I really love Naked Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer. Not only are they really, really healthy, but they are also easy to make. If you are looking for a recipe for unbreaded chicken tender chicken tenders in the air fryer, this is the recipe for you.
Here is my recipe. I have been making these for my family since 2017. Adjust the seasonings to your own taste. Some people love it, and some people think it’s too spicy. If you do not like spicy, cut the spice down, it’s your recipe. It’s your chicken. I want you to be happy!
Air Fryer Naked Chicken Tenders are juicy chicken tenders that are not coated in a breading but still pack a flavorful punch. Even better is that you can make these easy chicken tenders right in your air fryer.
One of the best things about these naked chicken tenders is that they are diet-friendly. It doesn’t matter if you are on a low-carb diet like Keto or a low-fat diet like Weight Watchers. These juicy tenders will work for both diets, and they make for a great weeknight dinner when you are in a hurry.
If you are looking for even more Air Fryer Keto-Friendly Recipes or Air Fryer Low-Carb Recipes, some of my favorites are AIR FRYER ZUCCHINI CRISPS; AIR FRYER ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS, AIR FRYER BACON, and AIR FRYER FRITTATA.
Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Naked Chicken Tenders
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- Smoke or Sweet Paprika
- Garlic powder
- Dried thyme
- White or black pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- Onion powder
How To Make Air Fryer Naked Chicken Tenders
Start by making the rub, mix all of the chicken rub ingredients in a small bowl, mix well.
Dip your chicken into the chicken rub, and as you coat them, place them into a greased air fryer basket.
Place the tenderloins into the air fryer basket, careful not to overcrowd it, affecting the cooking time.
Set the time for 370 degrees F, for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes, flip and check your chicken to make sure it is done. If it has an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, it is fully cooked. If not, add another couple of minutes and recheck.
Plate, serve, and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions About Air Fryer Naked Chicken Tenders
Can I use chicken breast instead of chicken tenders?
You can certainly use chicken breast instead of chicken tenders if that is what you have on hand.
If you are using chicken breast, you will want to cut off any extra fat and also slice your chicken breasts into thin strips that are approximately the same size. Getting your strips close to the same size will help them cook evenly to dry out.
Can I use frozen chicken tenders?
Yes! You can certainly use frozen chicken tenders.
However, I find that if my tenders are frozen that the spice rub does not stick as well to your chicken tenders. You will want to add at least 3 to 5 additional minutes to your cook time to ensure that your frozen chicken tenders are cooked all the way through.
How do I remove the tendon from the chicken tender?
Do you ever get frustrated when making chicken tenders because the white muscle piece inside the tender makes your tenders tough? Let me explain how to remove that white piece of the tendon so that your tenders stay soft instead of tough.
Grip the tip of the white tendon in between your thumb and forefinger. Take a fork and turn it upside down. You will want the curve of your fork to face down towards the table. While holding tightly to the tip of the white tendon, slide your fork down the chicken tender. This should separate the white muscle from the piece of chicken. If you have trouble keeping a tight grip on the white tendon, use a paper towel to grip to help give you a more stable grip.
How can I tell chicken tenders are done?
To ensure that your chicken tenders are completely done, you want to ensure that your internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Make sure that you test the temperature of the middle of your chicken instead of the edge. Look for the widest part of your chicken. A chicken tender that is completely done should also be white all the way through the center of the chicken, and the juices should be clear and not pink.
When air frying, the best tool that you can use is a meat thermometer to get perfect meat every time. (affiliate link)
Can I freeze naked chicken tenders?
Absolutely you can freeze naked chicken tenders. You can freeze them raw once you rub them with the spice rub. Thaw in the fridge overnight and then cook per the directions in the recipe below.
You can also freeze your chicken tenders after they have been cooked. Thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat in your air fryer for one to two minutes at 350 degrees until warm all the way through. I find that frozen cooked chicken tends to be a little on the dry side, but it makes for an easy salad topping or quick dinner.
- Do not crowd your chicken tenders. You want the air to move around all sides of your tenders.
- Preheat your air fryer for consistent heat.
- Do not spray your chicken with cooking spray. You can spray your basket AFTER preheating to prevent sticking.
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1/2 tablespoon white or black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (less if you don’t want them spicy)
- 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
- Start by making the rub. Mix all of the chicken rub ingredients in a small bowl; mix well.
- Dip your chicken into the chicken rub, and as you coat them, place them into a greased air fryer basket.
- Place the tenderloins into the air fryer basket, careful not to overcrowd it, affecting the cooking time.
- Set the time for 370 degrees F, for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes, flip and check your chicken to make sure it is done. If it has an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, it is fully cooked. If not, add another couple of minutes and recheck.
- Plate, serve, and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 362Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 1440mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 22g
All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on ForkToSpoon.com should only be used as a general guideline.