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Have some leftover fried chicken from KFC or Popeyes? It’s so easy to reheat chicken tenders in the air fryer for a hot and crispy dish that tastes just as good as when it was fresh!
Every now and again, when my family is craving fried chicken, we’ll indulge in some KFC or Popeyes. And most of the time, that means we find ourselves with quite a bit of leftovers.
No one ever wants soggy next-day fried chicken. But thankfully, it’s so easy to reheat chicken tenders in the air fryer! And they turn out every bit as hot, crispy, and juicy as when you first ordered. It’s so easy!
Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post:
- The best way to reheat chicken strips in the air fryer
- How to store leftover cooked chicken strips
- Tips for getting the best reheated chicken strips
- Easy dishes to serve with leftover air fryer chicken tenders
The only problem with this method? You’re going to want to stop for takeout fried chicken all the time! You get a hot meal right away and then a delicious, super-easy lunch or dinner later in the week.
This recipe is also perfect if your kids order chicken tenders at dinner and can’t finish all of them. Thanks to the air fryer, they’ll be just as excited to eat their leftovers later!
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.
How to Reheat Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer
STEP ONE: Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F.
STEP TWO: Place the leftover chicken tenders in a single layer in the air fryer.
STEP THREE: Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the chicken is warmed thoroughly.
Why You Should Reheat Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer
In the past, I’ve seen way too many chicken strips go to waste. Trying to reheat them in the oven, microwave, or in a pan just never worked the way I hoped.
If I cooked the chicken strips long enough to get the breading crispy, then the inside turned to sawdust. But the alternative was soggy, dense breading. No thanks.
Now, thanks to the magic of the air fryer, you can get the outside of each chicken strip nice and crunchy without drying it out! And best of all, the chicken is ready in minutes.
What Kinds of Leftover Chicken Tenders Can You Cook in the Air Fryer?
Pretty much any of them! My family is partial to KFC and Popeyes, but this method will work just as well for Raising Cane’s, Zaxby’s, Bojangles, or any other fast-food fried chicken.
Leftover restaurant chicken strips are also great! Pretty much any chicken that is breaded and fried will reheat beautifully in the air fryer.
Have some cooked frozen chicken tenders hanging out in your freezer? Check out this post to see how to cook frozen chicken tenders in the air fryer!
Want to make your own chicken tenders from scratch? Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are easy to whip up, and you can use the air fryer to reheat any leftovers. You can also try our Keto Blackened Air Fryer Chicken Tenders or Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders recipes too!
How Long to Reheat Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer?
The key is to make sure the breading gets perfectly crispy without letting the meat on the inside dry out. You’ll want to play around with the time based on the size of the chicken strips, but I’ve found that anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes works well.
How to Store Leftover Cooked Chicken Strips
Leftover chicken can be stored covered or in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should be eaten within three to four days.
What Temperature to Reheat Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer
You don’t want too high of a temperature, otherwise, you’ll scorch the outside without warming the strips all the way through. I’ve found that 350 degrees F is the best temperature for reheating chicken in the air fryer.
I recommend using an Instant-Read Thermometer to check the inside heat of the chicken tenders to ensure they’re heated all the way through before removing them from the air fryer.
Tips to Get Crispy Reheated Chicken Tenders Cooked in the Air Fryer
- Make sure to leave a little space between each chicken strip so the hot air can properly circulate and crisp up each one.
- Let the chicken fully cool before storing in the refrigerator. If you put away the tenders while they’re still hot, the condensation will make the breading soggy, and it will be harder to re-crisp.
- Don’t overcook the chicken! It’s better to put them back in the air fryer if they aren’t hot enough than to cook them too long and dry them out.
What to Serve with Chicken Strips
- Air Fryer Avocado Fries with Sriracha-Ranch Dip
- Air Fried French Fries
- Easy Homemade Garlic Cheese Bread
- Homemade Buffalo Sauce
- Tater Tots in the Air Fryer
Other Recipes For Reheating Leftovers in the Air Fryer You’ll Love:
- How to Reheat Pizza in an Air Fryer
- How to Reheat Steak in the Air Fryer
- How to Reheat Wings in the Air Fryer
- Leftover chicken tenders (or chicken strips)
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F.
- Place the leftover chicken tenders in a single layer in the air fryer.
- Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the chicken is warmed thoroughly.
Make sure to leave a little space between each chicken strip so the hot air can properly circulate and crisp up each one.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 430Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 168mgSodium: 269mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 44g
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.