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Air fryer turkey tenderloin on a cast iron tray with print napkin and flatware.

Air Fryer Turkey Tenderloins

Tamara Andersen
Turkey tenderloins with a Mexican twist, and an easy citrus brine if you have the time!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Brining Time (Optional) 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 45 mins
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8 servings
Calories 175 kcal


Herb and Citrus Brined Turkey Tenderloins

  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 each orange, lime, lemon cut in wedges; see notes below!
  • 2 teaspoons peppercorns
  • 5 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 sprigs cilantro or epazote smashed to release oils
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 pounds turkey tenderloin see notes below

Mexican Spiced Panko Breading

  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon ground red chile chipotle, ancho, New Mexico red chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground annatto/achiote see notes below
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • zest of 1 orange
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt


  • Dissolve the salt in the water. I use the microwave.
  • Add the remaining brine ingredients to a bowl with the dissolved salt water. Stir to combine.
  • Add the turkey tenderloin pieces. Push them down into the brine. Move the pieces around periodically for 2-4 hours.
  • Add all of the ingredients for the breading - panko, spices, salt, zest - to a bowl. Use your hands to thoroughly combine.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 400° for 5 minutes. Spread the breading mixture out in a shallow tray or bowl. Press each tenderloin into the breading to coat.
  • Place the breaded tenderloins in the air fryer. Set for 20-25 minutes. Flip them after 10 minutes.
  • Check the internal temperature. It should read160-165° F. Rest the turkey for a few minutes before slicing the turkey tenderloin into 1" pieces.


Turkey tenderloins typically come in a package of 2, and the package weighs 1 ½ to 2 pounds.
Ground annatto/achiote imparts a deep red color and an earthy flavor. It is totally optional. It affects the color more than the flavor of the breading.
Before you cut the orange in wedges for the brine, zest it for the breading!
Nutrition information is based on 8 servings and 2 pounds of turkey tenderloin. The brine does not add calories, and not all of the panko breading clings to the turkey. 


Serving: 4ouncesCalories: 175kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 22gFat: 1g
Keyword air fryer recipes, air fryer turkey breast, air fryer turkey tenderloin, brined turkey tender loin, Mexican turkey tenderloin
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