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Frozen Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer

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Does your family love chicken strips? Then you have to make these super easy frozen chicken tenders in the air fryer! Hot, crispy, and ready in 20 minutes.

Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Tenders on a rectangular platter and a circular plate with a little bowl of ketchup next to an air fryer

Is there anyone that doesn’t love hot and crispy chicken strips? From restaurant chicken fingers to fast-food nuggets, there’s just something so irresistible about them.

And when you whip up these frozen chicken tenders in the Air Fryer, you can enjoy them without even needing to leave the house!

Because they’re pre-cooked, frozen breaded chicken tenders are so easy to make. Plus, when you use the Air Fryer, they turn out oh-so-crispy on the outside while staying perfectly juicy on the inside.

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

  • How to make air fryer frozen chicken tenders
  • If you can stack frozen chicken strips in the air fryer
  • How to reheat chicken tenders in the air fryer
  • What to do if you’re cooking raw chicken instead of precooked chicken strips

I love this meal for so many reasons. First, my entire family devours it within minutes. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser every time.

The whole dish can go from freezer to table in about 20 minutes! And, of course, it’s such a good excuse to enjoy all my favorite dipping sauces.

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.

Frozen chicken tenders in front of an air fryer

How to Make Frozen Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer

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 360 degrees.

STEP TWO: Lay your frozen chicken tenders in the air fryer basket. Allow them enough room so the air can circulate them, but they can touch slightly.

STEP THREE: Cook the chicken for about 12 minutes, flipping them halfway through cooking.

STEP FOUR: Remove them from the air fryer and serve with your favorite dipping sauce!

Cooked Frozen Chicken Tenders in the air fryer basket with a side of ketchup up top

Do You Need To Spray The Air Fryer Basket?

Nope! You can skip that step for this recipe.

Because the breading is frozen, it will simply crisp as the air circulates it without adhering to the surface of the basket. Even if the tenders are touching, they won’t stick together.

Plus, most frozen foods in the US are already cooked with oil in them. When they’re heated back up, the existing oil keeps them from sticking naturally.

You can read more about when to use oil in an air fryer here.

Can You Stack Frozen Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer? 

It’s okay if you have a bit of stacking. The breading is frozen and already cooked so it won’t stick!

However, keep in mind that the chicken tenders will take a little longer to cook and get crispy. 

The size of your basket and the tenders are going to determine how many will fit at once. In my opinion, it’s best to cook them in multiple batches instead of crowding them.

Closeup of chicken tenders in a wire basket with parchment paper

Do I Need to Use Plain Frozen Chicken Strips like Tyson Crispy Chicken Strips?

Nope! If you prefer your chicken tenders with a little flavor, this recipe will still work the same way.

I love the honey battered flavor from Tyson, and the parmesan herb is a close second. The only time I prefer to stick to plain is when I’m craving a specific sauce and don’t want the chicken tender flavor to overpower it.

How to Know When Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Strips are Done Cooking

Chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees to be considered safe to eat.

However, because brands like Tyson frozen chicken strips are precooked, they will cook to 165 degrees much faster than frozen raw chicken would.

I recommend using an Instant Read Thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken quickly to ensure they’re heated all the way through.

Once they are done, you’ll see their breading has that crispy, fried texture we love while the meat on the inside is hot and juicy. That means they’re ready to enjoy!

Chicken tenders on a white plate with ketchup in a small bowl to the side

How Long to Cook Frozen Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer

If you lay your chicken in a mostly even layer, they will take about 12 minutes to cook. Make sure you flip halfway through to ensure even crispiness.

If you stack your chicken tenders, they’re going to take a little longer to cook. Just keep an eye on them and make sure you give them enough time to get good and crispy.

Can I Air Fry Raw Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer? 

Absolutely! However, they’re going to require a pretty different process, time, and temperature than precooked chicken tenders.

For the best results, I would recommend using the recipe from either this Air Fryer Frozen Chicken or these Air Fryer Chicken Tenders. I like to use Tyson raw chicken tenders, but you could easily use the following brands with the same directions:

  • Tyson
  • Perdue
  • Pilgrims
  • Foster Farms
  • Generic Store Brand
Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Tenders stacked on a white plate with a serving plate of them in the background

Sauce Options to Serve with Frozen Chicken Strips

How to Reheat Leftover Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the leftover chicken tenders in the basket. 
  3. Cook for 5 minutes until heated through. 
Frozen chicken fingers in a wired serving basket with parchment paper in front of an air fryer

Can You Cook Other Types of Frozen Chicken in the Air Fryer?

Absolutely! When it comes to getting food from freezer to table, the air fryer is my little secret. It never fails me.

Here are a few other ways to make frozen chicken in the air fryer:

Plus these other air fryer chicken recipes include frozen directions too:

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Yield: 2 servings

Frozen Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer

Closeup of chicken tenders in a wire basket with parchment paper

You won’t believe how easy it is to cook frozen chicken tenders in the Air Fryer! The chicken turns out hot and crispy for a dinner the whole family will devour.

Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 frozen chicken tenders

Optional

  • Dipping sauce of choice

Instructions

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 360 degrees.
  2. Place the frozen chicken tenders in the air fryer in one layer. They can touch, but should not be fully stacked.
  3. Cook them for about 12 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  4. Remove the chicken strips from the air fryer then enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce.

Notes

How to Reheat Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer:

1. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees.

2. Cook the leftover chicken tenders in the air fryer and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, until heated thoroughly.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 480Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 1472mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 29g

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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