July 17, 2024

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Delicious food

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders – Mom On Timeout

These easy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are crispy, perfectly seasoned and totally delicious! Made with a mouthwatering spice blend that will delight kids and adults alike! They’re high in protein, easy to make, and your new favorite weeknight dinner option! Serve with my sweet and tangy Honey Mustard or Fry Sauce!

Love easy chicken recipes? Make sure to try my Chicken Stir Fry and Chicken Salad!

chicken tender being dipped into fry sauce in a small bowl.

Air Fryer recipes are my go-to for quick and easy weeknight dinners. This simple recipe for Air Fryer Chicken Tenders will blow anything you can get in the freezer section out of the water. A simple breading process and the perfect seasoning blend make these chicken tenders easy to prepare with absolutely incredible flavor.

The best part? The adults will love these as much as the kids! Making chicken tenders in the air fryer is a great option for dinner, lunch or snack time. Don’t forget the dips:

top down look at air fryer chicken tenders in an air fryer basket.

More Air Fryer Recipes

Using your air fryer more and more like we are? Here are a few more recipes to try out:

  1. Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken
  2. Air Fryer Pickles
  3. Lemon Pepper Wings
  4. Air Fryer Tater Tots
  5. Air Fryer Donuts – Biscuit Donuts
  6. Easy Air Fryer Bacon
  7. Air Fryer Garlic Bread
  8. Air Fryer Shrimp
chicken tenders made in the air fryer plated and topped with parsley. air fryer can be seen in the background.

Ingredients Needed

The simple, flavorful, crispy breading really makes this easy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders recipe stand out! Chicken is always the best when made in the air fryer, and these Chicken Tenders are no exception! As always, you can find the full printable recipe with complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post. Let’s take a quick look at what you’ll need:

  • chicken tenders – you’ll need about one and half pounds for this recipe but any range from 1 to 2 pounds will work. Alternatively, if you can only find chicken breasts, simply cut into about three strips per breast.
  • kosher salt – you’ll need some to season the chicken tenders and more for the breading. 
  • black pepper – freshly ground for the best flavor.
  • panko breadcrumbs – I used Italian seasoned breadcrumbs but you can use plain if you prefer. Regular breadcrumbs can also be used in this recipe but the chicken tenders won’t be quite as crunchy. I recommend adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning to the plain panko breadcrumbs.
  • garlic powder and smoked paprika – really adds a nice punch of flavor to the chicken tenders.
  • Parmesan cheese – completely optional, this is a fun addition to the breading that adds a cheesy twist to this recipe.
  • all-purpose flour – the chicken is dredged in the flour first before the adds and breadcrumbs.
  • eggs – nicely whisked, they help the breadcrumbs to stick to the chicken.
  • parsley – a tasty optional garnish.

How To Make Chicken Tenders In Air Fryer

  1. Pat the chicken tenders dry and season with one teaspoon of salt and black pepper.
  2. Stir the panko breadcrumbs, salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika and 1 teaspoon of salt together in a shallow bowl.
  3. Place flour in a separate shallow bowl and the eggs in a third shallow bowl.
  4. Dip each chicken tender into the flour, then into the eggs and finally into the breadcrumb mixture.
  5. Preheat the air fryer to 330°F.
  6. Lightly spray each chicken tenderloin with cooking spray and then place them in the air fryer basket to cook for 8-10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

Make sure each chicken tender is well coated on both sides in each step. Do not overcrowd your air fryer. You want a little space between each chicken tender. I cooked mine in 3 separate batches.

four image collage showing how to make chicken tenders in air fryer.

Storage Information

Refrigerator: Leftover chicken tenders should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 to 4 days. To reheat, heat in the air fryer or oven to retain crispiness.

To Freeze: Place cooled chicken tenders in an airtight, freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.

chicken tenders made in the air fryer plated and topped with parsley. air fryer can be seen in the background.

FAQs

Can I use regular breadcrumbs instead of Panko breadcrumbs? Yes you can! But keep in mind that the breading won’t be quite so crispy.

I can only find plain Panko – can I use that instead? Absolutely. However, I recommend adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning to the plain panko breadcrumbs.

Can do I store the chicken tenders? Leftover tenders need to be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It will last for 3-4 days. Cooked chicken will last for up to 4 months in the freezer. When reheating this chicken it is best reheated in the air fryer to get that crispy finish. If reheated in the microwave be sure to place it on a paper towel to absorb the extra moisture.  

All air fryers cook differently. I used the Cosori Air fryer for this recipe. You may have to adjust time and temperature if you have a different model.

Trish’s Tips and Tricks

  • When coating your chicken tenders, use tongs or a fork to transfer each chicken from one bowl to the other. Otherwise, your fingers will get coated in the breadcrumbs and egg very quickly. Alternatively, you can use the “wet hand/dry hand” method where you use one hand to coat the tenders in dry ingredients and the other hand for the wet ingredients.
  • To make clean up easier, feel free to place aluminum foil or parchment paper on the bottom of the air fryer basket. Keep in mind that this may prevent the bottom of the chicken from getting crispy, so be aware of that. To combat this, try to flip the chicken halfway through the air frying process to get all sides of the chicken tenders nice and crisp.
  • Be aware that the cook time will vary depending on the size of your chicken tenders and on your air fryer. Please be sure your chicken has cooked through before consuming. It is easy to overcook chicken as well, which can dry it out. If at all possible, check your chicken with a meat thermometer to make sure it has cooked all the way through (165°F) but do not overcook it.
  • Do not overcrowd your air fryer. You want a little space between the chicken tenders. I cooked mine in 3 separate batches.
chicken tender torn in half so you can see the cooked chicken and breading. Torn tender is sitting on a pile of more chicken tenders.

More Chicken Recipes

  1. Chicken Salad
  2. Chicken Marinade
  3. Easy Cashew Chicken
  4. Chicken Stir Fry
  5. Honey Balsamic Chicken
  6. Chicken Piccata Recipe

How To Make Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

chicken tenders made in the air fryer plated and topped with parsley. air fryer can be seen in the background.
Print Pin

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

These easy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are crispy, perfectly seasoned and totally delicious! Made with a mouthwatering spice blend that will delight kids and adults alike! They’re high in protein, easy to make and your new favorite weeknight dinner option!

Course Dinner, Main Course, Main Dish
Keyword air fryer chicken tenders, air fryer chicken tenders recipe, chicken tenders air fryer
Author Trish – Mom On Timeout

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds chicken tenders
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs seasoned, I used Italian
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese optional
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs whisked together
  • Minced parsley optional garnish

Instructions

  • Pat the chicken tenders dry and season with one teaspoon of salt and black pepper. Set aside.

  • Stir the panko breadcrumbs, salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika and 1 teaspoon of salt together in a shallow bowl. (If adding Parmesan cheese, stir into this mixture.) Set aside.

  • Place the all-purpose flour in a separate shallow bowl and the whisked eggs in a third shallow bowl. You should have 3 bowls prepared: one bowl with the panko breadcrumb mixture, one with the all-purpose flour, and one with the whisked eggs.

  • Dip each chicken tenderloin into the all-purpose flour and then into the eggs and finally into the panko breadcrumb mixture. Make sure each tenderloin is well coated on both sides in each step.

  • Preheat the air fryer to 330°F.

  • Lightly spray each chicken tenderloin with cooking spray and then place them in the air fryer basket to cook for 8-10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

  • Do not overcrowd your air fryer. You want a little space between each chicken tender. I cooked mine in 3 separate batches.

  • Top with minced parsley, optional, and serve warm.

Notes

Storage Information: Leftover chicken tenders should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 to 4 days. To reheat, heat in the air fryer or oven to retain crispiness. To freeze, place cooled chicken tenders in an airtight, freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Note: All air fryers cook differently. I used the Cosori Air fryer for this recipe. You may have to adjust time and temperature if you have a different model. I used Italian seasoned breadcrumbs but you can use plain if you prefer. Regular breadcrumbs can also be used in this recipe but the chicken tenders won’t be quite as crunchy. I recommend adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning to the plain panko breadcrumbs.

Nutrition

Calories: 449kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 259mg | Sodium: 1798mg | Potassium: 781mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 485IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 186mg | Iron: 3mg