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Air Fryer Turkey Breast Tenderloin

If you are looking for an easy way to get a little extra turkey on your table at Thanksgiving this year, but your oven is out of space, then make an Turkey Breast Tenderloin in your air fryer.

It is a great way to get additional meat on the table without a lot of extra work. When seasoned tenderloins are placed in the air fryer they are ready to eat in under 30 minutes!

Once they come out of the air fryer, let them rest for a few minutes while everyone gathers around the table. Then slice the meat and serve some of the most delicious turkey breast that you have ever had.

air fryer turkey breast tenderloin sliced
Moist and tender turkey breast tenderloin served as part of Thanksgiving dinner.

I can almost guarantee you that you will be shocked at how tender the meat turns out. Especially since there is no additional liquid or basting required.

The only things required are a few common spices that are often used around the holiday season. Rub a little oil and the seasonings over the tenderloins and place them in a preheated air fryer.

All that is required is for you to flip the meat half way through the cooking process. It is a quick and easy recipe that turns out delicious every time.

What Is Turkey Breast Tenderloin?

You may be wondering if turkey breast tenderloin is the same as a whole turkey breast that are commonly sold this time of the year. And the answer is no, they are not the same cut of meat.

Although they come from the same area of the bird, the two types of meat are different and are easily identified by their shape. And for this air fryer recipe, you definitely want to purchase a turkey breast tenderloin.

Think about the visual difference between a pork loin and a pork tenderloin. The pork loin is a thick roast and the tenderloin is a long and slender cut of meat. And visual concept is the same when you are purchasing turkey.

Whether you purchase a whole turkey breast or a boneless breast, what you are actually buying are both turkey breasts attached together. Yes, you can buy a half of a turkey breast, but you get what I am saying.

turkey breast tenderloin
A turkey breast tenderloin is long and slender and will fit inside of most air fryers without needing to be cut.

Turkey Breast Tenderloin

The center cut of meat, where the two breasts attach, is the tenderloin. It is the most tender cut of meat of a turkey because the muscle rarely gets used.

Although you can sometimes purchase it from a butcher shop, it is most often sold in a long, slender, sealed package that looks very similar to the package pork tenderloin is sold in.

You can find it in the refrigerator poultry section of most large grocery stores. Most often it has been seasoned with a garlic herb seasoning or a mesquite dry rub.

However, you can sometimes find unseasoned tenderloins in those sealed packets as well. Although if you can’t find a plain one for Thanksgiving, definitely opt for the garlic herb tenderloin for this recipe.

Equipment Required

1. Air Fryer Oven or Air Fryer Basket

You can make this turkey tenderloin recipe in an air fryer oven or air fryer basket. However, depending on the size of your air fryer basket, you may need to cut the turkey tenderloin in pieces.

And if you are cooking two tenderloins and you have a small 3-4 quart air fryer, you may need to cook them in batches.

However, if you have an air fryer oven like my NuWave Air Fryer or something similar, you can make up to 4 tenderloins at the same time. Although, you will need to use two racks to have enough space for the meat to cook.

checking internal temperature of meat with digital thermometer
It is important to use an instant read digital thermometer to know when to remove the tenderloins from the air fryer.

2. High Heat Oil

Although you aren’t frying the turkey tenderloin, you will still need a little oil. This will help prevent the meat from sticking to the surface and also allow the seasonings to adhere to the meat.

However, not all oil is created equal. Because you will be cooking the turkey at a high temperature, a high heat oil is required.

The best type of oil to use when cooking at 400°F is olive, canola, avocado or grapeseed oil. They all have a higher smoke point and are suitable to use in this recipe.

3. Seasonings

Although the ingredient list looks rather long, the majority of it are items that you most likely already have in your spice cabinet. However, if you don’t have a certain spice, you can easily make some substitutions.

For instance, I use smoked paprika as one of my main ingredients in just about every dry rub that I make. From Air Fryer Salmon, Chicken Wings, and Pulled Pork, it is a spice that I use often.

However, if you don’t have it in your kitchen, use sweet or Hungarian paprika instead. And if you find yourself without thyme, rosemary or sage, substitute poultry seasoning.

The point here is that you can use some common substitutions and still have a delicious and moist tenderloin on the table by using what you have.

cooked turkey tenderloin on white plate
Once you remove the tenderloin from the air fryer, allow it to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

4. Instant Read Digital Thermometer

My biggest recommendation when cooking any sort of meat is to use an Instant Read Digital Thermometer. This will help you determine when the meat is ready. And this is especially true when cooking turkey breast tenderloin in an air fryer.

Turkey breast meat can become very dry if overcooked. However, when cooked to the correct temperature it will be moist and delicious.

Turkey is safe to eat when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). However, I recommend removing the tenderloin from the heat once it reaches 160°F.

As the meat rests, it will continue to rise in temperature. This will allow the meat to reach the safe temperature without drying out.

Air Fryer Turkey Breast Tenderloin Recipe

*Specific measurements and complete recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to continue to read the tips and tricks to making this recipe below.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-2 Turkey breast tenderloins
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp dry ground sage
  • ¼ tsp fine ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the air fryer at 400°F (200°C). If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheat setting let it run with the temperature set at 400°F while you prepare the turkey breast tenderloin.

It should run for at least 5 minutes before placing the turkey in the basket, but it is okay to run longer. While the air fryer is heating up pat the tenderloins dry with paper towels.

Then coat all sides with olive oil or another type of high heat oil. Set the meat aside.

In a small bowl add the spices and mix until well incorporated. Then sprinkle the dry rub over the tenderloins, coating all sides.

turkey tenderloin on plate with thanksgiving side dishes
Cooked turkey tenderloin is perfect to serve as part of Thanksgiving dinner, or for a quick and easy meal any day of the week.

Place the coated turkey breast tenderloins into the basket or tray that has been coated with the high heat oil. Air fry at 400°F for 20 minutes.

Half way through the cooking process, flip the tenderloins over for even browning. Check the thickest part of the tenderloin with an instant read digital thermometer.

The meat is ready when the thermometer reads 160°F at the thickest point. Remove the turkey from the air fryer and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy! Mary

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Air Fryer Turkey Breast Tenderloin

air fryer turkey breast tenderloin

Moist and delicious turkey breast tenderloin recipe that is cooked in an air fryer. An easy to make recipe that is ready to eat in under 30 minutes!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-2 Turkey breast tenderloins
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp dry ground sage
  • ¼ tsp fine ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat air fryer at 400°F (200°C). If your air fryer doesn't have a preheat setting let it run with the temperature set at 400°F while you prepare the turkey tenderloins. It should run for at least 5 minutes before placing the turkey in the basket, but it is okay to run longer.
  2. Pat tenderloins dry with paper towels. Coat all sides with olive oil. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl add the spices and mix until well incorporated. Sprinkle the dry rub over the tenderloins, coating all sides.
  4. Place the coated turkey breast tenderloins into the air fryer basket or on the air fryer tray and air fry at 400°F for 20 minutes. Half way through the cooking process, flip the tenderloins over.
  5. Check the thickest part of the tenderloin with an instant read digital thermometer. Remove when the meat is at 160°F. It will continue to raise in temperature as it rests.
  6. Remove turkey from air fryer and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

If your turkey breast tenderloins are already seasoned, simply preheat the air fryer and spray the basket with non-stick cooking spray. The temperature and cook time remain the same.

*As always, the cook time will depend on the make and model of your specific air fryer. It is always best to check the meat for doneness 3-4 minutes before the recommended cook time with an instant read digital thermometer.

You can also leave a probe thermometer inside the meat as it cooks.

Recipe provided by Make Your Meals

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 106Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 142mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 12g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

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