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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.
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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 an 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!
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.
- Panko bread crumbs
- Cooking spray
- Chicken breasts – sliced and pounded thin or chicken tenders
- Egg – beaten
- Dijon mustard
- Flour – I used Wondra flour
- Garlic powder
What to Serve with Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
Making these for dinner? Try serving them with some sides and dipping sauces!
- Air Fryer French Fries
- Sweet Potato Fries with Chipotle Lime Dip
- Nuts About Berries Salad
- Fry Sauce – 4 Ways!
- Homemade Ranch
You may be overfilling the air fryer basket. The air in the air fryer needs to be able to reach each of the chicken strips thoroughly to cook it and make it crispy. If the basket is too full, it creates a steamy environment which makes the chicken soggy on the outside.
When cooking from raw, 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. Spray lightly with cooking oil and bake for 5 minutes, then flip and bake for another 5 or until chicken is cooked through.
Fried chicken tenders are an excellent source of vitamin B6 and phosphorus, and provide more than 40% of your daily value set by the FDA.
Read More:Easy Air Fryer Recipes You Will Love
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauces.
- Honey mustard
- BBQ sauce
- Buffalo sauce
- Buttermilk ranch
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