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Air Fryer Chicken Tenders — No Breading

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Looking for a low-carb meal the whole family will love? Try air fryer chicken tenders with no breading! They’re crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and simply delicious.

Chicken tenders without breading cooked in air fryer on plate with a bit taken out of one

I love how air fryers give you all the crispy crunch of deep-frying with only a fraction of the oil and mess. The food turns out so delicious, you don’t even need to cake it in breadcrumbs. If you don’t believe me, then you have to try these air fryer chicken tenders with no breading!

When I’m in a rush, I love being able to just toss chicken tenderloins with some oil and seasoning before I throw them in the air fryer. Best of all, my kids seem to love these naked chicken tenders just as much as my Homemade Breaded Chicken Tenders.

Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post:

  • How to make the best unbreaded chicken tenders in the air fryer
  • What to serve with naked chicken tenders
  • How to cook frozen chicken tenders in the air fryer
  • Tips for making the best air fryer chicken tenders with no breading

The air fryer gets these gluten-free tenders crispy on the outside while keeping them wonderfully juicy on the inside. Plus, there’s no egg, no breadcrumbs, and no flour, which means no mess. This meal couldn’t be easier to prep.

And if you’ve been looking for keto air fryer chicken tenders, this recipe is perfect for low-carb eating. Compared to grilled, blackened, or baked chicken that can turn out dry, these healthy air fryer chicken tenders win by a mile!

If you love this recipe, you’re going to love our list of other 60 Keto Air Fryer Recipes!

I made this recipe using the 5.8 QT Cosori Air Fryer. Its square basket makes it the perfect size for our family of 4.

prepared ingredients for air fryer chicken tenders with no breading

How to Make Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer with No Breading

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F for 5 minutes.

STEP TWO: Pat the chicken tenders dry with paper towels, then place them in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat completely.

STEP THREE: Mix the seasonings together in a small bowl, then sprinkle evenly over the chicken tenders.

STEP FOUR: Air fry the chicken tenders for 10-12 minutes, flipping once halfway through the cooking time, until they are cooked through and golden on the outside and hit an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

I recommend using an Instant-Read Thermometer so you can pull the chicken tenders out as soon as they reach the right temperature so they stay juicy and tender.

cook naked chicken tenders in air fryer

STEP FIVE: Serve with lemon wedges and your favorite dipping sauce, if desired.

I love dipping these in my homemade buffalo sauce, honey sriracha sauce, and homemade BBQ sauce recipes!

Can I Use Chicken Breasts Instead of Chicken Tenderloins?

Because chicken breasts are thicker than tenderloins, they require a little more cooking time when whole. If you want to make boneless breasts, check out my Easy Air Fryer Chicken Breast recipe!

You can, however, slice boneless chicken breasts into thin strips and use this recipe as is instead! I do love the taste of using chicken tenderloins more, but a chicken breast will work in a pinch.

flip chicken tenders over in air fryer halfway through cook time

What To Serve With Unbreaded Chicken Tenders

You can also try these other delicious Air Fryer Vegetable Recipes here!

air fryer chicken tenders with no breading on plate with lemon wedges

Can I Cook Frozen Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer?

Yes! These directions are for pre-cooked frozen chicken tenders you can find in the freezer section of the grocery store.

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 360 degrees F.
  2. Place the frozen tenders in the air fryer and cook for about 12 minutes, flipping once halfway through the cook time, until they are heated through.

You can see our full post about cooking frozen chicken tenders in the air fryer here.

naked air fryer chicken tenders on plate with lemon wedges on side

Tips for Making the Best Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer with No Breading

  • For keto air fryer chicken tenders, make sure you serve them with low-carb dipping sauces. Or you can always enjoy them plain!

Can I Cook Raw Chicken in the Air Fryer?

Absolutely! This recipe is meant to be used with raw chicken tenderloins. Cooking them at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes will sufficiently cook the chicken all the way through.

If you want to make leftover chicken tenders instead of fresh ones, you can follow my guide for Reheating Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer to make sure they’re warmed through without getting overdone!

hand grabbing an air fryer chicken tender with no breading

Other Air Fryer Chicken Recipes You’ll Love:

You can also check out our big list of air fryer chicken recipes for more ideas!

Love air frying? Join our newsletter! You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or join our free Facebook Air Frying Community.

Yield: 3 servings

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders -- No Breading

Chicken tenders without breading cooked in air fryer on plate with a bit taken out of one

For a low-carb meal, try air fryer chicken tenders with no breading! Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, & simply delicious.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F.
  2. Pat chicken tenders dry with paper towels, then place in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat completely.
  3. Mix the seasonings together in a small bowl, then sprinkle evenly over the chicken tenders.
  4. Air fry the chicken tenders for 10-12 minutes, flipping once halfway through the cook time, until they are cooked through and golden on the outside.
  5. Serve with lemon wedges and your favorite dipping sauce, if desired.

Notes

How to Reheat Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer:

1. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F.

2. Place your leftover chicken tenders in the air fryer and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until warmed thoroughly.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 371Total Fat: 18.7gSaturated Fat: 4.2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14.5gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 908mgCarbohydrates: 5.1gFiber: 1.7gSugar: 1.4gProtein: 44.8g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

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