chicken tenders on plate

Frozen Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer

Air fryer frozen chicken tenders are so perfectly cooked that they taste just like you got them at from a restaurant but from the comfort of your own home.

Cooking frozen chicken tenders in the oven just never seemed to come out with the same texture and crispness that you can find when they are cooked when going out to eat. But air frying them perfectly cooks each one from every angle, without the extra fat of a deep fryer.

Chicken tenders on a plate

How to cook frozen chicken tenders in air fryer?

Cooking chicken tenders in an air fryer is very easy to do. You may need to make some adjustments to the cooking time suggested in my recipes to fit with your air fryer and the type of chicken tenders you purchased.

For this recipe, I used the air crisp setting on my Ninja Food Deluxe with the cooking racks.

Before getting started, check the chicken tenders to see if they are raw or pre-cooked. Typically, frozen chicken tenders are pre-cooked, but if you are using raw breaded frozen chicken tenders you can simply add more time to the cooking time.

You will also want to adjust the suggested cooking time for the size and shape of your chicken tenders. If they are long and skinny it will take less time for them to cook through than thicker tenders.

chicken tenders on plate

Steps to cooking air fryer frozen chicken tenders:

1.       Preheat air fryer to 390 degrees F, optional depending on your air fryer

2.       Place frozen chicken tenders (do not thaw before cooking) into your air fryer, leaving some space between each tender for the air to circulate

Frozen chicken tenders in air fryer cooking

3.       Cook for 10 minutes, flip or shake tenders (optional)

4.       Cook for an additional 4-6 minutes if using pre-cooked tenders or 10-12 minutes if using raw tenders

5.       Check tenders for desired crispness of breading

Frozen chicken tenders in air fryer cooking

Depending on your type of air fryer, you may want to flip or shake the tenders a while cooking. I find that with my model of air fryer that I don’t need to flip them at all because they are separated onto different racks and the air flows around them easily.

Dipping Sauces to Serve With Chicken Tenders

There are so many amazing options to have with chicken tenders. This list is a few favorites for you to try.

  • Barbeque sauce
  • Buffalo sauce
  • Mustard – honey, sweet, and spicy – whichever your favorite is
  • Ketchup
  • Sweet and Sour
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Chicken tenders on a plate

Frozen Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer

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  • Author: Ashley Braun, MPH, RD
  • Total Time: 17 minutes


Perfectly crisp frozen chicken tenders in the air fryer is quick and easy, without all the mess of oil. From frozen to ready to eat in under 20 minutes.



Frozen chicken tenders (I used Tyson Chicken Tenders)


  1. Preheat air fryer to 390 degrees F (198 degrees C), if your air fryer requires this
  2. Cook chicken tenders for 10 minutes and flip chicken over (optional depending on your air fryer)
  3. Cook for an additional 4-6 minutes to desired crispness.


  • Shake and flip the tenders as needed, allow space between the tenders to let the air circulate around them.
  • If you are cooking raw chicken tenderloins add an addition 4-6 minutes to the cooking time
  • Prep Time: 1
  • Cook Time: 16

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