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Naked Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

plate of naked air fryer chicken tenders

Naked Air Fryer Chicken Tenders: A Quick and Flavorful Dinner


If you're on the hunt for a simple and delicious chicken recipe that the entire family will savor, look no further than these Naked Air Fryer Grilled Chicken Tenders! This easy-to-follow recipe is perfect for a quick dinner and promises loads of flavor. With just a handful of basic ingredients, you can whip up these mouthwatering chicken tenders in your air fryer in under 30 minutes.



Why You'll Love These Naked Grilled Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer


1. Simplicity at Its Best

You'll adore this recipe because it's all about simplicity, speed, and taste that stands the test of time. These chicken tenders are a versatile choice that pairs perfectly with a variety of side dishes and is sure to please even the pickiest eaters in your household.


2. Healthy and Wholesome

What sets these naked tenders apart is the absence of breading or batter. That means you can indulge in this delightful dish without worrying about any unnecessary steps or added calories. So, grab your trusty Air Fryer, and let's dive into this chicken tenders recipe that's as good for your taste buds as it is for your health.


3. Versatile Pairings

These Naked Air Fryer Grilled Chicken Tenders are incredibly versatile. You can serve them alongside classic favorites like french fries or tater tots, or opt for a lighter choice with a side salad. No matter how you choose to enjoy them, these tenders are sure to hit the spot.



How to Make Air Fryer Grilled Chicken Tenders


Ingredients You'll Need:

  • 10 chicken tenders

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ½ teaspoon onion powder

  • ½ teaspoon paprika


The Simple Steps:

  1. Preheat Your Air Fryer: Begin by preheating your air fryer to 400ºF for 5 minutes. Make sure to prepare the air fryer basket by coating it with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil spray.

  2. Prepare the Chicken Tenders: On a cutting board, remove the tendons from the raw chicken tenders and place them in a medium-sized bowl.

  3. Coat with Olive Oil: Add the olive oil (1 tablespoon) to the chicken tenders and toss them to ensure they are fully coated.

  4. Season to Perfection: Sprinkle the ground black pepper (1 teaspoon), garlic powder (½ teaspoon), onion powder (½ teaspoon), and paprika (½ teaspoon) over the chicken tenders, ensuring they are evenly coated.

  5. Air Fry to Crispy Perfection: Place the seasoned chicken tenders in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook at 400ºF for 10 minutes, flipping the chicken at the 5-minute mark. You'll know they're done when they achieve that perfect crispy and golden brown texture.

  6. Check the Internal Temperature: For safety, use a meat thermometer to verify that the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. If not, continue cooking for additional minutes until it's ready.

  7. Serve with Your Favorite Dipping Sauces: These tender delights are best enjoyed with your preferred dipping sauces. Whether you're a fan of classic ketchup, tangy honey mustard, smoky BBQ sauce, or any other favorite, these tenders are the perfect canvas for your taste.



Sauce Suggestions

  • Ketchup: A timeless favorite among kids and adults alike.

  • Honey Mustard: A delightful combination of sweet and tangy flavors.

  • BBQ Sauce: The classic choice that always satisfies.

  • Honey: Dip these tenders in sweet honey for a delectable contrast.

  • Ranch: A tried-and-true option, especially for kids.

  • Buffalo Sauce: Add some heat with homemade buffalo sauce.

  • Chili Sauce: Elevate the dish with a spicy kick.



Storage Tips

  • To Store: If you happen to have any leftovers (though they are so tasty that might be rare), place them in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

  • To Reheat: When it's time to enjoy your leftovers, simply place the chicken tenders in the air fryer and reheat at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-3 minutes, or until they are heated through.

  • To Freeze: If you want to save some for later, store the chicken tenders in an airtight container in a single layer in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you're ready to indulge, you can reheat them directly from the freezer.



Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Internal Temperature: Ensuring that the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F (74 degrees C) is crucial for safe consumption.

  • Panko Breadcrumbs: For extra crispy chicken tenders, consider using panko breadcrumbs, whether regular or seasoned. To incorporate breadcrumbs, create a dipping station with flour and seasoning in one bowl, whisked egg in another, and breadcrumbs in a third. Dip the chicken into the flour mixture, followed by the egg mixture, and finish with a coating of breadcrumbs. Then, add the chicken to the air fryer and follow the air frying instructions.

  • Flavor Variations: Experiment with different flavors by adding Italian seasoning, chili powder, an egg wash followed by breadcrumbs (as mentioned above), or a touch of lemon juice. You can also skip the oil and use your favorite dry rub to infuse the chicken with even more flavor.

  • Cooking Times: Keep in mind that air fryer models may vary, so it's essential to adjust the cooking time accordingly. The model used for this recipe cooks these chicken tenders perfectly at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes.



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Are these Grilled Chicken Tenders Weight Watchers friendly or low carb?

Yes! These grilled chicken tenders are Weight Watchers friendly and low carb. Since they are grilled without any excess oil or batter, they align well with these dietary preferences.


What sides pair well with these Healthy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders?

These chicken tenders can be paired with a variety of sides, including Air Fryer French Fries, Air Fryer Green Bean Casserole, Air Fryer Broccoli, a simple side salad, potato salad, or any other favorite sides you enjoy.


How do I make the chicken tenders extra crispy?

To achieve maximum crispiness, make sure to use the recommended amount of oil or cooking spray. Excess oil can lead to greasy tenders that won't turn out as crispy.


How long should I cook chicken tenders in the Air Fryer?

It typically takes about 15 minutes to cook these grilled chicken tenders in the air fryer, especially when they are prepared without breading. However, cooking times may vary depending on your specific air fryer model, so it's advisable to monitor them for doneness.


Can I use this recipe to make Air Fryer grilled chicken nuggets?

Absolutely! To create chicken nuggets, simply cut the tenderloins into smaller, bite-sized pieces and place them in the air fryer. Keep in mind that the smaller pieces may cook faster than the tenders, so you'll need to reduce the cooking time accordingly.


How do I prevent the chicken from sticking to the wire rack?

To prevent sticking, you can place a piece of parchment paper on the rack or baking sheet before placing the chicken tenders on it. This will help minimize mess and make cleanup a breeze.


Can I use chicken breasts instead of chicken tenders for this recipe?

Certainly! If you prefer chicken breasts, you can slice them into smaller strips to match the size of chicken tenders. The rest of the steps in the recipe remain the same.


How do I remove the tendon from the chicken tenders?

To remove the tendon, hold onto the nub of the tendon and gently press down on the tenderloin with a fork. The tendon should come out easily. If it doesn't, you can use a sharp knife to cut it out, taking care to keep the tenderloin as intact as possible.


We would love to hear about your experience with this recipe, so be sure to leave a review and star rating. Your feedback helps us improve our recipes and lets others know that they should give it a try!


For more delicious Chicken Recipes for your Air Fryer, head over to our Chicken Main Page.


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