These air fryer blackened chicken tenders are so tasty, and have just a little kick of heat in every bite. They are the perfect healthy meal, and best of all, they are delicious!
I first tried making these chicken tenders, when my daughter and I were trying new ways to spice up meals. We wanted to skip the breaded chicken, and had to find a way to make naked tenders.
She likes to make recipes that are Weight Watchers friendly, and I like to count macros. These tenders definitely do both!
What you need to make chicken tenders in the air fryer
You are going to need an air fryer of course. I made these in my Cosori air fryer. Since some air fryers may cook differently, if you are using a different brand, just check on the tenders the first time you make them.
One of my favorite parts about this recipe, is that you don't need a bunch of ingredients to make it. Besides an air fryer, here are the ingredients you will need:
- one pound of chicken cut into strips
- olive oil
- chili powder
- cayenne pepper
- ground pepper
I like my naked chicken tenders, to have a little bit of spice, but not too much. You can always adjust the chili powder and cayenne pepper to match your tastes.
McCormick Spices have several great choices of seasonings. If you are looking for a more traditional air fryer breaded chicken recipe, try the Chicken Tenders recipe.
How to make air fryer blackened chicken tenders
To make these tenders, begin by placing the chicken strips in a medium bowl and toss with olive oil, coating each piece of chicken.
Sprinkle chili powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt and pepper over the coated chicken. Next, toss the chicken in the bowl until the seasonings have evenly covered each piece of chicken.
Once the chicken is coated with the seasonings, place the chicken in the air fryer basket. Be sure to spread them out so they aren't overlapping or stacked.
Cook at 380 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes, flipping chicken tenders halfway through cooking. If you add more, and the basket is full, if may take a few extra minutes of cook time.
How will I know when my chicken tenders are done cooking?
Any time you cook chicken, you want to make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. If you are using your air fryer all of the time, you will find having a meat thermometer makes cooking meats easier.
Can I freeze the chicken tenders?
You can season them, and then freeze them until you are ready to cook them. You can even cook them in the air fryer frozen, just add about 8-10 more minutes to the cook time, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Do I need to line or spray my air fryer basket?
I didn't line my basket when I made these tenders. I usually line my basket with air fryer parchment paper, but it's not necessary. With this recipe, a liner could make it a little easier to clean the basket.
MORE AIR FRYER RECIPES:
Air Fryer Blackened Chicken Tenders
- Air Fryer
- 1 pound chicken cut into strips
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- Place the chicken strips in a medium bowl and toss with olive oil, coating each piece of chicken.
- Sprinkle chili powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt and pepper over the coated chicken. Toss the chicken in the bowl until the seasonings have evenly covered each piece of chicken.
- Place the chicken in the air fryer basket, spread out so they aren't overlapping or stacked.
- Cook at 380 degrees F for 12 minutes, flipping chicken tenders halfway through cooking.
*Nutritional information is a calculated guesstimate. Please note that this can change with different brands and modifications you may make to the recipe. For the most accurate information, use a nutritional calculator with the exact brands and measurements you're using with each recipe.
I just made this and it’s a keeper! The only thing is with my air fryer I’m gonna have to take off 2 minutes, it was on the dry side. My wife who is not a fan of spicy, liked it enough to have again!
That's awesome! Yes, all air fryers cook a little differently so you might have to adjust the times just a tad.