Chicken Tenders are every kid’s favorite, and this air fryer recipe makes them perfect every time. Crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, and ready in just 20 minutes. Just like fried… but so much better!
Chicken Tenders. They’re the one thing my kids look for on every restaurant menu, and the one thing they never seem to outgrow. Not that I can blame them… I mean who doesn’t love tender, juicy chicken coated in crispy bread crumbs?! Sign me up!
If you’ve ever tried making chicken tenders at home, you know that baking them just doesn’t quite cut it. Which is exactly where the air fryer comes in. They taste just like they do at a restaurant… with a tiny fraction of the oil!
They’ve been on constant rotation at our house, and I have to say… I feel great about it. They’re the perfect easy dinner, and the ideal chicken for salads and wraps too!
And when it comes to the sauce? Honey Mustard is our favorite, but you can also dip them in ranch, bbq sauce, ketchup, or any of your favorites!
- 2 pounds chicken tenders
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Bread the chicken tenders – place flour in one bowl, beaten eggs in another, and a mixture of the panko crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a third. Dip tenders first in flour, then in eggs, then in bread crumb mixture to coat. Place coated chicken tenders on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
“Fry” them – spray the inside of an air fryer basket with olive oil using an oil mister (**do NOT use aerosol cooking spray, as it can damage the inside of the basket**). Working in batches (about 4 at a time) place the tenders in your air fryer basket. Spray the top of the chicken tenders with an oil mister. Set the air fryer to 400° for 8 minutes.
Flip them – After 8 minutes on one side, flip the tenders, spray again with an oil mister, and fry for an additional 4-5 minutes. Remove them from the air fryer basket and continue with the next batch.
🌶 Recipe variations
- Add any of your favorite seasonings to the bread crumb mixture (e.g. chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, oregano)
- Substitute regular bread crumbs for panko bread crumbs
- Cut the chicken tenders into smaller chunks to make chicken nuggets
- Make them dairy free by omitting the cheese
- Substitute any of your favorite cheeses in place of parmesan
🍯 Dipping Sauces
- Honey Mustard
- Sweet & Tangy BBQ Sauce
- Creamy Southwest Dipping Sauce
- Garlic Aioli
- Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- Creamy Horseradish Sauce
♨️ Storing & reheating
Leftover chicken tenders can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To reheat, transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350°. They’re also delicious cold, especially on top of a salad or inside a wrap.
🥗 Salads to pair them with
- Cranberry Apple Pecan Salad
- Apple Walnut Salad
- Pear, Walnut & Gorgonzola Salad
- BLT Caesar Salad
- Strawberry Bacon Blue Cheese Salad
- Pineapple Crunch Salad
- Strawberry Spinach Salad
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 444Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 201mgSodium: 737mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 51g