Frozen Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer

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Sometimes dinner just needs to be fast and easy! That is where precooked frozen options shine – and frozen chicken tenders are a guaranteed hit in my house. They are golden, crispy chicken strips perfect for dipping in sauce like ranch or fry sauce.

I know I can have air fryer frozen chicken tenders from freezer to table in less than 15 minutes. And I know my kids and husband will eat them and enjoy them! It is a big win, perfect for days when I have no time, no energy or no enthusiasm for cooking.

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And this recipe is so simple that older kids can make it themselves. When you want a filling snack, an alternative for dinner or a quick and easy lunch, convenience is always a win!

Why You will Love Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer

  • No extra ingredients or oil
  • No need to preheat or flip the air fryer frozen chicken tenders, just set the temperature and go
  • They cook faster than using an oven
  • They come out crispier than using a microwave
  • Easier than takeout on hectic days

Love to use your air fryer for frozen foods? Check out my directions for making frozen burgers in the air fryer or cooking frozen egg rolls!

Type of Breaded Chicken Strips

You can buy all kinds of different chicken tenders with lots of different coatings. Possibilities are:

  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Italian bread crumbs
  • Gluten free breading
  • Keto friendly tenders coated with pork rinds

For the purpose of this recipe it doesn’t really matter what type of breading is on the chicken strip. What matters is that the chicken is cooked, not raw, and how thick the chicken tenders are. I usually just buy Tyson frozen chicken tenders, because that is what my family and I enjoy.

air fryer chicken tenders on a plate

How to Air Fry Frozen Chicken Tenders

1. Add to Basket

Take the chicken strips out of the bag and add them to the air fryer basket in a single layer. Don’t overcrowd them, there needs to be room between the pieces of chicken for the air to circulate.

There is no need to preheat the air fryer. There is no need to spray the chicken tenders with oil, they will cook and get nicely crispy without anything added.

My 5.8 quart Cosori air fryer will fit about half of a 25 ounce bag of Tyson breaded chicken strips in one layer.

chicken tenders in air fryer basket

2. Air Fry

Set the air fryer to 350 degrees F for 11-12 minutes. That is it, you don’t have to shake the basket or flip the chicken over halfway through.

When the time is up check them and make sure they are done. You can check the internal temperature of the chicken and make sure it has reached 165 degrees F.

Or you can just break one open and see how hot it is by touching it. Air fryers vary in how quickly they cook things, so start with 11 minutes and add more time if needed. If your chicken tenders are on the thick side they might need more cooking time.

chicken strips in front of air fryer

Find More Air Fryer Recipes!

How to Serve

One of the most fun things about serving chicken tenders is dipping them in sauce. Here are some great dipping ideas:

  • Ketchup
  • Honey mustard
  • Fry sauce
  • Ranch
  • BBQ sauce
dipping the chicken tender

Another great way to serve them is to put them in a wrap. While they cook in the air fryer you can cut some veggies and make an easy wrap by rolling the tenders up in a tortilla with lettuce, cucumbers and sauce.

Find More Easy Air Fryer Dinners

breaded chicken strips on a plate
breaded chicken strips on a plate
5 from 1 vote

Frozen Chicken Tenders

Published By Anne
Air fryer frozen chicken tenders can go from freezer to table in less than 15 minutes.
Prep Time1 minute
Cook Time11 minutes
Total Time12 minutes
Servings: 3
Print Save Rate Pin


  • 12 ounces breaded frozen chicken tenders


  • Put the chicken tenders in the air fryer basket, making sure to keep them in a single layer.
    12 ounces breaded frozen chicken tenders
  • Air fry at 350 degrees F for 11 minutes.
  • Check to see if the tenders are done. Either use an instant read thermometer to make sure they have reached 165 degrees F or break one in half and check to make sure it is hot.


  • Air fryers vary in how quickly they cook things, so start with 11 minutes and add more time if needed. If your chicken tenders are on the thick side they might need more cooking time.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1g | Calories: 129kcal | Protein: 24g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 132mg | Potassium: 420mg | Vitamin A: 34IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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chicken tenders with dipping sauce
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Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

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