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Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Recipe (No Breading)

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders recipe (no breading) is an easy and healthy protein that’s low carb, keto, paleo and Whole30. Oven version included!

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overhead shot of cooked air fryer chicken tenders (no breading) on a round white plate with a small bowl of ketchup

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Easy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Recipe No Breading

Air Fryer recipes are great for quick weeknight main dish or to add to your rotation for meal prep.

These healthy air fryer chicken tenders are a go-to recipe that the whole family loves. They make an easy meal with simple ingredients!

These juicy chicken tenders are made without breading (aka Naked Chicken Tenders). They’re paleo air fryer chicken tenders that are also low carb and Whole30 compliant.

Since these homemade chicken tenders are made without breading, you can skip the egg wash process, flour mixture, panko breadcrumbs / breadcrumb mixture which also makes them egg free, dairy free, and gluten free.

The best way to make a juicy tender recipe is with this air fryer method. Chicken fingers cooked this way are easy and delicious!

overhead shot of Healthy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Recipe (No Breading) on a round white plate with a sprig of parsley and a small bowl of ketchup

You’ll love that these chicken tenders air fryer recipe are also low calorie and easy to fit into a low calorie diet. They’re excellent for meal prepping and they’re a repeat recipe when I’m planning my meal plans.

Do you love air fryer chicken recipes? I’d love to know what other recipes you’d love to see.

I think I need to do a low calorie breaded tenders recipe, chicken nuggets, chicken wings, or air fryer chicken thighs soon!

LOVE THESE LOW CALORIE DINNER IDEAS?

Join the Low Calorie Recipes and Meal Prep group on Facebook!


How to Make this with Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

Chicken tenders are often a little more expensive to purchase at grocery stores. Instead, you can use boneless skinless chicken breasts.

Use a sharp knife to cut each piece of chicken into large strips on a cutting board (tenderloin size) for homemade chicken strips. They don’t have to be thin strips. If you find you cut them too thin, just adjust to cook them for a shorter amount of time.


Seasoning for Chicken Tenders

I use a homemade all purpose chicken seasoning for this recipe. It’s made with onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and fresh cracked black pepper.

Feel free to use different spices!

Add some cayenne pepper for heat or smoked paprika for a smokey flavor. Chili powder, Italian Seasoning, or oregano can all be great options too.

You can also use premade seasonings like sugar free Lemon Pepper or Everything Bagel Seasoning. Just be sure to season your chicken with salt and pepper if your spice blend doesn’t have it.

This really is an easy recipe that’s incredibly versatile to meet any taste.

ingredients (individual spices) on a white plate to make a homemade chicken seasoning blend

How Long to Cook Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer

Cook time for different temperature settings is as follows:

  • 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees F
  • 10-15 minutes at 380 degrees F
  • 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees F

I prefer cooking chicken tenders at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time. The hot air locks the juice inside and the cooked chicken comes out perfect.

Feel free to play around with the cooking times and temperature to find the right temperature for you!

*Please note, cooking times WILL vary and results will vary depending on the model and the size of the size of your air fryer. For example, some models may take 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees F.


Tools you’ll need

Air Fryers have a tendency to heat differently and that will affect your cooking time. I use the Cosori Pro II Smart Air Fryer, as seen above.


Meal Prep Chicken Tenders

Once cooked, portion out the chicken tenders into 4 equal servings into meal prep containers or store them in one large airtight container.

My favorite meal prep containers are Ello and Pyrex.

Meal prep these keto chicken tenders with roasted cauliflower rice and blanched green beans for a healthy, low calorie lunch!

You could also serve these alongside savory dishes like broccoli pasta or Miracle Noodles.


Ingredients to Make Keto Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

1 lb (16 oz.) Raw Chicken Tenders
1 tablespoon Pure Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Chicken Seasoning

overhead shot of ingredients to make air fryer chicken tenders  - raw chicken tenders in a round white bowl, chicken seasoning in a measuring spoon, and a small bowl of oil


Air Fryer chicken tender calories

  • 16 oz. Raw Chicken Tenderloins – 440
  • Olive Oil – 120
  • Homemade Chicken Seasoning – 12

Total Calories / Serving – 143

*The calories listed here are approximate and vary depending on specific products/brands used and whether measured by volume or by weight/gramsCalories were calculated using LoseIt App.

As you can see here, the total calories per serving varies slightly from the calories provided in the recipe card below, which uses a different nutrition calculator.

For the most accurate calorie count, weigh your ingredients before cooking using a digital kitchen scale and use your favorite nutrition calculator.


How to Cook Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer

  1. Preheat Air Fryer to 400 degrees F.
  2. Pat the chicken tenders dry with paper towels to remove excess liquid. Then, add the chicken and oil to a large bowl and toss to coat.
  3. Add the chicken seasoning and toss to combine, making sure all the chicken pieces are coated. Add more seasoning if needed.
  4.  Place the chicken tenders in the air fryer basket in a single layer. DO NOT overcrowd your basket.
  5. Air fry for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through. The chicken is done when the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Air fry an additional 1-2 minutes if necessary.
  6. Store leftover chicken tenders in an airtight container or portion into meal prep containers.

Get the full recipe and oven directions on the printable recipe card below.


Tips for Making Air Fryer Chicken Tenderloins

  1. This recipe is meant to be made with raw chicken. I have not tested the cooking time and temperature with frozen chicken tenders.
  2. If you have to cook your chicken in batches, place the cooked chicken on an oven safe plate or baking sheet and keep them warm in the oven set to 170 degrees F. This will keep them warm without continuing to cook.
cooked air fryer chicken tenders (no breading) cut in half
overhead shot of cooked air fryer chicken tenders (no breading) on a round white plate with a small bowl of ketchup

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Recipe (No Breading)

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders recipe (without breading) is an easy and healthy protein that’s low carb, keto, paleo and Whole30. Oven version included!
5 from 55 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 5 Ingredient Dinners, Air Fryer Chicken, Chicken Tender Recipes, easy dinner recipes, High Protein, Low Calorie Chicken Recipes, meal prep, quick
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 163kcal
Author: Sharon Lachendro

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken tenders (16 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon pure olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chicken seasoning

Instructions

  • Preheat Air Fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Pat the chicken tenders dry with paper towels to remove extra moisture. Then, add the chicken and oil to a bowl and toss to coat.
    overhead shot of raw chicken tenders in a clear glass bowl with oil
  • Add the chicken seasoning and toss to combine, making sure all the chicken is coated. Add more seasoning if needed.
  • Place 5-7 the chicken tenders in the air fryer basket in an even layer. Air fry for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Air fry an additional 1-2 minutes if necessary.
    overhead shot of raw seasoned chicken tenders in an air fryer basket ready to be cooked
  • For even cooking and best results, cook the chicken tenders in batches and don't overcrowd the basket.
    overhead shot of cooked air fryer chicken tenders in an air fryer basket

Notes

  1. Cook time is only 10 minutes but depending on the size of your Air Fryer, you’ll have to cook in batches.
  2. Calories per serving are approximate. Please weigh your ingredients and use your favorite app for more accurate nutritional information. There is also a section in the post with a calorie breakdown using the Lose It! app. 

Nutrition

Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 132mg | Potassium: 426mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.03g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

Don’t forget to pin this for later!

overhead shot of air fryer chicken tenders (no breading) on a white plate with a small bowl of ketchup with a pink matte boarder and text for Pinterest

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