Air fryer Chicken Tenders

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are a delightfully crispy and succulent option for a healthier version of your favorite comfort food. By using an air fryer, you can achieve that desirable crunchy exterior and tender interior without the need for deep frying. This recipe is straightforward, requires minimal ingredients, and can be customized with your favorite spices or dipping sauces. Let’s dive in.


  • 1 pound (about 450g) chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs or panko for extra crispiness
  • Cooking spray (oil)

Optional for Serving:

  • Lemon wedges
  • Your favorite dipping sauces (e.g., BBQ sauce, honey mustard, ranch)


  1. Preparation:
    • Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C). This helps achieve a crispy texture on the chicken tenders.
    • Rinse the chicken tenders and pat them dry with paper towels. This step ensures the coatings will stick to the chicken properly.
  2. Season the Flour:
    • In a shallow dish, combine the all-purpose flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Mix well to distribute the spices evenly.
  3. Egg Wash:
    • In another shallow dish, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. This mixture will help the breadcrumbs adhere to the chicken.
  4. Breadcrumbs:
    • Place the breadcrumbs or panko in a third shallow dish. For an extra flavor kick, you can mix in some grated Parmesan cheese or dried herbs.
  5. Coating the Chicken:
    • Dredge each chicken tender first in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess.
    • Dip it next into the egg wash, allowing any excess to drip off.
    • Finally, coat it well in the breadcrumbs or panko. Press the breadcrumbs onto the chicken to ensure a good coat.
  6. Cooking:
    • Lightly spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
    • Arrange the chicken tenders in the basket in a single layer, making sure they don’t touch for even cooking. You may need to cook them in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
    • Spray the tops of the chicken tenders lightly with cooking spray. This helps achieve a golden color and crispy texture.
    • Cook for about 10 minutes, then flip the tenders and spray lightly again with cooking spray. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the exterior is crispy and golden brown. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C).
  7. Serving:
    • Serve the chicken tenders hot with lemon wedges and your choice of dipping sauces on the side.

Tips for Perfect Air Fryer Chicken Tenders:

  • Ensure They’re Not Overlapping: For the crispiest chicken tenders, arrange them in a single layer without touching. Cook in batches if necessary.
  • Spray Lightly with Oil: A light spray of cooking oil helps achieve a crispy and golden exterior without being greasy.
  • Customize Your Coatings: Feel free to experiment with different spices in the flour mixture or add herbs to the breadcrumbs for a flavor variation.

Enjoy these air fryer chicken tenders as a guilt-free indulgence that’s both delicious and easy to make, perfect for a quick dinner, snack, or entertaining guests.

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