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Air Fryer Grilled Chicken Tenders

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These Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are not breaded like the usual tenders or nuggets. They’re more like Grilled Chicken Tenders. They’re perfect when you want grilled chicken flavor in under 15 minutes!

Two plates with vegetables and chicken tenders.

Chicken tenderloins tossed with oil and a blend of seasonings cook up in the air fryer quickly for a juicy grilled chicken flavor that beats grilling every single day!

If you love grilling in the air fryer be sure to try these Grilled Aidells Sausages in the air fryer! SO GOOD and soooo easy!

Air Fryer Grilled Chicken Tenderloins on plates, with vegetables, and dip.

Why Make Grilled Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer

SPEED. Some nights the name of the game is speed. Eventually, we all need to get dinner on the table in no time at all. Or make these ahead of time for any time you need grilled chicken.

You can make a chicken salad sandwich with this cooked chicken. Or use the chicken in this Chicken Bacon Ranch Tater Tot Casserole or this Chicken Fried Rice.

Or use them in this green chile recipe in place of leftover chicken thighs!

Air Fryer Chicken Tenderloins in the basket of the air fryer.

This air fryer grilled chicken stays juicy because it cooks so quickly. You can make them including preheating the air fryer in just under 15 minutes. Do you need dinner fast? You got it!

Spice mix for un-breaded air fryer chicken tenders.

If the chicken tenders aren’t breaded what are they coated with?

I love my recipe for Panko Air Fryer Chicken Tenders. They’re truly delicious and I love the flavor! So when I was deciding how to flavor the grilled chicken I went with almost the same spices.

  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Italian Seasoning Herbs
  • Paprika (for color)
  • Pepper

BUT the best thing about this recipe is you can add any spices that you love. So try subbing in poultry seasoning, or just sage, or adding in onion powder. Other ideas are chili powder, chipotle powder, or smoked paprika.

A bite of juicy tender grilled chicken from the air fryer.

How long do Chicken Tenders take to cook in the Air Fryer?

This is when preheating an air fryer is necessary! Fully thawed unbreaded chicken tenders cook up quickly, like in UNDER 10 minutes at 350° in the air fryer if you’ve pre-heated it.

A Plate of air fryer grilled chicken with fresh vegetables and dip.

The thin parts of the chicken will cook quickly but you need to check the thicker parts of the tender. Use a digital instant-read thermometer to check for doneness. You’re looking for 165° for totally cooked chicken.

Do not leave the thermometer IN the chicken in the air fryer while you’re cooking. Digital instant-read thermometers are meant to be inserted, read, and removed before cooking.

Serve these chicken tenders with fresh veggies or a salad. Or think ahead on put on this Slow Cooker Cheesy Penne Pasta!

Yield: 6 Servings

Grilled Chicken in the Air Fryer

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders on a plate with dip, and fresh veggetables.

These quick air fryer grilled chicken tenders make for a quick and easy dinner. OR they make the perfect topping for salad!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenderloins
  • 2 TBSP light olive oil (or any oil you like)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning herbs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  1. preheat the air fryer on 400° for 5 minutes
  2. toss the oil and chicken together
  3. mix the spices together and sprinkle over the chicken
  4. toss to coat completely
  5. when the air fryer is hot lay the chicken tenders in the basket, cook in two batches if needed
  6. cook for 7 minutes and check for doneness, if needed cook 2-3 more minutes until the chicken is cooked and registers 165° on a digital thermometer
  7. serve hot or chill until ready to use

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laura sampson

About Laura

Laura is on a mission to teach modern family oriented women how to make old-fashioned foods new again. A wife and mom of 3 boys, Laura understands the struggles of trying to serve a home-cooked meal each night. She provides recipes and cooking hacks for busy moms to create dishes they may think take more time or skill than they have to make. Read more...

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