Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

These crispy air fryer chicken tenders are the perfect big batch meal for easy lunches and fun dinners throughout the week.

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We love our air fryer. We pretty much use it whenever we can – whether we’re heating up leftovers, making frozen fries, or trying out new recipes. 

We recently decided to make our very own crispy chicken tenders to serve with some delicious dipping sauces. Sometimes we just want an easy meal that makes us feel like kids again. (Oh, and we recently discovered our grocery store sells bottled Chick-fil-A sauce.) 

Air fryer chicken tenders on a serving platter, served with ketchup, honey mustard, and bbq sauce

Since these chicken tenders are pretty easy to make, we cooked up a big batch in our air fryer and packaged up the leftovers to be used for lunch throughout the week. Big batch meals allow us to quickly pack lunches for work and keep us from eating out too often. These chicken tenders or our Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili are some of our favorite recipes for meal prepping. 

Here’s how easy it is to make our Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders:
  1. Prep a flour mixture (flour + salt + pepper), egg wash (eggs + milk), and breadcrumb coating (breadcrumbs + seasonings)
  2. Coat chicken tenders in flour mixture, then egg wash, then breadcrumbs
  3. Cook in the air fryer for 7 minutes on each side

That’s it! 

And there are so many ways to enjoy these chicken tenders. We love serving them with a variety of dips – ketchup, barbecue sauce, honey mustard, Chick-fil-A sauce, even garlic aioli – but they also taste great in wraps and sandwiches, or over a salad. They’re the perfect versatile ingredient for any meal you could imagine.

Air fryer chicken tenders on a serving platter, served with ketchup, honey mustard, and bbq sauce
Our Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are also the perfect example of everything we love about our air fryer:
  • It’s quick – most things cook much faster in the air fryer than in the oven
  • It’s easy – just load up the basket and set the timer, instead of constantly attending to food frying in oil
  • It’s a healthier alternative – our air fryer crisps food super well without using lots of oil
  • It’s unique – having an air fryer lets us try new kinds of recipes we wouldn’t know how to make otherwise, like crispy chicken tenders
  • It’s awesome for reheating food – our chicken tenders reheat perfectly crispy in our air fryer (even leftover french fries reheat well!)

So if you haven’t yet invested in an air fryer, we highly recommend it. We love our air fryer’s simple controls and it works perfectly every time. 

Try our crispy chicken tenders recipe below, and you’ll be wondering why you waited this long to buy an air fryer!

Crispy air fryer chicken tenders in a glass serving dish
5 from 1 vote

Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

These crispy air fryer chicken tenders are the perfect big batch meal for easy lunches and fun dinners throughout the week.
Servings 4 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs raw chicken tenders

Flour Mixture

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Egg Wash

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp milk

Breadcrumb Coating

  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • tsp garlic powder
  • tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp ground red cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • Lightly grease the air fryer basket with cooking spray and preheat to 375 degrees.
  • In a shallow dish, whisk together flour, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper and set aside.
  • In a separate shallow dish, whisk together the eggs and milk until well-combined. Set aside next to the flour mixture.
  • In a third shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, ground red cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Set aside next to the egg wash.
  • First, coat chicken evenly in the flour mixture, then shake off excess flour and transfer to egg wash. Coat completely in the egg wash, then let excess egg drip off and transfer to breadcrumbs. Coat evenly in breadcrumbs, then lightly shake off excess breadcrumbs and transfer to a dish. Repeat until all tenders are coated.
  • Cook tenders in a single layer in the air fryer for 7 minutes on each side. Work in batches as necessary.*
  • Serve hot with dipping sauces, or let cool and store in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.*

Notes

Cooking the tenders: Depending on how many batches you cook, you may want to re-grease the air fryer basket at some point. Keep an eye on it and if things start sticking, hit it with some more cooking spray between batches.
Serving suggestions: We like to serve our chicken tenders with a variety of dipping sauces – ketchup, honey mustard, barbecue sauce, and Chick-fil-A sauce, to name a few!
Storing: These tenders store well in the fridge for up to 5 days, so we like to make a big batch on Sunday and have delicious chicken readily available for lunch throughout the week. (Slice these tenders up and put them in a sandwich, or simply reheat them in the air fryer and enjoy!)
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Author: Nicole
Calories: 458kcal
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer, breadcrumbs, cayenne, chicken, chicken fingers, chicken tenders, egg, flour, milk

Nutrition

Calories: 458kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 56g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 227mg | Sodium: 929mg | Potassium: 958mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 3mg

If you have any questions regarding the information presented in this post, please refer to our Nutrition Disclaimer here.

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