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.
If you are looking for something to serve with this dish, try our air fryer french fries. Both of these go great with this copycat Chick-Fil-A sauce!
Watch The Chicken Tenders VIDEO here
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. They would also taste amazing in a homemade Popeyes chicken sandwich!
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?
Yes, these air fryer chicken tenders can be gluten-free! Substitute almond flour or brown rice flour for the Panko and Parmesan and then cook them like normal.
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
This is a quick rundown of the recipe. For full recipe details, scroll down to the printable recipe card.
- 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 canola or avocado oil in spray form. You can use your own oil mister bottle for optimal flavor.
- Bake. Cook the chicken tenders in the air fryer at 400 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
These breaded air fryer chicken breasts taste delicious with a dipping sauce. You can try this tangy ranch, tasty Chick-Fil-A sauce, or this sweet and smoky barbecue sauce. If you’re in a hurry, toss some hot buttered pasta with this 3 ingredient pasta cream sauce, and dinner is done!
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.
More Air fryer recipes to try!
- Air fryer pork chops
- Easy shrimp
- Air fryer zucchini fries
- Crispy french fries
- Air fryer Bacon
- Steak bites
- air fryer asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli
- Breaded Air fryer chicken tenders
- Air fryer chicken thighs
- Perfect Air fryer salmon
- Air fryer baked potato
Full Recipe Instructions
Breaded Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- 1 lb chicken tenders
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Make the marinade and add the chicken
- Combine the 1/4 mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, and 1 pressed garlic clove in a large bowl and place the 1 pound of chicken tenders inside. When pressing the garlic, I highly recommend using this grater. Its my favorite tool in my kitchen.
- 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 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs, 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.
- Then generously coat the chicken tenders in the breading mixture.
- Place the breaded chicken on the air fryer basket (about 4 tenders at a time). Then lightly spray the bottom of the basket and the top of the breaded chicken with avocado oil spray from your own oil mister or cooking spray.
Bake in the air fryer
- Bake in the air fryer at 400 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.
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Helen Gedzelman says
What a great recipe. Very delicious. We used season crumbs and left out the salt. Still added black pepper for a little heat yum
Helen, I am thrilled to hear that you loved these air fryer chicken tenders so much! Thank you for the kind feedback 🙂
Denise Martinez says
These tenders were so good ! Simple to make with few ingredients . Will be making again
I am so glad you enjoyed these chicken tenders, Denise!!
Thank you for sharing your recipe. This is, by far, the best air fried chicken tenders I’ve had. I usually add my own spin to recipes, but I followed your recipe exactly how you wrote it, and these were excellent! I’m pretty sure it will be made often.
Thank you so much, Kathleen! I am so happy that you found my recipe! Thank you for your kind feedback 🙂
Delicious! I used garlic powder instead of garlic clove, and I omitted the Parmesan cheese. This made the prep time faster, but it still tastes delicious!
Hi Jane, I am happy to hear that you enjoyed the air fryer chicken tenders. Thank you for the feedback!
Marci N. says
So delicious! I used Gluten free bread crumbs (which tend to be a bit crispier) and the result with this recipe was excellent! I have a larger basket and was able to get 6-8 larger strips of chicken fingers (white breast meat) cooking at the same time – no problem at all. 1 to 1.5 inches in width took only 9-10 minutes per batch.
Marci, I am so glad you loved these (even in a gluten-free version)! Thank you for taking the time to write your kind feedback 🙂
Easy and delicious!
Glad you loved the recipe, Courtney!
this was my first recipe i tried on my new purchased air fryer. it is so good. my picky toddler approved!
That is so awesome Tyra! These chicken tenders are always a hit with my kids as well! I am so glad you all enjoyed the recipe 🙂
They tasted great and were very moist! However, mine didn’t get that nice golden brown. Any recommendations for next time?
Hi Monica, usually adding more oil spray will get them to be more crispy on the outside. I hope that helps!
Eleonor Buth says
Thank you for sharing this yummiest Chicken tenders easy and fast.⁹
You are very welcome Eleonor! Very happy to hear you found these chicken tenders so delicious! Thank you for your support and feedback! 🙂
These are some of the best chicken tenders I’ve ever had. My family is obsessed with them to. I highly suggest you use Italian breadcrumbs or add some Italian seasoning to the breadcrumbs as it gives it that little extra something.
Thank you for the feedback Sydni! Glad you all loved these chicken tenders!
Most of the breading fell off; not sure what I did wrong.
Hi Bobbi, there is a chance your chicken might have been a little wet when placed into the marinade. I’ve noticed that patting the chicken dry, reduces the amount of moisture so the breading doesn’t get too wet and slide off. I hope that helps!
My 13 yr old says I should open a food truck and serve these tenders! We love them. ❤️
Haha that’s awesome Larisa! Thank you for the kind feedback 🙂
My air fryer has an air fryer option and a bake option, I notice the recipe states bake in the air fryer, can you share which option I should use. Thanks
Hi Linda, I use the air fry setting.
These are fabulous! I have tried dozens of air fryer chicken tender recipes. The marinade really makes the difference, this is by far my favorite. Making again tonight, yum… thanks for sharing!
Sheila, I am so thrilled to hear that you landed the perfect air fryer chicken tenders recipe after trying out that many! That is such a huge compliment!
Turned out great! TY!
You are very welcome! Very happy to hear you loved these chicken tenders! Thank you for your feedback! 🙂