Frozen chicken tenderloins in air fryer with no breading turn out great. A healthy low carb keto friendly protein packed dinner we love.
You may be forgetful, like me, but need a backup dinner idea to rely on. You’ve got to cook frozen chicken tenderloins in air fryer this week! You just need bagged frozen meat, seasoning, and your machine. One of many easy air fryer recipes on our site. (affiliate links present)
Frozen Raw Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer
These are different from precooked frozen air fryer chicken tenders with processed meat that are breaded. Those are more like chicken nuggets but larger. What we are referring to is the bagged, once fresh strips of tenderloins that is just pure meat without anything else.
We used these same pieces to cook frozen chicken tenders Instant Pot style. I added bbq sauce to the top of those when done because it would “speak to my kids” better that way. They were a huge hit. You could do the same with these for the last few minutes so it bakes on and kinda’ caramelizes.
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Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Tenderloins
You can see what naked chicken tenderloins look like here straight out of the bag. If you once thought that there was no way of cooking frozen meat to tender, you’re so wrong. You’ll be surprised at how fast and moist you can get these in your Ninja Foodi, Cosori, AirWave or whatever brand you have.
We have shared a ton of how to cook frozen chicken posts, because it’s a must when I am having one of those days.
It’s pretty easy. You just want to preheat your machine for 5 minutes. Throw in a few pieces in one single layer, spray with olive oil, sprinkle on seasonings and air fry for 15-17 minutes or until tender. Timing will vary depending on how thick they are.
Tyson and Foster Farms are popular brand that offers these in bags year round. Typically you can buy a store brand too that tends to be a bit less expensive. I am very particular when it comes to poultry myself and will pay more for organic, free range because the texture is just way better. Your choice.
Ninja Foodi Frozen Chicken Tenderloins
It doesn’t matter what brand of machine you may to make nugget style air fryer frozen chicken tenders, or these homemade pieces. If you have a Foodi you’d have the option to either pressure cook or air crisp, we are talking just about the latter of the two in this post.
- 10-12 frozen raw chicken tenderloins that are still frozen, timing is for this type
- Olive oil brushed on top or sprayed out of a can
- Dry rub for chicken wings could be sprinkled on top if you wanted to just go with simple, already mixed together seasonings
- We like a little bit of fenugreek, optional
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic, thyme and salt
At this point I don’t even measure what I put on top, just a bit of this and that until it’s coated with what we like. Using a store bought seasoning works great too.
Frozen Chicken Breast Tenderloins in Air Fryer
The way these are “made” typically is to thinly slice larger pieces of chicken breasts. You could make your own which would be cheaper if the pieces were bought fresh. Or you could defrost chicken in microwave and then slice into smaller thin pieces like these. You’d have to decrease time to 10 min. if thawed.
- Put your frozen tenderloins on cutting board and brush on the olive oil. Make sure each piece thoroughly on all sides, or spray on.
- Mix spices and salt in a dish, mix so that each piece is coated on both sides with spices.
- Preheat air fryer machine to 380 degrees F.
- Transfer frozen chicken strips to the air fryer basket and start to air fry for 10 minutes to cook
- Use tongs to flip each to the other side and air fry chicken tenders another 5-7 minutes cooking time
- Cook until the middle of the thickest piece is no longer pink and reaches 165 F.
- Total of 15 minutes is usually just right for this size
- Remove from the basket, transfer to a plate and serve with chicken tender sauces of your choice.
If you want to add a ton more flavor you could brush on some dipping sauces like sweet teriyaki sauce, bbq sauce, or Asian chicken sauce a few minutes before they’re done. It will kinda’ bake on this way and intensify the flavors.
Foster Farms Chicken Tenders Air Fryer
Do you need to cook from frozen more often than not? I get you. There are tons of other ways to get it done and have nobody know the difference when it’s time to eat. I have even shared recently that you can sous vide frozen chicken too! Chicken tenders no breading is just the beginning y’all.
Frozen Chicken Tenderloins in Air Fryer no breading
Can you add breadcrumbs to the outside of these if you wanted to? Not at the beginning for sure, it won’t stick. The only way you could kinda’ do it is after you flip over after 10 minutes if you sprayed with oil again and sprinkled on crumbs you could get a bit of crisp on the outside.
It is quick and easy to these with a coating if these are fresh though. Just follow our Ninja Foodi chicken tenders for that version. They are homemade versions of the processed style you’d get at a fast food restaurant.
How to save leftover chicken tenderloins
You want to keep them as moist as possible. If you store in a container with a lid I like I pour a bit of sauce over the top of them so they don’t dry out. Then you can easily reheat chicken tenders in air fryer again the next day or just warm in the microwave. Or dice up what’s left and throw into another dish like our Crockpot chicken casserole.
Still not a believer? Take my word for it because I have done this many times, and I would never ever share a recipe or instructions for something that didn’t work out. It is amazing how well this tiny hot air machine works with meat, vegetables and even “baking” desserts in it.
Below are step by step instructions including nutritional information for the exact ingredients listed.
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Frozen Chicken Tenderloins in Air Fryer
- 10-12 chicken tenderloins frozen
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Dry Rub for Chicken Wings you could use this, or the seasonings below
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek optional
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Put frozen tenderloins on cutting board and brush on the olive oil. Brush each piece of chicken thoroughly on all sides.
- Mix spices and salt, pour into a bowl and mix so that each tenderloin is coated on both sides with spices.
- Preheat the air fryer to 380 F. Transfer the tenderloins to the air fryer basket and air fry for 10 minutes, then use tongs to flip each tenderloin to the other side and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until the middle of the thickest piece is no longer pink and reaches 165 F.
- Remove the finished tenderloins from the basket, transfer to a plate and serve with sauces of your choice. ** If you want a baked on sauce flavor you can brush some bbq sauce on each piece after flipping them over and air fry the rest of the way.