How to Cook Frozen Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer

If you have not had an air-fried juicy chicken tender, then this post on cooking frozen chicken tenders in air fryer is for you.

If you’re anything like me, you crave that satisfying crunch without the extra grease, then this air fryer recipe is a godsend – it gives you that perfect crispy exterior without drowning your chicken in oil.

Plus, it’s quick and easy, making it an ideal choice for busy weeknights or last-minute family gatherings.

So, if you’re ready to take your chicken tender game to the next level, grab your air fryer and let’s get cooking.

Trust me, once you try these, you’ll never want to go back to the greasy stuff.

Why you will love the recipe

1. Juicy and Tender: Enjoy succulent chicken tenders or chicken strips with a perfectly crispy exterior and a moist interior.

2. Versatile: Ideal as a standalone meal, in wraps, salads, or as finger food.

3. Quick and Easy: Ready in minutes, making it perfect for busy weeknights.

4. Crowd Pleaser: Loved by both kids and adults alike for its irresistible flavor.

5. Healthier Option: Crispy coating without the excess oil of deep-frying.

6. Family Favorite: Perfect for family gatherings or casual dinners with loved ones.

Instructions and Variations


  • 1 package frozen chicken tenders

How to cook Frozen Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer

1. Prepare the Air Fryer: I do not preheat my air fryer to cook chicken tenders.

Place the frozen chicken tenders directly into the air fryer basket. You do not need to thaw the chicken tenders, and can place them directly in the air fryer.

2. Arrange Chicken Tenders: Arrange the frozen chicken tenders on the air fryer basket in a single layer, ensuring they do not overlap.

3. Cooking: Set the air fryer temperature to 190°C (375°F) and the cooking time to 14-15 minutes.

Halfway through cook time

4. Cooking Time: Cook the chicken tenders for 14-15 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time.

5. Check for Doneness: Once the cooking is complete, check the thickest part of a chicken tender for an internal temperature of 75°C.

You can use a food grade/meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken tenders.

They should reach an internal temperature of 75°C (165°F) to ensure they are well-cooked.

6. Serve: Once cooked through and golden brown, serve the chicken tenders immediately. Enjoy these chicken tenders with your favorite dipping sauce or as part of a meal.

Calories in fried chicken tenders vs. Air fried chicken tenders

Nutritional Values of Fried vs. Air-Fried Chicken Tenders (Per Serving)
Nutrient Fried Chicken Tenders Air-Fried Chicken Tenders
Calories Approx. 250 Approx. 180
Protein Approx. 20g Approx. 25g
Carbohydrates Approx. 10g Approx. 5g
Fat Approx. 15g Approx. 10g
Fiber Approx. 1g Approx. 0g
Sodium Approx. 400mg Approx. 300mg

How to serve Chicken tenders

Chicken tenders can be served in various delicious ways. Here are some serving suggestions:

1. Classic Dipping Sauce: Serve chicken tenders with classic dipping sauces such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, honey mustard, ranch dressing, or buffalo sauce for a flavorful dip.

2. Side Dish: Pair chicken tenders with your favorite side dishes like french fries, coleslaw, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, or a side salad for a complete and satisfying meal.

3. Sandwich: Use chicken tenders as the main protein in sandwiches or wraps. Place them in a sandwich or wrap along with lettuce, cheese, tomato and condiments of your choice for a tasty handheld meal.

4. Salad Topping: Add sliced chicken tenders to salads for extra protein and flavor. Top a bed of greens with chicken tenders, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado slices, and your favorite salad dressing for a nutritious and satisfying salad.

5. Buffalo Chicken Tenders: Toss cooked chicken tenders in buffalo sauce for a spicy twist. 

6. Slider Appetizers: Make mini chicken tender sliders by placing cooked chicken tenders on small slider buns. Add lettuce, tomato, and a dollop of mayonnaise or aioli for a delicious appetizer or party snack.

7. Asian-Inspired Dish: Serve chicken tenders with stir-fried vegetables and rice or noodles for an Asian-inspired meal. Toss the chicken tenders in a sweet and savory sauce like teriyaki or sweet chili sauce for added flavor.

8. Taco Filling: Use shredded chicken tenders as a filling for tacos or quesadillas. Serve with salsa, guacamole, shredded cheese, and sour cream for a Tex-Mex inspired meal.

Tips to make the best chicken tenders in air fryer

Dipping sauces that go with chicken tenders

1. Honey Mustard: A classic choice with a perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess.
2. Barbecue Sauce: Adds a smoky and savory flavor to chicken tenders.
3. Ranch Dressing: Creamy and cool, ranch dressing is a versatile dip that complements the flavor of chicken tenders.
4. Sweet Chili Sauce: Offers a combination of sweetness and mild spice, creating a delicious flavor contrast with the chicken.
5. Garlic Aioli: Creamy and garlicky, aioli adds a rich and flavorful touch to chicken tenders.
6. Sriracha Mayo: A blend of spicy sriracha sauce and creamy mayo, perfect for those who like a bit of heat with chicken.
7. Teriyaki Sauce: Teriyaki sauce adds a bit of savory and slightly sweet flavor to chicken tenders, perfect for an Asian-inspired twist.
8. Chipotle Mayo: Spicy and smoky chipotle mayo adds a bold flavor to chicken tenders.
9. Honey Garlic Sauce: A delicious combination of sweet honey and savory garlic, creating a flavorful sauce for chicken tenders.

Storing and Reheating leftover chicken tenders

Storing leftover chicken tenders is easy. All you have to do is wrap all the chicken tenders in a cling film and divide them based on one portion size. Now, you can store all these potions inside a zip-lock bag and freeze them in the freezer. This would last you easily for about 3 months.

If you want to refrigerate the leftovers, I recommend putting these chicken tenders in a zip-lock bag or air-tight container and storing the leftovers for about 3-4 days.

If you plan on storing them for longer than 3 days, then it would be best to transfer them in a ziplock bag and freeze them. Even if the chicken tenders get stuck frozen together, then it is fine while reheating. Just reheat them in the microwave first for 30 seconds.

This will loosen up all the pieces. Then you can reheat the chicken tenders in the air fryer at 200°C for 7-8 minutes.

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How to Cook Frozen Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer

Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Tenders

If you want a crispy fried breaded chicken tender, then this healthy and easy recipe for making frozen chicken tenders in an air fryer will be your go-to. Making Air fryer chicken tenders is so easy and a hands-off process in the air fryer, and not to mention you get the same deep-fried results without any oil.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people


  • 1 Philips Air fryer


  • 1 Bag Frozen Chicken Tenders
  • 1 Spray Olive Oil


  • Skip preheating the air fryer; place frozen chicken tenders directly into the basket without thawing. Arrange tenders in a single layer without overlapping.
  • Now, cook these tenders at an air fryer temperature of 190°C (375°F) and cook for 14-15 minutes. Flip tenders halfway through cooking time for even browning.
  • Make sure that the internal temperature of the thickest part of these chicken tenders reaches 75°C (165°F) using a meat thermometer, else you can just cut into one of the thick pieces and check for yourself if it is cooked or not.
  • Serve when golden brown to your liking and pair it with a preferred dipping sauce or as part of a meal.
    How to Cook Frozen Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer


1. Use a liner in your air fryer for easier cleanup.
2. Cook chicken tenders of equal size together to prevent overcooking.
3. Keep in mind that cooking time varies based on the size of the tenders.
4.  Remove smaller chicken tenders before the final cooking time to avoid overcooking.
Keyword Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Tenders

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