Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

4.67 from 3 votes

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These Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are so crispy and crunchy, you won’t believe they aren’t fried! Made with a special batter and Panko bread crumbs, they come together in about 20 minutes.

One chicken tender about to be dipped in ranch

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

Even though I love crispy, crunchy chicken tenders, I don’t love it when my whole house smells like oil. This is why I love this recipe and using a Air Fryer. You can get that crispy texture quicker, and with way less oil! There are a few other things that make these tenders stand out:

  • Panko Breadcrumbs: These breadcrumbs are a GAME CHANGER when you are making Air Fryer Chicken Tenders. Do NOT use regular breadcrumbs for this recipe. They just won’t work. Panko breadcrumbs come from Japanese cuisine and they are much flakier and crispier than traditional breadcrumbs.
  • Batter: Instead of dredging the chicken in egg and then flour, I mixed the two together and made a batter. This not only simplifies the preparation, but the batter binds the breadcrumbs to the chicken so much better than any other way I have tried.
  • Cooking Oil: One of the most important steps when making this recipe is to spray the tenders with cooking oil right before you cook them. This helps to make them even more crispy!
Chicken Tenders stacked on a plate

What Kind of Chicken Should I Use?

For this Air Fryer Chicken Tender recipe I actually used chicken breasts, sliced and pounded thin. You can also use chicken tenders, I just don’t like deveining them. For a juicier chicken, you can use a boneless, skinless thigh, sliced and pounded thin. Any of these will work, you can just use whatever you have on hand or whatever is on sale at the grocery store.

What to Serve with Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

Making these for dinner? Try serving them with some sides and dipping sauces!

More Air Fryer Recipes

My family just recently got an Air Fryer and we are obsessed! I love that you can cook things so quickly and so evenly! You can check out our list of Air Fryer recipes, or try one of our favorites. We love these Air Fryer French Fries and Air Fryer Chicken Wings

How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

4.67 from 3 votes
These Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are so crispy and crunchy, you won't believe they aren't fried! Made with a special batter and Panko bread crumbs, they come together in about 20 minutes.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4




  • Spread Panko bread crumbs out on a baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 3-4 minutes, or until toasted and golden brown.
    Panko breadcrumbs that have been toasted in the oven.
  • In a large bowl mix together the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Stir until combined and then add the chicken. Mix until the chicken is coated.
    Chicken tenders dredged in batter in a silver bowl.
  • Pour the bread crumbs into a shallow dish. One by one, press the chicken tenders into the breadcrumbs until all the sides are coated. Place on a plate or baking sheet. Repeat until all the tenders are coated.
    Breaded unbaked chicken tenders on a baking sheet
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees. Once it is preheated, add the chicken tenders in a single layer to the basket. Do not stack. Work in batches if you need to. Spray lightly with cooking oil. Bake for 5 minutes, then flip and bake for another 5 or until chicken is cooked through.
    Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
  • Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauces.
    Chicken Tenders stacked on a plate

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1gCalories: 309kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 30gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 1595mgPotassium: 531mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 347IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 74mgIron: 3mg

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About the author

Kelsey Crist

Kelsey lives in Washington with her husband, Alex, and two cats, Diana and Nova. Her happy place is in the kitchen listening to an audiobook and trying new recipes. When she's not in the kitchen you can find her hiking, shopping at Trader Joe's, or playing Animal Crossing. Her favorite food is pasta and Alex loves when she makes Homemade Oreos.

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  1. 4 stars
    Great recipe but 3lbs chicken calls for 6 teaspoons salt so it came out too salty.
    I used stone ground Dijon instead of plain Dijon so not sure if that made a difference.
    Overall good recipe.