Heating frozen chicken tenders in the air fryer is the only way to go! With no added oil or deep frying necessary, these chicken tenders turn out tasting super crispy and delicious. It’s faster and easier, too!
🍗 What Makes This Method So Good
- Frozen chicken tenders are best when they’re tender and juicy inside and crispy and crunchy outside. You can get that result from deep frying, sure, but then you’ve got to mess with a pot of hot oil and everything, plus the heaviness that comes with deep fried food. The oven eliminates all the oil, but it does a lousy job of crisping up the breading, and it’s not the fastest method. The air fryer, though? With the air fryer you get all the goodness of deep fried chicken tenders without any of the oil and in roughly 10 minutes. It’s the best of everything!
- You can cook chicken tenders in the air fryer right out of the freezer, which makes them great for a quick lunch or a last-minute dinner. Almost anyone in the house can prepare them, too, so it’s a great way to help your kids learn a little independence in the kitchen.
♨️ Chef’s Tips
- If you can, try to cook similarly sized chicken tenders together. That’s not always possible since frozen chicken tenders are a mixed bag (literally). If you’re cooking really large chicken strips and really small chicken strips together, though, the smaller ones will cook much faster. You’ll run the risk of them overcooking before the larger ones are ready.
- You don’t need any oil at all for this air fryer …recipe? If you like really, really, really crispy chicken strips then you can totally give them a light spritz with a neutral spray oil that’s safe to use in air fryers, but I think they get plenty crispy without it.
- We used fully-cooked frozen chicken tenders in the air fryer this time, but you can also cook frozen raw chicken strips this way. You’ll just need to adjust the cook time by a few minutes to ensure they cook all the way through. If you’re at all unsure, check the chicken tenders with an internal meat thermometer before serving them.
Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinners
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- Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Sous Vide Chicken Wings
- Garlic Herb Butter Chicken
- Crusted Chicken Romano
- 1 pound frozen chicken tenders
- Air fryer
- Preheat air fryer to 400° Fahrenheit.
- Once air fryer is preheated, place frozen chicken tenders in basket in one flat, even layer. Work in batches as needed to avoid overcrowding basket.
- Place basket in preheated air fryer. Cook chicken tenders 7 minutes, then pause air fryer and remove basket.
- Carefully flip chicken tenders over then return basket to air fryer. Cook another 2 to 3 minutes or until chicken tenders are crispy and cooked through completely.
- Remove basket from air fryer and transfer chicken tenders to serving plates. Repeat process with any remaining chicken tenders, until all chicken tenders have been air fried. Serve immediately with desired sides and dipping sauces.
- This method works for any brand of frozen chicken tenders.
- Cook times will vary from one air fryer to another, so keep an eye on your food and adjust the time as needed.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.