Air fryer chicken tenders are crispy and flavorful with barely any oil required! Easy to prep and super quick to cook up.
Admit it- you have a bag of emergency chicken strips hiding somewhere in your freezer. I know I do!
Chicken tenders are a kid-favorite recipe, and turns out they are super easy to make from scratch!
We have been loving cooking chicken in our air fryer as well. It gets nice and crispy, and cooks in minutes! So much faster than using the oven.
Don’t forget to pin this post to save it for later!
The best breading for air fryer chicken tenders
As I mentioned in the air fryer chicken breast post, I tried this recipe with three different types of breading:
- all purpose flour ended up quite soggy
- panko didn’t mix well with the seasonings and ended up tasting bland
- regular breadcrumbs had the best compromise between crispy texture and taste
How to make air fryer chicken tenders
I skipped the flour/egg dredging and instead brushed these air fryer chicken tenders with olive oil.
Then I dredged them (a few times to get good coverage) in the breading mixture.
Finally, I air fried them…just 4-5 minutes total to cook these guys!
You can even make these chicken tenders ahead! They get soggy in the fridge, but just popping them back into the air fryer for a few minutes gets that nice, crispy texture back. I bet you could freeze them too, but I haven’t tried this yet.
If you are looking for air fryer chicken breast instructions, don’t forget to check out this post!
Tips for the tastiest air fryer chicken tenders
- This is the air fryer model I have
- to make this recipe even easier to prep, assemble the breading ahead and store in an air tight container in the pantry
- looking for more air fryer recipes? Check out these air fryer chicken breasts and these air fryer chicken wings!
Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- 1 lb chicken tenders
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/16 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Heat air fryer to 390°F / 200°C.
- Brush chicken tenders lightly with olive oil on both sides.
- Stir together the breading. Using tongs, dredge the chicken tenders in the breading, flipping over and repeating multiple times until chicken tenders are completely coated. Shake off excess breading and place in the air fryer right away.
- Cook in batches of 3-4 at a time, making sure the chicken tenders don't touch each other. Cook for 3 minutes, flip, and 2 minutes on other side before removing from the air fryer.
To prepare ahead
- These chicken tenders can be cooked 2-3 days ahead and stored in the fridge. To re-heat, place in the air fryer and heat for 2-3 minutes until they are crispy again.