Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

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These crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are golden and juicy, so easy to make and perfect for weeknight cooking!

These crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are golden and juicy, so easy to make and perfect for weeknight cooking!
Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

I made these tasty chicken strips the other night for dinner along with some orzo with zucchini and tomatoes, and my family loved them! They are super easy and quick for weeknight meals. Air fryer recipes are one of my top requests, so I promise to share more soon!

Chicken Tenders cooked in the air fryer

I like making homemade chicken strips because they are so much healthier than fried versions. The great thing about the air fryer is that the tenders get super crispy with way less oil. This air fryer recipe for chicken tenders only requires a little olive oil spray on each one.

How do you make chicken tenders from scratch?

It’s very easy to make chicken tenders from scratch. Chicken tenders are already cut into strips, so you don’t have to spend any time slicing a raw chicken breast. So, the first step is to season the chicken with salt and pepper. Then, prep your breading stations. Put two eggs in a shallow bowl and the panko and breadcrumbs in another bowl.

Next, it’s time to bread the chicken tenders. Dip each one in the egg and then in the breadcrumb mixture. Place on a cutting board or baking tray until you’re done breading all of them. Then, spray the chicken strips on each side with olive oil spray before placing them in the air fryer.

How long do you cook chicken tenders in the air fryer?

Place chicken tenders in a single layer of the basked and air fry for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, turning halfway. They’re done once the chicken is cooked through and crispy and golden on the outside.

I love cooking chicken strips in the air fryer because they come out very crispy. If you don’t have an air fryer, you can bake them in the oven at 425 degrees for 16 minutes, turning halfway.

What to Serve with Chicken Tenders

I served these air fryer chicken tenderloins with zucchini tomato orzo and lemon wedges for squeezing. They would also be good with this Broccoli and Orzo or Mediterranean Quinoa Salad. Or, if you want to go the more traditional route, you could serve them with regular French fries or sweet potato fries cooked in the air fryer. You could also try this recipe for seasoned fries baked in the oven.

chicken tenders ready to air fryThese crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are golden and juicy, so easy to make and perfect for weeknight cooking!These crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are golden and juicy, so easy to make and perfect for weeknight cooking!These crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are golden and juicy, so easy to make and perfect for weeknight cooking!These crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are golden and juicy, so easy to make and perfect for weeknight cooking!

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These crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are golden and juicy, so easy to make and perfect for weeknight cooking!
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4.9 from 49 votes
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Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

3
7
3
SP
291 Cals 38.5 Protein 16.5 Carbs 7 Fats
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Brunch, Dinner, Lunch
CUISINE: American
These crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are golden and juicy, so easy to make and perfect for weeknight cooking!

Ingredients

  • 12 chicken tenders , (1 1/4 lbs)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs*
  • 1/2 cup seasoned panko*
  • olive oil spray
  • lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions

  • Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Place egg in a shallow bowl. In a second shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs and panko.
  • Dip chicken in the egg, then into the breadcrumb mixture and shake off excess and place on a large dish or cutting board. Spray both sides of the chicken generously with oil.
  • Preheat air fryer to 400F.
  • In batches, cook the chicken 5 to 6 minutes on each side, until the chicken is cooked through and crispy and golden on the outside. Serve with lemon wedges.

Notes

*For gluten-free swap out for gluten-free crumbs.

Nutrition

Serving: 3tenders, Calories: 291kcal, Carbohydrates: 16.5g, Protein: 38.5g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 197mg, Sodium: 653mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1.5g
Blue Smart Points: 3
Green Smart Points: 7
Purple Smart Points: 3
Keywords: Air Fryer Chicken, air fryer chicken tenders, healthy chicken tenders

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113 comments

  1. This chicken is delicious and easy to-boot! I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, and the fat on the really crisps up nicely, and the bottom of the chicken gets golden.

  2. I only have plain bread crumbs
    What should I use for seasoning?
    Mary

  3. When I put in the nutritional information as listed my WW app calls it 6 points for purple…just fyi! Still delish!

  4. Hi! I absolutely love these!!! Question… Do they freeze well?

  5. Cook at what temperature? Simply saying airfry for 5 mins on each side isn’t telling us enough.

  6. I just bought an air fryer so I’m new to cooking with it. I’m on Weight Watchers and I love that the recipe has point value. I love these chicken tenders! They are so good!

  7. My family loves these! They are so quick and easy for weeknight meals. 

  8. so easy and good! I like to spice up the breadcrumbs for a little more flavor, but they are good just as listed above 🙂

  9. Yuck. This was just not good. There wasn’t enough seasonings and this in no way resembled real fried chicken tenders.

  10. So yummy!! I didn’t have breadcrumbs on hand so I made some and seasoned it then added Italian Panko. Came out delicious. I’d definitely use this recipe again. Thank You!!!

  11. Soooo yummy! Used some Hot and spicy breadcrumbs, black garlic powder, and granulated garlic with the Panko to spice it up.

    The only recommendation I’d make is to pat the tenders dry before salt and pepper. Totally recommend!!

  12. I’ve made these twice and just LOVE them! The first time  I dipped them in ranch. This time I sliced them up and had a Buffalo chicken salad. Tasted just like a very popular restaurant’s salad that I enjoy ordering. No reason to go out for that salad anymore! Thanks for another great recipe Gina!

  13. This recipe is awesome. Added 1/2 tsp of both onion powder and garlic powder to the bread crumb mixture the 2nd time I made these. great on top of a salad.

  14. Hello,

    Sometimes I am the worst at having a plan for things I want to cook. But today I wanted to make these chicken tenders, but had made the frittata earlier and used all my eggs. So, I used greek yogurt to coat the tenders. I could have used mayonnaise, but thought the yogurt would be 0 points. I also didn’t have panko crumbs, so I skipped that ingredient. But with all this said, I loved the tenders. And I spritz them with spray oil to bake them. I rate it a 5, even with all my changes. Thank you!!

  15. I made this last night exactly as directed except for using lemon pepper rather than black pepper. The tenders came out crispy on the outside and moist on the inside–a rare achievement since chicken tenders dry out easily. I will definitely be making these in the future and will experiment with adding parmesan cheese and various spices for variety.

  16. What air fryer do you recommend? 

    • I’ve made this recipe before using this air fryerhttps://www.amazon.com/DASH-DAFT2350GBSS01-Chef-Stainless-Steel/dp/B07Y2L4FBJ/ref=asc_df_B07Y2L4FBJ/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=385191967814&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12927047038457619753&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9016865&hvtargid=pla-841249874569&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=78082493949&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=385191967814&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12927047038457619753&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9016865&hvtargid=pla-841249874569. Best air fryer ever!!!

  17. First recipe we tried with our air fryer and it turned out great! Thank you.

  18. Didn’t have panko breadcrumbs, but added garlic and fresh parmesan cheese to the seasoned regular bread crumbs and they came out very tasty.

  19. Thanks for the WW smart points value. I’ve reached my goal and am looking for WW recipes to maintain. I plan to make these tonight. Love my air fryer, so appreciate any of these recipes. You don’t have a recipe book, by any chance?

  20. What is panko and can you get it in the UK, thanks.

    • Panko is like bread crumbs but very fine pieces. If you don’t have them near bread crumbs in the store they might be with Japanese food. Or put regular bread crumbs in a baggie and get angry at them with a rolling pin.

  21. This is my second time making these and they are delicious!!  Tonight I served 1 piece with the Lighter Eggplant Parmesan – both were delicious!!! I made 2 pounds of chicken tenders which I will freeze individually to have for salads, burgers, chicken parmesan, etc.  Thanks Gina!!

  22. These were fantastic! I made exactly as written, easy enough to have my 5 year old make. She had a blast! Entire family loved eating these. I’m going to make more and freeze- forget those store bought frozen chicken tenders!

    Thank You!

  23. Hi!  How long can these keep for?

  24. I am an older fellow who doesn’t own nor intend to purchase an “Air Fryer.” Otherwise, I like your recipe. How would I cook the chicken tenders sans air fryer?

    • Heat oven to 425, spray large baking sheet with oil. Bake in lower third of the oven 8-10 minutes, flip and cook another 5-6 or until golden.

  25. Do you have a favourite device to mist the oil? I have read not to use canned spray so looking to find a mister if you happen to use one.

    Thanks for the great recipes

    • Yes, I use a https://www.amazon.com/Misto-Brushed-Aluminum-Olive-Sprayer/dp/B00004SPZV/ref=sr_1_1?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1515181085&sr=8-1&keywords=misto.

    • Pampered Chef makes one. It’s about $30. You can order it online or look for a dealer in your neighborhood.

  26. Followed the suggestion of others and added parmesan to the breadcrumbs. They worked perfectly and were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Were lovely with lemon juice squeezed over but next time l might make an aioli as well…although that’s not so skinny of course.

  27. These were the first things I made in my new air fryer. They were easy to make and turned out crispy and very tender. I made them exactly according to the recipe but added extra parmasean to the breadcrumbs. The whole family loved them! Can’t wait to try another Skinnytaste air fryer recipe. 

  28. First time using an air fryer. Can’t wait to try theses recipes.

  29. I am on a quest to lose weight and keep it off this time by discovering WW friendly recipes that I c LOVE – and could happily eat rest of my life.  

    So i will try 1-2 new skinnytaste recipes each week and cook as many skinnytaste recipes as possible.  Just fyi – your recipes rock!!

  30. These tenders were absolutely perfect!! I set the air fryer to 11 minutes, flipping the chicken after 6 minutes. It was crispy and juicy.   I added some Parmesan cheese to the bread crumbs and it was a nice addition. I will definitely make this recipe again. 

  31. Absolutely amazing!!! Added a little pickle juice for some extra flavor and my picky kids devoured them! Thanks for saving dinner tonight!!

    • You should check this one out too! 🙂
      https://www.skinnytaste.com/pickle-brined-baked-chicken-tenders/

      • Oh my word! These are so good! I rarely fry food because I fear over frying or under cooking. My husband bought me an air fryer for Christmas and I have made these 4 times!! Definitely a crowd pleaser in my family of picky eaters:)

  32. These were 💯% incredibly crispy, crunchy, savoury and delicious. Hubby loved them too. I used my new Air Fryer for the first time tonight and these chicken tenders will be on weekly dinner rotation. Thank you for this recipe!!

  33. I use your recipes all the time and love them, but I’ve never left a review. These chicken tenders turned out so amazing that I HAD to give them five stars. Followed the recipe exactly, but served with bbq sauce to dip in instead of lemon. Delicious and crispy! Thanks!!

  34. If making in the oven, do you still use the olive oil spray?

  35. This recipe is so delicious! My husband came back for seconds! Very crispy 

  36. Recipe sounds great, and like it needs a proofreader 😃.    But, I am seriously making these, just probably sans lemon.    Thank you for a lovely recipe.

  37. Is the serving size one piece?

  38. When I am putting the nutrition facts into WW I am getting 6 points on blue. Am I doing something wrong? I am very new to WW and I see that you are calculating 3? Thanks!

    • Hi Sarah. Are you using the recipe builder? The only accurate way to determine any recipe’s SmartPoints® value is to plug the ingredients into the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers website (Click on “My Foods,” select “Recipe,” and click “Create a recipe.”) which does not count fruits and vegetables in recipes in the calculations as they are now 0 points.

      The SmartPoints® calculator isn’t meant for recipes and will often give you the wrong points (usually higher) because it’s counting the fruits and vegetables. So if you see a recipe with a SmartPoints® value that’s different from what the calculator tells you, now you know why.

  39. My daughter and her friend said that these were better than dino nuggets which is quite a compliment from them!

  40. AMAZING!!! Healthy and delicious, definitely a weekly staple. Thank you!

  41. Really good! My picky 4 year old chicken tender snob devoured his tenders with not ONE complaint. This is unheard of. Winning!

  42. These were fantastic! Definitely making them again soon, such a great alternative to traditional fried chicken!

  43. Making this tonight so thank you! But just as an FYI the chicken tender is an actual piece of the breast, not just a breast cut into strips. It lays under the breast against the breast bone. 

  44. So juicy! And easy! 

  45. Simple and delicious! Thanks so much for posting this!

  46. I followed this recipe exactly as written. The chicken was delicious! My husband and children said they can’t wait to have it again. Thank you for giving us healthy, yummy meal ideas!

  47. Fantastic!  Made gluten free  and hubs loved em! 

  48. When I plug in nutritional facts into WW calculator, the SP for blue comes out to 6 not 3. Anyone else getting the same number? Want to make sure I am counting correctly.

  49. This is so good! I’m so glad I got an air fryer. I love this website. The recipes are easy to follow.

  50. My son made these today. DELICIOUS! Thanks so much for always having amazing recipes!

  51. If I don’t have an olive oil sprayer, what are my options? Spray with non-stuck cooking spray?

  52. Yas! What a great recipe. Made some honey mustard to go with it and my 16 month old gives it 3 “mmms”

  53. SO DELICIOUS. I did it gluten free w just break crumbs and my entire family was raving about how delicious it was. Absolutely amazing!!!

  54. I am learning new recipes and I am using iTrackbite. Can I use any panko and it still be the same value point or is there something I need to look for while looking for a particular panko?

  55. I have a Cuisinart oven style air fryer. Would the cooking directions be the same? Thanks!

    • I made this recipe with my new Cuisinart was great. Was looking to make it taste like Chick FiletA so I marinated it in Buttermilk & Pickle Juice for a couple of hrs. Turned out great!

  56. Made these last week with chicken breasts cut into tenders…. Absolutely delicious!!!! My husband, who loves fried chicken said that they tasted just like fried chicken! I will try making this with breast  fillets next… Thanks so much for another great recipe! A keeper!

  57. These were great, followed the recipe as written. Thank you!!

  58. I bought a tray of chicken tenders for $5.00, got like 20 tenders. Made them according to this recipe. Yummy. wrapped up the rest for the freezer for another lunch for my hubby. For dinner tonight I used the same coating for our porch chops. moist & tender….delicious. Thank you for posting. 

  59. I do not have an air fryer. Can I make these in the oven?

  60. I don’t have an air fryer and would like to make this in the oven. What temp and for how long would you recommend?

  61. Delicious! Thanks for this recipe.

  62. Another EXCELLENT recipe. Thank you for putting the Nutritional Data on your recipes. Great Value chicken strips have never tasted better!

    The mixing of the bread crumbs and panko is GENIUS. I’ve used one or the other, but not both.

    I let the frozen chicken strips defrost in a saltwater bath. Will try marinating them in pickle juice and see how that goes. Thanks again for always putting the Nutrition Data on your recipes as we are calorie counters and your recipes ALWAYS come out great and flavorful.

  63. I made these for dinner last night and they were amazing. My husband told me not to loose this recipe.  I used garlic seasoned bread crumbs.  This recipe will definitely be going into our meal rotation.  I want to try using this recipe and substituting fish for the chicken. 

  64. These came out AWESOME! my 12 and 14 year old boys loved them; said they were better than the kind at restaurants. Thanks!!

  65. Hi Gina! Made this recipe last night with all the ingredients suggested. Ended up being great! Do you have any suggestions on how to keep the breading on? Mine felt off. It still cooked in the airfryer so we just sprinkled it back on top, but I’m wondering if there is a way to prevent this in the future.

    Thank you for the recipe! Easy to follow and very quick.

    • Spray the air fryer basket or racks with cooking spray before placing the tenders on ’em. I have the same problem if I forget to do that.

  66. Made them for lunch today. Fabulous taste & very moist. A keeper. Thank you for creating. 🙂 

  67. These are tender and flavorful! A great recipe!! This will be a keeper in our house!

  68. There’s an asterisk next to both of the breadcrumb/panko ingredients but I cannot find what they are referring to

  69. Hi!  I have a dumb question haHa!  When you say….turn halfway…if you are cooking 5 to 6 mins per side why do you turn them halfway or am i reading this wrong?  Thank you!

  70. I don’t have gluten free bread crumbs but I do have Baked Lays Potato Chips so I’m going to process them and make these with the crumbs.

  71. Can these chicken tenders be frozen? I assume so but want to confirm before I make too many of them. They look fantastic. Thanks for all the great recipes! I have all your cookbooks!

    • I haven’t tried freezing them. I feel that recipes that cook so fast are better eaten right away but if you freeze them let me know how they are!

  72. Can you use all panko if you don’t have regular bread crumbs?? 🙂