Just wait ’til your family tries these air fryer chicken tenders. You’ll be using your air fryer to make them every week.
When I was kid, I would order chicken tenders for every meal. As an adult, I still have a soft spot for chicken tenders. With the air fryer, I don’t need to go out for tenders, I can make crispy chicken tenders easily at home, all ready for my favorite dipping sauce.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
What Kind Of Chicken For Tenders?
You may have guessed from the name, that we usually use chicken tenderloins for tenders. This is not the same cut as chicken breasts, but is actually a smaller (and more tender!) piece of meat with great flavor.
If you don’t have tenderloins, you can use boneless skinless chicken breasts instead. You’ll want to cut them into smaller chicken strips first, or adjust the timing to account for the thicker pieces.
Tips For Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
Chicken tenders are so great out of the air fryer. No crazy amounts of oil needed. No turning on the oven and heating up the whole house. Chicken tenders in the air fryer are done in just 10 minutes and they’re deliciously crispy, moist, and ready for dipping.
I tested out a few variations but the best method is using panko breadcrumbs instead of all-purpose flour or even almond flour.
You also want to make sure not to overcrowd the air fryer basket, working in batches if necessary. Keep them in a single layer, so each tender gets wonderfully crispy and golden.
Air fryer temperatures vary so make sure each chicken tender is cooked through by checking the internal temperature before serving.
Serving Chicken Tenders
Serve this air fryer chicken tenderloins with the dipping sauce of your choice! Any kind of BBQ sauce is great, but I also love a good honey mustard.
You can air fry French fries to go along with the chicken or switch it up with sweet potato fries. It’s so good that you’ll want to make this childhood favorite all the time. Enjoy!
More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
If you love how quick and easy it is to cook chicken in the air fryer, you’ll love putting all these recipes into the regular rotation.Print
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. onion powder
- 1 lb. chicken tenderloins
- 1 egg
- Heat air fryer to 400°F. Spray the basket with cooking spray.
- In a bowl, stir together panko, salt, paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. In another bowl, whisk egg. Set aside.
- Pat chicken dry with a paper towel. Dredge the chicken first in egg then in the bread crumb mixture, making sure each tender is well coated. Place them in the air fryer. Do not overcrowd, only cook 3-4 at a time.
- Cook for 10 minutes, flipping once at 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining chicken tenders until they have all been cooked through. Serve with your favorite sauce. Enjoy!
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This post originally appeared in December 2018 and was revised and republished in July 2023.