These Breaded Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are so crispy and juicy. If you love chicken tenders, you have got to try this recipe that cuts out the grease without losing any of the delicious flavors.
Crispy air fryer chicken tenders
These Breaded Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are so tasty. Soaked in a flavorful marinade, dredged in Panko crumbs and Parmesan cheese, and seasoned with salt and pepper, they are packed with delicious flavor. The air fryer cooks them to a crispy, golden brown while inside the chicken is tender and juicy. These chicken tenders are not greasy at all and your kids and family will love them. Dip them in this awesome copycat Chick-fil-A sauce or even serve them with a side of veggies for a full meal.
The best type of air fryer for cooking chicken
Air fryers come in two basic types: the oven air fryer and the basket air fryer. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, such as the oven air fryer is bigger and bulkier, but has better airflow, especially when cooking a larger quantity of food at once. The basket style air fryer is great for things like french fries and is more compact, but it also cannot handle as much. For chicken, the oven air fryer is better because it allows more air circulation around the chicken, enabling more even cooking and crisping.
Can I make them gluten-free?
Can I make this with chicken breast instead?
Yes. If you use chicken breast, just make sure to cut the meat into smaller pieces because air fryers work by circulating hot air on all sides of the chicken. The more surface area there is, the faster and more evenly the meat will cook.
How long does it take to cook chicken in an air fryer?
That depends on the weight of the chicken. It will take less time to cook less chicken, but a larger piece or more chicken tenders will take a little more time. For this air fryer chicken tender recipe, it will take about 4-5 minutes per side with a pound of chicken tenders.
How to make breaded air fryer chicken tenders
- Season the chicken. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the chicken tenders and set them aside.
- Make the marinade. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, and garlic to a large bowl and mix.
- Marinate the chicken. Place the chicken in the marinade and toss to make sure they are completely covered. You can let it sit for a few hours, or even overnight. Or you can begin dredging immediately.
- Make the dredge. Combine the breadcrumbs, Panko, Parmesan, salt, and pepper to make the dredge for your chicken tenders.
- Dredge your chicken. Generously cover the chicken with the mixture and then place each piece in the basket of the air fryer. Lightly spray both sides of the chicken with cooking spray.
- Bake. Cook the chicken tenders in the air fryer at 390 degrees Fahrenheit for 4-5 minutes on each side. You can check doneness by inserting a meat thermometer into the meat and checking to see if it has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can I make them in a regular oven?
Yes, these chicken tenders can also be made in an oven. Follow the steps up until it is time to cook. Place them on a baking sheet and cook them in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes.
What goes well with breaded chicken tenders
Can I make these in advance?
Yes, you can. You can marinate the chicken tenders the night before just like my breaded chicken skewers recipe and make the dredge mixture at the same time. Just store the chicken in the fridge in a covered bowl and place the breading mix in an airtight container until you’re ready to use them.
Can I freeze them?
Yes! After you are done cooking the air fryer chicken tenders, let them thoroughly cool and then place them in a ziplock bag in the freezer. They will last for about 1 month. The chicken can then be reheated in the air fryer.
How long will it take to cook frozen chicken tenders?
Frozen chicken tenders will take about 12 minutes total to cook, flipping halfway through. Then they will be thoroughly cooked and ready to serve.
Breaded Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
Season and marinate the chicken
- Season the chicken tenders with salt and pepper, then set aside.
- Toss the chicken around in the marinade. You can begin dredging the chicken tenders right away or let them marinate for a few hours or even overnight for the best flavor.
Dredge in bread crumb mixture
- Now make the breading by combining the plain bread crumbs, panko bread crumbs, grated Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
- Then generously coat the chicken tenders in the breading mixture.
Bake in the air fryer
- Bake in the air fryer at 390 degrees Fahrenheit for about 4-5 minutes per side. A good way to know that your chicken is done is by inserting a meat thermometer into the center of the chicken. It should read at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.