Ninja Air Fryer Chicken Tenders: Easy & Crispy Recipe Guide

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Are you tired of the same old dinners? Chicken tenders are a family favorite, but frying them can be messy and unhealthy. Good news! You can make crispy, juicy chicken tenders with a Ninja Air Fryer Chicken Tenders.

This method is quick and less greasy than traditional frying.

Our Ninja Air Fryer Chicken Tenders guide offers an easy and delicious way to cook this classic dish. With simple ingredients and clear instructions, we’ll show you how to make golden, flavorful chicken in about 30 minutes.

These air fryer chicken tenders are perfect for busy weeknights.

Get ready for your new go-to meal!

Ninja Foodi Lemon Pepper Chicken Tenders Recipe

Prepare your Ninja Foodi Lemon Pepper Chicken Tenders by gathering the ingredients and making substitutions as needed. Then, follow the preparation steps before air frying them to crispy perfection in your Ninja Air Fryer.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Crafting crispy and golden Ninja Air Fryer chicken tenders is a breeze with the right ingredients. This easy-to-follow recipe ensures your chicken tenders are not only delicious but also healthier than deep-fried versions.

  1. Chicken Tenders: You’ll need about 1 pound of chicken tenders. For a vegetarian alternative, consider soy-based strips or seitan.
  2. Olive Oil: Drizzle 2 tablespoons to help the seasoning stick and crisp up the tenders. Coconut oil is a great substitute for those looking for a different flavor profile.
  3. Lemon Pepper Seasoning: Use 1 tablespoon for that zesty kick. If you prefer, you can make your own mix using lemon zest and cracked black pepper.
  4. Garlic Powder: Add 1 teaspoon to enhance the taste. Fresh minced garlic can be used as well for deeper flavor, but adjust to half a teaspoon since it’s more potent.
  5. Paprika: A half teaspoon will do to add both color and a subtle warmth. Smoked paprika works wonderfully if you’re aiming for a smokier taste.
  6. Salt and Black Pepper: Season according to your preference, keeping in mind that some lemon pepper seasonings already contain salt.

Substituting ingredients allows you to tailor the recipe to your taste or dietary needs without compromising on the crispy goodness of air fryer chicken strips. Each ingredient plays its role in creating those perfect, crispy golden chicken tenders that kids and adults alike will love. Whether wrapped in bacon or served with curly fries, these homemade Ninja Foodi chicken tenders offer a quick and flavorful meal solution any day of the week.


  1. Coat the chicken tenders with a mixture of olive oil, salt, and your choice of seasoning in a large bowl.
  2. Place the seasoned chicken tenders in a shallow dish and let them marinate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and additional seasonings as desired for dredging the marinated chicken tenders.
  4. Remove the marinated chicken tenders from the refrigerator and coat each piece evenly with the seasoned flour mixture.
  5. Preheat the Ninja Foodi or air fryer to 400°F (200°C) to ensure it’s hot before adding the prepared chicken tenders.
  6. Once preheated, arrange the coated chicken tenders in a single layer in the air fryer basket or on the air frying tray, ensuring they are not crowded.

Air Frying Instructions

To continue from the preparation stage, here are the air frying instructions for your Ninja Foodi Lemon Pepper Chicken Tenders:

  1. Place the marinated chicken tenders in a single layer in the air fryer basket or on the tray, ensuring they are not overcrowded.
  2. Preheat the Ninja Foodi to 375°F to ensure even cooking and maximum crispiness.
  3. Set the timer for 12 – 15 minutes and cook, flipping the chicken tenders halfway through to ensure they are evenly cooked on both sides.
  4. Check for doneness by cutting into one of the thickest pieces to make sure there’s no pink inside and that they are fully cooked.
  5. Once done, remove the crispy chicken tenders from the air fryer and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.

Enjoy your perfectly crispy and juicy Ninja Air Fryer Chicken Tenders!

Tips for Cooking Chicken Tenders in Different Air Fryers

Cooking chicken tenders in different air fryer models requires adjusting cooking time and temperature settings according to the specific features of each. The Ninja Foodi Grill, Ninja Speedi, basket air fryers, and oven air fryers all have their unique cooking dynamics.

Ninja Foodi Grill

The Ninja Foodi Grill offers a convenient way to air fry chicken tenders to crispy perfection. With its specialized grilling function, the Ninja Foodi Grill ensures even cooking and a delicious charred flavor on the outside of the tenders.

Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill w/ 4-Quart Air Fryer with Roast
Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill w/ 4-Quart Air Fryer with Roast
Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill w/ 4-Quart Air Fryer with Roast
Our Score

The Ninja Foodi AG302 Indoor Grill is a versatile kitchen powerhouse. Combining a grill, air fryer, roast, bake, and dehydrator functions, this 5-in-1 appliance delivers exceptional cooking results. Its Cyclonic Grilling Technology ensures even heat distribution and intense searing at 500°F, while the nonstick, PTFE/PFOA-free surfaces simplify cleaning. With a wide temperature range and various cooking modes, this grill offers convenience and flavorful outcomes without smoke.

  • Versatile Functionality: Offers 5 cooking functions in one unit, making it suitable for grilling, air frying, roasting, baking, and dehydrating, allowing for diverse culinary creations.
  • Advanced Technology: Utilizes Cyclonic Grilling Technology for even heat distribution, resulting in char-grilled marks and flavors without excessive smoke, providing a near-outdoor grilling experience.
  • Easy Maintenance: Nonstick, PTFE/PFOA-free components are dishwasher-safe, simplifying cleaning and maintenance after use.
  • Large Footprint: At 24.8 pounds, it's relatively heavy and may require substantial counter space, potentially challenging for smaller kitchens.
  • Complexity: With multiple functions and settings, it might take time for users to become familiar with all features, requiring some learning curve.
  • High Wattage: The 1760 watts power consumption might lead to higher energy usage compared to conventional kitchen appliances, potentially impacting electricity bills.

The grill feature provides an additional dimension of taste and texture to the chicken tenders, elevating them from ordinary to extraordinary. This versatile appliance is a valuable addition to any kitchen, especially for those who appreciate quick and tasty meals with minimal effort.

When it comes to creating delectable chicken tenders at home, the Ninja Foodi Grill is designed to enhance the cooking experience by providing perfectly grilled results every time.

Whether you are looking for an easy weeknight meal or seeking more than just basic air frying, this appliance unlocks the secrets of achieving flavorful and juicy chicken tenders with that crave-worthy crispiness.

Ninja Speedi

The Ninja Speedi air fryer is perfect for cooking chicken tenders quickly and efficiently. Its rapid air technology ensures that the tenders come out crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside in just a fraction of the time it would take to cook them in a conventional oven.

Ninja SF301 Speedi Rapid Cooker & Air Fryer
Ninja SF301 Speedi Rapid Cooker & Air Fryer
Ninja SF301 Speedi Rapid Cooker & Air Fryer
Our Score

The Ninja SF301 Speedi Rapid Cooker & Air Fryer is a versatile kitchen powerhouse designed to simplify meal preparation. With a 6-quart capacity and 12-in-1 functionality, this appliance offers a multitude of cooking options, from steaming and baking to air frying and slow cooking. Its Rapid Cooking System combines steam and air fry technology for quick, restaurant-quality results. The innovative Smartswitch Functionality allows seamless transitions between modes, making it convenient for diverse cooking needs.

  • Versatile Cooking Options: Offers 12 different cooking functions, allowing users to steam, bake, roast, air fry, slow cook, and more, providing versatility in meal preparation.
  • Time-Efficient: Speedi Meals function enables the creation of complete one-pot meals in just 15 minutes, ideal for busy schedules or quick family dinners.
  • Rapid Cooking System: Blending steam and air fry tech achieves moistness and crispiness together, delivering restaurant-quality results faster.
  • Large Footprint: The spacious design, great for family meals, might take up a lot of counter space, posing a challenge in smaller kitchens.
  • Learning Curve: With multiple functionalities, mastering all cooking modes might take some time, requiring users to familiarize themselves with the various settings.
  • Plastic Material: Some users might prefer alternative materials over plastic due to concerns about long-term durability or heat resistance.

This makes it an ideal appliance for busy home cooks looking to prepare a delicious meal without spending hours in the kitchen.

With its user-friendly interface and sleek design, Ninja Speedi makes air frying chicken tenders not only easy but also enjoyable. The precise temperature control and powerful fan ensure thorough and even cooking, giving you perfectly cooked chicken tenders every time.

Additionally, this versatile air fryer can handle various recipes from frozen to homemade with ease, making it an essential tool for any food enthusiast or those who are fans of the Ninja brand.

Basket Air Fryers

Basket air fryers offer a convenient and efficient way to cook delicious chicken tenders. With their spacious cooking basket, these air fryers provide ample room for the tenders to crisp up evenly without overcrowding.

Ninja DZ071 Foodi 6-in-1 DualZone FlexBasket
Ninja DZ071 Foodi 6-in-1 DualZone FlexBasket
Ninja DZ071 Foodi 6-in-1 DualZone FlexBasket
Our Score

Experience outdoor grilling power on your countertop with the Ninja AG301 Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Electric Grill. Combining grill, air fryer, roast, bake, and dehydrate functions, it offers versatility in a sleek design. Using cyclonic grilling technology, it delivers char-grilled perfection with ease. From frozen to charred in under 25 minutes, defrosting becomes a thing of the past. Enjoy guilt-free indulgence with 75% less fat when air frying. Cleanup is effortless with dishwasher-safe, PTFE/PFOA-free nonstick ceramic-coated components.

  • Versatile Cooking Options: Experience the convenience of multiple cooking functions in one appliance, saving kitchen space and time.
  • Powerful Cyclonic Grilling Technology: Achieve outdoor grill-like results with the high BTU cooking power and cyclonic air circulation, ensuring perfectly cooked food with char-grilled flavor.
  • Easy to Clean: The dishwasher-safe components make cleanup hassle-free, allowing you to spend more time enjoying your meals and less time scrubbing.
  • Size and Weight: As an all-in-one appliance, the Ninja Foodi Grill may be bulkier and heavier compared to single-function devices, requiring ample counter space and storage.
  • Learning Curve: Mastering all the functions and settings of the grill may take some time, especially for those new to this type of appliance.
  • Price: While versatile, the Ninja Foodi Grill's price may deter budget-conscious buyers compared to standalone options.

The circulating hot air ensures that the chicken tenders achieve a golden, crispy exterior while remaining juicy on the inside. Using a basket air fryer also allows for easy monitoring of the cooking process, as you can check on your chicken tenders without disrupting the air frying operation.

For those seeking an uncomplicated yet satisfying meal, basket air fryers are particularly adept at delivering perfectly cooked chicken tenders with minimal effort. Whether it’s frozen chicken tenders or homemade varieties, these versatile appliances cater to all preferences and deliver consistent results every time.

Oven Air Fryers

Oven air fryers are a versatile option for cooking chicken tenders, offering a large capacity perfect for family meals. These air fryers use convection technology to cook the chicken tenders evenly and give them that crispy texture without needing an excessive amount of oil.

Ninja Foodi SP101/FT102CO Digital Fry
Ninja Foodi SP101/FT102CO Digital Fry
Ninja Foodi SP101/FT102CO Digital Fry
Our Score

The renewed Ninja Foodi SP101/FT102CO Digital Fry, Convection Oven, Toaster, and Air Fryer in a sleek stainless steel finish offers a powerhouse of cooking options. With 1800 watts of power, it provides 8 functions including air frying, roasting, baking, and toasting, all in one appliance. Its flip-away design saves 50% space when stored against your backsplash. The appliance boasts XL capacity, accommodating a 13" Pizza, 9 slices of toast, or 6 chicken breasts.

  • Versatile Functions: Offers 8 cooking functions in a single appliance.
  • Space-Saving Design: Flips up for storage, reclaiming countertop space.
  • XL Capacity: Accommodates large meals without sacrificing cooking performance.
  • Renewed Condition: Being renewed, might have previous usage signs.
  • Complex Functions: Multiple functions may require learning and practice.
  • Specific Functions: Some specialized functions may not be frequently used by all users.

The even heat distribution in oven air fryers ensures that the chicken tenders come out golden brown and juicy every time. With the ability to cook multiple servings at once, oven air fryers make it convenient to prepare homemade or frozen chicken tenders for any occasion.

For those who want a hands-off cooking experience, oven air fryers can be set with a timer and temperature control, taking away some of the guesswork from meal prep. Plus, they offer an efficient way to enjoy favorite dishes like extra crispy chicken tenders while minimizing cleanup since most models have dishwasher-safe parts.

Freezing and Cooking Chicken Tenders from Frozen

When cooking chicken tenders from frozen, it is important to give them enough space in the basket to allow for even air circulation. Here’s a step-by-step guide to freezing and cooking chicken tenders directly from the freezer in your Ninja Air Fryer:

  1. Place the frozen chicken tenders in a single layer at the bottom of the air fryer basket.
  2. Set the temperature to 375°F (190°C) and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. After 10 minutes, flip each tender over and continue cooking for an additional 5 – 7 minutes or until they are crispy and golden brown.
  4. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) for food safety.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ninja Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

1. How long does it take to cook chicken tenders in the Ninja Air Fryer? The Ninja Air Fryer typically cooks chicken tenders in 15-20 minutes, depending on their thickness and whether they are fresh or frozen.

2. Can I make gluten-free chicken tenders in the air fryer? Absolutely! You can easily use gluten-free breadcrumbs or a mixture of almond flour and seasonings as a breading for your chicken tenders before air frying them – creating a delicious, crunchy coating without any gluten.

3. What temperature should I set my air fryer to for cooking chicken tenders? Set your air fryer to 375°F (190°C) for crispy, golden-brown chicken tenders. It’s important to preheat the air fryer before adding the tenders for best results.

4. Is it necessary to flip the chicken tenders during cooking? Flipping your chicken tenders halfway through cooking ensures that they cook evenly and develop a uniform crispiness on all sides.

This step is crucial for achieving perfectly cooked and crispy chicken tenders.

5. Can you stack or overlap the chicken tenders in the air fryer basket? To achieve even cooking and optimal crispiness, it’s best not to stack or overlap the chicken tenders in the air fryer basket.

Arrange them in a single layer with some space between each piece for consistent results.


Make Air Fryer Chicken Tenders in a Flash

Discover the perfect guide to creating crispy and delicious Ninja air fryer chicken tenders at home. Explore various recipes and tips for cooking flavorful and juicy chicken tenders using your trusty air fryer.

Embrace the simplicity of preparing kid-friendly meals in just 30 minutes or less, all without the mess of deep frying. Elevate your weeknight dinners with this easy, healthy, and mouthwatering recipe guide.

Unleash your culinary creativity as you master the art of making homemade chicken tenders in an efficient and fuss-free manner. Whether it’s a quick meal for busy evenings or a delightful treat for family gatherings, these air fryer chicken tenders are bound to impress every time.

Get ready to embark on a journey towards effortless cooking with unbeatable results using your Ninja air fryer!


1. Can I cook frozen chicken tenders in a Ninja Air Fryer?

Yes, you can easily cook frozen chicken tenders in a Ninja Air Fryer to get them crispy and delicious without needing to thaw them first.

2. How do I make homemade chicken tenders using the Ninja Air Fryer?

To make homemade chicken tenders, simply coat your poultry in breading or leave them unbreaded if you prefer, then air fry until they are golden and crispy. You can also wrap them in bacon for an extra tasty treat!

3. Is it possible to prepare kid-friendly chicken tenders with the Ninja Air Fryer?

Absolutely! The Ninja Air Fryer allows you to prepare kid-friendly chicken tenders that are both easy and healthy. Try making chicken goujons or serving the tenders with curly fries for a meal children will love.

4. What other types of chicken can I cook in my Ninja Air Fryer besides tenderloins?

Besides tenderloins, you can also cook air fryer chicken breast tenders to perfection. This method is great for creating a variety of dishes that are sure to please everyone at your table.


Rachel Buyan

Hey, I'm Rachel Buyan, a culinary enthusiast with a passion for all things innovative in the kitchen, especially Ninja appliances. From whipping up smoothies to mastering air frying, I'm on a mission to unlock the full potential of these cutting-edge tools. Let's dive into the world of Ninja and revolutionize the way we cook, one delicious meal at a time!

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