You’ll love these air fried frozen chicken strips. They come out so CRISPY & EASY in the air fryer. Kids love these crispy air fryer frozen chicken tenders for snacks, lunch, or dinner.

Cooked tenders in bowl

How to Cook Air Fried Frozen Breaded Chicken Strips

Frozen chicken tenders or strips are sold in 2 ways: frozen fully cooked or frozen raw.

  • Fully Cooked breaded frozen chicken tenders are super easy to cook in the air fryer. They can go straight from the freezer to the air fryer and cooked in minutes. You’re basically just re-heating the frozen chicken strips to be crunchy and warm in the air fryer. You don’t need to spray the chicken because there’s plenty already when it was pre-cooked.
  • RAW: There’s also frozen raw chicken strips, where the breading is pre-cooked but the chicken is raw. Timing between the frozen pre-cooked and raw differs by a few minutes. You still need to check to make sure the brand you bought cooks all the way through. Start by checking the strips after 10 minutes. And then cook for additional time to make sure it’s cooked and crispy to your liking. All air fryers cook a little differently, so you’ll have to adjust timing after you air fry your first batch of chicken strips.
  • Make sure to lay these frozen chicken tenders in a single layer in your air fryer basket or air fryer oven tray so they can cook evenly.
  • All air fryer chicken strip recipe details are in the recipe box below.
  • Pro-Tip: here’s our favorite tools to help make air frying easier:
Evo Oil Sprayer
Evo Oil Sprayer

We LOVE Evo Oil Sprayers. Not the prettiest, but they’re functional and spritz oil great! They don’t clog up like many others we’ve bought. There’s different styles, but all seem to have the same great spray head. Works great for grilling!

8.5" Square Blue Silicone Mat
Perforated Silicone Mat

There are Square Mats & Round Mats. These perforated non-stick silicone mats are used to cook food in your air fryer or steamer to minimize sticking. Holes allow hot circulating air to cook the food & keeps the food from sticking.

Perforated Parchment Paper
Perforated Parchment Paper

Parchment sheets are great for your air fryer or bamboo steamer (food tends to stick most on wire basket or tray). Choose from different sizes, shapes, white and brown (unbleached). Holes allow air to cook food evenly.

Air Fried Frozen Chicken Strips Tenders in Air Fryer in a basket

Video: Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Strips or Tenders

Different Breadings on Frozen Chicken Strips or Tenders

With so many different brands of frozen chicken strips, there comes different breading styles too. We tested several brands including great value chicken strips, tyson crispy chicken strips, Targets brand and Foster Farms.

  • Japanese panko, Italian style bread crumbs, gluten free, and keto pork rinds are just a few examples of what you can buy on the market.
  • These bags of frozen tenders will also have different sizes of chicken. But after you make your first batch, you’ll know best for what works for your model of air fryer and specific brand of tenders.
  • Timings will be slightly different between brands, so start air frying at the shortest time we suggest. From there, check on the chicken strips and cook for a few more minutes until the chicken tenders are to your preferred crispness and doneness.
Air Fried Frozen Chicken Strips Tenders in Air Fryer |

Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Strips

There's several things which affect how the frozen chicken strips cook. They all vary in size, thickness, type and heaviness of the breading so you’ll have to adjust timing. For best and even cooking, don't overcrowd the basket. Fill just an even single layer of chicken strips.
If using RAW breaded chicken strips, add an extra minute or two if needed to make sure it is cooked through. All air fryers are different and some cook much hotter than others. Once you cook your first batch of chicken strips, you’ll know more of what works for your model of air fryer and size of food. These were tested on basket style air fryers. Read more recipe notes below the recipe. Nutrition will vary from brand to brand and will depend on the type of coating.
5 from 5 votes

{click on stars to rate}


  • 12 ounces (170 g) Frozen Chicken Strips (Tenders) (about 4 strips)
  • optional dipping sauce (ketchup, bbq sauce, mustard, hot sauce, ranch, etc.)



  • Place the frozen chicken strips in the air fryer basket and spread out into a single even layer. No oil spray is needed.
    Frozen chicken strips in the air fryer
  • Air Fry at 400°F/205°C for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken over.
    Flipping chicken strips over using tongs
  • Continue to cook at 400°F/205°C for another 2-5 minutes or until cooked through and crispy.
    Cooked chicken tenders in air fryer basket
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauce if desired.
    Cooked chicken tenders on plate with bowl of ketchup


Air Frying Tips and Notes:
  1. No Oil Necessary. Cook Frozen – Do not thaw first.
  2. Shake or turn if needed. Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket.
  3. Recipe timing is based on a non-preheated air fryer. If cooking in multiple batches of chicken strips back to back, the following batches may cook a little quicker. 
  4. Recipes were tested in 3.7 to 6 qt. air fryers. If using a larger air fryer, the chicken might cook quicker so adjust cooking time.
  5. Remember to set a timer to shake/flip/toss as directed in recipe.

If your air fryer is preheated or if you are cooking multiple batches, you may need to reduce timing by a few minutes (unless preheating is called for in the recipe).


YouTube video

Nutrition Information per Serving

Calories: 190kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 480mg, Fiber: 1g

Easy Chicken Recipes in the Air Fryer

If you love air frying chicken, we have these delicious recipe ideas for you:

Great dip ideas for chicken tenders

  • Can’t go wrong with classic mustard and ketchup is always great.
  • Creamy buttermilk ranch is great for dipping chicken strips from the air fryer
  • Tarter sauce isn’t just for seafood. Try it on your next batch of chicken tenders. The creamy, tangy flavors are excellent.
  • Thousand island is great on burgers, hot dogs AND chicken strips .
  • Hot sauce is always awesome. There’s so many different kinds like chili crunch or chili oil is a great flavor option. The crunch of the onion and garlic is so good on crispy chicken.
  • BBQ sauce adds a fantastic smoky flavor
  • Pickled red onions and other pickles.
  • Cheese dips are great like different types of queso
  • Honey mustard sauce is super yummy

You Might Love these other Air Fryer Recipes

How to cook frozen foods

How did your air fryer chicken tenders come out?

If you made this please share your results in the comments! there’s so many different types of wings and air fryers that time and temp changes. So it helps to share your model air fryer, time and temp that works best of you. Thanks friends! Hope you enjoy these air fried frozen chicken strips! Here’s an easy homemade chicken strips recipe.