Making breaded frozen chicken tenders in air fryer is a quick and simple way to get crispy boneless chicken strips PERFECTLY cooked without frying or baking for a much longer time in an oven.
By starting with full cooked frozen chicken tenders you'll be heating them up until crisp and warm throughout. After making air fryer frozen chicken strips, you'll never go back to another method and might just skip take-out too! It's a WHOLE LOTTA YUM!
Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Tenders
Whether you call these air fryer frozen chicken tenders, strips, or fingers, they all basically refer to the same type of recipe..many people just call them by a different name. Regardless, cooking frozen chicken strips in the air fryer is seriously the BEST way to make them!
One of my kids (well, he's 19 haha), is chicken strips OBSESSED and has been since he was 2. We took him to Disney World many years ago and all he ate was chicken strips for every lunch and dinner during our ENTIRE trip.
While I, unfortunately, can't have gluten, my kids still LOVE an occasional "fast food" style dinner at home by making frozen chicken tenders in an air fryer. There are SO many healthy options on the market these days, and while he wanted to air fry Tyson chicken strips, any brand of frozen chicken tenders with breading will work in an air fryer following this recipe. I'm sure you could also find gluten-free versions or even organic frozen chicken strips at a specialty store or even at a large national retailer.
Be sure to download our cheat sheet on air fryer cook times for the 50 most popular air fryer foods.
Why You'll Love Frozen Chicken Strips in Air Fryer
- We give you tips and tricks to make these in either a basket style unit or a toaster oven style
- Air frying is the FASTEST way to get perfectly cooked chicken fingers
- It's a one ingredient main dish since it's pre-seasoned and breaded!
- Skipping the oven means not heating up your house and saving on energy
Especially since it's 2020, eating out might seem of a thing of the past. And while we don't eat frozen pre-cooked foods often, it's still been a great way to get an easy and lazy dinner on the table fast for the kids when we simply just want something easy...AND delicious!
ANY brand of chicken tenders will work in this recipe! We used Tyson chicken tenders to make these for the kids and they come already pre-breaded and cooked. We're just making them hot and crispy in an air fryer oven, so most of the work is already done.
- ½ lb-1 lb frozen chicken tenders
- Cooking spray or oil - only if you have a non-stick unit. Using spray like Pam can ruin the non-stick finish and make your food STICK!
- Optional dipping sauce- BBQ, Ranch, honey mustard, ketchup
An Air Fryer- We have an Omni Plus oven style air fryer and a small 3.2L Farberware basket style air fryer. Either work for this recipe, the basket style is smaller and doesn't hold as many chicken strips.
Making Frozen Chicken Strips in Air Fryer
Since we're air frying frozen chicken tenders that already come preseasoned and cooked, there's minimal prep work involved! All it takes to make frozen chicken strips in air fryer is to grease the pan if it isn't non-stick, spread the strips in the basket/tray, and air fry, flipping halfway if needed. And done! So easy.
Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Tenders time
Preheat the air fryer on 360F for 3-5 minutes.
If you have a non-stick cooking basket there's no need to add oil or cooking spray, if you have an oven style unit then you'll want to add a little oil or cooking spray to keep the chicken from sticking.
Place the chicken in a single layer in the basket or on the pan, this is not a recipe that does well to stack in an air fryer. In our smaller air fryer, we were able to fit 5 frozen chicken tenders in the air fryer, for our large Omni Plus unti, we can fit an entire 1-1.5 lb of frozen chicken strips.
How Long to Cook Frozen Chicken Strips in Air Fryer?
Set the cooking time to 10 minutes and after the frozen chicken strips cook in the air fryer for 5 minutes, flip them over.
They could take between 10-12 minutes to cook, depending on the model of fryer that you have.
Remove when crispy on the outside, serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce such as ketchup, Ranch dressing, or BBQ sauce.
- Preheat the air fryer to help cook the recipe evenly
- Take the air fryer frozen chicken tenders and slice them on salads, make chicken tacos by wrapping them up in a tortilla.
- Flip the tenders half way if they aren't browning evenly. All models of air fryers work a little differently.
- Some brands of frozen chicken strips in air fryer could take a shorter or longer amount of time to cook because they might not be a uniform size. Even in our bag we had jumbo pieces and really small pieces. Use our recipe for air fryer frozen chicken strips as a starting guideline.
- Chicken tenders will need some air between them, so be sure not to overcrowd. Cook in batches if needed.
- As long as you're using precooked boneless strips this method will work for air frying buffalo chicken strips or even small chicken nuggets. Just reduce the time by a few minutes if the chicken pieces are small.
How to Reheat Chicken Fingers?
If you end up with leftover chicken tenders, you'll be happy to know you can just pop the air fryer chicken tenders back in the air fryer and cook them for just 1-2 minutes until heated back through.
How to Air Fry Frozen Raw Chicken Strips?
If you have frozen raw chicken tenders and want to cook them in an air fryer, we're going to refer you to our post on how to air fry chicken tenders that are raw and frozen, and aren't pre-cooked like what we used in this recipe.
What to Serve with Chicken Tenders?
Not sure what to serve with the frozen chicken tenders in air fryer?? You can go two routes here, either serve them with more air fryer frozen snacks like air fryer frozen corn dogs, air fryer frozen mozzarella sticks, or frozen fish sticks in air fryer, OR you can serve the air fried frozen chicken strips as the main dish alongside the following side dishes:
- A simple green salad
- Baked beans
- Corn on the Cob
- Macaroni and Cheese
- Roasted vegetables
- Baked potatoes
More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
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