Air fryer chicken tenders (no breading) are the BEST way to enjoy flavorful low-carb and gluten-free chicken tenders in a variety of ways. Whether you are topping a salad, adding them to a veggie wrap, or simply snacking on these air fryer chicken tenderloins, you are going to love how quickly and easily this whole recipe comes together. It's a Whole Lotta Yum in less than 15 minutes!
✅ Get our FREE air fryer foods list here OR 🥘 Buy our Top 50 Air Fryer Recipes HERE
With no breading, no flour, and no eggs, your air fryer chicken tenders are going to work for everyone. They are gluten-free, dairy-free, Whole30, low-carb, and keto-approved.
Why we love Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer
Serve the air fryer boneless chicken tenderloin with air fryer tater tots and our healthy coleslaw recipe to make a complete meal that takes less than 30 minutes that will please everyone in your home!
And if you're looking for more ways to cook air fryer chicken tenders, be sure to try our air fryer BBQ chicken tenders, air fryer chicken tenders with flour, keto chicken tenders with parmesan, and air fryer chicken tenders from frozen.
For these air fryer chicken tenders no breading, we are ditching the typically breading option to make a light yet a super flavorful option. Often we are eating them right out of the air fryer, but when we can restrain ourselves, you will find us chopping them up for a salad, adding them to a wrap, and even serving them alongside our favorite appetizers.
Why You'll Love This!
- No breading means you can enjoy these chicken tenders even if you have dietary restrictions, the healthy air fryer naked chicken tenders recipe is low carb, gluten-free, dairy-free, and keto-friendly too.
- Air fryer chicken tenders no breading pack a powerhouse of flavor and the crunch you expect from traditional breaded tenders.
- With a cook time of just 9 minutes, your air fryer chicken tenders without breading is ready faster than you can order take out and much faster than cooking in the oven.
- The whole recipe needs just 3 ingredients!
Ingredients for Air Fryer Chicken Tenderloins
The Weight Watchers friendly and low carb air fryer chicken tenderloins without breading will be one of the easiest recipes you make. With just three ingredients, you will have all of the prep work done while your air fryer heats up.
- uncooked chicken tenders - they usually come 7-8 in a 1 lb package
- olive oil or avocado oil
- homemade dry rub or store-bought chicken rub
- We've included 5 easy rubs in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post!
Ingredients for Chicken Rub
Using your favorite store-bought seasoning is totally fine! Our favorite is McCormick's Garlic and Herb. We're including our homemade rub since so many readers ask about it. It's the same recipe used on our air fryer chicken wings dry rub recipe.
- 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 Tablespoon fine sea salt (not table salt)
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground pepper (not fine)
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar (or coconut sugar or golden monk fruit)
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
What you'll need for Air Fry Chicken Tenders
An Air Fryer- To make your air fryer chicken tenders you'll need an air fryer, of course. We have a Cosori XL basket style air fryer, an Omni Plus oven style air fryer, and a Ninja Foodi pressure cooker air fryer combo. The Cosori was used in this recipe.
How to make Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
Your healthy air fryer chicken tenders no breading are going to come together really quickly. Mix the 5 minute rub, coat the chicken in oil, add seasoning, and air fry.
To make your healthy air fryer chicken tenders:
Preheat the air fryer to 400F for 5 minutes.
Blot the chicken dry with paper towels. Coat the fresh chicken tenders with olive oil then sprinkle the chicken rub on the chicken.
Press the rub into the chicken meat (This is important! It makes sure more of the rub stays on your tenders and less on your air fryer).
How to cook Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer
Place the raw chicken tenders in an air fryer oven or air fryer basket. Air fry for 8-9 mins, flipping after 5 minutes. Technically, chicken tenders are so thin it's ok to skip the flip, but I seem to do it out of habit.
*** Things that could affect your cook time:
If you didn't preheat your air fryer your cooking time will be extended to 12-14 mins to cook through. Or could take longer than 8-9 if they're larger chicken tenderloins than we used. Our 1 lb package of raw tenders had 8 pieces.
Cook the unbreaded chicken tenders until the internal temperature is 160F-165 degrees. They'll continue to cook a bit once pulled out of the air fryer.
Air Fryer Chicken Tenderloins tips
- This recipe is based on using thawed chicken tenders (see below for information on cooking from frozen).
- Cooking healthy naked low carb chicken tenders are great for meal prep too! Just double or triple the recipe and use them throughout the week or freeze them for later.
- Depending on your model type, the recipe could take less time, or longer, to cook. If you skip the preheat the recipes will take about 12 minutes to cook. We do always suggest you preheat the air fryer before cooking for even cooking.
- You can use this same process to cook air fryer chicken breasts, just cut the chicken breasts into strips and proceed with the recipe.
How to reheat Chicken Tender in Air Fryer
To reheat chicken tenders in an air fryer, air fry the tenderloins on 400 F for 2-3 minutes until heated through.
What to make with Chicken Tenders
With dipping sauce: Ranch, BBQ, or honey mustard.
Chicken Tenders with Dipping Sauces: Serve chicken tenders with your favorite dipping sauces, such as BBQ, honey mustard, or ranch.
Chicken tenders salad: Add sliced cooked chicken tenders to a bed or mixed greens along with other veggies.
Chicken tenders wrap: Wrap them in a tortilla with lettuce, tomatoes, and your favorite sauce.
Add sliced tenders to pasta and sauce.
Stir fry: Add cooked chicken tender strips to sauteed Asian dishes like rice and cooked veggies or with noodles.
Air Fried Chicken Tenderloin FAQs
The short answer is yes, you can make chicken tenders in the air fryer with frozen chicken tenders. However, they will take 2-3 minutes longer to cook. Just coat the frozen chicken tenders with oil and seasoning and cook like the recipe states. Be sure you reach an internal temperature of 160F-165 degrees.
German potato salad
Alfredo noodles or zoodles
Corn on the cob
Air fryer broccoli
Preheat the air fryer to 400F and reheat the air fryer chicken tenders no breading for 2-3 minutes until warmed through to an internal temperature of 160F.
Unlike store-bought, pre-cooked chicken tenders, this recipe is keto-friendly! Without adding any breading we did not add any carbs to the air fryer chicken tenders. To keep air fryer chicken tenders keto and low carb, we recommend staying away from packaged chicken and cooking it fresh with the seasoning of your choice. However, watch any sauces you may choose to use as they do tend to have hidden sugars and carbs in them.
Yes! You can definitely cook chicken tenders in an air fryer oven. We have both an air fryer basket and an air fryer oven, the cooking times and temperature are the same for the oven as the recipe states.
More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
If you love our air fryer chicken tenders no breading recipe, be sure to try even more air fryer chicken recipes!
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings from Frozen
- Keto Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- Air Fryer Breaded Chicken Breast
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow us on Instagram, and Facebook!
WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Have questions or feedback? Please ask questions or post feedback on the post comments.
Tap That Recipe Review Star! Be sure to leave a review after you make the air fryer chicken tenderloins recipe or just tap the star rating you'd give the recipe!
Show Us Those Photos! Be sure to upload your air fryer chicken tenders without breading recipe photos on the Pinterest pin and/or tag us on Instagram at @wholelotta.yum! We LOVE featuring reader recipes!
Totally worth the scroll- thanks for a great recipe! I am cutting my tenders up and putting them in my salad! Yummy!
My family and I love it. I will definitely make again. Super easy and great flavor!
Quick and Easy Family Recipes
Amazing straightforward recipe. Second time using the air fryer and it came out perfect!! I used my own rub, too! lol! thank you!
COOK IT ALL THE WAY TO 165!!!!!!
to safely cook chicken, you HAVE to cook it to 165 w/ an instant read of the number and it has to hold at that temp for 15 seconds !!!!
Learned this becoming a certified servsafe manager. Please don’t undercook your chicken 🤦🏼♀️
Chicken continues cooking while it's resting, so cooking chicken to 160-162 F will end up at 165 F after a few minutes of rest time before serving.
Tbspeachy, what a rude way to speak to someone.
I can't wait to make these tenders with my store bought chicken rub this week!
So simple and so easy. Just the kind of recipe I was looking for.
Thanks for this RECIPE. Maybe it wasn't many ingredients, but I forget how to make these (temp, duration). It's really helped. Thanks. When I find a recipe that I like with good instructions but less than desirable ingredients, I usually just substitute and go on, I made my own rub for this, looked up a BBQ rub and do that. Thanks a million.
Brenda Faircloth says
I meant after preheat to 400 and cook chicken tenders do I cook them at 400 or do I lower the temperature to cook chicken tenders 8-9 minutes
They get preheated to 400 F and cooked at 400 F 🙂
Thank you for a SIMPLE recipe that explains the whole process of tenders in the air fryer. Some people really need to go back and watch Bambi, there’s some really good life advice in there. Namely when Thumper says - “If you don’t have anything nice to say, never talk/type again.” Or something like that. Way to handle yourself with the people who have no time to read a recipe but plenty time to leave an ugly review 😁
Just saying “Store bought chicken rub” is a very lazy way to write a recipe! What spices are in the rub? Garlic powder, chili powder, lemon pepper? I understand the ease of it, but come on. This is hardly even a recipe.
Most people buy store-bought rubs instead of making their own. I did go ahead and link our homemade chicken rub recipe as well if you prefer homemade rub. The recipe is more about teaching people how to cook chicken tenders in their air fryer, any rub of choice can be used!
Bryan Potts says
They put the recipe out there if you don’t like don’t use it! Pretty simple
Oh My God. I had to scroll 5 minutes to finally find out its 400 degrees for 8 minutes. Come on man!
There's a "jump to recipe" button at the top of the page that takes you directly to the recipe card. The post instructions and tips are written for beginning air fryer users or for people who might have a dietary concern or are interested in variations.
Print button doesn't work 😕
I'm not sure why the print button isn't working, hopefully you were able to get it to work! Sometimes I'll just screet shot the instructions instead of printing.
The recipe should be updated, I was looking for the air frying temperature too. It says preheat at 400 but nowhere does it mention actual the frying temp. These are not necessarily the same.
The recipe has been updated to further clarify! The majority of air fryer recipes (like probably 99%+) have the preheat and cooking temp the same...just like oven cooking. If a recipe just gives the preheat temperature, assume that's also the cooking temperature unless the recipe states to change it. After owning 5 air fryers, I did notice one of the brand cookbooks preheated all recipes at 400 and then changed the temp to something else...but this had been the first time I'd come across that it 4 years. That was for my Cosori..maybe that's the brand of air fryer you have too?
Excellent chicken tenders!! I never thought to pre-heat the air fryer.
Thank you! I'm glad you loved the air fryer chicken tenders! Yes, pre-heating the air fryer is actually super important and is key to making sure recipes turn out and that the food cooks evenly. If you have an air fryer that doesn't automatically do it for you, preheat for 3-5 minutes before starting to cook.