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Air Fryer Chicken Tenders – Super Crispy!

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders – Super Crispy!

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are CRISPY and CRUNCHY on the outside and TENDER and JUICY on the inside. Skip the greasy mess of deep frying and get the same delicious chicken tenders for your favorite dipping sauce!

stack of chicken tenders on butcher paper with dipping sauces in the background

If you’d rather skip my (very helpful, I think) tips and tricks, essential cooking info, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to this delicious recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

If you crave some good old fried chicken tenders, I’m here to help you out!

Cooking chicken tenders in the Air Fryer is not only EASIER and LESS MESSIER than making them in the oven, the tenders are even better!

Crispy and crunchy on the outside with a perfectly seasoned coating and tender and juicy on the inside.

You will be adding these yummy tenders to your favorite salads, pasta dishes, and tucking them in your lunchbox!

How do you make chicken tenders from scratch?

Seeing as how amazing these turn out, and how easy they are to make, you will never buy tenders from the frozen foods section or order in the drive-thru again.

Plus, you can adjust the spices and coating ingredients as you like.

Gluten free? Use your favorite breadcrumb alternative!

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labeled picture of chicken tenders ingredients

Making your tenders at home doesn’t have to be complicated. Just a few simple ingredients and you are ready to go!


  • chicken tenders or sliced chicken breast
  • flour
  • Panko
  • breadcrumbs
  • eggs
  • spices

Making chicken tenders in your air fryer is actually pretty simple. Less effort and cooking time.

Just prep the chicken tenders as per the recipe, place them in the air fryer and you are ready to eat!

How to make air fryer chicken tenders

STEP ONE: Make your dredge by seasoning the coating with your favorite herbs and spices.

STEP TWO: Dredge your tenders in flour, then egg wash, then in the coating.

STEP THREE: Air fry until golden brown and crispy! Enjoy!

These tenders are an excellent finger food option to enjoy when you’re craving fast food, but still don’t want to go overboard by getting them from the freezer aisle and frying them in all that oil.

coated chicken tenders in an air fryer basket

How long to cook chicken tenders in the air fryer?

Whether you are making a large batch for when you have guests coming, or are hosting a dinner party, you might be wondering how long it takes to cook them all.

Because they are lean meat it doesn’t take long, but it also does depends on how many tenders you’re planning to make. And how large your air fryer really is.

In general, chicken tenders in a batch get cooked within 15-30 minutes. Great right?

Whether you’ve just started on a healthy eating spree or have been on it since quite some time now, you know how the air fryer could be one of the best investments you could make.

What if I don’t have an air fryer?

You can just as easily bake these off in the oven.

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Follow all the initial steps for coating your chicken.
  3. Place on your baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes then flip chicken over and cook for another 8-10 minutes until golden and crispy and fully cooked through (165ºF) .
  4. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce like honey mustard!
long stack of tenders on brown paper

How to freeze homemade chicken tenders

Once you have all your tenders coated and air fried, let them cool and freeze them on a baking sheet. Once they are frozen, place them in a large freezer safe bag until ready to serve.

To reheat them from frozen, heat at 400F for 10 minutes or until warmed through.

How do you preheat an air fryer?

To preheat your air fryer, set to desired temperature and turn on cook cycle and timer for 5-10 minutes. This will heat up the basket itself and keep the food from sticking.

Can you put raw chicken in the air fryer?

I have cooked chicken, pork, and burgers in my air fryer. All from the raw stage. Just be sure to check the internal temperature before eating to make sure they are cooked appropriately.

What to serve with chicken tenders?

These are perfect on their own, but also perfect served along pasta, a green salad, a nice slaw, or corn on the cob!

Is air fried chicken healthier?

Because you are not using oil to cook the meat, the finished meal has less calories and fat. Of course, if you dip them in a heavy sauce you are just adding it back in.

stack of air fried chicken on brown paper

Take Two Tapas Tips for Tenders

  • Remove the “string” from the chicken tenderloins.
  • Freeze a large batch of cooked tenders and reheat when you are ready.
  • If you like more crunch, use all Panko and leave out the bread crumbs.
  • For best results, do not stack the tenders. You need air circulation to get them crispy all around
  • Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes to keep them from sticking to the basket.
  • Season your coating with your favorite herbs and spices!
  • Air fryers don’t need oil but I like to spray mine tenders lightly. It helps them brown in color.
  • You can lightly spray the air fryer basket if it doesn’t have a non-stick coating.
fried chicken tender torn open to see cooked meat inside on a piece of parchment paper
pinterest image for chicken tenders with text "air fryer chicken tenders"

Other air fryer recipes to try

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Recipe

square picture of chicken tenders for the recipe card

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 2 large eggs , beaten
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup Panko crumbs **see notes
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • Ketchup
  • Honey Mustard
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Your favorite dip sauce


Preheat air fryer to 370 degrees F

Clean and trim chicken if necessary

Add bread crumbs and seasonings to shallow bowl or plate, mix together with a fork

Add beaten eggs to shallow bowl or plate

Add flour to shallow bowl or plate

Dip one chicken tender in flour, then in eggs, and then in breadcrumbs mixture. Coating evenly on all sides.

Set aside on plate or tray

Repeat with 3-4 more tenders

Cook chicken for 8-10 minutes, depending on size of tenders or until golden and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F

While chicken is cooking, prepare more chicken with coating

Repeat cooking until all chicken is cooked

Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce 


*If you like this recipe, please leave me a comment and rate it 5 stars. Thank you!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 313Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 828mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 15g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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