The Ultimate Guide: How Long to Cook Chicken Breast Tenderloins in Air Fryer

Are you a fan of tender, juicy chicken that melts in your mouth? Look no further than the air fryer for the perfect way to cook chicken breast tenderloins! This kitchen gadget has become a game-changer for busy home cooks, allowing you to whip up delicious meals in a fraction of the time it takes to use traditional cooking methods.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive deep into the world of air frying chicken breast tenderloins, exploring the ideal cooking times, temperatures, and techniques to achieve mouthwatering results every time. Get ready to impress your family and friends with restaurant-quality chicken tenderloins that are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside!

Why Air Fry Chicken Breast Tenderloins?

Before we dive into the specifics of cooking times, let’s first explore the benefits of air frying chicken breast tenderloins:

  • Quick and Convenient: Air frying is a lightning-fast cooking method, significantly reducing the time it takes to prepare a meal. You can have perfectly cooked chicken tenderloins on the table in under 20 minutes!

  • Crispy Texture: The rapid circulation of hot air in an air fryer creates a delightfully crispy exterior on your chicken tenderloins, mimicking the texture of deep-fried foods without all the excess oil.

  • Healthy Cooking: Air frying uses little to no oil, making it a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods. Say goodbye to greasy, calorie-laden chicken!

  • Easy Cleanup: Since air fryers require minimal oil, there’s virtually no mess to clean up afterward. Simply wipe down the basket, and you’re good to go.

Understanding Chicken Breast Tenderloins

Before we delve into cooking times, let’s clarify what chicken breast tenderloins are and how they differ from regular chicken breasts.

Chicken breast tenderloins, also known as chicken tenders or chicken strips, are long, thin strips of meat located underneath the chicken breast. They are incredibly tender and cook faster than whole chicken breasts due to their smaller size.

While cooking times for whole chicken breasts can vary greatly depending on their thickness, chicken tenderloins are more consistent in size, making them easier to cook evenly.

Factors Affecting Cooking Time

Several factors can influence the cooking time for chicken breast tenderloins in an air fryer. Understanding these variables will help you achieve perfectly cooked chicken every time:

  1. Size and Thickness: The size and thickness of your chicken tenderloins will significantly impact the cooking time. Thicker tenderloins will require more time to cook through, while thinner ones will cook faster.

  2. Temperature Setting: Air fryers typically have temperature settings ranging from 200°F to 400°F (93°C to 204°C). Higher temperatures will result in faster cooking times, but you’ll need to be careful not to overcook or burn the exterior.

  3. Preheating: Preheating your air fryer is essential for achieving optimal cooking times. Air fryers operate most efficiently when they’ve reached their desired temperature before adding the food.

  4. Air Fryer Model: Different air fryer models may have varying heating capabilities and air circulation patterns, which can affect cooking times. It’s always best to consult your specific air fryer’s manual and adjust accordingly.

Recommended Cooking Times and Temperatures

Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter: how long should you cook chicken breast tenderloins in an air fryer? Here are some general guidelines:

  • Preheated Air Fryer Temperature: 400°F (204°C)
  • Cooking Time for Fresh Chicken Tenderloins: 8-12 minutes, flipping halfway
  • Cooking Time for Frozen Chicken Tenderloins: 12-16 minutes, flipping halfway

Keep in mind that these are approximate times, and you should always use a food thermometer to ensure your chicken tenderloins have reached an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), which is the safe minimum temperature recommended by the USDA.

Tips for Perfect Air Fryer Chicken Tenderloins

To help you achieve consistently delicious results, here are some pro tips for air frying chicken breast tenderloins:

  • Pat the chicken dry: Remove any excess moisture from the chicken tenderloins before seasoning or breading. This will help them crisp up nicely in the air fryer.

  • Use a single layer: Arrange the chicken tenderloins in a single layer in the air fryer basket, without overcrowding. This will ensure even cooking and maximum crispiness.

  • Flip halfway: Flipping the chicken tenderloins halfway through the cooking process will promote even browning on both sides.

  • Check for doneness: Use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the tenderloins. They should reach 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.

  • Let them rest: Allow the cooked chicken tenderloins to rest for a few minutes before serving. This will help them retain their juices and stay tender.

Delicious Air Fryer Chicken Tenderloin Recipes

Now that you know how to cook chicken breast tenderloins to perfection in your air fryer, it’s time to explore some mouthwatering recipe ideas:

  • Classic Air Fryer Chicken Tenderloins: Season with your favorite spices and herbs, or try a simple combination of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.

  • Buffalo Air Fryer Chicken Tenderloins: Toss the cooked tenderloins in a tangy buffalo sauce for a spicy kick.

  • Honey Mustard Air Fryer Chicken Tenderloins: Brush the tenderloins with a sweet and tangy honey mustard glaze for a delightful flavor combination.

  • Parmesan-Crusted Air Fryer Chicken Tenderloins: Coat the tenderloins in a mixture of breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning for a crispy, flavorful crust.

  • Air Fryer Chicken Tenderloin Wraps: Slice the cooked tenderloins and serve them in warm tortillas or lettuce wraps with your favorite toppings.


Cooking chicken breast tenderloins in an air fryer is a game-changer for busy weeknights or anytime you’re craving a quick, delicious meal. With the right cooking times and temperatures, you can achieve perfectly crispy and juicy chicken tenderloins every time.

Remember to adjust the cooking time based on the size and thickness of your tenderloins, and always use a food thermometer to ensure they’ve reached the safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

So, what are you waiting for? Dust off your air fryer, gather your favorite seasonings, and get ready to impress your friends and family with restaurant-quality chicken tenderloins in no time!

Juicy Air Fryer Naked Chicken Tenders – LowCarbSpark


How long should you cook chicken in air fryer?

Air fry: Preheat the air fryer. Place the chicken on the air fryer basket / grate in an even layer, leaving a bit of space for air to circulate around. Air fry the chicken at 415 degrees for 10 minutes. If you have larger pieces of chicken, you’ll want to go closer to 13 minutes.

How long to air fry a chicken breast at 375?

Place chicken in the air fryer basket, presentation side down, and cook for 8 minutes at 375°F. Flip the chicken over and continue cooking until the thickest part registers 155°F on an instant-read thermometer, typically about 6 to 8 minutes longer.

How long does it take to air fry chicken at 350?

Place chicken in air fryer basket, standing against sides of basket if necessary. Set to 350°F; cook 15 minutes. Turn chicken; cook 5 to 8 minutes longer or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (at least 165°F).

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