Air Fried Chicken Tenders // Crispy + Delicious

Air fried chicken tenders on serving tray with small bowl of ranch and lemon wedges.

Air Fried Chicken Tenders cook up golden & crispy on the outside, but juicy inside. The best part is they can be made in under 20 minutes with just 6-ingredients. A parmesan breadcrumb coating makes them extra delicious. 

Serve these up with a side of buffalo sauce, honey mustard, blue cheese, BBQ sauce or ranch and treat yourself to this healthier indulgence! 

It’s been way too long since I had chicken tenders. Why does it seem that as an adult, we don’t really get the option of ordering them in a restaurant. It seems that they’re always on the kids menu, but we miss out. 

Today I set myself to change all that with these Air Fryer Chicken Tenders.

These chicken fingers are so much healthier than their deep fried counterpart. But, with their golden, crispy exterior, you’d never guess… I even added a bit of parmesan cheese into the mix to make them extra delicious. 

Why Choose an Air Fryer for Chicken Tenders? 

  • The air fryer is great for making chicken fingers because they come out crispy, and juicy without the need for deep fryer, making them lower in calories and fat. 

What Kind of Chicken to Use for Air Fried Chicken Tenders? 

  • Look for chicken tenders in the store, they are already cut into strips and ready to go. If you can’t find chicken tenders, you can also cut chicken breasts into strips. 

Air fryer set to 400 degrees.

Can You Put Raw Chicken in an Air Fryer? 

  • You can definitely cook raw chicken in the air fryer. These chicken tenders can be made with breading or no breading. Either way, they will cook in the air fryer in about 12 minutes, flipping them over halfway through. 

What Kind of Breading to Use for Chicken Fingers? 

  • I like to coat my chicken tenders in a combination of panko, Italian seasoned breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Of course, you can use all pano or all seasoned breadcrumbs, and you can omit the parmesan if you’d like. 

How do I Bread Air Fryer Chicken Tenders? 

  • Set up three shallow bowls. 
  • Flour. 
  • Egg. 
  • Breadcrumb Mixture – Panko, Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, salt & pepper. 
  • Dredge chicken tenders first in flour, then egg, then breadcrumb mixture. 

Air Fried Chicken Tenders Variations: 

  • Air Fryer Buttermilk Chicken Tenders: Marinate the chicken tenders for at least 4 hours, or overnight, then drain and follow recipe as written. 
  • Air Fryer Spicy Chicken Tenders: Add 3 Tablespoons hot sauce to the egg mixture, and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the breading mixture. Follow recipe as written. 
  • Air Fryer Unbreaded Chicken Tenders: Simply skip the breading step and season the tenders with salt and pepper. Cook as directed in recipe card below. 
  • Air Fryer Keto Chicken Tenders: Swap out the panko & breadcrumbs for almond flour. Combine with parmesan cheese and follow recipe as written. Alternatively, you can swap the breadcrumbs for pork rinds. 
  • Air Fryer Pretzel Crusted Chicken Tenders: Swap out the panko & breadcrumbs for pretzels. Follow recipe as written. 

How to Prep the Air Fryer: 

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400-degrees and give it a few minutes to come to temperature before adding the chicken tenders. 

Air fried chicken strip on white plate next to air fryer.

How to Make Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer: 

  • Preheat air fryer to 400-degrees. 
  • Dredge chicken in flour, then eggs, then breadcrumb mixture. 
  • Spray each side of breaded chicken generously with oil. 
  • Cook chicken 5-6 minutes each side, flipping halfway through. 
  • Serve

How Do I Make Tyson Chicken Tenders with an Air Fryer? 

  • To make frozen chicken tenders in the air fryer, preheat the air  to 400-degrees. Add the chicken tenders to the basket and cook for 5-6 minutes, flip over and cook for 5-6 minutes longer until cooked through and golden. 

How Long Do I Cook Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer? 

  • Chicken tenders will take about 12 minutes to cook in the air fryer. Flip them over halfway through to ensure even cooking and that they crisp up on both sides. 

Air fried chicken tenders on serving tray with small bowl of ranch and lemon wedges.

How to Reheat Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer: 

  • If you have leftovers, simply reheat them in the air fryer at 350-degrees for 4 minutes.

How to Know When Air Fried Chicken Tenders are Done? 

  • Chicken tenders should be cooked to 165-degrees. I like to test this with an instant read meat thermometer. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, test the chicken for doneness by cutting into it and ensure that it’s no longer pink inside. 

Is Air Fried Chicken Healthier? 

  • Yes! By air frying and not deep frying you are cutting down on both calories and fat. 

Dips for Chicken Fingers: 

Air fried chicken strip on white plate with small bowl of ranch.

What to Serve with Chicken Tenders: 

Air Fryer Recipes

Air fried chicken tenders on serving tray with small bowl of ranch and lemon wedges.

Air Fried Chicken Tenders

Air Fried Chicken Tenders cook up golden & crispy on the outside, but juicy inside. The best part is they can be made in under 20 minutes with just 6-ingredients. A parmesan breadcrumb coating makes them extra delicious.  Serve these up with a side of buffalo wing sauce, magic dipping sauce, blue cheese dressing, BBQ sauce or ranch and treat yourself to this healthier indulgence! 
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs
  • cup parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Olive oil spray
  • Lemon wedges (for serving)

Instructions

  • Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees.
    Air fryer set to 400 degrees.
  • Grab 3 shallow plates. Add the flour to one. Whisk the eggs in the second one. Mix the panko, breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt, and pepper in the third one.
    Three bowls with flour, eggs and breadcrumbs.
  • Coat each tender in flour, then egg, and finally the breadcrumb mixture.
    Breaded chicken strips on cookie rack before air frying.
  • Spray both sides of the chicken generously with oil.
  • Working In batches, if necessary, cook the chicken 5 to 6 minutes on each side, flipping halfway through, until the chicken is cooked through and crispy and golden.
    Chicken strips in air fryer basket.
  • Serve with lemon wedges and your favorite dipping sauce.
    Air fried chicken strips on a tray next to ranch dressing and plate of vegetables.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Equipment

Air Fryer
Tongs

Nutrition

Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 160mg | Sodium: 741mg | Potassium: 508mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 218IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 155mg | Iron: 3mg

One comment

  1. David

    5 stars
    My family all love fried chicken wing sauce. With this recipe, we don’t scare frying oil. Fried chicken crunch dipping into the sauce is so delicious. And it takes me a shorter time than frying with oil.

    Reply

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