This Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Recipe makes the perfect quick and easy dinner for both kids and adults. Super crispy, golden and ready in under 30 minutes!
This Air Fryer Chicken Tenders recipe is one of my go-to quick and easy weeknight dinners for my family. The chicken is super crispy and my kids love dipping it in ketchup or ranch dressing. The entire recipe is easy from start to finish and ready in under 30 minutes.
The chicken strip breading is also easy to customize and can be made to fit a variety or flavor profiles. If you are looking to skip the homemade version, I have included instructions on how to air fry popular store-bought frozen chicken tenders as well.
Spices & Seasoning: I love my combination of garlic powder, salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, parsley, and onion powder for my chicken tenders recipe. The chicken strips some out flavorful, but not too overpowering making them great for kids and pairing with lots of different sauces. You can of course customize this recipe easily with some cayenne pepper for more spicy tenders, some lemon pepper seasoning for a more bold flavor, or any other combination you wish.
Chicken: I usually buy chicken tenders from my local grocery store, but if you cannot find the tenders pre-packaged you can cut chicken breasts into strips to form "tenders" as well.
Why You'll LOVE This!
Quick & Easy: Ready in Under 30 Minutes!
Perfect for Both Kids & Adults
Easily Customized with Different Spices & Seasonings
- Add panko breadcrumbs, plain breadcrumbs and all the seasonings to a medium sized bowl and stir to combine.
- Add the milk and egg (plus salt and pepper to taste if you wish) to a medium sized bowl and whisk until well combined.
You can make the breadcrumb mixture ahead of time and store in a sealed container for up to three months. The seasonings yield a mild breading flavor, and can be used to coat other chicken recipes, pork or fish.
- Season thawed chicken tenders with salt and pepper.
- Pour flour in a shallow bowl or plate. One at a time, take a chicken tender and coat on all sides.
- Next, dredge the same chicken tender in the wet mixture and let the excess drip off.
- Finally, coat the chicken strip in the breadcrumb mixture then set on a plate. Repeat these steps until all the chicken tenders are breaded.
Use the Two Hand Method when breading the chicken tenders to keep your hands clean. Use one hand when dredging in the dry ingredients (flour and breadcrumbs) and the opposite hand when dredging in the wet mixture. Switching the chicken strip between your hands between each step will help your fingers stay much clean and not coated in flour.
- Preheat your air fryer (I used my Ninja Foodi) to 400 degrees F. Once preheated, mist the basket with oil and add the chicken tenders in. I fit 5-6 in mine at a time, but you may be able to fit more or less depending on the size of you air fryer. Be sure not to have the tenders crowded together. Once the tenders are in, mist lightly with oil and close the lid. Cook for 10-12 minutes flipping the tenders halfway through and re-misting.
- Once the chicken tenders are golden, crispy and the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F remove carefully from the basket with tongs. Air fry next batch following the directions above. Once all the chicken is fried, serve warm with sauce and side of choice and enjoy!
Store leftover air fryer chicken tenders in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. To rewarm place in the oven or air fryer until warmed through. You can microwave them if your prefer as well.
Preheating: I always recommend preheating your air fryer, especially when cooking meet. Just like when using an oven I find it cooks the chicken faster, more evenly and yields a crispier exterior. Many air fryers come with a preheat setting, but you can also run it on your desired temperature for 5 minutes empty as well.
Don't Over-Mist: When misting the tenders with olive oil be sure not to oversaturate the breading. You just need to mist the outside a little bit for them to get golden and crispy. If you spray on too much oil the breading will not adhere as well to the chicken and could stick to the air fryer basket.
Side Dish Ideas
Some great pairing for air fryer chicken strips are French fries, a loaded baked potato, Caesar Salad, sweet potato fries, stir fried veggies or some garlic butter pasta.
If you prefer to cook store-bought chicken strips (like Tyson) you can do so in your air fryer. Preheat your air fryer to 390 degrees F and mist the basket with oil. Add tenders to the basket (don't have piled on top of each other) and cook for 12-14 minutes flipping halfway through.
To cook raw chicken in your air fryer you want to season or bread it how you prefer. Once seasoning and/or breaded you will add the chicken to the basket of your air fryer, mist with oil, close the lid and air fry for about 15 minutes depending on the recipe.
Once cooked you can keep chicken tenders warm and crispy by placing them in the oven at 200 degrees F on a cookie sheet until ready to serve. This will keep them crispy and not dry them out.
You can serve chicken strips with ranch dressing, ketchup, BBQ sauce, honey mustard for a more classic pairing. Or, you could be more adventurous and try a Avocado Ranch Dressing, garlic aioli, buffalo sauce, or any of your personal favorites.
My Favorite Air Fryers
I love using my Ninja Foodi for all of my air frying needs. Everything always comes out crispy and perfectly cooked. Another great option for larger amounts of frying would be OMMO Air Fryer with has loads of features and several racks.
You May Also Enjoy...
Golden Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Recipe
- 12 Chicken Tenders
- 1 Egg
- ½ Cup Milk
- ¼ Cup All Purpose Flour
- ½ Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- ¾ Cup Plain Breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
- ¾ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ¾ teaspoon Paprika
- ¼ teaspoon Chili Powder
- ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
- ¾ teaspoon Parsley
- ¼ teaspoon Adobo All Purpose Seasoning Optional
- Add panko breadcrumbs, plain breadcrumbs and all the seasonings to a medium sized bowl and stir to combine, set aside. Pour flour on a plate or in a shallow bowl and set aside.
- Add the milk and egg (plus salt and pepper to taste if you wish) to a medium sized bowl and whisk until well combined, set aside.
- Season thawed chicken tenders with salt and pepper to taste One at a time, take a chicken tender and coat on all sides with flour. Next, dredge the same chicken tender in the wet mixture and let the excess drip off. Finally, coat the chicken strip in the breadcrumb mixture then set on a large plate. Repeat these steps until all the chicken tenders are breaded.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F. Once preheated, mist the basket with oil and add the chicken tenders in. I fit 5-6 in mine at a time, but you may be able to fit more or less depending on the size of you air fryer. Be sure not to have the tenders crowded together. Once the tenders are in, mist lightly with oil and close the lid. Cook for 10-12 minutes flipping the tenders halfway through and re-misting.
- Once the chicken tenders are golden, crispy and the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F remove carefully from the basket with tongs. Air fry next batch following the directions above. Once all the chicken is fried, serve warm with sauce and side of choice.
Yum! I like using air fryer for simple dinners, and this chicken recipe looks easy and delicious.
These tendies turned out so crispy in the air fryer, my kids just loved them!
Glad they were a hit!
The chicken tender looks crispy and delicious. And it is way healthier to make instead of frying in oil.
Yes, super crispy and much healthier than oil!
I am so tempted to get an air fryer. Yes, I'm one of those people who doesn't have one yet! But I live in a small apartment so I don't have a lot of space but I look at recipes like yours and think.... I need one! Those chicken tenders are so golden brown! Yum!
haha you really do! I am obsessed with mine 🙂
I am going to try these tomorrow for dinner! I love homemade chicken tenders and this is just as quick as getting take out and look so much better.
Hope you enjoy!