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Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

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Easy and better for you, these Air Fryer Chicken Tenders with no breading are perfectly juicy, never dry, and a quick weeknight meal that will blow any other chicken recipe out of the water!

Pair with your favorite dipping sauce for the ultimate dinner on busy weeknights using simple ingredients.

Overhead view of a plate of air fryer chicken tenders.

Why you will love this air fryer chicken tenders recipe

  • Never dry. Even without breading, these chicken tenders are juicy inside with a slight crisp around the edges, and achieved with minimal cooking time!
  • Flavorful. A blend of common spices gives them the perfect amount of flavor.
  • Versatile. Perfect for fast dinners, adding to salads or wraps, or storing for weekly meal prep.
  • Better for you. A great way to get protein in, with a more affordable and low-carb result.

I love serving these with a side of fries and a couple of dipping sauces (like this homemade Chick-Fil-A Sauce recipe) to satisfy those fast food cravings. The result is a more affordable chicken tender meal that’s also low carb.

Labeled ingredients for air fryer chicken tenders with no breading.

Ingredients for chicken tenders in the air fryer

  • Seasonings: I start with a homemade spice blend featuring garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper.
  • Chicken tenders: If you can’t find chicken tenderloins at the grocery store, you can also buy chicken breasts and cut them into smaller chicken strips.
  • Fresh parsley: Adds a touch of color and herbal flavor to your crispy chicken tenders.
4-photo collage showing how to make chicken tenders with no breading.

How to make air fryer chicken tenders without breading

  1. Prepare the seasoning. Combine the olive oil in a mixing bowl with all of the seasonings.
  2. Prepare raw chicken tenders. Pat the tenders dry with a paper towel and add them to a separate large bowl.
  3. Season the chicken. Pour the seasoned oil over the tenders and toss until evenly coated.
  4. Air fry the chicken tenders. Place the chicken in the air fryer basket in a single layer and cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Use an instant-read thermometer to make sure the cooked chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F.
  5. Garnish and serve. Add chopped parsley to the cooked tenders and serve with your favorite sauces.

*For a detailed list of instructions, ingredients and measurements, please reference the recipe card down below.

Recipe variations and substitutions

  • Use other seasonings. You can make a spicier version with chili powder or red pepper flakes, or leave out the cayenne pepper if you want something without heat. Other great options that go well with chicken tenders are lemon pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, or dried herbs like thyme, oregano, or rosemary.
  • Add cheese. Some grated Parmesan will create a delicious cheesy layer on the exterior of your air fried chicken tenders.
  • Coat with sauce. Instead of the seasoning blend, brush the chicken fingers with your favorite sauce or marinade in the last couple of minutes for a saucy and flavorful variation.
Air fryer chicken tenders with no breading on a white plate.

How to store chicken tenders

Transfer leftover air fryer chicken tenderloins to an airtight container or plastic bag and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also keep them in the freezer for several months for easy dinners down the line.

How to reheat leftover chicken tenders in the air fryer

To reheat tenders, preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F. After air frying for 4 to 5 minutes, check on the chicken to see if it’s heated through. Flip and cook a few extra minutes if needed.

From frozen, allow the chicken tenders to thaw in the fridge first, or add a few extra minutes of cooking time to account for the temperature difference.

Always make sure you’re practicing storing leftover chicken safely!

What to serve with air fryer chicken tenders

These savory and juicy chicken tenders are perfect to pair with all your favorite sauces. Serve alongside ketchup, yellow mustard or Dijon mustard, spicy mayo, or BBQ sauce.

You can also choose a more unique option like homemade Chick-fil-A sauce, bang bang sauce, or a chili garlic sauce for a kick of heat.

When it comes to sides, crispy french fries are the classic option, but another air fried appetizer like air fryer banana peppers or a healthier choice like brussels sprouts with bacon are also tried and true!

If you’re cooking your sides and main dish in the air fryer, you can cover one with foil to keep it warm while the other cooks or place it in the oven at 200F.

More air fryer recipes you will love

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Close up of air fryer chicken tenders.
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5 from 2 votes

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

Easy and better for you, these Air Fryer Chicken Tenders with no breading are perfectly juicy, never dry, and a quick weeknight meal that will blow any other chicken recipe out of the water!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer chicken tenders, air fryer chicken tenders no breading
Servings: 2
Calories: 332kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • fresh chopped parsley, for garnishing

Instructions

  • Preheat the air fryer to 375°F and spritz the air fryer basket with olive oil.
  • In a bowl, combine the olive oil with garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. salt, and pepper.
  • Pat the chicken tenders dry with paper towels and place them in a large mixing bowl. Pour the seasoning mixture over the chicken tenders and toss until they are evenly coated.
  • Place the seasoned chicken tenders in the air fryer basket in a single layer, leaving some space between them. Air fry the chicken tenders for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until they are golden brown and the internal temperature has reached 165F.
  • When the chicken tenders are finished cooking, transfer them to a serving plate and garnish with fresh parsley and your favorite dipping sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 332kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 556mg | Potassium: 883mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 86IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is approximate and was calculated using a recipe nutrition label generator.

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