Chicken tenders are a classic dish that can be enjoyed by pretty much everyone. And, with an air fryer, they’re super-easy to make! In this recipe, we’re creating some delicious naked keto air fryer chicken tenders. They’re marinated in Greek flavors and then cooked until golden brown. So good!
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For my family of four, I absolutely love a quick weeknight meal. I want it to be low carb, delicious, healthy, and EASY. With this keto air fryer chicken tenders recipe, I can definitely say this dish ticks all of those boxes! And, it’s one that both my kids and husband absolutely love too.
So serve with your favorite dipping sauce or on their own, they’re going to be a total hit in your house as well!
What I love the most about this recipe is that you can easily meal prep it ahead of time. Simply make the marinade, add the chicken tenders, and then store it all in the fridge until you’re ready to cook. Whenever you’re ready, just pop them in the air fryer and you’ll have a delicious meal in no time at all.
So, if you’re looking for an easy and tasty keto recipe, look no further than this keto air fry chicken tender recipe!
What are keto air fryer chicken tenders?
Keto air fryer chicken tenders are a low carb version of the classic dish. They’re marinated in a keto-friendly Greek style marinade and then cooked until golden brown in an air fryer.
How are air fryer chicken tenders keto?
The main difference between regular chicken strips and keto chicken strips is that I make them naked. What??
Yes, naked, meaning no breading. They are NOT breaded chicken tenders.
I like to use a marinade to add flavor, and it’s super simple to do. I much prefer a marinade to the mess of trying to make an egg wash and dipping in pork panko (crushed pork rinds) or almond flour breading, or breaded chicken tenders.
📏 Keto chicken strips macros
Let’s take a look at the macros.
This recipe for keto chicken tenders makes 6 servings. One serving has 235 calories, 35 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, and only 1 gram of carbs per serving.
These macros for easy keto chicken tenders are figured with MyFitnessPal, with the ingredients I use in the recipe. I always recommend figuring out your own with the exact items/brands you use. It’s especially important to determine your own if you’re keeping close track and want to be accurate.
🍽 Equipment needed to make keto chicken tenderloins
The first and most obvious kitchen item you’ll need to make these naked chicken tenders is an air fryer. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend getting one. They are so stinkin’ handy and great for a keto diet!
The second item is a large Ziploc bag or container with a lid to marinate the keto chicken tenders. Nice!
I like to use my Ninja Foodi Air Fryer, but really most air fryers will work. You don’t need any extra air fryer accessories to cook the chicken tenderloin other than the air fryer basket.
🥘 Ingredients in low carb air fryer chicken tenders
The keto air fryer chicken tender marinade only has a few ingredients and they’re all keto-friendly. Here’s what you need:
chicken breasts – I like to use chicken breast tenderloins, but really any cut of chicken breast will work. Just be sure to cut it into even strips so they cook evenly.
extra-virgin olive oil – Or you could also use avocado oil because it has a high smoke point and is keto-friendly.
lemon juice – freshly squeezed lemon juice is best, but you could also use the bottled kind.
garlic cloves – Use fresh minced or crushed garlic if possible, but you could also use garlic powder or granules.
dried rosemary – This is a must in my opinion! It really adds a lot of flavor to the keto chicken tenders.
dried thyme – Thyme goes so well with the rosemary and chicken and gives it that Greek flavor.
red pepper flakes – This is totally optional, but I like a little bit of heat in my keto air fryer chicken tenders. If you don’t have red pepper flakes, you can also use cayenne pepper. If you don’t like heat, you can leave this out.
🔪 Instructions: How to make naked air fryer chicken tenders
Now that we know what keto air fryer chicken is and what ingredients we need to make it, let’s talk about how to actually air fry chicken tenders.
The first thing you need to do is make the marinade. Simply combine all of the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl or a Ziploc bag and mix it up until everything is evenly combined.
Next, add the chicken strips to the bag or bowl and coat them in the marinade. Be sure to get all sides of the chicken strips coated. Then, seal the bag or container and place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. I like to marinate mine for a few hours or even overnight, but 30 minutes will do the trick.
⏲ Cook time
When ready to cook, preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees F. Remove the gluten free chicken tenders from the marinade and discard any excess. If you’re worried about them sticking to the fryer basket, you can use avocado or olive oil spray, but generally, they won’t stick.
Now arrange the chicken tenders in a single layer in the air fryer basket and cook for 15 minutes, flipping once halfway through cooking time. Do this until they are golden brown and cooked through.
This means their internal temperature should reach 165 degrees F.
Depending on the size of the air fryer, you may need to cook in batches until all the keto chicken tenders are ready.
They can be served immediately plain or with one of your favorite sauces, sugar free of course!
💭 Top tip
If you want to make sure your keto air fryer chicken tenders are extra crispy, you can always dredge them in a little bit of almond flour and parmesan cheese before cooking. I don’t usually do this, but if you want that extra crunch, go for it!
🥣 Dipping sauces for juicy chicken
Sugar free ketchup – This is my go-to keto dipping sauce because it’s sweet, tangy and has the perfect consistency for dipping.
Mustard – I love using mustard as a dipping sauce because it gives the chicken a little bit of a spicy kick.
Ranch dressing – Ranch dressing (a good sugar free version) is always a good idea in my opinion! I did live in Texas for a while after all, and Ranch is everywhere!
BBQ sauce – Another great keto-friendly dipping sauce option is BBQ sauce. Just make sure you check the label or make your own to be sure it’s a sugar free and gluten free version before using.
Garlic aioli – This keto garlic aioli (spicy garlic dip) is to die for and would be perfect for dipping keto air fryer chicken!
Keto dill dip – This keto dill dip is so flavorful and would go well with the chicken.
Keto taco dip – Who doesn’t love taco dip?! This keto taco dip would be perfect for dipping keto air fryer chicken!
🧊 To freeze for meal prep
If you wish to meal prep, after step 2, remove all the air from the 1-gallon freezer bag containing the chicken and marinade and freeze.
Then simply thaw the frozen chicken tenderloins overnight in the refrigerator when ready to use and continue with the instructions on how to air fry.
How to grill keto chicken tenders
Preheat the grill and grill the chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. If desired, baste with the extra marinade.
Slow cooker keto chicken tenders
Pour the marinade and chicken tenders into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.
Baked keto chicken tenders
Place the marinated chicken tenders in a casserole dish or on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 25-35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
🍲 How to store air fryer keto chicken tenders
Leftover keto air fryer chicken tenders can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat, simply place them on a plate and microwave for 30-60 seconds or until heated through. You could also reheat them in the air fryer if desired.
🥶 Can you freeze leftover chicken tenders?
Yes! These keto air fryer chicken tenders freeze really well. Just place them in a freezer-safe bag or container and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat chicken tenders, simply thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and place them on a plate or baking dish. Then microwave them for 30-60 seconds or until heated through.
You could also reheat them in the oven or air fry them if you wish.
👩🍳 Related keto recipes
Keto air fryer chicken tenders are the perfect easy recipe and healthy weeknight meal! They’re packed with flavor, super simple to make, and best of all, they’re keto and low carb. Air frying is one of my favorite ways to make juicy low carb chicken tenders.
Serve them plain or with your favorite dipping sauce for a delicious meal the whole family will love.
📌 Pin the keto recipe here:
🖨 Printable recipe card
- 1/3 cup lemon juice (about one medium lemon)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves (minced or crushed in a garlic press)
- 2 tbsp dried rosemary (or 1/4 cup fresh chopped)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
- Begin by making the Greek marinade for the chicken. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper.
- Place chicken tenderloins in a large resealable bag or container and pour marinade over top. Marinate for at least 30 minutes (or preferably overnight).
- When ready to cook, preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees F. Remove chicken from the marinade and discard any excess. Arrange chicken tenders in a single layer in the air fryer basket and cook for 15 minutes, flipping once halfway through cooking time, until golden brown and cooked through. The internal temperature should reach 165 degrees F.
- Depending on the size of the air fryer repeat the cooking process until all chicken tenders are ready.
- Serve immediately plain or with sugar free dipping sauce.
To freeze: If you wish to meal prep, after step 2, remove all the air from the 1-gallon freezer bag containing the chicken and marinade and freeze. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator when ready to use and continue with step 3.
Grilled keto chicken tenders: Preheat the grill and grill the chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. If desired, baste with marinade.
Slow cooker keto chicken tenders: Pour the marinade and chicken tenders into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.
Baked keto chicken tenders: Place the marinated chicken tenders in a casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 25-35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 235Total Fat: 9gCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 35g
*Nutrition Facts per MyFitnessPal.com. For the most accurate facts, calculate your own with the exact ingredients you use in the recipe. Only half of the marinade was calculated in the nutrition facts as much is discarded after use.
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Please be aware I am not a medical specialist or a nutritional professional. On this blog, I share recipes and what works for me. Please do not take anything on this blog as medical advice and always consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program.
I use MyFitnessPal dot com to calculate the nutrition facts as a courtesy to my readers. I also remove erythritol from the final carb count and net carb count because does not affect my own blood glucose levels.
These calculations are as accurate as possible, but it’s best to independently figure out nutritional data on your own with the specific ingredients you use. I expressly disclaim any and all liability of any kind with respect to any act or omission wholly or in part in reliance on anything contained in this website.