaded chicken tenders in the air fryer are perfectly seasoned with herbs and spices and cook in the air fryer in just 10 minutes. Dinner has never been so good!
RECIPE FOR UNBREADED CHICKEN TENDERS IN AIR FRYER
Are you looking for a simple, healthy, protein packed recipe that you can make in the air fryer? Here it is! Air Fryer Chicken Tenders - no breading needed.
Because there are no breadcrumbs, flour, or eggs in this recipe, unbreaded chicken tenders in air fryer are low carb, keto-friendly, gluten free, and dairy free. This recipe is also really easy for anyone at any cooking skill level to make.
For more low carb air fryer recipes, try our Air Fryer Asparagus recipe or Keto Air Fryer Zucchini Boats.
Air Fryer Chicken Strips really are very simple to make from scratch using fresh chicken tenders and some simple seasonings.
Once you learn how to air fry chicken tenders without bread crumbs, you'll be ready to dip them into your favorite dipping sauces in just a few minutes.
A quick seasoning blend using spices you probably already have at home gives these unbreaded chicken tenders so much amazing flavor, they don't need any breading!
I love making a batch of these on a Sunday night and then adding them to salads and sandwiches throughout the week for lunch.
Use air fryer chicken tenders paired with Air Fryer Broccoli to create healthy and delicious meal prep lunches.
Are you looking for the recipe for Air Fryer Chicken Tenders with a crispy breading? I have one for you! You might also want to save instructions for making Frozen Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer too.
INGREDIENTS FOR UNBREADED CHICKEN TENDERS IN AIR FRYER
Chicken Tenderloins - Start with raw chicken tenderloins for this air fryer chicken tenders 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.
Feel free to add your favorite seasonings to the blend to give this air fryer chicken tenders recipe your own personal spin!
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you ASAP!
HOW TO MAKE UNBREADED CHICKEN TENDERS IN AIR FRYER
- Pat the chicken tenders dry with a paper towel. Then, add them to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
- Combine the spices in a small bowl and stir until well mixed. Sprinkle over the top of the chicken tenders. Toss the chicken tenders with the oil and spice blend until completely covered.
- Place the chicken tenders in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Work in batches if need be.
- Air Fry as directed in the recipe card below. Flip tenders halfway through cook time and cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F/74°C.
These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions, please see the recipe below.
TIPS FOR COOKING AIR FRIED CHICKEN TENDERS
Watch Your Food: I say this about almost every recipe, but it's important to keep an eye on your food in the air fryer, especially if you're making something you haven't made before.
All air fryers cook a bit differently, so your tenders might need more or less time than is listed here.
Adjust the Seasonings: You can season these air fryer chicken tenders any way you like. Add some chili powder to make them spicy, or try a Cajun seasoning blend. Get creative!
Store Leftovers: Leftover air fryer chicken tenders can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. You can enjoy them cold in salads or sandwiches, or reheat in a 350°F air fryer for a few minutes until warmed through.
Use a Meat Thermometer: For safety, chicken needs to be cooked to at least 160°F - 165°F or 74°C. Using an instant read thermometer is the easiest way to check the temperature of your meat.
WHAT ARE CHICKEN TENDERS?
Chicken tenders are a cut of chicken that comes from the tenderloin, underneath the chicken breast. Each chicken has two tenderloins. I suppose we call them chicken tenders because it's more fun to say!
SHOULD I REMOVE THE TENDON FROM THE TENDERS?
Everyone has different opinions about this, so you can do what you like! The thick white tendon inside of the chicken tenderloin is inedible, so if you remove it, the tenders will be easier to eat.
That said, the tendon can be hard to remove, so you might decide it's easiest to air fry chicken tenders with the tendon still in.
If you want to remove the tendon, take a knife and carefully separate the end from the meat. Then hold the tendon with a paper towel, and use a fork to push the meat away from you.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH UNBREADED AIR FRYER CHICKEN TENDERS
These naked chicken tenders are super versatile and delicious with just about any side dishes. You can even use them for weekly meal prepping, or making sandwiches or wraps.
Turn these tenders into a Honey Mustard Chicken Salad, or make up your own chicken salad varieties.
My perfect dinner (that my family loves too) is these unbreaded chicken tenders paired with Air Fryer Potato Wedges and some steamed veggies. A side of Air Fryer Balsamic Mushrooms would be delicious too.
More air fryer side dish ideas: Air Fryer Tater Tots, Frozen Sweet Potato Fries in Air Fryer, Air Fryer Hushpuppies, and so many more in our recipe index.
I like to dip chicken tenders in my Homemade BBQ Sauce or Homemade BBQ Ranch Sauce. Yum!
ARE UNBREADED CHICKEN TENDERS HEALTHY?
These Air Fryer Chicken Tenders without breading are much healthier than other breaded and fried chicken for a number of reasons. This recipe is low carb, keto, whole30 approved, gluten free, and dairy free. This recipe can absolutely be part of a healthy diet or meal plan.
CAN YOU COOK FROZEN UNBREADED CHICKEN TENDERS IN THE AIR FRYER?
You can! I find that it takes at least 3 additional minutes for the chicken to cook through if I start with frozen chicken. Make sure to check the temperature for doneness with an instant read thermometer.
Chicken is done when the reading is at least 165°F.
CAN YOU PUT RAW CHICKEN IN THE AIR FRYER?
Yes, you can cook raw chicken tenders in the air fryer. While you might be used to cooking frozen foods with your air fryer, raw meats can absolutely be cooked in the air fryer too.
Follow this recipe and you'll be very pleased with how raw chicken cooks in your air fryer.
AIR FRY CHICKEN TENDERS TIME
After preheating the air fryer, air fry chicken tenders for 9-10 minutes, flipping halfway through so that they cook evenly.
The time that they take can depend on the size of the chicken tenders too. Thicker tenders may take up to 12 or 13 minutes to cook fully.
DO I HAVE TO PREHEAT THE AIR FRYER?
I suggest preheating the air fryer when making unbreaded chicken tenders. This step helps to get the chicken cooked quickly and perfectly. If you decide not to pre heat, you will need to cook the chicken tenders for an additional 3-6 minutes to get them to the correct temperature.
HOW TO AIR FRY CHICKEN TENDERS IN NINJA FOODI
We have a whole section of air fryer recipes made just for the Ninja Foodi! You can cook unbreaded chicken tenders in the Ninja Foodi. Adjust the recipe time as needed.
I find that things cook a bit more quickly in my Ninja than in my Cosori air fryer.
MORE AIR FRYER CHICKEN RECIPES
There are so many delicious ways to cook chicken in the air fryer! Seriously, I could type out pages of amazing chicken air fryer recipes. Instead, I'll share my favorites:
You can cook a Whole Chicken in the air fryer in under an hour and it comes out so juicy and delicious.
If you're looking for Air Fryer Breaded Chicken Tenders you might like this recipe, and Air Fryer Sticky Ginger Chicken is a fun family favorite too.
Air Fryer Chicken Breast is another healthy and versatile dinner. Or you can make Air Fryer Chicken Wings or Air Fryer Chicken Legs.
Craving Mexican? You can make Air Fryer Chicken Chimichangas or Air Fryer Chicken Fajitas.
Maybe you're more into Chinese Food today? You must try my recipe for Air Fryer Orange Chicken.
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Air Fryer Chicken Tenders (Unbreaded)
- 1 lb Raw Chicken Tenderloins
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- ½ tsp Kosher Salt
- ½ tsp Oregano
- ½ tsp Paprika
- ¼ tsp Ground Black Pepper
- Preheat the air fryer to 380°F/190°C for 5 minutes.
- Pat the chicken tenders dry with paper towels. Then, add them to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
- Combine the spices in a small bowl and stir until mixed. Sprinkle over the top of the chicken tenders.
- Toss the chicken tenders with the oil and spice blend until completely covered.
- Place the chicken tenders in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Work in batches if need be.
- Air fry at 380F for 9-10 mins, flipping halfway through, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F/74°C.
- You can typically find chicken pre-cut into tenderloins at the grocery store. If you can’t, purchase chicken breasts and cut them into long strips yourself.
- The spice blend for this chicken is so delicious, but if you’re looking for something a bit simpler, you can just use ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp ground black pepper for a basic recipe. Change around the spices to your liking!
- Depending on the size of your chicken tenders, they may cook quicker or slower than the times we have listed. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 165F.
- Pro Tip: This recipe can be made in the air fryer unit with a basket or the air fryer oven. If you are using the air fryer oven, use the middle rack and select the "Air Fry" function.
- Pro Tip: Check your food as it cooks. Each air fryer runs a bit differently. Sometimes airfying is a trial and error process. Check your food as it cooks to learn your air fryer better! When cooking a new recipe or food items be sure to check your food often to help avoid over/under cooking.
Air Fryers can vary greatly. Please take the time to learn your specific air fryer. You may need to adjust times and temperatures based upon your air fryer. All though this website attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, the information should only be considered an estimate. Varying factors such as different product types, different brands, etc. can change nutritional information. It is your responsibility as a consumer to read all labels to make sure the ingredients fit your dietary needs as well as calculate your own nutritional information as a double check.