Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Tenders are the quick and easy way to get lunch or dinner on the table in minutes. They turn our crispy golden brown and delicious every time!
Air fryer cooking has become one of our favorite cooking methods as of late. Air fryer frozen chicken tenders are the perfect easy dinner idea everyone in the family will love. Prepping for game day, too? They are the perfect, quick snack.
Air frying is a seemingly magical cooking method in which foods are fried with a powerful flow of air to crisp and golden brown perfection—with little to no oil. Simply drop the frozen chicken tenders in the air fryer basket, set your cooking time and temperature and you’re good to go.
When cooking frozen chicken tenders in an air fryer, there are a number of things you will want to consider including thickness and size. Also, it’s important to remember every air fryer has a different cooking power. Once you have made your first dish in the air fryer, you’ll have the best feel for how fast and what temperature works best.
What we love about air frying is you can quickly and easily check on what you’re cooking and adjust time or cooking temperature, if needed.
For this recipe, we used Whole Foods 365 Gluten Free Frozen Chicken Nuggets, but are including a number of other tasty options, along with recommended cooking times and temperatures, below.
WHY WE LOVE AIR FRYER FROZEN CHICKEN TENDERS
- Air fryer frozen chicken tenders require less cooking time and clean-up than a conventional oven.
- They turn our crispy and golden brown every time.
- Frozen chicken tenders in an air fryer make for the perfect, quick snack for game days, lunch or dinner.
- No need to use oil or preheat air fryer, either.
WHICH AIR FRYER DID YOU USE?
We are using the Instant Pot Vortex Plus 6-Quart Stainless Steel Air Fryer. The Instant Pot Vortex accomodates 4.25 pounds of food or 6–8 servings of fries at 1700 watts. We also love the ceramic non-stick coating making it very easy to clean up after each dish.
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED FOR THIS RECIPE
- FROZEN CHICKEN TENDERS: As mentioned above, we used Whole Foods 365 breaded chicken tenders (frozen). Depending on the size of your air fryer, you will likely be able to fit 12-15 during each cooking cycle, if needed.
- DIPPING SAUCE: We love dipping in both ranch dressing and barbecue sauce, but are sharing a few of our favorite alternative dipping sauces below.
HOW DO YOU COOK FROZEN CHICKEN TENDERS IN THE AIR FRYER?
To cook frozen chicken tenders in air fryer, place a single layer of chicken tenders in the air fryer. Ensure they are not overcrowded in the basket or they may not cook evenly.
Select the ‘Air Fryer’ function and cook at 375 degreese for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
About halfways through the cooking time, open the air fryer basket and flip the chicken tenders or shake the basket.
Once the cooking time is up, carefully remove the chicken tenders from the air fryer basket and set aside allowing them to cool before serving.
CAN YOU STACK CHICKEN TENDERS IN AN AIR FRYER?
Like anything else in the air fryer, you want to avoid stacking frozen chicken tenders in the air fryer. Placing the chicken tenders in a single layer will ensure they cook evening and turn out crispy and golden brown every time.
DO YOU NEED OIL TO COOK FROZEN CHICKEN TENDERS?
You are welcome to use a oil spray in your air fryer if prefered, but it’s not needed.
TIPS FOR COOKING AIR FRYER CHICKEN TENDERS
Again, this easy air fryer recipe was made with a 6-quart air fryer. If you are using a larger air fryer, you may want to consider lowering the cooking time or temperature. I recommend checking on the chicken tenders a few minutes in to ensure they are cooking to your liking.
The time recommended here assumes you have not preheated the air fryer. If you do choose to preheat the air fryer, feel free to lower the cooking time by a minute or two.
You do not need to thaw your chicken tenders first. And, no oil or tin foil is needed.
CAN YOU PUT ALUMINUM FOIL IN AN AIR FRYER?
Yes, you most certainly can! If you would prefer to add an extra layer of protection under your chicken tenders, you are welcome to put down a layer of tin foil on the very bottom of the air fryer basket. When possible, you want to avoid placing the tin foil directly on the tray to ensure the heat has an opportunity to circulate properly.
Double check the owners manual of your air fryer, but you should be fine to use in most models.
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BEST FROZEN CHICKEN TENDER BRANDS
While is this likely up for debate, here are just a few of our favorite pizza roll brands.
- Whole Foods Frozen Chicken Nuggests – gluten free
- Bell & Evans Frozen Breaded Chicken Tenders – gluten free breading
- Applegate Natural Gluten Free Chicken Tenders – gluten free, all-natural
- Tyson Frozen Chicken Tenders
BEST SAUCES TO DIP CHICKEN TENDERS IN
- Barbecue sauce – we love Sweet Baby Rays Honey Barbecue Sauce
- Ranch dressing
- Marinara sauce
- Hot sauce
- Garlic butter
** NOTE: Want to give your air fryer frozen chicken tenders a little something extra? Drizzle them with a little garlic butter and shake with grated parmesan cheese. Oh, yum!!
LOOKING FOR OTHER DELICIOUS DINNER RECIPES? HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF OUR FAVORITES:
- Easy Instant Pot Shrimp Alfredo
- Rasta Pasta With Shrimp & Cream Sauce
- Basil Pesto Alfredo With Shrimp & Broccoli
- Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta | Delicious & Easy
- Instant Pot Meatball Stroganoff
Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Tenders
- Air Fryer
- 10-15 frozen chicken tenders
- Dipping sauce of your choice
- Place a single layer of chicken tenders in the air fryer. Ensure they are not overcrowded in the basket or they may not cook evenly.
- Select the 'Air Fryer' function and cook at 375 degreese for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
- About halfways through the cooking time, open the air fryer basket and flip the chicken tenders or shake the basket.
- Once the cooking time is up, carefully remove the chicken tenders from the air fryer basket and set aside allowing them to cool before serving.