Tender, juicy chicken tenders with a delicious breading that are made in your Air Fryer! These homemade Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are a quick and easy dinner recipe that are made in 30 minutes.
They’re so quick you can go ahead and ditch the frozen chicken tenders – these homemade air fryer chicken tenders are so much better! If your family begs for chicken strips like mine does, you need to try this recipe. We love them with mac and cheese on the side!
Why these Crispy Chicken Tenders are the Best!
Maybe you already know how much I LOVE my air fryer! It’s one of my favorite kitchen gadgets, and I love to use it instead of my oven when I want something hot and crispy – like homemade chicken strips!
- When you air fry breaded chicken, it gets crispier and more golden brown than when you bake it. They’re so crispy it’s almost like they’re deep-fried but you don’t need any oil!
- These air fried chicken tenders taste like restaurant ones – add some French fries on the side, and everyone will think you picked up dinner instead of making it!
- These are great for a 30 minute quick dinner with a side dish, or serve them as a party snack with a favorite dipping sauce on the side. Either way, this chicken tenders recipe will be your new favorite air fryer recipe for weeknight dinners.
If you want even more ideas, you have to check out my best air fryer recipes after you give these chicken strips a try!
Chicken: I like to use chicken tenders for this recipe because they’re a perfect size and really tender. You don’t need to cut or pound them out. If you don’t have chicken tenders you can use chicken breasts and cut them into long strips.
Large eggs: They are the binder that keeps the breading on the chicken strips.
Breading: Combine seasoned panko breadcrumbs is combined with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika for the crispy coating.
- You can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe but you will need to pound them out to an even thickness, about 1/2”, before you slice them into strips.
- If you can’t find seasoned panko, just increase the amount of spices in the recipe.
How to Cook Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer
Whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl. In a separate shallow bowl, mix the panko and spices.
Dip a chicken strip in the whisked eggs so it’s completely coated. Allow the excess to drip off and then place it on a baking sheet. Repeat this with the rest of the strips.
Once all of the chicken tenders are coated in eggs, dredge them in the seasoned breadcrumb mixture so they are evenly coated.
Place a single layer of breaded chicken in the air fryer basket. They should not be touching or stacked. You may need to cook them in batches depending on how big your air fryer is.
Cook the chicken for eight to ten minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the breading is crispy.
Keep Them Warm!
The best way to keep your chicken tenders warm while preparing the next batch is to preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. After the chicken tenders are cooked place them on a baking sheet and then into the oven until you are done cooking them all.
Different Ways to Serve Them
Salad: Sometimes I cut the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and add them to a salad.
Wraps: Crispy chicken tenders are great for making wraps – add some mayo, mustard, lettuce, and tomato. Wrap it up in a flour tortilla – it’s delicious!
Appetizer: I’ve made these for parties and serve them with dipping sauces like ranch dip, ketchup, BBQ sauce, and mustard.
Do you need to add oil to the air fryer to make tenders?
Nope! You only need to lightly coat the breaded strips with cooking spray before you cook them. That’s the best part about air frying – you get crispy fried chicken tenders without all the oil!
How long to cook chicken Tenders in Air Fryer?
You’ll want to cook these chicken tenders at 400 degrees Fahrenheit in your air fryer for about 8-10 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. We recommend preheating your air fryer to help reduce cooking time.
The cooking time will depend on how thick your chicken tenders are. The thicker the chicken is the longer it will take to cook.
How do you know when they are done cooking?
The easiest way to know when they are done is to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. The temperature should be 165°F.
If you don’t have a thermometer, you can slice the biggest one in half and check the center – it should not have any pink and the juices should run clear.
Can I make these in an Oven?
Of course these chicken tenders can be made in the oven.
Prep the chicken strips according to the directions then bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can I freeze these?
Yes! After you cook them simply let them completely cool off, place them in a freezer Ziploc bag and freeze. They will last for about a month.
To reheat simply put in the air fryer and cook until warmed through. We recommend 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 4-5 minutes.
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can reheat them in the air fryer for a few minutes so they are nice and crispy.
If your family loves crispy chicken, you need to give this air fryer chicken strips recipe a try this week! You’ll love how easy it is to make – you’ll skip the frozen ones and make these from now on. Enjoy!
More Ways to Use Your Air Fryer
- Chicken Nuggets are another favorite dinner you can make in the air fryer. They’re hot and crispy!
- Learn how to cook juicy Seasoned Chicken Breasts in your air fryer – this is a staple recipe at my house.
- Or use it to make an amazing batch of Chicken Wings for your next party!
- 1 ½ pounds chicken tenders or boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded evenly and cut into strips
- 2 large eggs whisked
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup seasoned panko
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Whisk eggs in a shallow bowl or pie plate.
- In another shallow bowl or pie plate combine the salt, smoked paprika, ground black pepper, garlic powder and panko together.
- Dip chicken strips in egg then into breadcrumb making sure it’s completely covered. Shake off excess and transfer to a large dish or baking sheet. Repeat with all chicken strips.
- Spray breaded chicken strips with nonstick cooking spray, flip over and spray again.
- Place chicken strips in an air fryer, making sure not to let them overlap or touch, you will need to cook these in two batches if you have a smaller air fryer.
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cook in the air fryer for 8-10 minutes, flipping half way through or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Serve immediately with desired dipping sauces such as ranch, BBQ sauce, honey mustard etc.