Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are healthier and more delicious than anything you find in the frozen aisle, made with just a few simple ingredients. Great as a kid meal, quick dinner or adult appetizer!
Original recipe: June 2020 | Updated: November 2022
Why This Recipe Works
The air fryer works magic, especially on certain types of foods. Chicken is definitely one of them, in my opinion. Air fryer chicken tenders are a dream come true for parents looking for a way to change up dinner for the kiddos.
These crispy chicken tenders turn out so perfect and delicious! They are a flavorful break from the deep fried version.
We made a first batch and thought I’d let my boys dig in and devour them, but something else transpired. I took a few “test bites” to discover that I was in love and literally could not stop myself.
I dug in, fighting my boys for the last morsels. They are so good! Crispy chicken that is tender, flavorful and super easy, preferably dipped in my favorite dipping sauce.
Chicken tenders – If you are unable to find chicken tenderloins, boneless skinless chicken breasts will work. Pound the breasts to 1/2-inch thickness and cut in 2-inch strips lengthwise.
Panko bread crumbs – Use any type of bread crumbs you wish. Use a gluten free variety for a gluten-free meal! Replace breadcrumbs with crushed pork rinds for a low carb alternative.
Parmesan cheese – Omit this ingredient if you are looking for a dairy-free recipe.
Seasonings – Salt, black pepper and garlic powder act as the perfect trio, but consider adding other spices to the mix such as parsley, paprika, oregano, Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper or chili powder.
Eggs – Use a whisk to beat the eggs, adding just a tiny bit of water to the mix.
All-purpose flour – Use a gluten free flour such as almond flour to create a gluten-free dinner.
How To Make Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
Add Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and garlic powder to a shallow dish and mix. Place the eggs in a small bowl and the flour in a separate shallow bowl or dish.
Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture, making sure to coat all sides of the tenders. Next dip chicken in the egg mixture, followed by the breadcrumb mixture, ensuring the entire outer surface is entirely coated.
Coat air fryer basket with cooking spray or olive oil spray and place the chicken tenders inside in a single layer.
Close the lid. Air fry at 400 degrees F for 7 minutes. Flip and cook chicken tenders for 7 additional minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. Remove and serve with dipping sauce of your choice!
- These tenders act as a great healthy meal for kids, but they will also make the perfect appetizer for your next party!
- Immediately after opening air fryer basket or lid, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temp of the cooked chicken. It should read 165 degrees F or higher.
- Use a paper towel to pat any extra oil from the breading covering the chicken fingers before serving.
What To Serve With Chicken Tenders
Chicken tenders make the perfect easy dinner recipe for kids and adults. What dishes or dipping sauces do you serve alongside this lunch and dinner staple? Read on for 31 delicious ideas about what to serve with chicken tenders!
- Leafy green salad
- Fries or potato chips
How To Freeze Chicken Tenders
To freeze raw chicken tenders prior to cooking, coat in crumbs as directed in the recipe, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and cook as directed.
To freeze leftover chicken tenders, place cooked chicken tenders a doubled freezer bag or airtight container. Freeze for up to 4 months for best results.
How To Reheat Chicken Tenders
When ready to enjoy, remove chicken strips from the freezer and bring to room temperature. Microwave or heat in the oven until warmed through.
Chicken Dipping Sauces
- BBQ sauce
- Honey mustard sauce
- Buffalo sauce
- Cilantro lime sauce
- Ginger sauce
- Regular or avocado ranch dressing
Best Air Fryer Recipes
- These air fryer hashbrowns cook perfectly every single time.
- Make this simple air fryer chicken breast recipe and say goodbye to dry, tasteless chicken! Dinner is on the table in less than 30 minutes!
- Looking for a super easy and perfectly crispy chicken wings recipe? Oh good! You’re in the right place! With very little effort on your end, you can create the most perfect air fryer chicken wings.
- Say goodbye to soggy fries! Let your favorite appliance do its magic with your next batch of air fryer French fries. Or make sweet potato fries!
- This air fryer broccoli and cauliflower recipe ensures a delicious, healthy side dish for any dinner. Take the heat out of the kitchen by creating this easy recipe!
- Introducing the most perfectly cooked and easy-to-prepare air fryer salmon you will ever eat. Dinner is on the table in less than 30 minutes!
- Learn how to make frozen tater tots quickly and deliciously in a matter of minutes. Straight from the freezer to your air fryer, these are the best tots you’ll make all year! Great replacement for boring French fries or shredded potatoes.
- Learn how to make air fryer frozen chicken nuggets quickly and deliciously in a matter of minutes! They come out perfectly crispy every single time.
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Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Recipe
- Air Fryer
- Preheat air fryer to 400 F degrees. Add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and garlic powder to a shallow dish and mix. Place the beaten eggs in bowl and the flour in a separate bowl or shallow dish.
- Roll each tender in flour, coating completely. Next dunk in the egg mixture, followed by the Panko mixture, ensuring the entire outer surface is entirely coated.
- Place the chicken tenders in the air fryer and close the lid. Air fry at 400 degrees F for 7 minutes. Flip the tenders and cook for an additional 7 minutes. Remove the chicken and serve with dipping sauce of your choice!
- If you are unable to find chicken tenders, chicken breasts will work. Pound the breasts to 1/2-inch thickness and cut in 2-inch strips lengthwise.
- Use any type of bread crumbs you wish. Use a gluten free variety for a gluten-free meal!
- These tenders act as a great healthy meal for kids, but also make the perfect appetizer for your next party!
- To freeze, place cooked tenders in a ziploc bag and seal, removing as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, thaw to room temperature. Heat in microwave or in the oven until warm.