Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

Indulge in the beloved classic of chicken tenders, taken to new heights when prepared in an air fryer. The outcome is irresistibly crunchy exteriors that give way to perfectly juicy and tender interiors, a surefire hit among individuals of all ages.

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

What’s in this Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Recipe?

The appeal of chicken tenders is undeniable, and with the air fryer method, the process is remarkably simple, yielding exceptional results.

Chicken Tenders: These cuts originate from beneath the chicken breast. If they’re not available at the store, slicing chicken breasts into strips works just as well.

Salt + Pepper: Elevate the flavor profile of these chicken tenders.

Eggs: Act as a binding agent for the breading on the chicken tenders.

Panko Breadcrumbs: Bestow an extra layer of crispiness on the tenders. Regular breadcrumbs are a suitable alternative.

Parmesan Cheese: Introduces a touch of savory umami essence.

Pro Tip: Avoid overloading the air fryer basket to prevent the tenders from becoming steamy rather than achieving the desired crispiness.


Variations on Air Fryer Chicken Strips

Though these chicken tenders shine as they are, you have the creative freedom to infuse distinct flavors by incorporating various seasonings into the breadcrumb mixture. Think along the lines of Italian, herbs de Provence, taco seasoning, cajun seasoning, or blackened seasoning.

For added diversity, toss the cooked tenders in a sauce like Buffalo, BBQ, or teriyaki.

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

How long does it take to cook chicken tenders in an air fryer?

Approximately 8 minutes suffices to cook these tenders. The exact cooking duration hinges on the size and thickness of the tenders. To ensure thorough cooking to an internal temperature of 165°F, an instant-read thermometer is recommended.


Can I make chicken tenders with chicken breast?

Chicken tenders nestle just beneath the chicken breast meat. While akin to chicken breast but smaller, tenderer, and juicier, you can easily substitute chicken breast sliced into pieces if tenders are unavailable.


Do I need to preheat the air fryer before cooking chicken tenders?

For optimal results, preheating the air fryer before introducing the chicken tenders is advised. This practice fosters a delectably crispy exterior. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F for several minutes prior to placing the tenders inside.


Can I air fry frozen chicken tenders?

While the air fryer can accommodate frozen chicken, it’s not recommended for this recipe. Thaw frozen tenders completely before proceeding with coating and air frying, as frozen tenders won’t hold the breading properly.


How do I ensure the chicken tenders turn out crispy?

To achieve the sought-after crispiness, ensure the breading adheres well to the chicken. Additionally, flipping the tenders halfway through cooking guarantees uniform browning and crispiness on all sides, while preheating the air fryer contributes to the crunchiness.

Read Our Other Recipes

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How to Store and Reheat

These tenders are a delight when freshly served and can be swiftly reheated in the air fryer while maintaining their crispy texture. Refrigerate cooked tenders for up to 3 days. Reheat at 375°F for approximately 4 minutes until heated through.


How to Freeze

To freeze, arrange air fryer chicken tenders in a single layer on a lined baking sheet until solid, usually 1-2 hours. Store in an airtight container or Ziplock bag for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen, allowing extra cook time.


Serving Suggestions

These air-fried chicken tenders shine as appetizers, especially when paired with dips like BBQ, ketchup, Chick Fil A Sauce, or ranch. They also make superb toppings for salads, mac and cheese, and even in dishes like chicken and waffle casserole.

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Recipe

Indulge in the beloved classic of chicken tenders, taken tonew heights when prepared in an air fryer. The outcome is irresistibly crunchyexteriors that give way to perfectly juicy and tender interiors, a surefire hitamong individuals of all ages.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course brunch, dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 291 kcal


  • Air Fryer


  • 12 chicken tenders (1 1/4 lbs)
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs*
  • 1/2 cup seasoned panko*
  • olive oil spray
  • lemon wedges for serving


  • Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Place egg in a shallow bowl. In a second shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs and panko.
  • Dip chicken in the egg, then into the breadcrumb mixture and shake off excess and place on a large dish or cutting board. Spray both sides of the chicken generously with oil.
  • Preheat air fryer to 400F.
  • In batches, cook the chicken 5 to 6 minutes on each side, until the chicken is cooked through and crispy and golden on the outside. Serve with lemon wedges.


For gluten-free swap out for gluten-free crumbs.
Keyword air fryer chicken, Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

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