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Frozen Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer

How to make perfectly crispy frozen chicken tenders in air fryer! Way better than in the oven, this is how to make them taste like they’re from a restaurant

Frozen Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer

Frozen chicken tenders in air fryer are seriously the best! NO more need for the oven anymore because crisping them in this way is way better. Best kitchen hack right here. Find this and more easy air fryer recipes here on The Typical Mom blog. (affiliate links present)

Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Tenders

These are probably by girls’ favorite snacks, or lunch. Now that they’re older they can make them by themselves. It’s so nice when they reach that age. 😉 Just preheat, pop as many in as they would each like and in just a few minutes it’s like eating at Chick Fil A but way cheaper.

Forget about using the microwave anymore, that leaves these soft and limp. We all want crispy chicken tenders that crunch with every bite right? Now you can have them right at home without frying in oil. Just a light spray if you want to get them super crispy, or none at all works too. This is a game changer friends.

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If you love easy air fryer recipes too, here are some resources to start with:

cosori review

We started with air fryer chicken nuggets and I couldn’t believe the difference. I mean I had been making these for my 3 girls for years and years. Always thought “man I wish I could get them crunchy just like McDonalds nuggets” but there really wasn’t a way to do that back then.

Fast forward when my oldest became a teen and this magical hot air machine came out. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one y’all. First time I tried it out I was in love. A quick cook time plus how crunchy the outsides got. I even ate them for lunch that day! 

If you like everything crispy, including tofu bites in the afternoon…this is the way to cook all the things! You will never go back to the oven again ever.

air fryer frozen chicken

How long to cook frozen chicken tenders

Just check out the temp and timing on our chart!

  • You too can print this air fryer cook times out and keep it on your fridge.
  • Then next time you want to know how long air fryer fish sticks take, or chicken, you’ll know!
  • Of course you should BOOKMARK my website because I share new tips and dinner recipes like this regularly too. 😉

Now it really doesn’t matter what brand you buy, but I show a picture of the variety we choose. There will likely be larger and smaller frozen chicken strips inside all packages.

Depending on the size, the smaller one will get crispier and thicker pieces won’t get quite as hot.

If you follow the directions below you’ll notice that we leave them inside the air fryer basket for 5 minutes after the cook time is up. This is important to ensure the middle gets warm all the way.

frozen chicken strips

Frozen air fryer chicken tenders

That is it my friends!! NO non stick spray or olive oil spray is necessary, they’ll get crunchy all by themselves with the circulating hot air.

  1. A bag of breaded chicken strips
    1. find them in the freezer section of grocery stores
  2. Any brand of air fryer

I used my Ninja Foodi Grill to make these, and then threw in some air fryer vegetables once they were done. They’re great with some air fryer onion rings too though.

Complete meal. Done!! If you have one of these too you can find more Ninja air fryer recipes here, but any brand will work. I have a few at home myself now. My Cosori has a larger square basket which I love, but my AirWave is white and pretty so it lives on my countertop.

air fryer squash

Here’s what you do to make air fried chicken in just 15 minutes

I prefer the chicken breast strips variety to air fry. These cost just a bit more, using boneless skinless chicken to make into tenders but so worth it.

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees for 5 minutes.
  2. Place as many pieces as you want to eat in one layer inside your basket.
  3. Set cook time to 8 minutes, no need to wait ___ minutes flipping them over, they’ll crisp just fine without it.
  4. Let them sit in the basket for an additional 5 minutes after the time is up to continue heating the inside of each piece.

Enjoy your fried chicken strips with dipping sauces! I mean ketchup typically satisfies my youngest but the older they got the more they wanted choices and lots of them.

air fryer frozen chicken strips

Want to try other versions of fried chicken tenders?

Of course you can use ketchup, but our favorite chicken strip dipping sauce is our homemade fry sauce! We use this on our frozen chicken tenders Instant Pot pieces too.

Printable recipe card and nutritional information for this brand of tenders is below. That will vary with the size of each piece and/or brand used.

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the typical mom
Frozen Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer
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5 from 6 votes

Frozen Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer

How to make perfectly crispy frozen chicken tenders in air fryer! Way better than in the oven, this is how to make them taste like they're from a restaurant
Course Entree, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer, chicken strips, frozen
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 45kcal
Author The Typical Mom


  • 1 bag frozen chicken strips


  • Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees.
  • Lay frozen tenders in one layer, not overlapping, in basket and cook for 8 minutes. (timing will vary slightly depending on how large and thick your pieces are)
  • When time is up leave them in the closed basket for 5 minutes so the middle can continue to heat up.


Nutrition Facts
Frozen Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer
Amount Per Serving (2 oz)
Calories 45 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 1mg0%
Protein 1g2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating

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Monday 5th of June 2023

Was what I was just looking for to finish a leftover bag from a local shop. Surprised it worked in the foodi grill

You mcsuckerson

Thursday 2nd of February 2023

Lol no one cares what your kids like, just make with the recipe, hack.


Saturday 27th of March 2021

This was not enough time for the Hy-Vee store brand chicken tenders we have; my guess is that they're larger than the brand you used. It would be nice to see a guide based on approximate weight per piece. Thanks though, this was a great start for me!

The Typical Mom

Monday 29th of March 2021

Every brand will be slightly different. Even in the same bag there are smaller and larger pieces. Just use the temp and general timing and check, add more time for larger pieces and remove ones that are smaller a bit earlier.


Tuesday 16th of February 2021

They all tasted very good but I overdid mine. Again. I did them for a little longer instead of letting them sit with the cover down because I was in a hurry. I will try your method next time. I'm sure it would have worked out great.

Andrea Hoover

Friday 8th of January 2021

Just received an air fryer as a gift. Anxious to try it with the frozen chicken strips I have on hand. Glad to have found your recipe!!

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