Air Fryer Naked Chicken Tenders

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Air Fryer Naked Chicken Tenders Recipe – easy keto chicken tenders loaded with garlic lemon flavor right from the air fryer!

browned chicken tenders without breading in a white dish with lemon slices next to them
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a hand dipping a naked chicken tender into ketchup

Unbreaded Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

This chicken is tender, juicy, and delicious – loaded with garlic and lemon, it is simple and a huge hit with even picky eaters.

If you’re on a low carb or keto diet, or you’re looking for a quick and easy chicken tender recipe without breading – this is one of my all time favorites! I make this chicken a couple times a week – you can marinate and air fry, from the fridge to the table – in under 45 minutes.

We hope you love this recipe as much as we do.

If you’re wondering what a naked chicken tender is, it’s just a chicken tender that hasn’t been breaded. Think of it as grilled chicken tenders – but instead of the grill, we’re using the ultra high heat and convection style of our air fryer to get tender, juicy chicken strips that are melt in your mouth delicious! This recipe is simple enough for even beginner air fryers to learn – but is one I make time and time again. It is my go-to low carb lunch, especially with air fried broccoli!

Some of the reasons we know you’ll love this super simple flavor packed recipe:

  • These chicken tenders are bursting with flavor – thanks to high heat from the air fryer and NO extra breading!
  • We’re infusing flavor by marinating the chicken with a simple olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice marinade, so you have tons of fresh flavor – and no extra calories or carbs.
  • You can add your own favorite spices and herbs, guilt free!
  • This chicken takes less than 20 minutes to cook and is super simple – toss it in the air fryer, flip, and you’re done. That’s all it takes for a knockout chicken tender dinner!
naked chicken tenders in a white dish with lemon slices next to them

How to Make Naked Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer

To make this recipe, you need the following ingredients and equipment:

  • Chicken breast strips
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Lemon juice
  • Paprika
  • Onion powder
  • Italian herbs
  • Air Fryer
unbreaded chicken tenders in an air fryer

Once you’ve gathered everything, we will use the following process:

  • Prep. Combine ingredients in a bag or large bowl and cover for 20-30 minutes, up to overnight. (Refrigerate if marinating longer than 20 minutes.)
  • Preheat. Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees. Spray inside of air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Air fry. Remove chicken tenders from marinade and place in prepared, preheated air fryer basket. Air fry 8 minutes at 400 degrees. Flip chicken, cook additional 8 minutes. Check internal temperature – keep cooking and flipping every 2-4 minutes until chicken reaches 165 degrees at the thickest part of chicken tender.
  • Rest & serve! Remove from air fryer and let rest 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
air fried chicken tender being dipped in a bowl of ketchup

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Naked Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer & FAQs

Air fry at 400. For the best results, we prefer to air fry chicken tenders at 400 degrees, flipping often to ensure even cooking time and lots of golden browned bits.

Prep before air frying to make it nonstick. Prepare air fryer basket by preheating at 400 degrees and then spraying a bit of nonstick cooking spray into basket, then adding chicken.

Go by temp, not time. Cook 8 minutes, flip, and cook another 8 – and check internal temperature of chicken. Continue to air fry until chicken tenders are fully cooked. How long you air fry chicken tenders depends on a couple of factors – how hot your air fryer cooks at, if your air fryer was preheated, and how large your chicken tenders are cut – making it a bit tricky to give an exact cooking time. Chicken tenders will generally take 15-20 minutes in the air fryer to cook. Please go by chicken’s internal temperature, not time on the clock, to gauge when your chicken is done cooking.

Marinate first. The marinade serves two functions – to help keep chicken tender and moist and keep it from drying out – and also loads chicken up with tons of lemon and garlic flavor without adding extra calories to chicken breasts.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
  • optional: 1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon zest, up to 6 lightly crushed garlic cloves, 1 minced shallot, and 1 teaspoon aleppo pepper

Recipe FAQs

When are air fried chicken tenders done?

Chicken is fully cooked at 165 degrees internal temperature.

How long do air fried chicken tenders last?

Air fried chicken tenders can last for up to four days in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

unbreaded chicken tenders in a white dish with lemon slices next to them

What to Serve With Naked Chicken Tenders

If you’re looking for a delicious, healthy, hearty, and low carb side dish, be sure to check out some of our favorites below:

You can find the rest of our chicken recipe index here.

naked chicken tenders in a white dish with lemon slices next to them and chopped parsley on top

Air Fryer Naked Chicken Tenders Recipe

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naked chicken tenders in a white dish with lemon slices next to them and a bowl of ketchup on the table

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naked chicken tenders in a white dish with lemon slices next to them

Air Fryer Naked Chicken Tenders

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Marinate Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 43 minutes

Air Fryer Naked Chicken Tenders Recipe - easy keto chicken tenders loaded with garlic lemon flavor right from the air fryer!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pounds chicken breast strips
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
  • optional: 1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon zest, up to 6 lightly crushed garlic cloves, 1 minced shallot, and 1 teaspoon aleppo pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients in a bag or large bowl and cover for 20-30 minutes, up to overnight. (Refrigerate if marinating longer than 20 minutes.)
  2. Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees.
  3. Spray inside of air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Remove chicken tenders from marinade and place in prepared, preheated air fryer basket.
  5. Air fry 8 minutes at 400 degrees.
  6. Flip chicken, cook additional 8 minutes. Check internal temperature - keep cooking and flipping every 2-4 minutes until chicken reaches 165 degrees at the thickest part of chicken tender.
  7. Remove from air fryer and let rest 5 minutes before serving.
  8. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 271Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 120mgSodium 113mgCarbohydrates 4gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 46g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

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About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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