Make crispy and golden chicken tenders in the air fryer from frozen in less than 15 minutes! A quick and easy air fryer snack or appetizer!
There is nothing quite like making chicken in the air fryer! Air frying is the best way to make any type of chicken by far, it always comes out crispy, delicious, and perfectly cooked!
These air fryer frozen chicken tenders are no exception. Crispy and sizzling breaded chicken tenders or strips are ready in under 15 minutes and make the best quick snack or protein for dinner!
It's so easy to make frozen chicken strips or tenders in the air fryer so the long and the short of it is:
- No need to thaw the tenders first
- No need to spray with oil
- Place chicken tenders in a single layer into the air fryer basket
- Air fry the chicken tenders or strips, from frozen, for a total of 13 - 15 minutes, turning over after 10 minutes
- It varies by the brand of chicken tenders you use and also if you preheat your air fryer or not
For some more amazing air fryer chicken recipes, check out my Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets, Air Fryer Chicken Thighs and Potatoes, and my Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Wings recipes - you'll always make chicken in the air fryer after trying them!
All you need is just your chosen brand of frozen chicken tenders or strips, a pinch of salt, and your favorite dipping sauces.
- Frozen breaded chicken tenders or strips
- A pinch of sea salt
- Dipping sauces of choice (ketchup, honey mustard, and ranch dressing are great options)
See the recipe card for quantities and instructions.
📖 How to Make Frozen Chicken Tenders or Breaded Strips in the Air Fryer
These chicken strips are cooked in under 15 minutes in the air fryer so use that time to get a vegetable side dish prepared or your dipping sauces ready to go!
Arrange the frozen chicken tenders or strips in the air fryer basket in a single layer.
Air fry the frozen tenders for 10 minutes at 400 °F (200 °C), flip them over, and air fry them for another 3 - 5 minutes until golden, sizzling, and crispy.
Allow the chicken tenders or strips to cool for a couple of minutes before handling, the breading is fragile while hot and can fall off easily.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauces, like ketchup, honey mustard or ranch dressing!
Hint: I like to sprinkle some salt over the chicken tenders while they are cooling. This depends on the brand of frozen chicken tenders or strips you use. Taste one of the tenders after air frying and add seasoning if needed.
Air fry frozen chicken tenders in the air fryer for a total of 13 - 15 minutes at 400 °F (200 °C). Turn them over during cooking and check on them in the last couple of minutes to make sure they don't burn.
If preheating, reduce the cooking time by 3 - 5 minutes. Use your air fryer's "Preheat" function if it has one, otherwise heat the air fryer at 400 °F (200 °C) for 5 minutes before continuing with the recipe.
400 °F (200 °C) is the best temperature for cooking frozen chicken tenders in the air fryer. The breading will be golden, sizzling, and crispy after air frying!
1. Cook from frozen. 2. Air fry at 400 °F (200 °C), it's hot and will crisp up the chicken well. 3. Preheat your air fryer if you want extra crispy chicken strips. See notes above regarding air fryer preheating for this recipe.
You can easily substitute a couple of items to make this recipe suit different diets or based on what you have available!
- Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders - You can use gluten-free frozen chicken tenders and follow the recipe exactly as it is, they will come out just as delicious and tasty!
- Oils for spraying - Spraying the chicken tenders with oil is completely optional but if you want to, use vegetable oil like canola, olive, or avocado oil.
- Vegetarian/Vegan-Friendly - Substitute the chicken tenders with vegan or vegetarian alternatives and they will also come out just as tasty! Spray them with oil and season them if needed.
You'll want to make chicken tenders in the air fryer again, I can promise you that! Once you've tried them with all your favorite sauces, you'll be wanting to spice things up!
So, next time you make them, why not try these variations to keep it fun and fresh?
- Want some spice? - serve with hot sauce or a prego sauce. They are also delicious served with a sweet chili sauce.
- Dunked - You can also dunk the chicken tenders in any sweet, barbecue-type sauce and then air fry them again for another 2-3 minutes for an extra saucy kick of flavor!
Air Fryer: This recipe has been made and tested using a Cosori Max XL Large Cooker. It has a capacity of 5.8 quarts which is quite large. You can use any air fryer for this recipe, but all air fryers are different so adjust cooking times accordingly.
Air fryer temperatures vary a little between air fryer models so use an oven thermometer to make sure your air fryer is the correct temperature for each recipe.
Store any leftovers after they have cooled down to room temperature. Store leftover tenders in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer for a couple of minutes for a quick, tasty snack!
I would not recommend refreezing any leftover chicken tenders. Make as many chicken tenders as you need, plus a couple extra for leftovers if needed and keep the rest frozen for next time!
👨🏻🍳 Top tips
- Cook from Frozen - Cook the chicken tenders from frozen for best results. No need to thaw at all!
- Checking While Cooking - Check on the chicken tenders in the last couple of minutes of air frying. They will be done when the breading is golden and sizzling.
- Allow to Cool - The breading is fragile immediately after cooking so allow the chicken tenders to cool before handling them.
Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Tenders or Strips (Breaded)
- 8 - 10 Frozen breaded chicken tenders or strips use as many as can fit in your air fryer or make in batches
- Pinch of sea salt
- Dipping sauces of choice ketchup, honey mustard and ranch dressing are great options
- Arrange the frozen chicken tenders or strips in the air fryer basket in a single layer.
- Air fry the frozen tenders for 10 minutes at 400 °F (200 °C), flip them over, and air fry them for another 3 - 5 minutes until golden, sizzling and crispy.
- Allow the chicken tenders or strips to cool for a couple of minutes before handling, the breading is fragile while hot and can fall off easily.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauces, like ketchup, honey mustard or ranch dressing!
This recipe was tested with these air fryers: