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Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders! Made with strips of chicken tenders, and spice seasoned panko breadcrumbs. No deep frying, yet still absolutely delicious!
AIR FRYER CHICKEN TENDERS
These breaded chicken tenders are the ultimate finger foods for kids and grown-ups alike. Each chicken strip is coated with a perfectly seasoned breadcrumb crust and then cooked in the air fryer until crispy and tender.
I like making homemade air fry chicken strips, because they are so much healthier than the deep fried versions. The great thing about the air fryer is that the tenders get super crispy with way less oil.
This air fryer recipe for beaded chicken tenders only requires a little olive oil spray.
Ingredients for Breaded Chicken:
Scroll all the way down for full recipe with print option.
- Chicken Tenders: or chicken breasts sliced into strips.
- Paprika: Adds a nice color and a mild, savory earthiness.
- Garlic powder: Extra flavor.
- Salt: The essential.
- Panko Breadcrumbs: Adds a lighter breadcrumb coating that crisps up perfectly in the air fryer.
- Eggs: Helps the breadcrumbs adhere to the chicken tenders.
- Olive Oil Spray
LOOK HOW CRISPY!
How to Make Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer:
- Pat dry the chicken with paper towels and season with salt.
- Place egg and beat in a shallow bowl. In a second shallow bowl, combine the Panko breadcrumbs and seasonings.
- Dip chicken in the egg, then into the breadcrumb mixture and shake off excess.
- Place on a large baking sheet or cutting board.
- Preheat air fryer to 400 F.
- In batches, place breaded raw chicken tenders in the air fryer basket and spray generously with olive oil spray.
- Cook the chicken 5 to 6 minutes on each side (spray again with olive oil spray when you flip them) until the chicken is cooked through and crispy and golden on the outside.
- Repeat with remaining chicken.
- Serve these panko chicken air fryer tenders with lemon wedges and a side salad and enjoy!
Sauces to Serve with Air Fryer Tenders
There’s endless options here. This is a list of ideas to get you started:
- Honey mustard
- BBQ sauce
- Marinara sauce
- Sweet chili sauce
- Or just spritz with lemon juice right before serving.
Possible Variations and Tips:
- If you don’t own an air fryer, you could bake these breaded chicken tenders. Bake in preheated oven at 425 F until chicken is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes, turning half way through.
- If your grocery store doesn’t sell chicken tenders, you can make your own from a boneless skinless chicken breast, by slicing it lengthwise into strips (about a 1/2-inch thick).
- For more intense garlic flour use 1 tablespoon minced garlic (add to the panko breadcrumbs) rather than using garlic powder.
- Use an instant read thermometer to test for doneness in center of the chicken. Temperature should read 165 degrees, don’t cook over or they’ll start to dry.
- If some chicken tenders are smaller you may want to check those first and remove early.
- You can try making this air fryer breaded chicken thighs or air fryer cordon bleu chicken, to spice things up.
- To Store. Refrigerate chicken tenders in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers at 350 degrees F in the air fryer or oven.
- To Freeze. Lay cooked chicken tenders in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze until solid, then transfer the frozen tenders to an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Reheat directly from frozen.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Air Fryer. This is the one I own and love!
- Instant Read Thermometer. The best way to tell when your tenders are done.
- Tongs. Ideal for flipping the chicken tenders.
- Measuring spoons.
NOTE: This recipe was made using the Cosori Air Fryer. If you’re using a different air fryer, you may need to adjust your cooking time accordingly. Thinner chicken will cook faster than larger wings.
Cooking chicken is air fryer is the best, you can also make it into air fryer chicken bites.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are Tenderloins and Tenders the Same?
Chicken tenders and chicken tenderloins are the same thing coming from the same portion of the bird. They just have a slightly different
name, you’ll see them labeled either way and can use either one.
HOW LONG DO YOU COOK CHICKEN TENDERS IN THE AIR FRYER?
Air fry chicken strips for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, turning halfway. Until the chicken is cooked through and crispy and golden on the outside. *Temperature should read 165 degrees, when measured by an instant read thermometer.