Discover the secret to irresistibly crunchy air fryer chicken tenders. With this recipe, there's no need to buy greasy takeout fried in oil.
Imagine sinking your teeth into a golden-brown piece of chicken, knowing it was perfectly cooked using air fryer technology. No more greasy fingers or messy kitchen counters. Just delicious, guilt-free crispy chicken in no time.
Using an air fryer cuts down on cooking time and reduces the amount of oil needed to achieve that coveted crunch. Whether you prefer classic chicken nuggets, juicy chicken strips, or even flavorful fried chicken breasts, the air fryer will cook them to perfection.
Reasons to Love This Recipe
- Healthier alternative. Using hot air circulation instead of oil, you can achieve that crispy, golden-brown exterior without the excess fat and calories.
- Incredibly easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients, you can have a delicious meal on the table.
- Cooks quickly. With this healthy air fryer recipe, you can have tender and juicy chicken ready in just minutes.
The beauty of this chicken recipe is that you'll get restaurant-quality tenders using simple ingredients at home.
Here are the items you'll need to make this recipe.
- raw chicken tenderloins
- garlic powder
- smoked sweet paprika
- all-purpost flour
- Panko breadcrumbs
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- olive oil
Scroll down to the recipe card for quantities used.
Preheat the air fryer to 370°F and set the timer to 12 minutes. Then, pat dry the chicken. Next, add seasonings to chicken tenderloins, flour, and Panko breadcrumbs.
Arrange containers of flour, egg, and homemade Panko breadcrumbs. Coat raw chicken tenders in flour, dip in egg, and coat in breadcrumbs.
Shake excess flour, egg, and breadcrumbs after coating each piece.
Transfer breaded chicken tenders onto Air Fryer basket or tray.
Place chicken tenders in the air fryer and begin cooking. Turn them half-way through.
Remove Air Fryer chicken tenders once the breadcrumbs are golden in color and the internal temperature of the chicken is 165°F.
Hint: It’s best to close the door when turning chicken tenders. If you do not close the door, the air fryer temperate might change.
One of the great things about chicken tenders is their versatility, and with a few simple tweaks, you can easily switch up the flavors to keep your taste buds intrigued.
- No breading - Explore a healthier alternative by ditching the breading altogether. Marinate the chicken tenders in your favorite seasonings or sauces before air frying them.
- Use different types of chicken - We like to use chicken thighs and chicken wings too. You can also make air fryer chicken breast.
- Experiment with different seasonings - Add some cumin and chili powder for a Tex-Mex twist, or swap in Italian seasoning for a Mediterranean flare.
- Change the coating - Try using crushed cornflakes for an extra crunch. You can also experiment with adding grated parmesan cheese or finely chopped nuts to the coating mixture to add a new layer of flavor and texture.
Top tip: Consider lightly brushing oil on top of your coated chicken tenders before placing them in the air fryer. This will help promote even browning and crisping during cooking.
- Make sure you pat dry the chicken tenders before coating them with any kind of breading or seasoning. Excess moisture on the surface of the chicken can prevent it from getting crispy in the air fryer.
- Always preheat your air fryer before cooking the chicken tenders. preheating helps create that initial burst of heat that will quickly crisp up the coating on the outside while keeping the inside juicy and tender.
- Leave enough space between each tender to allow hot air to circulate evenly around them. This ensures they cook evenly and become crispy all over.
These crispy and golden bites of deliciousness can be enjoyed in various ways, depending on your preferences and creativity in the kitchen. One classic option is to serve them alongside a bed of crunchy air fryer potato wedges or a fresh Greek chopped salad for a well-rounded meal.
If you want something more casual, why not create a tasty chicken sandwich with soft buns, lettuce, tomatoes, and your favorite condiments? The tenders can also be sliced up and added to a breakfast burrito or tacos for an extra kick of flavor.
While air fryer chicken tenders are perfectly delicious on their own, they are even better with dipping sauces. You can try classic options such as ketchup, BBQ sauce, or ranch dressing. If you like things spicy, try a buffalo chicken sauce or sriracha mayo. Or, add an Asian twist with soy ginger sauce or sweet chili dipping sauce.
Place the cooked chicken tenders in an airtight container or zipper bag and refrigerate them. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.
If you want to freeze them, it is recommended to separate each tender with parchment paper or plastic wrap to prevent them from sticking together. Frozen air fryer chicken tenders can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
When reheating, you can either use the air fryer again by preheating it and cooking at a lower temperature until heated through, or you can reheat them in a conventional oven at around 350°F (175°C) until warmed up.
Want to try more simple air fryer recipes for one or two? We love these delicious bites too.
- Bacon-wrapped pineapple bites combine sweet and salty flavors.
- Air fry jalapeño poppers will spice up your snacking game.
- Pasta chips are delightfully crunchy and surprisingly light.
- Bacon-wrapped cabbage is deliciously sweet and savory.
- Air fried apples are a sweet and buttery treat made in minutes.
Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- 9 pieces chicken tenders
- 1 large egg beaten
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 8 tablespoons Panko breadcrumbs ½ cup + 1 tablespoon
- kosher salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- olive oil or spray
- Pre-heat Air Fryer at 370°F (188°C). Set at 12 minutes.
- Pat dry chicken.
- Season chicken tenders with salt and ground black pepper. Set aside.
- Season flour with salt and ground black pepper. Set aside.
- Season homemade Panko breadcrumbs with salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, and smoked sweet paprika.
- Arrange containers of flour, egg, and homemade Panko breadcrumbs chronologically. Coat chicken tenders in flour, dip in egg, and coat in breadcrumbs. Shake excess flour, egg, and breadcrumbs.
- Lightly spray coated chicken tenders on both sides.
- Gently transfer coated chicken tenders onto Air Fryer tray and slowly insert tray into the middle cooking chamber, near the rotisserie catch.
- Turn chicken tenders half way through. No need to wait for the “turn food” reminder provided by the Air Fryer.
- See tips or notes when closing the door while turning food.
- Remove Air Fryer chicken tenders once the homemade Panko breadcrumbs are golden in color and the internal temperature of chicken is 165°F.