These Air Fryer Naked Chicken Tenders with no breading recipe is perfect for the whole family! Kids will enjoy juicy, perfectly seasoned chicken, while parents can enjoy an easy recipe with simple ingredients and all in under 30 minutes. This air fryer recipe is gluten free, Paleo, keto, and low carb friendly.
Healthy air fryer chicken tenders
These air fryer naked chicken tenders couldn't be easier. We simply season them with our dry rub (salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, oregano, and onion powder) and set them in the air fryer and forgot it!
If you are not a fan of smoked paprika, you can simply leave it out or use regular paprika instead. I love the smoked, though, as it adds so much flavor!
Cooking chicken tenderloins in the air fryer means less oil, without sacrificing flavor.
Tips for the best air fryer naked chicken tenders with no breading:
- Pre-heat your air fryer for consistent results
- Place the chicken tenders in a single layer in the air fryer basket. If you have a smaller air fryer, you will want to cook these unbranded chicken tenders in batches or cut the recipe in half.
- There is non need to use cooking spray on the chicken tenders since they are skinless. In fact, cooking spray may make the outer flesh crispy, dry, and leathery.
- Use an instant-read thermometer to determine when you naked chicken tenders are done cooking. Air fryers tend to cook differently and the size of chicken tenders vary. Periodically check the tenders to see if they are done by inserting the probe of the meat thermometer halfway through the thickest portion of the chicken meat. You want to cook them until they are 165F.
- For best results, remove the tough tendon that runs through the center of each chicken tenderloin before cooking.
- The tendon is usually hanging out of one end of the chicken tenderloin. Grab the tendon firmly with a small piece of a paper towel and place the tendon between the tines of a fork. In one motion, pull the tendon up with one hand and push the fork down with the other hand. This will pull the tendon right out.
Can I use chicken breast instead of chicken tenders?
Yes! I actually prefer to use whole chicken breast because they do not have the tough tendon to mess with! Cut 2 chicken breast in 3 strips each, lengthwise, to make 6 chicken tenders.
How long do you cook raw tenders in the air fryer?
Raw chicken tenders need about 10-12 minutes at 380F. The cooking time will also depend on the size of your chicken tenders and your model of air fryer. The best way to make sure chicken tenders are perfectly cooked is to use a meat thermometer and make sure they are 165F.
Dipping sauces for air fryer chicken tenderloins
- Buffalo sauce
- Honey Mustard - This is my favorite dipping sauce!
- BBQ sauce - I like to use a sugar free, keto friendly BBQ sauce
- This Healthy Ranch Dressing Recipe is only 24 calories per serving!
Storage and meal prep
- This recipe is perfect for meal prep. Pair with a side like Cauliflower Mac and cheese for a complete meal.
- Store leftover chicken tenders in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Can I use frozen chicken tenders?
Yes! To use frozen chicken tenders, you will simply need to add additional minutes to the cook time so they cook all of the way through. This will result in a browned outside and juicy inside pieces of chicken!
The air fryer I love is linked down below in the recipe card. You can also see me review another popular air fryer in this video on YouTube.
More air fryer recipes
Easy Air Fryer Naked Chicken Tenders - No breading
- 8 Chicken tenders
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Onion powder
- Start by preheating your air fryer at 380F for 5 minutes.
- While your air fryer is preheating, place the chicken tenders in a zip lock bag or bowl. Then add all your spices to your bag or large bowl and toss to coat.
- Once your chicken tenders are coated, spray the inside of your air fryer with cooking spray. Place the chicken tenders in your basket in a single layer and cook for 10-12 minutes. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to assure they are 165F.
- Let cool and enjoy!
- Chicken breast instead of tenders: Cut 2 chicken breast in 3 strips each to make 6 chicken tenders. I actually prefer to use chicken breast because they do not have the tough tendon to mess with!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Nutrition per serving
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy only. Please re-calculate on your own with the ingredients and amounts you used for the most accurate data.