If you're looking for a holiday meal to serve small groups or an intimate dinner party, try this Air Fryer Turkey Tenderloin recipe. It's an easy weeknight meal or a great recipe for holiday gatherings.
The holiday season is a great time to gather with friends and family over a delicious meal. If you're hosting a large crowd, roasting a whole turkey makes sense.
But when you're looking for an easy turkey recipe to feed six people or less, it's the mighty Air Fryer to the rescue!
You already know how amazing the air fryer is for everyday dinners for busy weeknights. Family favorites like Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken, Air Fryer Turkey Meatloaf, and Air Fryer Whole Chicken come together in a snap.
So it should come as no surprise that you can also cook an entire holiday meal in your air fryer as well. This easy air fryer turkey tenderloin recipe is the perfect way to feed small groups.
The turkey comes out moist and tender and oh so flavorful every time!
🦃 What is turkey tenderloin?
Turkey tenderloin is a specific cut of meat that comes from the turkey's chest or breast area.
It is a small, elongated, boneless piece of meat. The tenderloin is typically attached to the underside of the breast. This cut is known for being lean and tender.
Because of its smaller size and tenderness, turkey tenderloin is well-suited for quicker cooking methods like air frying. If you've never made turkey tenderloin in the air fryer before, I think you'll be hooked after trying this recipe!
🌟 Why this recipe works
I fell in love with cooking turkey in the air fryer. And thanks to this recipe, I will always make air fryer turkey tenderloin for weeknight dinners and small dinner parties from now on!
- Fast - Air frying has less cooking time than traditional roasting.
- Tender and juicy meat - The air fryer's circulating hot air helps lock in moisture.
- Crispy exterior - Air fryer cooking gives this tender cut of meat a golden, crispy skin.
- Even cooking - The consistent heat of the air fryer ensures even cooking throughout.
- Compact size - Perfect for smaller holiday gatherings.
- Healthier option - You'll use less oil compared to deep frying.
🛒 Ingredient notes
This turkey tenderloin air fryer recipe calls for simple ingredients.
- Turkey tenderloin - You can find turkey tenderloin in your local grocery store meat section. It's usually packaged with two tenderloins in one package.
- Olive oil - Use extra virgin olive oil to coat the tenderloins.
- Seasonings - You'll need garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, thyme, rosemary, kosher salt and ground black pepper.
✅ Step-by-step instructions
A full ingredient list with measurements and detailed air frying instructions are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. But here's a visual guide with step-by-step photos to help you make the most delicious air fryer turkey!
- Pat the turkey tenderloins dry with paper towels.
- Rub the olive oil over all sides of the tenderloins.
3. Whisk together all of the seasonings in a small bowl. Then pat the seasoning mixture over the entire turkey tenderloins.
4. Place the seasoned turkey tenderloin in the air fryer basket. I use my Ninja Dual Zone Air Fryer which has two baskets, and cook one tenderloin in each basket. If you have a single basket air fryer, you can either cook in batches or place a rack in the basket to cook both at the same time.
5. Set the air fryer to 360°F for 10 minutes.
6. After 10 minutes, flip the tenderloins over and air fry at 360°F for another 10 minutes. Depending on the size of your turkey tenderloins and your air fryer, most are done cooking in 20-25 minutes total cook time.
7. Allow the turkey meat to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
While the turkey is resting, you can make the gravy!
Make the gravy
- Pour the drippings from the air fryer basket(s) into a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Pour in the chicken broth, then whisk in the flour.
- Continue whisking until the flour has dissolved into the sauce, and until the gravy thickens up to your liking.
Serve the gravy along with the turkey tenderloin.
👩🏻🍳 Turkey FAQs
Turkey breast and turkey tenderloin are two different cuts of meat, and require slightly different cooking times. You can follow our recipe for Air Fryer Turkey Breast if you end up getting turkey breast instead of turkey tenderloins.
Allow the meat to cool, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Pour the gravy into a mason jar and close the lid tightly. Or pour into another airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
🍽 Serving ideas
Whether you are serving this air fryer recipe for Thanksgiving or for an everyday meal, there are so many delicious side dishes that compliment this flavorful turkey.
For Thanksgiving dinner:
- Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Cranberry Stuffing with Wild Rice
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Whipped Sweet Potatoes
- Air Fryer Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus
- Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Rolls
For busy weeknight dinners:
🍷 🥂 Wine pairings for turkey
I always serve two wines with Thanksgiving dinner: one white wine and one red wine. And, I always choose the same two varietals because they pair perfectly with turkey!
Chardonnay - Chardonnay is always a great option to pair with any turkey dish. Slightly oaked Chardonnay has a full mouthfeel and balanced acidity that can complement the smokiness and seasonings of air fryer turkey.
Pinot Noir - For those who prefer red wine, a light to medium-bodied Pinot Noir is the perfect turkey pairing. Pinot Noir's red fruit flavors and subtle earthy notes that can harmonize with the flavors and tenderness of the turkey without overwhelming it.
🍳 Kitchen tools and equipment
Ready to make this recipe? Here are the kitchen tools and equipment you'll need:
- Air fryer - You'll need an air fryer that is at least 8 quarts in size. I use either my Ninja Dual Zone air fryer or my Ninja Foodi XL Deluxe Air Fryer to make this turkey recipe.
- Tongs - Use kitchen tongs to flip over the turkey meat halfway through air frying.
- Cutting board and knife - Have a large cutting board and sharp knife ready to slice the turkey once it's done air frying.
- Small saucepan - Use a small saucepan to make the gravy.
- Whisk - You will need a whisk to stir together the seasoning and also to whisk together the gravy.
🍂 Free Thanksgiving Planner Printable
Want a printable Thanksgiving timeline, turkey thawing chart, and more Thanksgiving recipes? Click on the image below to download the free Thanksgiving Planner printable.
More Thanksgiving recipes
Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to leave a 5-Star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card, and if you really loved it, please leave a comment further down on the page. Thank you!
Air Fryer Turkey Tenderloin with Gravy
- Preheat the air fryer at 360°F for 5 minutes.
- Pat the turkey tenderloin dry with paper towels.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika. rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Rub the seasoning all over the turkey tenderloin(s)
- Spray the air fryer basket(s) with cooking spray.
- Place the seasoned turkey tenderloin in the basket(s).
- Air fry at 360°F for 10 minutes. Flip the tenderloin(s) over.
- Air fry for another 10 minutes, of until an internal thermometer has a reading of 165°F.
- Allow the turkey to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, make the gravy.
Make the gravy
- Pour the drippings from the air fryer basket(s) into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Pour in the chicken broth, then whisk in the flour. Continue whisking until the flour has dissolved into the sauce, and until the gravy thickens up to your liking. Serve alongside the turkey tenderloin.
- Make sure you have approximately 1-½ pounds of turkey tenderloin. One package usually comes with two turkey tenderloins.
- Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to work in batches.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.