Cook perfect air fryer frozen chicken tenders (no breading) in less than 15 minutes! That's right, no need to defrost the chicken first, you can just oil and season frozen chicken tenderloins and make them from frozen in your air fryer. It's a WHOLE LOTTA YUM!
Dinner seriously can't get much easier than cooking chicken tenders, even better when you can make air fryer frozen chicken tenders for a healthy and easy dinner that skips the lengthy thaw time.
Cooking homemade frozen chicken tenders is so much better than the box variety, you can easily customize the seasoning depending on your taste buds, just add the seasoning to the raw frozen chicken, and air fry it like usual.
If you're looking for even more air fryer chicken tender recipes, you'll also love our air fryer chicken tenders (no breading), air fryer keto chicken tenders, air fryer BBQ chicken tenders, and frozen air fryer chicken strips.
One of the best things about our air fryer frozen chicken tenderloin recipe is you just need 3 ingredients ~ the frozen uncooked chicken, oil, and a seasoning rub. How easy is that?
- frozen chicken tenders (raw)
- olive oil
- chicken rub (see Notes for our homemade recipe)
** Please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the exact quantities **
All of these rub options make more than you'll need for this one recipe. You can cut quantities back even more or save them for other chicken (or pork) recipes.
- Italian garlic rub - 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper. Mix, and sprinkle 2 teaspoons (or to taste) on the chicken.
- Cajun blackened seasoning - 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder, 1 ½ teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper. Mix, and sprinkle 2+ teaspoons on the chicken.
- Store-bought rub- McCormick's makes great rubs, use your favorite brand. Sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons on the chicken.
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.
- Whole30/Paleo- Be sure to use a paleo friendly sweetener such as coconut sugar.
- Keto/Low carb- Be sure to use a keto-friendly sweetener such as golden monk fruit or erythritol.
How to Make Frozen Chicken Tenderloins in Air Fryer
There are just a couple of basic steps to air frying frozen chicken tenderloins (other than removing the chicken from the bag of course 😉 - simply toss the frozen chicken in oil, add your favorite rub or make one of our easy rub recipes, and air fry. Dinner's on the table in less than 20 minutes!
Make our rub if you're using it, if you're using a store-bought rub, skip this step. Chicken rub- mix 1 ½ teaspoon onion powder, 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder, 1 ½ teaspoon 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 sweetener (brown sugar, coconut sugar or golden monk fruit), ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper. Set aside.
Preheat the air fryer to 400 F for 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, toss the frozen chicken tenderloins and the olive oil. With clean fingers, coat both sides of the chicken with seasoning. About 2 teaspoons of rub are recommended.
Air fry the frozen chicken tenders for 10-11 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 F. Dip in your favorite sauce such as BBQ, Ranch, ketchup, etc. Enjoy!
- We used Trader Joe's individually frozen chicken tenders, we were able to fit 6 chicken tenders in a Cosori air fryer.
- We highly recommend using a digital meat thermometer, cooking times can vary depending on the air fryer model and size of the tenders you're using.
- You can use this exact same method to cook raw chicken tenders too. Just oil and season the chicken, then air fry in a preheated air fryer for 8-9 minutes at 400 F.
- How much seasoning you want to add to the chicken is entirely up to you! 2 teaspoons is a good amount, add more for an even spicier kick.
How to store?
The air fryer frozen chicken tenders (no breading) will last in the fridge for up to 4 days.
How do you reheat chicken tenders?
If you have leftover chicken tenders and want to reheat them, preheat the air fryer to 400 F for minutes. Add the leftover chicken and air fry 2-3 minutes until heated through.
More Air Fryer Chicken Tender Recipes
If you love our air fryer frozen chicken tenders no breading recipe, you'll love our other air fryer chicken tender recipes too!
- Air fryer chicken tenders (no breading)
- Air fryer keto chicken tenders
- Air fryer BBQ chicken tenders
- Air fryer Chicken strips from frozen