Make Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders just as tasty as your favorite drive-thru. These versatile chicken strips are perfectly crunchy with panko, bread crumbs and parmesan coating.
crunchy air fryer tenders
This is my family’s go-to recipe for a healthier air fryer chicken alternative to takeout. I am definitely guilty of way too many drive-thru chicken dinners when things get busy.
This recipe has a lighter, healthier breading and is just as flavorful and crunchy.
Homemade chicken tenders in the air fryer are made with just a few simple marinade ingredients, then a crispy coating of Panko, bread crumbs, and shredded parmesan cheese.
Just a few steps to make up a whole batch of crisp tenders for the entire family.
chicken tender sauce instructions
The special sauce for this recipe is similar to Cane’s or Chick-fil-A sauce. It’s a bit sweet and a bit tangy. You’ll simply whisk mayo, mustard, BBQ sauce, and honey together in a bowl and voila!
Follow these tips for the perfect air fried chicken tenders every time.
- use air-fryer safe parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy clean-up
- de-vein the tenders before marinating
- flip halfway through cooking
- don’t overcrowd your air fryer basket
- parmesan cheese-pecorino romano or other fresh, sharp, hard cheese may be used in place of parmesan
- Panko and breadcrumbs– you may use seasoned breadcrumbs, but I do recommend using both panko and breadcrumbs for this recipe. The combination makes the chicken tenders extra crispy.
- cajun seasoning– feel free to get creative here and use whatever seasoning you prefer. If cajun spice is too spicy, try lemon pepper instead.
- egg– the marinade for this chicken can be made with or without egg. I prefer with egg to help the coating stick to the tenders.
If you have leftover chicken tenders, store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
how to reheat chicken tenders in the air fryer
To reheat chicken tenders, add to 375° F pre-heated air fryer and cook for 4-5 minutes or until heated through the center.
how to freeze and reheat chicken tenders
to freeze tenders
Freezing chicken tenders is easy and a convenient way to meal-prep! Add leftover tenders to a zippered, air-tight freezer bag and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
frozen chicken tenders air fryer
Set air fryer temperature to 300° F for the first 5 minutes, then adjust temperature to 375° for last 3-5 minutes or until tenders are cooked through.
For best results, thaw tenders overnight in the fridge before re-heating.
what to serve with chicken tenders
Chicken tenders are versatile and may be served with a variety of side dishes. Try these tenders with
- garlic bread
- corn casserole
- french fries
- a vegetable side, like sweet potatoes
Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- Air fryer
- 1 lb chicken tenders
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp cajun seasoning or lemon pepper for milder taste
- ½ cup parmesan cheese shredded
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- ½ cup panko
- ¼ mayo
- ½ tsp mustard
- 1 tbsp sweet bbq sauce
- 1½ tbsp honey
- dash Worcestershire sauce optional
- Prep: dry tenders with a paper towel. Spray air fryer basket or use air fryer safe parchment paper.
- Whisk marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Whisk ingredients for coating in a separate bowl.
- Coat each tender in marinade, then dredge in coating until completely covered.
- Air fry tenders 3-4 at a time, taking care to not overcrowd the air fryer basket.
- Air fry at 375 degrees F until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.
- whisk ingredients together in a medium bowl
- store in a jar in the fridge for up to 3 days and stir again before use
sides for tenders…
Diced Air Fryer Potatoes
Instant Pot Street Corn
Chick Fil A Mac
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