Learn to cook chicken tenderloins in the air fryer perfectly; juicy, delicious and easy. Ready in just 8 minutes, a secret trick ensures they never dry out!
We love cooking chicken in our air fryer. It’s fast, requires minimal prep, and honestly, turns out perfect every time. We’ve done it with drumsticks, chicken breast, thighs, and even wings. Our favorite way, though, is cooking up chicken tenders.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Simple ingredients. Easy, everyday ingredients that you probably have in your pantry!
- Quick. Air frying means time saving- this recipe takes less than 10 minutes.
- Versatile. It’s not just a snack but can also be served as an appetizer or main meal.
- No breading needed. Sure, you can use breaded tenders, but we are saving calories and carbs by doing them this way, and you’ll love how good they taste too.
What I love the most about air fryer chicken tenders is just how easy they are to customize. Keep it simple with some spices or marinate it in some sauces, dressings, or a chicken marinade.
There isn’t much more than chicken and spices to make this recipe. As we mentioned earlier, there is no breading. Here is what you’ll need:
- Chicken tenderloins – If you can’t find chicken tenders or tenderloins, you can use regular chicken breasts and cut them into large strips.
- Spices- Smoked paprika, Italian seasonings, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Olive oil – You can use any other neutral flavored oil.
- Parsley and lemon slices – To garnish.
How to make air fryer chicken tenderloins
Besides seasoning the chicken, there is little hands on time required for this recipe. In fact, the air fryer takes care of all the hard work. Ready to air fryer some tenders?
Step 1- Preheat the air fryer
Start by preheat the air fryer to 190 degrees C or 375 degrees F. Also, lightly grease the air fryer basket to prevent the chicken from sticking to it.
Step 2- Season the tenderloins
Next, add the chicken tenderloins and some oil to a mixing bowl. Add seasonings and mix well until combined.
Step 3- Air fry the tenders
Now, add the chicken tenders to the air fryer basket without overcrowding and in a single layer.
Air fry for at least 7-8 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Step 4- Rest and serve
Finally, transfer to a serving dish and rest the chicken for 5 minutes. Give a squeeze of lemon juice and chopped parsley to serve.
How long does it take to cook tenderloins in the air fryer?
Chicken tenderloins typically take 7-10 minutes to cook in the air fryer. Of course, this depends on the thickness of chicken.
For thicker cuts, instead of increasing the cooking time, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. If it is at least 165F, the chicken is cooked.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Ensure you have greased the air fryer basket to prevent the spices and chicken from sticking to it.
- To spice up your recipe, add spices like cayenne pepper, chili pepper, or red pepper flakes.
- Always choose tenderloins of a similar size, so that they cook evenly and completely.
Wondering what is the best way to store leftovers? Here are best practices for chicken tender storage:
To store: Place the cooked and cooled chicken in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To freeze: Keep them in an airtight container or freezer-safe bags and freeze for up to 3 months.
Reheating: You can reheat them back in the air fryer, a preheated oven, or a hot skillet. You can also microwave them if you are in a time crunch.
What to serve with air fried tenders
We like to keep things simple and pair our air fried tenderloins with some healthy sides, and air fried vegetables are a fantastic option. Here are some ideas:
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use breaded chicken tenders. The cooking time with not differ, just be sure not to add extra spices, seasonings, or oil.
The internal temperature of the chicken will be 165 degrees Fahrenheit when it’s completely cooked.
Also known as chicken strips or chicken goujons, the tenderloins are the thin strips of meat located under the breast. They are the leanest part of the chicken.
- 1 lb chicken tenderloins
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the air fryer to 190C/375F. Lightly grease the air fryer basket.
In a mixing bowl, add the chicken tenders and oil and mix well. Add the seasonings and mix until combined.
Add the chicken tenders to an air fryer basket in a single layer. Air fry for 7-8 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Remove the tenderloins from the air fryer basket and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.4g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 212mg | Potassium: 221mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 144IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.4mg